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Thread: I am a bit upset by this article . . . .

  1. #1

    Default I am a bit upset by this article . . . .

    Federal corrections officers don't carry pepper spray, batons, or even stab vests - the idea is to have friendly discourse with the prisoners.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/08/26/...ity/index.html

    From Kelli Arena and Kevin BohnCNN ATWATER, California (CNN) -- Jose Rivera survived two tours of duty in Iraq, but his job as a corrections officer at a high-security federal prison in California cost him his life.
    Jose Rivera was guarding 100 inmates when he was stabbed to death at a federal prison in California.
    Two inmates using a homemade shank are accused of stabbing Rivera to death in June at the United States Penitentiary in Atwater, California.
    The inmates -- Jose Sablan, 43, and James Guerrero, 40 -- were indicted in August and charged with murder. They have not entered a plea.
    "It was two against one, you know, and no one helped him," said Rivera's mother, Terry. "I didn't think that it would happen, but it was not safe for him to work there."
    Rivera was 22 and had been in his job at the 960-plus inmate prison for just 10 months when he died.
    He was alone guarding about 100 inmates at the time of the attack and had a radio to call for backup in case of trouble. He didn't have what many guards in California's state prisons routinely count on: pepper spray, a protective vest and a collapsible baton.
    Federal officers are not allowed to have those items.

    The article goes on to state that the Federal authorities are reviewing their policy on arming guards.

    R.I.P. Cyrano and Roxanne.

  2. #2
    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: I am a bit upset by this article . . . .

    Unless they are wearing face masks, the guards should be able to engage in friendly discourse while still ensuring their safety. Any prisoner capable of intelligent conversation must realize that batons and pepper spray are to be used defensively, and must also realize that some inmates are less friendly than others. I would guess that an unarmed guard would be less likely to engage in casual repartee with a potentially threatening inmate, and I doubt this will help recruit new guards.

    If the problem is that inmates might steal the weapons, that's a different issue.
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    Olympic Champ r.payton@att.net's Avatar
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    Default Re: I am a bit upset by this article . . . .

    Where I was at if you were seen talking to a guard youwere given a 'snitch' label-there was no friendly discourse anywhere -as for this man losing his life i feel for him but being a prison guard -and maybe you know the answer to this M.R. -he had to sign a waiver where if held hostage his life was forfeit , etc.-anything other than an honor camp every guard should be allowed to wear body armor and carry a frigging bazooka if they deem it necessary -
    the only problem i have with the DOC is after you've done your time -you should not be a pariah for life .

    i consider myself open -minded on alot of issues but this is not one of them -prison guards are not dealing with friendly discourse type people -they are dealing with mostly useless scum -and these inmates know they will be back in a coupla years max -so what if they stab a guard ? they get Ad Seg which is gravy for most of these creatures-..

    M.R.-I feel your pain and this was an avoidable occurence -do you know what the original sentencing charges were of these scum ?

  4. #4
    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default Re: I am a bit upset by this article . . . .

    Inexcusable they are not afforded the vests.
    Life's not the breaths you take, the breathing in and out that gets you through the day ain't what it's all about. It's the moments that take your breath away.

  5. #5

    Default Re: I am a bit upset by this article . . . .

    Yes, I have signed that waiver. And I have been assured that, given a hostage situation, they will do everything they can to rescue me, but no negotiation. Remember that I work Juvenile, and the situation is different. We actually can talk to the kids, for the most part.
    From what I have been told by those who work adult, in the adult prison no prisoner EVER would talk to a guard. To do so would be to get a jacket, and at best a severe beating, at worse death. Shot callers, or their reps, can talk to a guard, but only on "business". Certainly no "friendly discourse." A guard may be in the yard with 500 or so prisoners, but tower personnel are armed and watchful. A radio is not a useful tool when you are being stabbed. A stab vest, and a buddy in the tower with a mini-14 rifle, is. Apparently that's not the way they run Federal facilities.
    From what I can tell, this guard was not heavy-handed. He likely was nothing more than a target of opportunity, a way for the gang to tell the authorities they seriously didn't like some policy that had come down. As for as the two murderers, they will gain a lot of status within the gang for taking care of business.
    I agree that those who have successfully done their time and cleared parole should be given every opportunity to re-integrate. I really respect you for having been able to make the transition. I know it is tough - tough enough that a lot of guys go back inside to where they understand and fit into the system. (As an example, we just had a guy down in San Diego who was finishing two years - he had less than two months to go. He walked away from a minimum security facility. Less than two months to go (and in minimum!), and he "escapes". They will catch him quickly - he probably headed straight for his mother's/girl friend's/wife's place. He'll have 48 hours of kicking with his homies, and he'll be back inside. This is a not unusual scenerio - he is safer inside, so he does something that will screw up his parole and/or get some additional time. Better than dealing with the outside.)

    R.I.P. Cyrano and Roxanne.

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    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: I am a bit upset by this article . . . .

    I guess my reply was pretty naive, but I have been fortunate enough to lead a rather sheltered life.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: I am a bit upset by this article . . . .

    If the problem is that inmates might steal the weapons, that's a different issue.[/quote]


    I used to volunteer in South African prisons and the guys working inside the jail were not allowed guns for exactly this reason. They were, however, carrying batons. Once a guard from outside the fence (where they do carry weapons) went to the locker room with his gun in his holster and a young prisoner almost grabbed it.

  8. #8
    NCAA Champ ccbig's Avatar
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    Default Re: I am a bit upset by this article . . . .

    Prison guards all should have protective vests and other body armor at a minimum!

    I hope that prison is also reviewing its safety policy. How can one guard safely be in charge of 100 plus inmates who are not inside a closed cell? I don't think that is a safe policy for even the most minimum security of prisoners!
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  9. #9

    Default Re: I am a bit upset by this article . . . .

    I didn't really read the article, but seriously? 100 to one? I work with juvenile offenders and our maximum ratio is 4 kids to 1 staff. If ccbig is right than this is ridiculous.

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