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  • violent teen unit

    I have been assigned to an youth detention facility which has recently become a secure facility. Unfortunately the line staff, have mostly worked with younger less violent kids. But this new crop are all criminal court sentences with a couple killers. Any recommendations on how to impress the height of danger that these individuals present? I have witnessed numerous instances of staff looking the other way, and letting things slide, when I know once you start down that slope of "not noticing" bigger things will happen!

    Any advice? Thanks

  • #2
    Good luck. I hate to say it, but it's been my experience while working in a jail that the only thing that brass notice is recorded incidents. If you can find similarly run facilities and get documentation on security breeches, then that may help. Otherwise it's going to take someone getting hurt before the brass notices.
    You have no right to not be offended.-Neal Boortz

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    • #3
      Juvenile Detention...

      I just started working at a Juvenile Detention Center/Lockdown and it's a little wierd looking in the eyes of killers not even old enough to drive. I can really see how one could get complacent. I just hope it never happens to me. I have been training with some good guys so I am gonna try and stick with them, but I do have to work all three shifts at first so sticking with one or two good folks on one shift will be impossible. I'm sure there are good people on every shift, I just have to find them.
      One week before I started the facility had it's first escape ever. What a time to start! Everyone is really on the ball about everything, but I wonder how it was before the escape? I guess I only need to concern myself with the way it is now.

      Be safe,
      KC

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      • #4
        Thanks for reply kc and centurion

        From what I guess is that there are a few "blood" leaders who seem to keep the peace on the unit. But in doing so, guards are giving their authority to these kids. One of which is a stone killer who will transfer to DOCS (adult) in 15 months. These kids see that these so called "leaders" have been handed as much authority as my staff.

        Ridiculous

        Tom

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        • #5
          Violent Teens

          Hi, I worked in a young ofender centre for a number of years and our count for murderers or violent crimes was high, to high compaired to general pop. The one thing I found is that a number of CO's have got to comfortable working in the centre that they let their guard down sometimes. We have to remember that these teens have been brought up with violence. More than likley their family members are known to the courts as well. Where there is an opportunity they will take advantage. Always be fair firm consistent let that guide you. Cheers from Canada

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          • #6
            Violent Teen Unit advice

            Originally posted by tombala
            I have been assigned to an youth detention facility which has recently become a secure facility. Unfortunately the line staff, have mostly worked with younger less violent kids. But this new crop are all criminal court sentences with a couple killers. Any recommendations on how to impress the height of danger that these individuals present? I have witnessed numerous instances of staff looking the other way, and letting things slide, when I know once you start down that slope of "not noticing" bigger things will happen!

            Any advice? Thanks
            I spent 8 years in the worst juvenile facility in our state during the 80's. I left there as a shift commander and witnessed the same type problems. My advice would hinge on your position and if you are where you can implement changes. If you are not and are on the firing line, you are pretty helpless to change anything. CO's who come into the field with a "do my time and get outta here" attitude usually allow inmates to call the shots and appoint "bosses" to cover their butts. These type officers ALWAYS end up in deep poopoo. Peer pressure only works when there is pride. During my time inside I found a lot of burnt out vets and officers who were actually more brutal than who they were supervising. They ruled by intimidation. You can be firm but fair if you remember one thing....respect is mutual. Inmates respect if you are: Big, mean, crazy, unpredictable, have power in the system and smart. Mostly they respect a street smart officer who doesn't fall for their games and remains constant. All it takes is looking the other way one time and they own you from then on. Good luck and feel free to pm if you want specific techniques to make changes.

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            • #7
              Thanks for replying!

              Thanks for reply,
              I was brought in as an "agent of change", but it has been difficult. I work with a group of guards who simply say "I've been here for x number of years and I'll be here longer than you." Meanwhile they let violations slide, don't take contraband on searches. And basically take the "path of least resistance". My facility has been calm for 5 months with no serious staff assaults. SO they think that's good enough. But eventually new felons will come in and see this kick back affair, and we will lose control of this unit. I still have 3 staff off for serious injuries and PTSD related symptoms from the "last time we felt safe".

              I am going to Albany to get some more S and S guidelines as we move this facility to DOCS level security.

