By American Pharaoh
It's common practice in most states for those who've the authority to exercise the use of force via tazers, mace, etc etc, must first experience the use of that force upon themselves. I totally believe the same tactic would be effective in properly training Correctional Officers and Correctional Administration.
Your training facility would be a prison staffed by ex-cons who meet a particular criteria. Your inmates would be trainees, forced to live within the confines of this facility as it is ran according to the states S.O.P. (State Operations Procedures) and L.O.P. (Local Operation Procedures). Periodic visits from an Oversight Committee, independent of all the State's Correctional Administration, but allied with it, will make sure corruption does not run wild.
Staffing is of the utmost importance. Ex cons will provide the most realistic scenario of how actual inmates are viewed for the most part. Sound scary? It should, because this is the emotion Correctional Officers are trained to invoke during intake. Known by those in Georgia's facilities as "Putting the Boo down." Scaring you up and showing you who's boss.
This training facility should also house inmates who are actually ex cons as well or convicts going through the transitional stage, which is a common practice in Georgia as well. Convicts are normally sent to transitional centers where they are still incarcerated technically, but are allowed employment in society. These ex-cons and convicts will serve as bunkmates for those in training.
Living conditions should mirror those of an actual facility with the only exception being this person or trainee can throw in the towel at anytime and go home. Trainee will endure intake day, eat exactly as current state inmates do, maintain a detail/work detail, follow the same rules, and be allowed the same privileges, such as visitation, emails, phone calls, commissary, etc. etc. A grievance process must also be put in place.
Though this is not an actual prison, certain aspects must be put into place for effect. Mainly, contraband. Cellphones, little tobacco, the occasional Burger King value meal, within arm's reach and belonging to a supposed unaware officer, and depending on the state, maybe a joint of something to ease the mind. This is strictly for insight of your future employees.
Fights 'should' occur from time to time. Orchestrated occurrences of course, and only brief ordeals of what appears to be life threatening situations thwarted by a courageous officer or inmate (staff). This shows the importance security plays the lives of those they're training to protect.
Counselors at the facility should be horrible, as they are in most places. But there must be a fourth of those who are actually pretty damn good. Counselors handle phone list, visitation lists, financial lists (approving those who can send money), and a lot of other issues that are of major importance. You want a small part of your trainees to experience bad things on this level because it may lead them into administrative work with a different mindset. One a lot more empathetic.
Visitations between your trainees living at these facilities and their loved ones should be pleasant and relaxed versus strict and by the book, depending on the weekend they choose. One supervising guard should only notice if a sex scene is occurring and on the next weekend that officer is like a man with ten eyes and motion detectors. Visitation rules vary from state to state but are sacred to inmates everywhere. Special attention needs to be given to this area. Problems should arise of different sorts that prevent some or all from receiving expected visits. Even suggesting such an atrocity seems sacrilegious and sinister. Due to how disturbing this can be emotionally, perhaps it should only be done to a particular breed of trainee.
If the state's correctional facilities engages in any festivities such as field days, holiday packages, movie nights, etc etc, then the training facility should offer it as well. Something should be done quarterly, regardless of whatever, so trainees can experience the feel of a brightness within gloom.
This is a rough blueprint of a training facility that could train hundreds of Correctional Officers within a three month period. The knowledge and experience gained from an ordeal of this magnitude would forever change the relationship between The Watchmen and Those Watched. Having rubbed shoulders with a criminal minded man 24 hours a day for months, they'll even know how they think and move: even to a degree of knowing how a person actually 'feels' in particular situations.
The entire purpose of the program is to help solve the problems within the billion dollar empire that's here to stay for a long time. Correctional Officers become Wardens and more important players in this game; making policies and determining release dates in some states (Georgia), and forming the programs within the system. They're the core of the machine and their mind state and perspectives matter.
The day when The Watchmen can say 'Hey, I know what you're going through,' is the day we've taken a major step towards making modern slavery less demoralizing. Which is all you could seriously request of those who put the system in place and built the greatest nation on the planet through their tactics.
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