Wasted Honor -

Carl R. ToersBijns is the author of the Wasted Honor Trilogy [Wasted Honor I,II and Gorilla Justice] and his newest book From the Womb to the Tomb, the Tony Lester Story, which is a reflection of his life and his experiences as a correctional officer and a correctional administrator retiring with the rank of deputy warden in the New Mexico and Arizona correctional systems.

Carl also wrote a book on his combat experience in the Kindle book titled - Combat Medic - Men with destiny - A red cross of Valor -

Carl is considered by many a rogue expert in the field of prison security systems since leaving the profession. Carl has been involved in the design of many pilot programs related to mental health treatment, security threat groups, suicide prevention, and maximum custody operational plans including double bunking max inmates and enhancing security for staff. He invites you to read his books so you can understand and grasp the cultural and political implications and influences of these prisons. He deals with the emotions, the stress and anxiety as well as the realities faced working inside a prison. He deals with the occupational risks while elaborating on the psychological impact of both prison worker and prisoner.

His most recent book, Gorilla Justice, is an un-edited raw fictional version of realistic prison experiences and events through the eyes of an anecdotal translation of the inmate’s plight and suffering while enduring the harsh and toxic prison environment including solitary confinement.

Carl has been interviewed by numerous news stations and newspapers in Phoenix regarding the escape from the Kingman prison and other high profile media cases related to wrongful deaths and suicides inside prisons. His insights have been solicited by the ACLU, Amnesty International, and various other legal firms representing solitary confinement cases in California and Arizona. He is currently working on the STG Step Down program at Pelican Bay and has offered his own experience insights with the Center of Constitutional Rights lawyers and interns to establish a core program at the SHU units. He has personally corresponded and written with SHU prisoners to assess the living conditions and how it impacts their long term placement inside these type of units that are similar to those in Arizona Florence Eyman special management unit where Carl was a unit deputy warden for almost two years before his promotion to Deputy Warden of Operations in Safford and Eyman.

He is a strong advocate for the mentally ill and is a board member of David's Hope Inc. a non-profit advocacy group in Phoenix and also serves as a senior advisor for Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council in Chino, California As a subject matter expert and corrections consultant, Carl has provided interviews and spoken on national and international radio talk shows e.g. BBC CBC Lou Show & TV shows as well as the Associated Press.

I use sarcasm, satire, parodies and other means to make you think!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Virtue Signaling - inside jails and prisons

The power of “Virtue Signaling” inside jails or prisons

Social media and the mainstream media has created a very superficial means to address grievances, incidents of concern, fear, shock and even hatred by creating an emotional outburst or display of some value of morality or ethical grounds. What is really a lazy and easy way of creating a message to provoke empathy by others is a dangerous tool to be aware of inside prisons.in society, it is often abused to an extent that it causes conflict on the streets through protesters clashing with each other.

Prisoners are known to be master manipulators and giving them another tool to play against staff is very concerning. Look at what we are dealing with here. What we supervise, manage or control are great pretenders. People who learn quickly of the lessons learned by others and because they are a variety of educated, uneducated and immature individuals, they learn quickly how to use the tools of social media to apply them to their own reasons to protest, find things to be offensive or sometimes downright resist law and institutional order. In other words, its designed to change the mindset of others around them.

What has the term come to mean? A common term or purpose of this kind of behavior is to gain approval of something that they think has a “moral value.” However, the reality is that they are more of a hypocrite with their message because, inside themselves, it is not a reality. They don’t believe it, participate in it or just don’t bother to actually get involved in it. In other words, they are gestures, just mere gestures. Gestures without any commitment. Sounds familiar doesn’t it as you can put a name to the person who does this on your cellblock or unit. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule and find those individuals who are staunch and strong headed believers.

Don’t get me wrong – there are some who are sincere but few at the best. They may act in the name of religion, traditional charity causes, anti-violence towards women or even speak up for LGBT people. It may be in the name of charity to raise money for cancer or gun control or standing against domestic violence and now, it has grown into a deeper political arena of immigration, saving the Earth and many more. In other words, they pretend to be social warriors but inside our prisons the may become warriors of a different kind. It may benefit them to do this in front of others to make a social statement or position for power or influence but in reality, they are fake.

