Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't Get Me Wrong

I may have come off a little heavy-handed on that last post.  Reading back and it looks like all I want to do is beat up inmates.  That's not me at all.  If you ask anyone I work with, I'm usually the last one to resort to violence.  I spend wayyy more time avoiding that kind of thing than I do condoning it.  I consider that to be the very last resort.  There's a thing called the "Use of Force Continuum" and it outlines the steps that should be taken in dealing with an offender.  The steps are:

Psychological (when just being there is enough)

Verbal (saying "Stop!" and making it work)

Soft Empty Hand (taking them by the arm and pulling them away without resistance)

Hard Empty Hand (grabbing, bending, putting on the ground, etc)

Pepper Spray (making them cry)

Intermediate (hard blows, kicks and "environmental" weapons)

Deadly (self-explanatory.  Really hope I never have to use that one)

In all my time I've never gotten past Pepper Spray.  Hope to never need to.  But I'm always prepared, just in case.  You just never know how some of these knuckleheads are going to react.  A few of my felloow staff have been hurt severely because they weren't prepared to react.  Not like I'm always "on guard" because sometimes I get caught off base and don't react in time, at least in retrospect.  That last little fracas, for example.  The one where I hurt my finger with the cuffs.  If I would have contained him a little sooner, it wouldn't have happened.  A couple of people who watched the video remarked on that and I agreed.  But hindsight is always 20/20.

The point of it is, I don't go inside every day looking to kick a** and take names.  I go in looking to go home in eight hours with all of my skin still intact.  But I also go in with an eye towards making things easier for both myself and other staff and if that includes making one of those little knuckleheads cry and maybe even bleed, then so be it.  They make their choices and we have to make ours.  I'm not going to go in and beat up an inmate just because he pisses me off.  But if he makes a choice that endangers myself, other staff or even state property and chooses to escalate or refuses to de-escalate the situation, then I'm going to do my damndest to make sure that he pays the consequences for his actions.

I just wanted to clear that up.  I'm not a violent person.  But even a pacifist will come out swinging if you back him into a corner.


  1. Not an angry person until you catch your kid sneaking out of the house at 2 am

  2. Oh yeah. Thought I was gonna bust a blood vessel that time. I had to remain seated with my hands in my lap and not even try to reach for anything or it would have gone flying. Would not have been a good time to pick to polish the crystal. Or go bowling, for that matter.

  3. For the record, I only beat them for their own good. Or when they really, REALLY, need it. Thats a legal defense in Texas, you know. Judge: "Why did you kill that man?" Defendant: "He needed it, Your Honor!" Judge: "I see. Case dismissed."

  4. BA- If it only were that easy. Or if we were only on texas, one or the other. Out of 175 in the house, I'd say at leat 100 of them need it at least once a month. Shoot, that would put us out of a job, eventually.

  5. Rev, just the thought of you angry scares me. Almost enough to plum put me off of my embroidering shit I am always doing, according to you.

    Today's word is excellent.

    (stmath) - patron saint of mathematics, natch!

  6. I didn't get the impression of you as a mean bad heavy......just some one blowing off steam about work......and knuckleheads......
    doesn't it boggle the mind some days how these guys think and behave? here we got babies shooting babies , people rapeing 97 year olds, new girl gangs knocking over old guys in walkers demanding their wallets....I don't mind hearing about some in prison....does that make me bad?

  7. Loopy, I'm just glad that some of these knuckleheads aren't out on the streets. The people we read about in the news are the ones I have to deal with every day.
    Auntie, I try really hard to get away by myself when I'm mad so I don't do anything stupid or break things. Very few people have actually "seen" me really angry.