A Respected State Prison Officer Quits Over Dangerous Conditions for Inmates and Guards

Chuck Bauer loved his job as a lieutenant at the Lewis Prison Complex in Buckeye. He gradually had risen in rank over eight years (in two stints) with the Arizona Department of Corrections, winning Supervisor of the Year at Lewis twice.

But the 56-year-old Peoria resident says he became increasingly discouraged by what he saw on the job — cutbacks in personnel and resulting safety issues for "his people" (corrections officers) and for inmates.

On September 10, 2010, Bauer heard over his walkie-talkie about an inmate who was badly hurt inside Cell A-26 in Building A of the Buckley Unit, a so-called "protective segregation" area.

The bloody scene of Shannon Palmer's prison murder. Former prison Lieutenant Chuck Bauer still has nightmares about the slaying.
The bloody scene of Shannon Palmer's prison murder. Former prison Lieutenant Chuck Bauer still has nightmares about the slaying.

The incident led Bauer, within days, to quit his job and try to move on with his life — something, he says, that has been difficult.

"I am a loyal guy, and it still makes me sick to think that I abandoned my people," he tells New Times. "I just had to do it. I know from up close that bad things happen in prisons, but what happened to inmate [Shannon] Palmer that day just didn't have to happen.

"For one thing, we were short-staffed to the max, as we have been for a long time now, and couldn't keep an eye on those inmates like we're supposed to — simple matter of numbers. It was like a nightmare, and it could have happened to one of my officers just as well as to that poor guy."

Bauer contacted New Times after reading our recent "Hell Hole" cover story (September 1) about the horrific murder of Shannon Palmer, 40, a seriously mentally ill Mesa man who had but a few months left to serve on a three-year criminal-damage rap. Palmer was attacked with a razor-blade shank by Jasper Rushing, who had been his cellmate (in a cell designed for one person) for about three weeks.

Rushing was a decade into a 28-year sentence for first-degree murder when he took his weapon to Palmer's throat and then to his penis (which he cut off) after knocking him out with a makeshift club (a small sheet wrapped tightly around hardcover books).

Bauer says he immediately rushed to the wing, where he saw Palmer lying inside the cell, mutilated, bleeding profusely, and all but dead. Jasper Rushing still was in the area, handcuffed and, Bauer recalls, "as calm as a man can be."

Bauer decided to perform CPR on the unconscious Palmer himself, with the assistance of his colleague Captain Ron Lawrence.

"It was so bad that I didn't want the staffers to have to deal with it," Bauer says, without a hint of braggadocio. "There was blood everywhere, like out of a horror movie, and I knew he wasn't going to make it. But we had to try our best, and we did. I didn't even notice [Palmer's penis] on the floor until later."

Afterward, Bauer dictated his report on his role in the tragedy, changed his bloodied shirt, and tried to go about his duties. But he says he couldn't shake the feeling that Shannon Palmer's homicide, while obviously extreme, was symptomatic of issues increasingly plaguing the corrections department.

"I knew that quitting a job I have loved during this economy was pretty drastic, and people I talked to about it thought I was nuts," he says.

"But there's a time in a person's life when you have to do what makes sense to you, and I just couldn't stand by any longer and just wait for something to happen to one of my [corrections officer] guys or gals. I just didn't want to be the one that would have to make that call to an officer's wife or husband about an injury, or worse."

Bauer pulls out a piece of paper on which he has scribbled some talking points:

• The lights were off in the Palmer/Rushing cell for weeks, which was dangerous for all concerned, including the corrections officers: "We couldn't get the maintenance people to fix the lighting and lots of other things at that time. I know that sounds hard to believe, but it's true. Being in the dark is gonna drive anyone nuts."

• The corrections officer who made the ill-fated decision to assign Palmer and Rushing to the same cell in August 2010 "was completely overworked — too much on her plate — doing seven or eight different jobs, which meant she was doing none of them too good."

• Many seriously mentally ill inmates are in harm's way because of their inability to anticipate a potentially violent situation, and because Arizona's corrections department is doing a poor job of isolating that population: "There's no place to put the mentally ill, outside of prison, so we end up trying to look after them, trying to make sure they get the right meds in them, and whatever."

• Morale among state corrections officers is poor, in part, because of mandated furloughs, at the same time that Arizona's prison population continues to grow: "I know [corrections department Director] Charles Ryan has no idea who I am, but he's an idiot if he doesn't know that his officers are not happy with the safety issues and the money issues involving corrections officers that are happening on his watch."

