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

Monday, August 3, 2015

An Open Letter to Governor Ducey, Arizona

An Open Letter - Dear Governor Ducey,

Dear Governor Ducey, ever since the recent Kingman riots, you, as our governor, have asked for full disclosure of the root causes of this disturbance. In a comment made when you toured the prison, you indicated an interest in the cause of the riot and how it happened on your watch.

At the same time, you indicated you would not change direction in your quest to fund private prisons to help the state systems with its current overcapacity. I can accept that as an option but not as a final option.

Right now, today, you, Governor Ducey, have the key opportunity to reshape the future of the entire state prison system, affecting tens of thousands of prisoners and their families. You could in fact, change the number of people who die, get assaulted or released properly with a chance to not return to prison.

The first thing you should do is ask for the resignation of the current director. He is due for retirement and his successor could be the positive catalyst this state needs to move ahead with prison changes whether in policies, best practices or reforms. Depending on your own agenda, change is still the best option.

The decision to change our state prison system is significant and means a lot to the public, as well as families and friends of those incarcerated. It also means safer workplace practices for employees in both the private and public sector. Leadership with focus on core values is a must. Change is a must. Arizona has never met any national benchmarks when it comes to prison management. Now is the time to implement change, positive change.

Under Charles Ryan’s era, the prison leadership has eroded. The state is has a dismal record of performance and public safety. The state has imposed unduly harsh conditions on prisoners, failed to prevent sexual abuse, and refused to exercise good judgment in workplace safety for their employees. 

Both in supermax and in other prisons, policies continue to expose far too many prisoners, including many who suffer from serious mental illness, to solitary confinement. Even if we deny solitary confinement, governor, we have too many inmates in maximum custody.

The state has also failed to mount a serious fight against sexual violence and abuse in its prisons. Not just against inmates but staff as well. The rape of a teacher and correctional officer, comes to mind. Arizona needs to implement better policies which include a comprehensive set of operational concerns in the areas of rules, training requirements and audit / public disclosure mandates to improve safety.

Arizona is no different from other states. It has many available tools and a good deal of discretion to better deal with its prison population, but it has used those opportunities far too sparingly. The state’s prison population is growing steadily, it is suffering from severe overcrowding and reasonable options are not being put on the table to ease suffering and unnecessary pain. Better programs result in keeping staff and prisoners safer and it reduces litigations by the inmate populations. I am not advocating the release of inmates; I am advocating better management of inmates and their preparation to return to society.

With congestion comes risks of violence, and less access to services such as jobs and programs. And as prison populations’ age, the costs of medical care go up. The list is endless.

We know Arizona can do better because many state correctional systems are making a variety of improvements in their approaches. Other state prison systems have reduced the population of those in isolation, created better inmate programming to suit the histories and challenges of those incarcerated and offered new work programs and improved mental health services like Arizona was on track to do and almost accomplished, prior to this director’s appointment in 2009.