An Open Letter to Fred Duval
August 29, 2014
Presently the Arizona Department of Corrections has a fractured structure for all matters that falls under the umbrella of intelligence and or common sense. There is NOT a funnel that captures all the data and formulates probability assessments of future issues on a macro or micro scale. The objective is to find out as much as one can after an event to place it into context.
Actionable intelligence scenarios are nearly nonexistent beyond the unit level. The same can be said about the absence of common sense and practical situational awareness assessments. Rarely is the information shared with shift personnel doing the day to day business. The art of acquiring human assets has diminished and is sorely lacking. What mostly exists are lists of known high profile inmates who will go through a process after an issue and pull influential inmates out to play "catch up“ and discern the cause of whatever effect.
The current system would focus on the dope users and be satisfied capturing dirty inmates during a UA as opposed to shutting down the venue by which narcotics are introduced. An active method of drug interdiction is non-existent at all prison complexes. The way this has been conducted seems backwards; Intel should indicate the smuggler not the user is the focus of the intelligence effort.
To be most effective an intelligence chief using counter insurgency techniques akin to the military effort and this chief would need hard soft and electronic assets for the chief. This priority is severely lacking. The process would subsume all Intel efforts from STG, CIU, and all efforts they control; tracking the hot spots at units trending where they will pop up, assess instigator and provide written report to DD for actions.
Lessons unlearned.......shifting direction in ADC
There are 3 primary areas of generational concepts that have been underutilized and have contributed to unsafe working conditions within the ADC. Sadly during unprecedented time when intakes have dropped and the department was able to close prisons due to a lack of need. However the managing concepts have stayed in a generational mode when similarities to current conditions existed.
The model of ADC is a retreading of the 1990s concepts without the same conditions existing.
During that time frame we had severe overcrowding which required expansion of the physical locations and a new complex being added. Additionally the concepts of classification were taking root along with the erosion of the standalone complex.
These conditions plus a drastic change in the workforce created a division between Central Office, the individual complexes and their leadership and largely lost the support of the rank and file. To say the system is fractured is a gross understatement.
Presently there is a push at this writing to give a veneer of professionalization of the workforce through nearly mandated education enhancements for promotions without any focus on the issues facing the largest government body in AZ. It is a gross fabrication ignoring the temperance experience gives the profession.
The greatest issues that reoccur for the rank & file are safety and a sense of worth. It is a given that prisons by virtue of their clientele (which will never change) are expected to be challenging but not unsafe. The present culture expects hazardous conditions to be a part of the job risks and therefore left at a very low attentive level for corrective actions and precautionary tactics.
To address these core issues and grievances 3 critical areas that need to be considered are a complete retooling of the department intelligence community (with an emphasis on future casting and being proactive as opposed to reactive) , a new standard in human resources with the emphasis on employees first with personnel reform at the forefront having all disciplinary matters coordinated in this body, lastly a civilian review committee connecting the Governor with the Department via a secondary prism taking autonomy away from a single individual and allowing true transparency along with varying view points for the Governor to consider.
These three areas will begin the process of professionalization of the department and rebuild the disconnect between the officers and management and unlearn lessons better identified for a generational workforce which does not reflect the current workforce.
The workforce presently requires a para-professional concept with elements of para-military but only in the linear delineation of rank for structure and emergency situations requiring the straight forward design.
But beyond that the para-military comparison needs to end. A more collegiate and technology based environment needs be established to best develop this work force. The department is unique it works for the executive branch curtailing rights of citizens who violate laws as established by legislature imposed by the judicial with the; with a higher requirement to the mandates of the U.S. constitution.
In a sense beholding to all simultaneously. But while there's a military appearance and a law enforcement perception the profession is drastically different but has taken on the aspect of these institutions.
This perception needs to be laid rest and the department needs internal professionalization to be accepted by itself and other agencies as a respectable organization. This has not been attempted in AZ and very few models available but with the largest workforce and commensurate budget it should be a mandate and standard befitting the responsibility. To do so it needs to unlearn lessons and leap into the forefront of its profession and its place in AZ.
Richard A. Bock – retired warden
Carl R. ToersBijns – retired deputy warden