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View Full Version : Nat'l Security Sure, close Gitmo and bring'em here


mlyonsd
06-08-2009, 07:23 AM
<TABLE id=topTools cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>Report points to prison security failures</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
By Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON A government inquiry into the most recent fatal assault of a federal correctional officer details multiple security breakdowns and underscores a fear among federal officials who say inmates have grown increasingly violent in their dealings with prison staff.

Jose Rivera's June 20 killing, captured by surveillance cameras inside the high security U.S. Penitentiary Atwater in California, provides a chilling view into the U.S. prison system where weapons are plentiful and some violent inmates are allowed to "sleep off" bouts of drunkenness fueled by homemade cocktails, according to a <KWD href="http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Federal+Bureau+of+Prisons">Federal Bureau of Prisons</KWD> (BOP) report obtained by USA TODAY.

During the attack, Rivera, a 22-year-old <KWD href="http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Iraq+War">Iraq war</KWD> veteran, struggled for his life while a locked door blocked several of his colleagues from responding.

"It was like Rivera was caught in a bear trap," said Mark Peacock, the officer's attorney. "If the staff was able to respond with adequate force, Rivera might have survived the attack."

Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley, who declined to comment on the Rivera report, says there is "a sense that assaults (on staff) are more severe." Following the Rivera killing, authorities recovered 175 weapons in the facility, the report states.


Bryan Lowry, president of the federal prison employees association, says overcrowding is endangering prison officers and staffers. According to BOP records, the system is 36% over capacity and 48% over capacity in high security units.

In the federal system, which manages 204,327 inmates, serious assaults to staffers increased slightly in 2008, from 72 to 82, according to BOP records. Less serious attacks (pushing, shoving) increased, from 1,281 in 2007 to 1,522 in 2008. Inmate slayings were up, from 12 in 2007 to 15 in 2008.

At the time of the Rivera attack, according to the report, he was assigned to lockdown a high security unit for the afternoon inmate count when he was allegedly slashed in the torso by convicted murderer Jose Sablan. The officer was wounded before he could secure Sablan and James Guerrero, a convicted armed robber, in their cell. Both inmates, according to the report, appeared to be intoxicated.

As surveillance cameras rolled, Rivera attempted to escape and activated his electronic body alarm to summon help. He was allegedly tackled by Guerrero, who pinned the officer down while Sablan continued to stab Rivera with a makeshift ice pick. Rivera was stabbed at least 17 times before an officer arrived with a key to the door.

"This delay to get responding staff into the unit could have been reduced," the report concluded.

The day before the attack, one prison guard raised questions about whether Guerrero, known as a "disruptive," could be housed safely in the same unit with Sablan, according to the <KWD href="http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Organizations/Government+Bodies/Federal+Bureau+of+Investigation">FBI</KWD>'s report of its interview with the guard.

"Going to put him (Guerrero) with another killer," the guard told a colleague. "Okay if that's what you are going to do. We'll be lucky if he doesn't kill somebody before the night is out."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-06-07-prisonmurder_N.htm

blaise
06-08-2009, 07:55 AM
I went around with some posters here about this who seem to think it's no problem just to add the prisoners into the Federal system. It would most definitely be a problem.
Having them in any sort of general population would mean they have interaction with the officers and other inmates. One concern would be that they would be targets of violence by other inmates, and before you say "Great, let them get killed", what would happen is some sort of group or family member would sue the Bureau of Prisons for failing to protect them and we (the taxpayers) would end up paying a very large settlement check to someone affiliated with a terrorist. The other concern is that while there are many violent criminals in the federal system they normally wouldn't target the correctional officers for violence. Obviously the officers need to be on guard against it at all times, but the system is set up so that if the prisoners are treated fairly they won't target officers. With the terrorists the concern is that they would specifically target officers at any opportunity for violence in the name of anti-Americanism.