Virtue signaling is about getting people to come to your side for your own purpose. This is not new, but we never applied a politically correct term to the behaviors. We must recognize that its just another buzzword we need to consider meaningless but in a prison setting, it may not be harmless. It can cause tempers to flare, emotions to create chaos, and most of all unite former enemies together for a common cause. In no certain stretch of the imagination, should you consider it harmless?

It has caused riots in the past with what started as a food strike or protest, unfair discipline or many other grievances that were eventually found baseless in nature. In a matter of minutes, hours, or even days or weeks, a ‘social warrior’ stirred into an emotional stage can turn into a real warrior that wants to fight, destroy property, hold hostages or just run amuck tearing things up and assaulting staff. By no means, this is not just meaningless cliché but if taken lightly, a potentially menacing situation. Virtue signaling is more than making something or someone looks foolish – it has a significant reason to exist and although it may be hypocritical in nature, people who do this outwardly signal their intentions or purposes to incite other people into a cause.

All it does in most social circles is provoke some stares, even glares, which is what prisoners want to claim or accuse staff of disrespect. They want to stand out as the kind of person who defends truth and righteousness in a social climate that allegedly tries to suppress it. Can you see the relevance inside the joint yet? In all reality, it is a great recruitment tool for gangs, religious extremism or just unification of the environment – us versus them.

A good manipulator can project a feeling that they are right and show that others join his or her cause to let the administration or custodial staff they are formed as a group now and that they are “one of them.” In comparing these acts to so-called “virtue-signaling” gestures, it's like changing one’s avatar considering a hate-motivated tragedy, you can see more similarities than differences.

They’re outward displays of one’s [group or gang] moral or ethical values that obviously don’t lead to any substantial change. Their real function is to express that one belongs to the brave underdogs who speak up for what’s right. For some it is “what’s right” and entails care and empathy; in the eyes of others, it’s tradition and truth. They’re all virtues nonetheless and connected to the environment. It can upset the tranquility of a safe and secure prison if ignored. This message was written to build an awareness of its existence.

Young prisoners are rife with “vice signaling.” They have a game going on that is based on the morality of right and wrong. Consider this a tug of war between law and order as well as the institutional rules applied to them. The problem is that their right and wrong can differ immensely with those of others. Vice signaling is more than pranks – its sinful acts inclined to be filled with violence and total disregard to life and being exposed to these vices inside prisons, you can only imagine to what extent this problem exists.

“Virtue signaling” can be a positive tool but in the prisons, the mindset is survival and power and surrounded by the morality of strong versus the weak and cruelty and selfishness. The staff has a responsibility to recognize their simple words and deeds of righteousness and be able to determine whether they can truly be inspiring or destructive in nature - after all, words and deeds of wickedness sure can be.

So, in these times, it is most beneficial to examine motive and behaviors instead of calling someone a mere virtue signaler. As staff responsible for a safe and secure environment we ought to step back and examine what’s really going on. Are they trying to inspire others or motivate destructive or violent behaviors? Are they looking to comply or resist and are they trying to become socially accepted within a group that shares a strong belief or are they just sharing a social viewpoint that others agree with? Keep in mind the opportunity of extremism and radicalization as the root of such practices.

In any of these cases, beware of others taking advantage of new democratized platforms to share values – it has become a strong team building tool for various groups or causes. While token expressions might not directly change anything in this world, they can have an indelible impact on the minds of other prisoners and cause dissent or chaos – a designed process created by provocation and hate. If just one person is inspired, a threat could be building if the resolution is destructive or assaultive behaviors.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Single instinct - to survive the flag of hate

This world is scarce with water and air as the ground and hills are becoming barren wastelands
Running out of clean water and air because of some righteous cause by the elites and climate change fanatics who rule the world
Engaged in thermonuclear battles our body’s soul, mind and hearts are poisoned
Our bones have become brittle as we taste the earth that has soured beyond belief