              FYI - I am counselor/case mgr/administrator on duty which means I have responsibility for both overseeing the population as well as staff supervision and facility control. It is a tall task to say the least.....
              Thanks TOm

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              • #8
                I am a counselor/ attendant at the same type of facility as you, Tombala. I just started, on a contingent basis (but I work all the hours I want), but I will most likely be interviewing for one of two full time openings in the next couple weeks. My interview will most likely include one of the guys who does the same job as you. Got any advice for a new guy looking to get a full time gig?
                Thanks,
                KC

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                • #9
                  looking for a full time gig

                  Remember,
                  safety and security is your highest priority. Just because you see others over look something. Don't do it. In the end you will earn people's respect, inmates and staff. Hold yourself to a higher standard....

                  Good luck...let me know how you do.

                  We have a term here at secure "due diligence"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tombala
                    Thanks for reply,
                    I was brought in as an "agent of change", but it has been difficult. I work with a group of guards who simply say "I've been here for x number of years and I'll be here longer than you." Meanwhile they let violations slide, don't take contraband on searches. And basically take the "path of least resistance". My facility has been calm for 5 months with no serious staff assaults. SO they think that's good enough. But eventually new felons will come in and see this kick back affair, and we will lose control of this unit. I still have 3 staff off for serious injuries and PTSD related symptoms from the "last time we felt safe".

                    I am going to Albany to get some more S and S guidelines as we move this facility to DOCS level security.

                    FYI - I am counselor/case mgr/administrator on duty which means I have responsibility for both overseeing the population as well as staff supervision and facility control. It is a tall task to say the least.....
                    Thanks TOm
                    Tombala I got a question for you ...Have you ever pounded a tier for 8 or did you just get a college degree and being that you have that think you know how a prison is run. Not just from your air cond office. So when you talk of the"Corrections Officers" not Guards, Guards are 50 yrs old guarding something of value at Wal-mart.Letting you know what is going on on the block knowing that being in a Max such as Attica and when dealing with that type of Inmate there is a give and take because most don't have anything to lose when they decide to shank your *** or that other Inmate that ****ed them off. Its not letting an infraction slide its getting a hard *** dude comply with other rules without having to fight him over them so we can all go home safe.........FYI Yes I do walk a tier for 8 plus in a Max Security Prison and No I don't think I am better than you because of it and yes I am a "Corrections Officer" not a Guard with some College under my belt not a knuckle dragging sloth most College educated management admin type think. Unless you walk 8 with the inmates all day with nothing but you and them don't put down your Officers because of them you get to go home at night and see your family again......

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                    • #11
                      to Mr Paturnky

                      Thank you for your impassioned reply,
                      I worked for CYA for 6 years while I earned my college degree. I have been shanked and hit in the head with a brick, during a shift change by an inmate on a work crew. Possibly the experience working with violent teen felons and working in a "max" might be different.
                      We are still supposed to be "therapuetic", and what these kids lack are consistent care, boundaries, and limits. I'm sure that the perps you work with have very little to lose, and I appreciate the challenge that presents you.
                      My population are really looking for boundaries that were never set by their parents or "aunties" or whatever. We are not practicing "due diligence" by looking the other way.

                      I appreciate your feedback.....and I appreciate your service to the field

                      TOm

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                      • #12
                        Mr Paturnsky

                        I now understand your anger....
                        I live in Attica but I don't work there. I work at a secure facility for teen felons near Rochester. I don't work in a max, and would not pretend to understand what goes on there....

                        Be safe, TOm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The main thing you must remember is to be

                          FIRM - FAIR - CONSISTENT with ALL inmates.
                          &
                          No rule is less enforcable than others.

                          I am now an administrator who works in an air conditioned office. I pounded the tiers for many years and moved my way up the ranks.

                          I never guarded anything, I have always been a correctional officer.

                          -Rick-
                          -Rick-

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tombala
                            From what I guess is that there are a few "blood" leaders who seem to keep the peace on the unit. But in doing so, guards are giving their authority to these kids. One of which is a stone killer who will transfer to DOCS (adult) in 15 months. These kids see that these so called "leaders" have been handed as much authority as my staff.

                            Ridiculous

                            Tom
                            thats the worst thing in the world,,,,,some brass seem to think thats cool btu ots not because now the officer loses his/her power and the brass becomes the glorified officer.treating all of them the same eliminates their structure.
                            All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing

                            Comment

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