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54 comments
cynthiarosario87
cynthiarosario87

I cant stand Lewis Prison. Everyone there is an ass when visiting someone. Staff doesnt  really talk they just look at you.  I hear from my friend how horrible the conditions are and how it takes a long time to get any thing handled. I was denied on my visit application and all it said was because I was not honest on my application....WTH? UMMMM yes I was very honest. And if I wasnt I would have liked an explanation as to what they feel that is. This is very important to me to be able and visit my friend and I have just waited the 6 months to reapply but I keep putting it off because this is my 2nd and last chance and I cant be any more honest than I was the first time. Maybe I should lie on this one and wth do they know about me that I dont??? Why is this so damn hard?    

Whistle_Blower
Whistle_Blower

Complements of our flamboyant republican governor and her puppet Mr. Ryan. Heads up

Jimmyincalifornia
Jimmyincalifornia

He cut the dude's penis off; sounds like he was being raped in his cell. The article won't tell you that story. If he was in fact being raped, the dude that killed his cellmate deserved it.

Susan Weber
Susan Weber

I was an inmate in 2009 when the "riot" occurred on the Santa Cruz yard@the Perryville Womens Prison. What riot you ask? well, there were over 300 inmates involved in a race riot that finally ended with a minimum inmate being stabbed in the eye by a medium inmate, another had the end of her pinkie finger bit off, several minor-major injuries (treated by medical staff from other units) all in front of the young, new, frazzled,understaffed, frightened Officer! He was alone on a yard with 300+ inmates and 100 more running from all (4) yards to watch/participate along with many individual skirmishes! As I was on the phone in 18 yard, I watched SEVERAL Hispanics walking in a group towards 20 yard followed by the group of African Americans from another direction, then the Native Americans followed suit! I hung up and quickly ran to the bubble (officer stations) banged on the window and pointed it out to the ONE officer on our yard. Immediately after the panic call for back up was heard on multiple radios and every officer AND COIII's~COIIII's as well as our DW(Deputy Warden), were in a full run to get there! After several hours (and several officers from other yards) & several inmates were sent to CDU, we were locked down and stayed that way for several days! I've been out for a few years but I will never forget the sound of the scared officer's plea for help!

Jordan Castro
Jordan Castro

For anyone who doesn't know, Arizona is in a serious world of hurt right now. There are literally no jobs, and people joining the homeless crowd in bunches. I had to move out of Arizona to the place where my mother lives, and I am in the process of joining the Army for Geospatial Intelligence. All Arizona has now is telemarketing jobs, which should be illegal, that pay strictly on commission. Even the government provided healthcare has come to a halt (the people who are already in it keep their benefits though). With more problems, crime will rise and people will become more unstable. Arizona is getting worse and worse.

Andrew Kar
Andrew Kar

It is not just Arizona. The job of corrections officer itself, while necessary, is toxic. Lt. Bauer is not only adjusting to leaving a job, he is going through a paradigm shift. I went through it myself when I left the Michigan Department of Corrections in 2000. I actually asked my supervisor in my new job at a computer company if I could grow a beard. That is how screwy life becomes, focused as you are on the needs of a facility that can never take enough from you. Obviously, for inmates, it is far, far worse. I was not at one of the most violent facilities, but you still have overcrowding, dehumanization, and hopelessness.

I do not know what the solution is, although I know for policymakers, the dysfunction IS the solution, and the staff be damned.

restitutiontouscitizensfirst
restitutiontouscitizensfirst

Thank you Lt. Bauer for speaking up. It is not just government jobs that demoralize people and challenge their personal ethics to the breaking point. Some of us have gotten to the point where we believe that anybody who holds any job must be wearing the mark of the beast just to be employed, due to our personal experience with even entry level positions requiring sacrifice of ethic and moral values just for a non sustainable wage. Think robosigners and realize that most job "opportunities" seem to present similar dilemma just to eat if you want to get a grip on the rage and the belief that everything is corrupt from the top down.