There are no names or faces in this world afire with a weirdly glow
There are no hearts of love or hurt anymore wherever you go
I exist in a world with only hate – oh how stupid it was to go to war
We are killing each other for no reason at all

Around us are people who are half-dead and half-alive, their bones have been poisoned as the world fell into an inferno of hell
Mankind has lost its mind, they have gone rampantly rogue on all that was right as they hopelessly search for their eternal light
Some spirits are broken while others flourish on the will to kill others

Who are we and what have we become? Who is crazier than me? Where am I going and where have I been?
It’s hard to know the truth as it has been erased by those who detested the past and rewrote the books to annihilate their black darkness of hate and anger.

What have they done to my brain? Why is it so dark inside my mind where it matters who I am and where I am going?
I am not like everyone else yet I act just like them to follow my single instinct to survive this madness.

I cannot feel a thing when others touch me and I cannot see those who may be long dead and gone. I cannot run from the past but the past is now the future and it's repeating itself all over again.
I promised myself not to hate and bring the heat that anger brings when you run from the dead and join the half-living.
Haunted by many, I am hunted by those who want to destroy the past and bring into this world a myth of denial and fakery that spoils the brightness of the sun.

Haunted by those I could not protect, I exist in this wasteland created by false promises of a better tomorrow.
I barely exist to realize that I can only fight those who fly the flag of hate.
Today, after all these battles for good versus evil, a man is reduced to a single instinct – Survive

I am the punisher, I am the redeemer as I bring my eternal claim to a reality of war.
It's by my hand that I shall slay and lay those who failed to protect me and let others die.
For those who join me, I say that’s it's coming, my friends, the world is not going to end like this
It’s coming so get ready and use your addiction to survive to win the battles before you.

It’s true, that my soul has been running on empty. It is true that my heart has died so many times, I feel like the half-dead who are around me. Seeking for love as the universal donor of life, I failed to find the ecstasy of life in the thunder and lightning above in the dark black sky

Thunder up! Thunder up! The call to arms has been given many years ago when they tried to take our guns away and failed. We knew there was an order that needed to get rid of our weapons in order for their New Order to become law.
Straying into hostile country, streets and cities, I come prepared for war so that it would be what is best to be – free and alive again

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Retirement - the Final Trauma - A correctional officer's life


