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, October 22, 2015

Resilience after an Assault

Resilience after an Assault

Coming back to work from a particular physical or sexual attack / assault by an inmate(s) is usually expressively different than those feelings you had before the attack occurred. It is important that we recognize there are significant adjustments that need to be made in order to avoid being emotionally upset or counterproductive in your job duties or tasks assigned.

It is important that you stop and recognize any changes in your behaviors or expectations so you can adjust your performance accordingly and keep yourself as positive and committed to doing a good job as possible. One could suggest talking to someone who has already experienced such a trauma and find out how they dealt with their return to work mentally and physically. The other method is to make or take a self-assessment of your psyche.

It is with great certainty that this adjustment is critical in your future career development, confidence and self-esteem while at the same time, become aware of significant changes in your behaviors or attitudes that might impact your abilities to carry out your post assignments or duties without added biases or notions that are personal and not professionally acceptable.

This article is written with caution as we know that not everybody experiences a significant change after an assault but regardless whether you find it hard or easy to adjust, it needs your prompt attention. There are certain things you need to be aware of as you return to work. Your post assignments and duties are expressly written to be carried out in an exact order or procedure. There is little room for error and all your willingness to comply with post orders or policies relies on your mindset to follow them.

It is factual that after an assault, your mindset becomes more defensive in nature creating a “second nature” that is sometimes referred to as a paranoia with real fears. This does not necessary mean you are afraid to work there but more on the level of afraid or uncertain how you would react to being assaulted again or seeing your partner in trouble and coming to the rescue.

You know your job is structured with rules and clearly defined procedures. This ‘second nature’ may want to defy these procedures and cause you to handle the matter ‘your way.’ Secondly, going from one extreme to the other, you might see your duties and responsibilities either more critical or less than before creating an uncertainty for your teammates who are used to your performance of record. Remember the basics: firm, fair and consistent.

Adjusting to this ‘new setting’ is quite a challenge for some and easy for others. Ask yourself some important questions. Making a critical self-assessment in a confidential manner should include confidence issues which may ask how you feel or how you might act in some cases. Some examples are:

·         Can I always manage or solve difficult situations like I did before or am I better now than ever?

·         If someone confronts or opposes me, can I resolve this matter with the means trained and experience possessed, or do I need to find other means to get what I need done?

·         If confronted with disobedience or non-compliance, will it be easy for me to stick to my professional demeanor, skills or aims in solving the problem according to policy?

·         Am I confident enough in myself to deal with controversy or conflict effectively and efficiently and am I prepared for the unexpected events which may happen?

·         Am I resourceful enough to seek help or ask questions in order to handle difficult or unforeseen situations?

·         Do I possess the coolness to solve most problems myself?

·         Can I remain calm and professional when faced with aggressive or agitated inmates?

·         Do I have confidence in my own coping and decision making abilities and do they match my capabilities?

·         When confronted with a problem or agitated inmate, can I de-escalate the situation and find alternative solutions to the use of force?

·         If I am in trouble, can I find a reasonable solution and handle this matter accordingly as I have done before and deal effectively with whatever comes my way?

If you feel you answered these question with both confidence and certainty, you might find yourself ready to go back to work without any significant changes in your work assignments and the manner you carry out your duties. Your results indicate that you feel very confident in your ability to manage the challenges and demands of your work environment and demonstrate your commitment and conviction to be a good correctional officer is not impaired and gives you the peace of mind that you are resilient and poised in your role as an officer.