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Living breathing flesh ?

 

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Garfield Irishsprig 16 posts

lllPhillyPhan, so your inmates are catered to also?? Around here if an inmate makes a complaint, staff usually gets a discipline. We even have one “special” inmate who uses the C/O’s phone to call his mommy, and uses staff micro-wave so his food is hot. Try and stop it and all hell breaks loose!

 
Male user IllPhillyPhan 11 posts

We have two standing counts a day to ensure they are alive. We used to be able to write them up if they covered their heads, but not anymore, too much whining from the inmates.

 
Lion Comfortably ... 154 posts

Ever tried to determine if one of those skinny convicts wrapped up in his blankie is breathing at night without waking him up? Now that’s not easy. Have stood for 10 minutes sometimes without seeing a movement. Til you kick the door and he jumps out of his bed.

 
Lion Comfortably ... 154 posts

ever tried to dtermine if one of those skinny convicts wrapped up in his blankie is breathing at nightwithout waking him up? Now that’s not easy. Have stood for 10 minutes sometimes without seeing a movement. Til you kick the door and he jumps out of his bed.

 
Male user FDPierce 5 posts

If it is you facilities policy to see living, breathing, flesh. Then you do what you have been doing. The job, “RIGHT WAY” not “THE EASY WAY.” No one said being a C/O is going to be easy.

 
Lion Comfortably ... 154 posts

mikeyusmc, so how do they respond to an inmate who has a heart attack, stroke, seziure, etc. no one saw it and now he appears asleep? Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

 
Male user mikeyusmc 4 posts

I work in a Max security single cell male facility in NC and our count policy for after lockdown time is to simply see a body. We do not have to see movement from the time they lock down until the official count at 6am. Officers do informal counts every hour throughout the night but only are required to see a body. If there are no signs of obvious distress or trauma then no other action is required. As I said though we are a single cell facility so there is no problem with cell mates to worry about.

 
Male user cjprof 4 posts

At my facility, we encourage the inmates not to cover their heads while sleeping. Should they do so, staff tap the bunk to wake them. There seems to be one element that has been overlooked here. There is so much focus on dead vs. alive that it seems some people have failed to mention the fake person in the bed possibility. Not only should you be concerned for the wellfare of the inmates, you should also be taking an accurate count. If you don’t see living breath flesh, how do you know your count is good. After all, count was designed to make sure the inmates stay locked up.

hny4jc: Sounds like your coworkers are complacent. Keep doing as you are trained. It will serve you well. Also, flying through counts and watch tours can result in failing to gather good information. Our staff are trained to be observant of what is going on in the housing unit during watch tours. Sometimes information gathered can help prevent situations. Further, staff are also observing the physical well-being of the inmates during standing counts or counts during waking hours. Many times staff can identify innmates who have been fighting or assaulted just by looking at them while conducting count. Like I said, keep doing as you were trained. Sounds like you are doing a good job. Don’t let those who are complacent drag you down.

 
Lion Comfortably ... 154 posts

Well, the American way of “if we don’t like it, we sue” and the bleeding hearts who allow it, don’t allow us such luxury of locking them down and forgetting about it. We have to check for living breathing inmates, and it can be difficult to determine when they are wrapped up wether they are breathing indeed. It’s a pain and it takes awhile, but if you want to CYA and keep your job, your best bet is to take the time to do it.

 
Riot helmet Mick 307 posts

Mountjoy Prison in Dublin Ireland.

 
Male user smoochieman 8 posts

Mick, that is where our jobs differ, I guess. Even with the inmates that we have in SHU/DU (behind the solid doors), we still have to see flesh and movement. However, I understand now what you mean. Out of curiosity, where do you work?

 
Riot helmet Mick 307 posts

Smoochieman. We don’t physically check for signs of life because as I said we have our inmates in cells behind solid doors which are master locked at night. We view the Prisoner through an observation flap in the door. To open the Doors would require the use of two keys and in turn two staff for security reasons. So as long as the inmate in not obviously dead ie: Hanging or Laying on the Floor we are covered legally if the prisoner is dead in the bed with no obvious signs of distress/trauma. On many occasions we have opened up in the mornings to find offenders dead from natural causes,over doses and even murder and on every occasion we the individual Officers and the service as a whole have been immune from litigation of any sort.