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

All Illegal aliens should be allowed to apply for work permits but only while they are outside the United States in their home countries. This type of program (guest workers) has worked very well for many years in economically successful places such as Switzerland, Singapore to name a few. Once their work visa expires they must immediately leave the country. If the females become prgnant, they are immediately returned to their home country. commit any violation of ANY law (even "J" walking) and they are deported. If they attempt to re-enter the US illegaly, they are automatically placed on a list of permanently banned from entry into the US. Are you with us?Just enforce the Immigration Laws and treat all people who want to enter the US fairly. Don't show preference to those that entered illegally. Justice for all?

Hoss
Hoss

Lt. Bauer will be missed, I remember when he was a fish CO. He spoke his mind and was one of the few that spoke up for his staff. I also understand the reasons he is leaving. I plan on sticking around a while to fight the fight. There are quite a few problems with ADC, and the public would be stunned if they knew the entire truth about what goes on.

Just a quick insight, ADC policy is based on AZ revised statute and the constitution. It is the bible and must be followed. Unfortunately Ryan and other administrators believe they can circumvent policy and in some cases revised statute to suit their particular need of the moment.

I have witnessed staff being reprimanded, and a few on original probation terminated because they refused an order to violate policy. When the administration takes away 8 - 40 hours of your pay at any given time, it does not take long for someone to shut-up and just follow orders. Even if they are wrong. A sad, but excellent example if the Palmer homicide.

How many homicides have there been at Lewis alone in the past few years? I am willing to bet a pay check that each one of them was due to staff receiving verbal directions to circumvent policy. Then when something bad happens, the administration does the back stroke and points their collective finger at the Officers citing they failed to follow policy.

Personally, I have more than one reprimand proudly hanging on my wall for refusing to follow an unlawful order.

With all this going on, where is the union? Why are they not pressing the legislature for more staff? Why is it a super max unit that requires at least 25 staff to run safely for all parties involved is allowed to run as if it had full staffing with 15 officers?

So many more questions which will only be answered with so many lies and rhetoric.

Joe
Joe

hmmm, don't go to prison I guess. as far as a loyal guy, working there twice over eight years sounds like he quit once before.

Frank
Frank

chuck you are an idoit. you don't perform cpr on some one with throat cut.....and you are being used by newtimes..

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Is this law Racist? Does it specify brown people?Are the people who agree with this law racist?Are those who want this law enforced racist?The law says nothing of little "brown" people but it explains what is illegal entry. It's not very hard to understand. Why is this law "broken"? Why can it be selectively ignored?Illegal alien includes all people who entered illegally, could be Croation, Russian, Chinese, Irish, Canadians and yes even Mexicans. No one single race or people is referenced in the law. Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.Gordon could never understand this and has cost Pheonix and surrounding cities hundreds of millions to support the education, health and welfare of these illegal immigrants.

Hdallen1819
Hdallen1819

I left Lewis prison for Perryvale prison for reason such as these. Only to get disciplined for doing the job of three superviors. There comes a time in everyones life when they must stop and reflect on what is your priorities are. I know I did and I know Lt. Bauer did also. I respect the man and wish him all the luck in his future.

Jillyse503
Jillyse503

Amazing story, Lots of guts by the lieutenant and great job by the writer on this one

Az_irish07
Az_irish07

I am so sorry you had to go through that Bauer. You were a good Lt. But I am glad you made the decision you did. It is hard to see someone you know hurt so bad. The nightmares can be bad. Know this we are all here to help you through this. If there is anything I can do to help let me know.Lt Considine

Duraboy_
Duraboy_

I worked there and safety and health issues have always been a problem. They seem to be getting worse every year. Anyone with a real conscience would agree with lieutenant bauer. I certainly did. I no longer work there. And kudos to lieutenant bauer I worked with him and he is good man.

Smk123
Smk123

I am happy that Lt Bauer has the courage to speak up. Not many do. I have worked with him. It doesn't matter what your personal feelings towards him are/were. We all know that in this instance what he speaks is the truth. Morale is low, no one wants to come to work in unsafe conditions and then be treated like dirt when you are doing the best you possibly can. I have seen a lot of great supervisors quit or demote to get out of the bull. It's sad. The job is hard enough at times we don't need the added drama.

Thank you Lt. Bauer for speaking out.