Obama alluded to housing them at "one of our supermax" prisons where the prisoners are kept in solitary cells and their contact with anyone else is limited, they get out for an hour a day to exercise by themselves, but he either misspoke or was disingenuous, or just wasn't aware of the fact that there's only one federal supermax, the one in Colorado. (and don't bother copying and pasting the list of supermaxes from Wikipedia like jAZ did, most of them are state facilities and the federal ones listed, outside of the ADX in Colorado, are not supermaxes) If you all of a sudden place a large number of these guys in the supermax in a short time you're changing the dynamic of the prison. It becomes a much more dangerous place.

Chief Henry
06-08-2009, 08:00 AM
shootem

patteeu
06-08-2009, 08:27 AM
It's a ridiculous idea anyway. What advantage is there for us to have the Gitmo detainees here instead of somewhere else? I can understand that after democrats, anti-American Europeans, and our enemies have successfully demonized Gitmo as a gulag why there would be a small PR benefit to closing it, but I don't think it's large enough to be worth discarding that state of the art facility that is ideally located off shore. And if we do need to close it, we ought to find another offshore site or build a new, dedicated facility in a remote location somewhere like a military base in Alaska.

stevieray
06-08-2009, 08:44 AM
Islam is the fastest growing religion in prisons....

dirk digler
06-08-2009, 10:38 AM
There is always going to be violence in prisons and attacks have increased on staff probably almost every year which is unfortunate but alot of that has to do with over-crowding.

They need to weed out the low-level offenders like ones that have been convicted of drug possession to help alleviate the problem.

dirk digler
06-08-2009, 10:40 AM
I went around with some posters here about this who seem to think it's no problem just to add the prisoners into the Federal system. It would most definitely be a problem.
Having them in any sort of general population would mean they have interaction with the officers and other inmates. One concern would be that they would be targets of violence by other inmates, and before you say "Great, let them get killed", what would happen is some sort of group or family member would sue the Bureau of Prisons for failing to protect them and we (the taxpayers) would end up paying a very large settlement check to someone affiliated with a terrorist. The other concern is that while there are many violent criminals in the federal system they normally wouldn't target the correctional officers for violence. Obviously the officers need to be on guard against it at all times, but the system is set up so that if the prisoners are treated fairly they won't target officers. With the terrorists the concern is that they would specifically target officers at any opportunity for violence in the name of anti-Americanism.

Obama alluded to housing them at "one of our supermax" prisons where the prisoners are kept in solitary cells and their contact with anyone else is limited, they get out for an hour a day to exercise by themselves, but he either misspoke or was disingenuous, or just wasn't aware of the fact that there's only one federal supermax, the one in Colorado. (and don't bother copying and pasting the list of supermaxes from Wikipedia like jAZ did, most of them are state facilities and the federal ones listed, outside of the ADX in Colorado, are not supermaxes) If you all of a sudden place a large number of these guys in the supermax in a short time you're changing the dynamic of the prison. It becomes a much more dangerous place.

You do realize the Feds contract out with state and local facilities to house prisoners? They could easily send some of the Gitmo prisoners to a state super-max.

As far as the ADX in Colorado goes, in order to hold the Gitmo prisoners they would either have to expand or move some of the current prisoners elsewhere. They only have 1 bed open as we speak.

blaise
06-08-2009, 10:46 AM
There is always going to be violence in prisons and attacks have increased on staff probably almost every year which is unfortunate but alot of that has to do with over-crowding.

They need to weed out the low-level offenders like ones that have been convicted of drug possession to help alleviate the problem.

Low level offenders in federal prisons are not typically in the same institution as murderers, terrorists, etc. So I don't think that would affect this situation. There's several levels of security, at many institutions there will actually be four prisons within the same complex, each with their own warden and fence.
You're right, there will always be violence in prisons, but to put a bunch of Gitmo detainees in federal prison is another level of security risk. It's a little flip I think to just shrug your shoulders and say, "Oh well". I don't see how you could act like it's business as usual. It's not.

blaise
06-08-2009, 10:50 AM
You do realize the Feds contract out with state and local facilities to house prisoners? They could easily send some of the Gitmo prisoners to a state super-max.

As far as the ADX in Colorado goes, in order to hold the Gitmo prisoners they would either have to expand or move some of the current prisoners elsewhere. They only have 1 bed open as we speak.

