Arizona’s complex and myth of the “senseless” mass assaults
There is something distinctly wrong in our Arizona prison system and it’s bigger than anyone can imagine. Its functions, infrastructure and gluttonous design has outgrown its ability and capabilities to be managed effectively.
Bringing the masses together under one sphere of control (a centralized autonomy) has been failing us for some time now and it’s time to re-evaluate the management styles used to impose the will of the executive teams and statutory requirements on its populations. It has in fact, bred mass assaults with no immediate end to the violent tends.
Weekly assaults on staff and inmates has demonstrated a coliseum of gladiators, young and middle age, willing to come together and fight these uniformed employees in a most sacred and dark tradition. Our prisons have been marked with bloodshed, severe trauma and multiple injuries that has damaged more than the body, as it also impacts the mind. There are troubling patterns what is just as disheartening of what is happening in our communities as these two settings are linked whether we like it or not. Marked by frequent mayhem, the tone of the prisons are vicious and out of control.
Intensity has been mounting. There is never a good reason for senseless violence yet, even without just causes or triggers, it keep on rising. The prisoners’ rabidly views on these kind of cowardly attacks have become traditional and cultural expectations that have no color lines and often created bonds to fight in unity against a common enemy, the correctional officer.
Mood assessments are lacking and if done, would reveal many attacks were provoked without a legitimate cause. Attacking without a cause indicates root problems that are emotional and psychological in terms of these individuals striking out at these representatives of law and order inside the prisons. It makes them [officers] prime and perfect targets just like the cops are on the streets today.
Even more alarming is the rise of drugs and weapons proliferating inside our prisons at an uncontrolled pace added with the complexity of contraband items that include cell phones used to conduct drug transactions or worse, create a formal hit list of employees enforcing the rules and making the drug deals a little bit more difficult than if they looked the other way. It is these drugs and their rampant availability that makes these attackers so extremely erratic and demonstrates behavior that is unpredictable and often not picked up through normal vigilance or other management styles.
Staff are afraid to challenge prisoners. These deliberate perpetrated acts towards them and threats to their families has caused high turnover and comprising behaviors that allows the drug dealers leverage when it comes to the delivery of their drugs or other controlled substances and contraband.
This has caused a notable amount of concern for staff working there and with little support from the administration, they are very vulnerable to be subjugated by the coercion and intimidation that allows wrongful conduct to go unnoticed or unpunished, depending on the individual involved and their social status within the prison race and culture at every location.
For now, the administration is unwilling to challenge the drug interdiction and the associated rising rate of violence due to lack of human resources and other tools. The vacancy rates are atrocious. Overtime does not offset these vacancies as fatigue is factored in when an officer works longer than his or her 8 hours or 40 hours a week.
The present administration has dropped the ball on many basic ‘best practices’ functions of security and since day one in 2009, unwilling to take action when the trend began, making it possible for gangs to form, drug dealers to become more powerful and attacks become more frequent. Perhaps when you look at it from this perspective, these attacks aren’t as senseless as we thought they were.