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Managing Security Risks
By Carl ToersBijns, former deputy warden, ASPC Eyman, Florence AZ
Published: 08/04/2014


Securing your prisons for public safety is your first priority. The ancillary reasons for managing prisons is to reduce risks in all operational features and blend or integrate program and support concerns with tools designed to:
  1. Secure life and human resources
  2. Secure intellectual property (computer networks and secondary systems)
  3. Secure physical plant and state owned assets
  4. Secure your reputation, credibility and accountability of such risk management tools.
Failure to control risks can have a devastating impact on any of these concerns thus there is a dire need to control risks and keep them at their lowest levels at all times. Controlling risks enhances better and faster replies of challenges or problems that may exist or have the potential to exist. It helps identify and evaluate conditions that may generate or mitigate risks within the prisons.

Additionally, should an incident occur the strategies, preparations or planning for such risks is recognized as the leading provider or source for effective crisis response services.

Controlling risks are challenging and are increasingly complex as the prison industry is fluid and always changing in controlled and uncontrolled dynamics. It takes good strategy and excellent proactive planning to manage or monitor risk factors as they change either by operational changes or environmental challenges.

Therefore, prison managers should always be prepared to respond to events that may have an impact on the industry, resource and train appropriately for secure security operations and understand the business thoroughly and prepare contingency plans to reduce potential negative impacts of risks identified.

Prison managers should possess specific skills designed to control risks or reduce them to manageable levels that include at a minimum subject matter expertise, investigative skills, intelligence gathering and work closely with other agencies to formulate effective intervention methods, deterrents and alternatives to those risks identified inside prisons.

Additional services to help control risks are:
  • Create strategies, policies and solutions to protect assets and reduce the likelihood of losses from operational risks
  • Develop crisis and resilience plans to reduce the impact of an event to acceptable levels and safeguard reputations in times of crisis
  • Review, audit and benchmark existing arrangements to identify gaps or misaligned resources
  • Provide security services and training to help implement and manage security from the local to state level
  • Provide immediate assistance to help employees respond to crisis events
  • Provide the appropriate logistic support and upgrade aging systems
This includes a fully supported platform of intensive research and development resources, practical intelligence interviews and on the ground operational tactics and integrated services between all departments and partners identified for the purpose of lethal and non-lethal protection and effective first responses in a hostile environments.

Corrections.com author, Carl ToersBijns, (retired), has worked in corrections for over 25 yrs He held positions of a Correctional Officer I, II, III [Captain] Chief of Security Mental Health Treatment Center – Program Director – Associate Warden - Deputy Warden of Administration & Operations. Carl’s prison philosophy is all about the safety of the public, staff and inmates, "I believe my strongest quality is that I create strategies that are practical, functional and cost effective."

Other articles by ToersBijns:


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