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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Unconscious Bias in Prisons

To be honest with you, I believe this bull about Eric Holder believing cops are affected by an “unconscious bias” goes a little too far over the blurred lines but it does give us some food to think about. The Attorney General feels police officers in the case of Eric Garner’s death need to be examined for this type of bias inside their heads because he feels they are infected with a decision making process that may predict poor police interactions that are associated with race and social class biases as well as the traditional lines of police work in general. 

One has to be aware that with some level of certainly, this kind of a bias may appear to be true in some cases but keeping it in content and context, so that these assessments are not skewed or taken out of context. This value of unconscious biases has been underrated and overrated by many studies and must be kept in the parameters and environments that are real and within logical and rational expectations and desired outcomes. 

If such studies do not take into account community demographics, culture, training and roles provided, it can lead someone down the wrong path and draw the wrong conclusions. It has been said that police have better results and less violence in their interactions with those of a higher social class than those belonging to a middle or lower social class. 
Perhaps there is a preference for cops to work in good neighborhood rather than working in poor neighborhoods. It does seem to affect their perception to a degree. If this perception guides their decision making, then what can be said about correctional officers working in a criminal element and putting their own conscious biases towards those they manage or supervise and what does that do to institutional enforcement levels and use of force situations? The questions are real but rarely assessed or researched. 

We know there is a distinct preference what custody levels officers prefer to work or engage in with convicted felons. There is also reasonable grounds to believe officers would rather work with those of a higher intelligence and better communication skills than those who are slow at mental processing and speech. Their patience wears thin and often results in frustration. 

It may not be based on race or other inequalities but it could trigger a modal response that is hard to deny to exist and create a conflict in actions and interactions based on their own perceptions and preferences. Thus it is reasonable to suggest that a conscious bias may impair or place an effective barrier to the desire to produce effective and safer solutions especially when some of these inequalities are misunderstood.

Recent and past work experiences have shown that implicit biases also exist among police officers and correctional officers and are associated with perceptions and beliefs about persons considered to be suspected criminals or convicted criminals. One just has to inject a bias towards the nature of crime committed or accused of to change the perception or outcome. 

Together, such a finding may suggest that the relationship between law and criminal may be an important contributing factor to racial and social disparities in law enforcement either on the streets or inside a jail or prison.Additionally, there are reasonable conclusions drawn from anecdotal experiences such biases may be generated or reinforced during formal, informal, on the job  training as well as educational resources and may enable the design of interventions to address disparities in such enforcement of law and rules.