|Assessing the Contraband Threat - From Alarm to Oblivion|
|By Joe Bouchard|
Should a betting slip be disregarded as an insignificant scrap of paper? Or is the same bit of contraband a small but nefarious indication of an inter-facility gambling, prostitution, and drug empire? Circumstance will tell which it is. Often, it lies somewhere between those two extremes.
Lessons of moderation are everywhere. They can be found in forms such as The Flight of Icarus to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Though both stories ended tragically for the chief figure, the message is that the middle ground may be the best.
How do you generally assess a contraband find? Is the discovery of a cell phone no big deal, as it is the nature of the beast? Or is the cell phone immediately part of a huge enterprise. If the extremes in the continuum below represent cold apathy and burning concern, where would you plot your general opinion about the threat of the following items?
(Contraband Threat Continuum)
Let’s look a little closer at the three points on the contraband threat continuum:
Contraband Oblivion – This extreme will disregard any past finds that have proven dangerous. Forgetfulness is the operative word. In a cavalier manner, those mired in contraband oblivion see no real threat in an weapon that has been uncovered. Again, contraband is the nature of the beast and, to those who are firmly perched on this extreme, is no big deal.
The major pitfall of this end of the continuum lies in complacency. Diminished fear translates to diminished respect for possibilities. People get hurt when they underestimate.
Contraband alarm – The alarmist will find threat in everything – real and imagined.
The pitfalls in this mindset are:
Extremes from both sides of the continuum are best filtered through the following bits of realism:
These are the opinions of Joe Bouchard, a Librarian employed with the Michigan Department of Corrections. These are not necessarily the opinions of the Department. The MDOC is not responsible for the content or accuracy
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