The US government isn't going to entrust the care of Gitmo detainees to a state facility. They're just not. If you're Obama would you think that's a good idea? They do contract out, but I don't know any situations where they contract out supermax level inmates to state facilities. In fact, state facilities that have inmates they can't handle try and get them sent to the ADX.

And that's my point with the ADX- Obama spoke about putting these guys in a supermax and he was either disingenuous, ignorant or the situation, or lying.

dirk digler
06-08-2009, 11:11 AM
Low level offenders in federal prisons are not typically in the same institution as murderers, terrorists, etc. So I don't think that would affect this situation. There's several levels of security, at many institutions there will actually be four prisons within the same complex, each with their own warden and fence.
You're right, there will always be violence in prisons, but to put a bunch of Gitmo detainees in federal prison is another level of security risk. It's a little flip I think to just shrug your shoulders and say, "Oh well". I don't see how you could act like it's business as usual. It's not.

Of course that is the way it should be but it doesn't always work out that way because of overcrowding so they do have to mix them up some.

With my experience with the State of MO prisons they have separate prisons in separate towns for each level. For example we use to take thieves and lower-level to Boonville and the murderers go to Fulton at least to start.

As far as being flip I answered you this before and told I have worked in prisons and jails have you? It is all dangerous work and I personally wouldn't consider Gitmo prisoners any dangerous than I would murderers or gangs. Gangs are actually probably the most dangerous of all of them.

dirk digler
06-08-2009, 11:15 AM
The US government isn't going to entrust the care of Gitmo detainees to a state facility. They're just not. If you're Obama would you think that's a good idea? They do contract out, but I don't know any situations where they contract out supermax level inmates to state facilities. In fact, state facilities that have inmates they can't handle try and get them sent to the ADX.

And that's my point with the ADX- Obama spoke about putting these guys in a supermax and he was either disingenuous, ignorant or the situation, or lying.

Maybe, maybe not. The state of NY are holding over 10 terrorists right now without any problems.

When or if they come to the states they will have to be housed somewhere in the jurisdiction that they are being tried in so it will more likely be a federal or state facility and not a super max.

blaise
06-08-2009, 11:20 AM
Of course that is the way it should be but it doesn't always work out that way because of overcrowding so they do have to mix them up some.

With my experience with the State of MO prisons they have separate prisons in separate towns for each level. For example we use to take thieves and lower-level to Boonville and the murderers go to Fulton at least to start.

As far as being flip I answered you this before and told I have worked in prisons and jails have you? It is all dangerous work and I personally wouldn't consider Gitmo prisoners any dangerous than I would murderers or gangs. Gangs are actually probably the most dangerous of all of them.

Like I said before, gang members are very risky, but generally speaking they're not targeting correctional officers. That officer in the original post that was killed was the first officer killed in quite a long time, maybe more than 10 years if I'm not mistaken.
The belief with these detainees is that they are in fact more dangerous because they explicitly wish to cause physical harm to Americans, and they would see the officers as a symbol of America. You can argue whether that would be true in practice, but at least in the beginning that's how they'd be viewed. That's why they wouldn't and don't want them in general population. That and because of the reason I stated earlier- they'd be at risk for physical assault, more than most other prisoners. Once they're in the system the prison has a duty to protect their safety as well as they can.

dirk digler
06-08-2009, 11:29 AM
Like I said before, gang members are very risky, but generally speaking they're not targeting correctional officers. That officer in the original post that was killed was the first officer killed in quite a long time, maybe more than 10 years if I'm not mistaken.
The belief with these detainees is that they are in fact more dangerous because they explicitly wish to cause physical harm to Americans, and they would see the officers as a symbol of America. You can argue whether that would be true in practice, but at least in the beginning that's how they'd be viewed. That's why they wouldn't and don't want them in general population. That and because of the reason I stated earlier- they'd be at risk for physical assault, more than most other prisoners. Once they're in the system the prison has a duty to protect their safety as well as they can.

I would say that no matter where they are housed they will be separated and be in 23-hr lock down and the way most prisons handle dangerous prisoners it is never 1-1 it is 4-1 or sometimes more.

Also I am curious what the rate of assault by Gitmo detainees are on the military down there. That would be a good indicator of what to expect.