Majordad18
Majordad18

Personally, I greatly respect Carl Toersbjns, but I did the job under bad conditions, and bagged bodies too/. If he cared about his staff, he would have stayed to fight for them. as a retiree, I belong to a group known as the Thunder that fights to helps staff. We do not charge for this, and we do a better job than any union. ADC staff need to become proactive. Visit www.thunderrolls.net

Austin
Austin

It's easy to bad mouth a person you obviously know nothing about. This Lt is and always will be highly respected with those that matter. He is not alone in his thoughts for they are shared with many. The worst part about this story is that it will not even matter to the director or governor, but thank you Lt. for at least trying to make a difference even out of the department. The only time things change in this prison system is when something terrible happens, and when the eyes have looked away they go back to dangerous. I too will be leaving shortly.

Former Officer
Former Officer

This Bauer person rose thru the ranks off the backs of undermining officers and making a name for himself by destroying others careers. For example, Bauer cannot even write a report and cannot even read policy without numerous errors. Second, he will lie his way out of anything to make himself look good. When Bauer first started he was the "GOSSIP QUEEN" of Lewis Prison making fun of new officers, gossiping about everyone and hurting other officers reputations. To have Bauer rise to the level of LT. SHOWS HOW LACKING ADOC is in leadership and lack there-of.

Peggy Plews
Peggy Plews

Thanks to Paul Rubin and Chuck Bauer for this follow-up piece on Shannon Palmer's murder. The ACLU National Prison Project and the Prison Law Office (which took California DOC to the Supreme Court over medical care for prisoners) are investigating the abuse and neglect of prisoners at the Arizona Department of Corrections and may sue Arizona for injunctive relief over the poor medical and psychiatric treatment. ADC employees, ex-prisoners, family members and others with first-hand knowledge or eyewitness testimony that can be offered to help protect prisoners and staff from the deteriorating conditions inside our state prisons should contact me (prisonabolitionist@gmail.com / 480-580-6807) or the ACLU of Arizona for more information. The ACLU-AZ is at: American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona / P.O. Box 17148 / Phoenix, AZ 85011. PHONE: 602.650.1854 / info@acluaz.org

Please see my 9/28 post at Arizona Prison Watch about the escalating violence/assaults in the state prisons, also.

Carl Toersbijns
Carl Toersbijns

This lieutenant will have a "burn notice" for many years for speaking out the truth. His warden will label him a "disgruntled former employee" and his friends [highly likely former friends] will shun him like a leper. His career in corrections is over even though he may have been one of the "best" out there. I pray he and his family will endure the hardships he has self-imposed because of his moral ethics not to remain inside this "toxic" and unbearable work environment that has changed many good people into a group of silenced lambs. The fact is, if there were more brave officers such as this lieutenant, the problem would be managed and corrected by the majority rather than ignored. Lewis is a tough place to work but no tougher than Florence, Eyman or Tucson. The hardest part about this job is doing more with less. Fewer resources, less cooperation and less direction from the group they need it the most. mid-level and upper management who stumble their way to work every day on the backs of hard working honest people who are victimized by those not doing their jobs. Interesting point about this article as it illustrates the findings of a security audit that showed policies are not followed. The housing issue was a critical policy and cost someone their life. It also cost a good officer his job whether voluntary or involuntary, he made a moral decision not to work under such horrific conditions any longer. It was stated that the DOC is 93 % in compliance with following policies. Someone should tell the director he can’t pick and choose which policies to follow and which ones can be ignored or revised to keep the place safe. Shortcuts kill people and nothing is being done about the real problem, the administration’s condoning negligence, apathy and shoddy work habits to make it through the day and not paying attention to the details written in those policies.This is just one example [Hell Hole article] where policies where 7 % cost the state expensive preventable lawsuit and good men and women working in these toxic places. the Nothing will be done until the legislature accepts responsibility for these prison conditions with their lack of oversight and commitment to incarcerate mentally ill persons to prisons leaving them in the incapable hands of an administration that treats all prisoners the same - one mold one way and nothing contributed to providing a safe and secure facility throughout the state. This MONEY PIT will not go away and drain the state's budget quickly under current conditions. There is another story just like this one around the bend as these critical events happen way too often to ignore.

My respect to this officer.... He broke the code of silence and will forever be forgotten by those who endorse the current administration and its broken ways. Those who do stand by him, I thank them for their courage as well. If I can ever be some assistance to you sir, call me. I'm in the book.