We have heard it so often before – a retired correctional officer died in his home of a self-inflicted wound. There is no age limit to this final trauma in life. There are no statistics who will be next. He or she may be in their 40’s, 50’s or 60’s or in some cases, their late 20’s or early 30’s. they either served in the military or worked hard to become successful in whatever endeavor in life they chose.
Some live alone while others are at home with the family, not giving anyone a clue what is bothering them inside. They never found the words to tell someone how the pain inside was tearing them apart. No one even had a clue that they were hurting so bad, they wanted to die. It was always after the fact that they learned of their troubles, their pain and miseries.
Rarely revealed before the moment of truth, they remained silent and never said a word about wanting to die.
Some had a recent injury or personal loss. Many suffered a personal crisis or divorce. Others suffered from financial disasters or other events that took their life savings and retirement hops away. Some had to pay the medical bills that were overwhelming as the job caused so many injuries not including those that are invisible and mentally exhausting.
Some had been physically or sexually attacked or assaulted, leaving them with emotional scars nobody would see or ask about. They experienced loneliness, depression and anger but nobody heard them cry when they were all alone in a dark empty room somewhere where the solace gave them a little bit of comfort in their darkened world.
An officer who went to work enduring the everlasting pain and retiring thinking the hardest part of the journey was over when in fact, it had just begun. Regardless whether active duty and coming and going to do their tour of duty, they were afraid to ask for help. They were afraid it would hurt their job, career and most of all, they were afraid to show weakness. Mainly, he or she was just afraid to ask.
Some say that correctional officers, like police or other law enforcement officers are control freaks. They like to think they have control over everything in their lives. It is when they fear to lose this control that they are most vulnerable. Having a job where they spend so much time protecting themselves or others is a high priority, they spend an inordinate amount of time together, bonding a brotherhood or sisterhood and then go out and spend time with each other after work.
When they stop to realize that their lives are deeply troubled, they withdraw and stay away from their family and friends and slowly contemplate the concluding chapter in their life. In a deep sense, they fear they are losing control. Suddenly, they stop socializing and reaching out to others. They withdraw and silently fade away until they are almost forgotten. In the end, they die alone with only God as their witness to their sadness.
You see when you retire, you become a person out of sight and out of mind. After giving twenty or thirty years of camaraderie and service, you just fade away. The rate of correctional officer suicides is no doubt higher than many other occupations. It is with little doubt that departments do little to prevent this phenomenon. They stop caring about these retirees once they leave, as they are indeed, out of sight out of mind. Perhaps, through default of the situation, the retiree is no longer the agency’s problem or worry. After all, they are gone. They are no longer someone to take care of or worry about.
After decades of structure and guidance, these officers become lost. Some fail to adjust to the loneliness or chaos the crept into their lives. Some find life unsatisfying after all those years of service, pain and turmoil they find that their lives are empty without all the trauma endured. While some adjust well, others fail and go unfilled in their own expectations. Those who find useful hobbies, other employment, go hunting or fishing find the rigors of the day possible and fruitful. Others suffer endlessly.
Working a security management job for such a long time can bring a sudden depression when the whole scenery or environment is changed. Life can become unsatisfying and filled with broken promises of what life was meant to be for them. With perhaps an occasional luncheon or dinner with old friends, the talk of the workplace is dying and fading quickly. Life begins to lose its luster as it was once before. The badge gets rusted sitting there on the beautifully designed plaque with the badge and kind words endearingly engraved and the memories are slowly giving way to the reality that you are now alone and that the “family” you had at work is no longer a part of your life.
Stress and Anxiety hit them unexpectedly, often due to the change of pace and the decades of unresolved trauma. A retiree may have or begin to experience spousal problems, drink, fall into depression–and commit suicide. there must be a link to keep these men and women in our hearts and minds. We need to continue to support them when they leave and go onto retirement. Abandonment is not an option. Unions and agency heads of management must step up and contribute to this link and have pre-retirement programs. They must continue to serve them in another capacity but serve them none the less.
The benefits outweigh the burdens. What is more important than helping retirees find joy after corrections. What can we do to facilitate a good standing of maintaining good mental and physical health, and following the steps to prepare for a wise and healthy retirement.
Few departments recognize the tremendous impact retirement in general has on an officer. From practically the first day in the academy, a cadet can tell you roughly when they will retire. At varying times during their careers, they will maintain a focus on that approximate date, which will become more and more concrete as they grow closer to it.
It has been suggested, however, that one of the most vulnerable time for a correctional officer is that period nearing retirement and the first year or two after. Before actual retirement comes uncertainty—the uniform will be hung up for the last time. More pressing on the officer may be financial fears, depending on pension or retirement arrangements and individual debts.
The possibilities of employment because of age and disability (in a real world) may be lessened. Far too many departments still stubbornly refuse to recognize–at all–the role of emotional trauma on police and correctional officers and make the disability and eventual departure a living nightmare for some. paying attention to details can be exhausting but the help available is limited, just not like before.
Officers cling to the belief, in part based on truth, that they are part of a big “family” during their careers. When they retire, they suddenly lose that “family.” In time, they may actually become a nuisance when they show up at their workplace or gathering places to join in coffee breaks. They are relegated to “retiree groups” that render some camaraderie but can never equal the strong feeling of “family” they once felt wearing the badge.
Far too many take with them, into retirement, the years and decades of unresolved trauma and, suddenly alone, begin to suffer the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or similar anxiety symptoms.
Lost and confused, they attempt to stifle such feelings, not understanding these feelings are appearing “now.” Some drink. or begin to drink. Others lose relationships or engage in reckless behaviors. Some isolate and slide into depression. Average life expectancies are low, for retired officers and traumatized officers. A number, as the figures would reveal if you to look, choose to simply end it early. What is that telling us? That we have successfully put a band aid on their wounds–until we could sweep them away, forgotten.