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Combating Inmate Disturbance Plans

Combating Inmate Disturbance Plans

STL Joseph Garcia

High Risk Security Patrol

Here’s an exercise for all you corrections news junkies out there: Google search the news headlines for the past month. You’ll quickly pick up on a theme that is alarming corrections professionals nationally and internationally: Increasing escapes, disturbances, and inmate on staff attacks. Don’t think this stuff happens in a vacuum: The public knows what’s happening (thankfully, they don’t know everything), and sooner or later (I’d say sooner), they’re going to want some answers. Here’s just a sample of the headlines (and sources) I found:

  • November 29: Escape Warrants Assessment of Lockups’ Security (St. Petersburg, FL, Times)
  • November 28: Two Men Still At Large as County Ponders Cause (AP, Yakima, WA)
  • November 28: Governor Brings in Security Experts to Study Fort Madison; Staffing Added to Prison Towers (AP, Des Moines, IA)
  • November 28: Rise in Prison Breakouts (National Public Radio)
  • November 26: Nine Inmates Escape from Washington Jail (AP, National Distribution)
  • November 24: Jail Security an Issue in Pike County (AP, Magnolia, MS)
  • November 24: Deputies Blamed for Inmate’s Escape (Toledo, OH, Blade)
  • November 22: Officials Call for Improvements After LA Jail Killing, Escapes (AP, Los Angeles, CA)
  • November 21: Sheriff Disciplines Deputies for Death Row Inmate’s Escape (AP, Houston, TX)
  • November 15: Six Inmates Escape from Institute of Mental Health (The Hindu, India)
  • November 12: Officer: Prison Violence Increasing Among Staff Debate (AP, Oklahoma City, OK)
  • And there are over 300 stories in the last 4 months on CERTOps News Sections.

You get the picture. The public is demanding accountability. As in the past, correctional emergency response operators are virtually under siege, with administrators looking for answers to combat these inmate surprises.

You can’t wish away these inmate disturbances. In fact, judging by the trend, and according to my sources at facilities in the U.S. and internationally, I believe that these escapes, disturbances, and attacks on staff threats are just signs of a alarming new era in inmate threats.

What can you do to meet – and overcome – these threats? Let’s start by introducing you to a new concept: High Risk Security Patrolling. For those of you who are infantry veterans, you’re already familiar with the concept of patrolling: Based on actionable intelligence, you gather your map, your personnel, and your gear. You brief your squad on the mission parameters and objectives, and you then patrol a designated area. En route, you note anything out of the ordinary, and you perform your actions on the objective. At the conclusion of the patrol, you report your findings to headquarters and conduct an After Action Review (AAR). Simple.


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