Freedomfighter
Freedomfighter

As bad as the politicians have made things , I have to wonder, can Arizona even be fixed? Jan Brewer and his for profit prison buddies have set things up so that if all goes "well" 1 out of every 5 Arizonans will be on probation, in jail or in prison. So sad what there willing to do to make a buck

Royalphoenix2
Royalphoenix2

When a governments answer to non-violent crime is to lock that person up, then these incidents happen. Remember Brewer has a very limited education,and she also is a drunk driving, accident causing, lush. These combined, have got this state in a hole it may never get out of. Have you had enough of republicans and democrats yet ?? peace

Rarered71
Rarered71

Thank you for your honesty. I would have left that situation as well. The changes needed were apparent and you didn't have the back up you strongly deserved. This should have received better coverage. We should all stand up more often, perhaps then changes would be enforced and people like you wouldn't have to carry the weight of extra balls for those that don't have them.

Verntheliberal
Verntheliberal

Wow, a person with morals, values, and integrity. White guy?

Jn Brown
Jn Brown

let me guess. until that moment she was CO Badass

restitutiontouscitizensfirst
restitutiontouscitizensfirst

"Personally, I have more than one reprimand proudly hanging on my wall for refusing to follow an unlawful order."

You are unique. I find that bullying in the workplace is strongly related to targeting out of the jobsite those who exhibit integrity - it is a bullying as a form of risk management and just as there are always employees willing to lie, lye, lay, for management, there are those who eagerly comply with these directives as well in hopes of elevating their own status, power acquisition by marginalizing potential whistleblowers.

Rod Carr
Rod Carr

I left ADC in 2005 at that time I was an Associate Deput Warden. I had 16 years of service with a perfect record. I left for many off the same reasons that people are saying here. I was very proud of my job. I mentored many staff and I could often be heard telling new staff that ADC was a wonderful career. However, as I progressed in rank I seen the true political side of ADC. Like everyone else I hoped for change but as time progressed I realized that the Department was incapable of change and this is why. ADC has been managed by the same 15 people for the last 20 years. Chuck Ryan, Judy Freigo, Benny Rollins, Ernie Trujillo, Flannigan, The list goes on and on. The ADC motto should be "Retire and Rehire. These people retire under 1 retirement system and come right back under another. For this reason there can be no change. Change requires new people with new experience, education and ideas. That is why change is not possible at ADC. People can say stay and fight the fight but until ADC leadership changes it is fuetile.The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ADC has been doing the same thing over and over for 20 years. All I can say is hang in there people. I love the line staff at ADC and so should our elected officials. They need to make a change. Hey Carl.

Carl Toersbijns
Carl Toersbijns

A man with integrity tells the truth that nobody wants to hear. Are you listening Mr. Ryan or Mr. Patton:

Thanks Hoss, I don't know you but you can be on my team anytime... Your words should inspire others to become more dedicated to the laws and the constitution you so rightfully referred to and not to mere men who run the place with fear, retalitory attitudes and unwarranted discipline to put you in line and follow unauthorized policy procedures.. thank you for your honesty.. I am sure many who do know who you are know you speak the truth for many past and present ADOC employess who still want to do the job and do it right.

Shoemaker323
Shoemaker323

Nice comment, "Frank." It's IDIOT, not "idoit," by the way. How do you figure that the newspaper is "using" Lt. Bauer? Did they make up the entire story to "sell" their free papers?

mrgrnjn
mrgrnjn

Start deporting illegal aliens, to hell with obama.

Carl Toersbijns
Carl Toersbijns

The true character and the goodness in men and women is not what you read in the paper when they report the bad news. Nor is it reflected in the current leadership in the DOC. Today leadership in the DOC is spread out statewide by individuals risking their lives, their careers and their relationships to do their jobs the right way.The true and the good character of correctional officers come to the aid of their fellow man and take their six when times get rough and although every decision is not always easy, we respect everyone's points of view because they earned it. Lt. Bauer, Major Dad, Lt Considine and many more out there are the goodness of the DOC that is seldom heard from but have character of metal. They show the compassion for all sisters and brothers in uniform and faith in making this journey through hell. Perhaps if every good officer would stand tall like these did, the DOC will change for the better and hell will still be hell but the journey would be safer. Agree or disagree, those who knew this man and others like him whether man or woman who endured the pains of the job should shout out and say.. I am done being silenced; I am done being abused by those individuals too incompetent to lead and Major Dad is absolutely correct, if you are one of those officers who need help. … Call the Thunder, they will do more for you than anyone else and do it right so you keep your integrity, your honor, and your job. You are paying union dues for services that the Thunder does for free as the unions can’t reach the level of effectiveness as this group does….. Straight to the source of the problem and resolutions that are fair.