 
Male user smoochieman 8 posts

Ok. The two previous posts by Mick and 1265 really concern me. I have been in corrections for about 4 1/2 years, and have been shift supervisor, boot camp instructor, dorm staff, gang intelligence officer, UA officer, STAR team member, and Staff Sgt., have worked in Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Youth Commission, and Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Everywhere I have ever been has been the same policy- You MUST observe flesh and movement. Mick and 1265- If your departments do not have this policy, if I were you I would try to get it changed. If you don’t and someone does die in their sleep (or get murdered by their cellmate and covered up to make it look like they are in bed), you- personally- and your department could be in for a HELL of a lawsuit.

Hny4jc- Keep doing what you are doing. Always observe flesh and movement, no matter how long it takes you. As long as you follow policy and procedure, you are covered. ALWAYS C.Y.A. (cover your ass). The inmates, for the most part, are not new to the system. They know that you have to do your job- that includes counting properly. A suggestion would be to tell the inmate to keep a hand out from under the covers, or keep his head uncovered. If you run into a problem with an inmate (and you will), explain to him why you have to follow policy when counting. If you still have problems, talk to your sgt., lt., or shift supervisor. They should address the issue with the inmate. If the inmate continues to be a problem, write him up for interfereing with a count. Continue to do what you’re doing and good luck!!!

 
Male user 1265 13 posts

Hello all, hny4jc you may want to take into consideration agency or institutional policies with regards to an inmates right to X amount of uninterupted sleep time. We as officers have to balance that with making sure they are alive. I also have unwrapped mummies and on two occasions opened a large mummy that I was able to separate into two mummies…:) I have to agree with Mick, once they’re locked down… Stay Safe!!!

 
Riot helmet Mick 307 posts

Not to sound too callous but as long as they are neither Dead on the Floor or Hanging who cares if they are dead in the Bed. Over here we use a solid door with an observation flap. And once they are locked down for the night that’s it. We don’t open them up until morning unless they are obviously Dead or in need of urgent medical assistance.

 
Male user bhkidd 7 posts

By the way, I did look for breathing and any uncovered part of the body that I could see when I was a line officer. However, I did unwrap mummies and make sure they were alive. Sounds like there needs to be a facility wide ban on totally covering up. I am now a shift supervisor, and I do check my officers from time to time to see if they are properly observing their inmate.

 
Male user bhkidd 7 posts

Sounds like some of the experienced officers need to lose the complacency and remember what they were taught. While it is generally not a good practice to intentionally agitate the inmate population, you still should properly check your inmates. Remember, integrity is doing the right thing, even under peer pressure.

 
Male user ecso11 5 posts

it would help if they were not allowed to cover their heads, then you could see them a little better

 
Female user hny4jc 2 posts

I am new to the field and of course still have the “academy” in my head. I am not a person that cuts corners, never have been. Because of this I am amazed at the way that security checks are being conducted. Veterans fly through the living areas (graveyard shift) and within 30 seconds they have checked for living, breathing flesh and determine that all 24 inmates in one tent are indeed living and breathing. Inmates are all bundled up at times and you cannot see them, their breathing is so flat that even when you shine the flashlight onto their body you won’t see them breathing. A gentle tab on the bed causes some inmates to slightly move their foot or arm but some inmates get ticked off at that and THAT is the reason (as I’ve been told) that many officers just move on and don’t make an attempt to see if the inmate is indeed living and breathing.

I can understand for the inmates to be annoyed if someone wakes them up even with a gentle tab but how else would you determine if you have living, breathing flesh under the blanket that covers all of the inmate ? I do not want to and I will not cut corners because someone is “inconvenienced” and I most certainly do not want an inmate dying on my shift and his troubles were not detected because I failed to do my job and fly through the living areas in 30 seconds.

How do any of the more experienced officers handle the bundled up, covered up, hourly living, breathing flesh issue ?

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