I went for my first tour of a corrections facility this week. I interviewed a few corrections officers and witnessed the interactions between the inmates and guards. I even went inside some of the individual cells and toured the mental health high security pods. I’ve always heard it’s a different world in these facilities and after just a few hours I know now that that’s very true.
One of the officers I interviewed told me about a specific event he experienced while responding on the tactical team. “Drug induced inmates are the hardest to deal with, I’m a big guy but sometimes that really doesn’t matter. We don’t want to get physical with these guys or have to fight with them but when using the normal channels to resolve an issue and they don’t comply, then we need to get in there”. “…we saw he had a plastic object in his hand and he put it down after we told him but that wasn’t enough, we needed to restrain him”. “After 2 sprays of MK-9 he just wiped it away and smiled at us, uhh this is going to be a tough one”. “This guy was about 6’2” and 200 lbs. He was a street fighter and wanted to get into it with us”. “Fighting with a gas mask is hard, I could hear my guys breathing hard and I knew someone was going to pass out. I grabbed this guy’s head and yelled ENOUGH, ENOUGH, ENOUGH, he quietly said Okay and just went limp, he didn’t fight us after that”.”…they want to show the other inmates that they can be extracted from the tactical team.”
I’m really looking forward to my other visits and interviews with corrections, this project has already opened my eyes to this world behind the walls.