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Jail Called 'Time Bomb' Waiting To Ignite


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  • Jail Called 'Time Bomb' Waiting To Ignite


    Jail called 'time bomb' waiting to ignite
    Posted by The Times of Trenton March 21, 2007 12:00AM
    Categories: Crime, News

    HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP -- D pod, the wing at the Mercer County Correction Center where 20 Bloods gangsters called the shots Monday during an intense standoff with corrections officers, was "a time bomb waiting to explode," a union official charged yesterday.

    Officers who work the 120-prisoner unit saw it and were documenting the rising power of the inmates and sending reports to their superiors. The union then told the county administration about it, Joseph Tucker, president of the corrections officers union, said Tuesday.

    During the standoff, during which Bloods gangsters controlled about 100 other inmates in the dormitory-style wing for more than nine hours, county jail officials were forced to call in hundreds of backup officers from the state Department of Corrections before settling the dispute without violence.

    To back up his statement that the pod was a ticking bomb, Tucker made available a letter he sent in September to the jail's warden, Shirley Tyler, and copied to Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes' chief of staff and the county business administrator.

    In it, Tucker writes of many ills in the jail, from gang members assaulting and intimidating officers and their families to recruiting new members "right under our noses," that officers are overworked, lack good training, and the number of weapons, like shanks, found in the jail is "alarming." Tucker also wrote that officer safety seems to take a back seat to running the jail.

    "We met with (county officials and Hughes) a month ago, and we've always raised these issues," Tucker said Tuesday. "I have numerous reports written by officers (about D pod)."

    Hughes responded by saying that he's certainly aware of pretty much all of Tucker's complaints, and that the county jail houses a lot of gang members.

    "We know as well as anybody that there is a lot of gang involvement at our center," Hughes said.

    The county executive went so far as to say that D pod can be a "problem" and working at the jail is probably not pleasant.

    "But we have a facility that is working," Hughes said. He agreed that there will be problems from a jail population that has a gang-related majority. "It's not going to be a great place to work, and quite frankly, it's going to have an element of potential violence to it."

    For more on this story, see Wednesday's Times.

    Contributed by Kevin Shea
    "Keep up the good fight, pass the word, and teach others to fight back when unjustly assaulted--be it on the street or in the courtroom. Self-defense is a normal, moral act. So teach your family, friends, and students practical defense against both physical and legal marauders." by Jerry VanCook www.PrisonOfficer.Org

  • #2
    Curious.. Why cannot the element of danger be removed, by seperating gang members into different pods?


    • #3
      Ship these gang member inmates out ... there is a soultion for you! Or seperate them. I don't see why they let that go. Sounds like a bad place to work that isn't running the right way.


      • #4
        We pretty much have the same problem. The powers that be decided to take every problem child, gang chief, disciplinary, high profiles and extremely violent offenders and place them in same building that has a capacity about 1000. Almost everyone is on 23 and 1 but you still have to deal with movement, feeds and hours out. Thats when the problems arise. The geniuses that put this together then will place Officer safety second behind keeping thier building quiet. So they give a little more and a little more to the point where the inmates know what they have to do to get what they want. As long as there are people at the top that are afraid of losing thier jobs, inmates will always come before Officer safety.


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