I’ve been on a kick for a few months that’s emerged in some of my writings about how sick-to-death I am with the ineffective prison living unit staff we have in charge of compliance, discipline and the general good, safe order of our housing. Rules have been shattered time and again without any consequence, putting on display that it’s perfectly ok to terrorize a neighborhood and that bad behavior is very much accepted. For the 70% of us who are taking our rehabilitative space seriously, it’s been an absolute burden. I’ve heard every excuse why it’s persisted as long as it has – staff shortages, Covid, changes in policy – but when it boils right down to it, it’s wickedly unsafe.
But it seems there’s a wind of change. After countless other staff members, not responsible for our unit, saw what was happening and heard the pleas of others, calls were made and complaints lodged. The word got out about the ineptitude of key unit leadership that had allowed our living unit to fall into such despair. Finally, a few nights ago, a raid resulted in the rounding up of a whole alcohol brewing ring. Just two days ago, someone else was raided and he was found to have almost a thousand dollars of other people’s goods from a gambling racket. A couple in-cell tattoo parlors where shut down as well. Then yesterday, our institution leadership published a memo about how more heavily checks and searches will be done. FINALLY! It’s been months of emboldened bad behavior that’s finally going to be regulated. But why did it have to get this bad and why didn’t unit staff become more involved earlier? Too much paperwork? Don’t want the conflict of personalities? Regardless of the excuse, a prison’s first requirement is the safety and security of those under its care. To do that, rules and policies MUST be enforced and monitored. For now, it seems like there’s enough outside influence to keep things from being swept under the rug. We’ll see how long it lasts, but I’m glad someone is willing to regulate things…
by Rory Andes
Expect more from your prisons. You’re paying for it…
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Rory Andes 367649
PO Box 888
Monroe, WA 98272