Smk123
Smk123

I understand what you're saying, sir. At the same time, no matter how much you do care about your fellow staff, you have to put yourself first. If it's not good for you, you have to get yourself out. And maybe by him having the courage to speak out about it, someone will take note and things can begin to change... maybe.

I worked with him as well.
I worked with him as well.

You are wrong...i knew Bauer better than you think. I worked with this gossip queen. when he first started out. Before you knew him he made his rep by underming other officers.

Carl Toersbijns
Carl Toersbijns

“Like Cain and Abel, Caesar and Brutus, Jesus and Judas, back stabbers do this”

Carl Toersbijns
Carl Toersbijns

I have often said there are many courageous men and women that work Arizona Corrections but are muzzled by fear and intimidation by the top administrators in this agency. This warden wanted to talk to him was a last resort to salvage any credibility this agency has regarding the Shannon Palmer homicide. Fact is the victim was mentally ill and the housing policy was not followed precisely. This margin or error is described by the director as 7 % of the problem found during a recent security audit. Managers can't speak out as it is committing career suicide in a most restricted environment. As an administrator once said "“When you’re talking about prisons, there’s not a large margin for error, and there’s not a large margin for a lack of strong supervision or a lack of decisiveness.” Arizona is the exception to this rule - as I saw it to be made clear by the article "Hell Hole" rules are not often followed inside the joint. In Arizona, the presence of weak supervisors and their inability to make decisions appears to be the track chosen for this group of administrators.

Carl Toersbijns
Carl Toersbijns

So why doesn’t the Corrections Department follow their own policy and procedures. When something goes wrong inside a prison doesn’t the agency have a responsibility to report or notify the media or community of its problems. Is this a deliberate oversight that is meant to shield those from malfeasance and negligent care for staff and the public protection from criticism and disciplinary? Why does this code of silence exist to begin with as it is counterproductive to good government? The agency has always controlled its officers, supervisors and administrators in the manner they handle the risks associated with hostilities and challenges in the profession as it has recently become recognized that there are significant numbers of administrators who endorse the code of silence through passive enforcement and lack the character to change it. This attitude runs from the top to the bottom and demoralizes staff as it makes them choose between ethics and loyalty. A warped concept as their ethics and loyalty are directed toward a person rather than the organization and the public.

The Corrections Department has muzzled its employees to talk about internal damages, concerns and issues to protect their own selfish needs to maintain damage control on their image and ensure the governor is free of criticism for the penal system as they are trying to impose a heavy legislative bill to allow private prisons to expand and take a larger role in Arizona. The hammer of discipline is heavy and pounds away many good men and women into silence.

The lack of scrutiny by legislators has created this “above the law” attitude and position thus it has stifled the communication levels coming out of the prison systems. The government can't do anything about their internal flaws but to hide them from the public and the press. Such strategy is preached monthly in executive meetings pitting an attitude of "Us" versus "Them" with tacit approval from the higher ups to maintain this silence. This is one reason why the courts can’t change the prison management systems because they are never revealed the true conditions before the damage control has been completed

The public and legislators don’t want to know what is going on inside their prisons and are deliberately keeping them out of the loop or out of touch ON PURPOSE to avoid knowing the facts. This allows the damage control to take place before a controlled exposure is allowed. This concept of censorship is abstract in many ways. It already controls the web site generated reports on the higher than usual deaths inside the prisons by downplaying their reality. People deserve to know what is going on and appointed leaders must find the courage to address these disasters and be honest with the community. Media coverage of prison events is a most high profile issue that has been managed carefully to diminish impact and wrongdoings.

The decline in information for the past several years is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public into thinking everything is normal. Methods of controlling the media are submitted through controlled accountability reports that put the department in a favorable light through careful editing of statistics avoiding aggravating circumstances are written. Even when the reports are damaging or far reaching in operational flaws, e,g. Kingman escape and recent security audit findings, damage control is maintained.

Changing definitions of events to downplay their intensity or impact, the public information officer is carefully briefed with the allowable data and to whom it is distributed. The director and his staff have carefully selected media contacts that are friendly towards them thus controlling the mood of the report. Some reports are "leaked" but will surely reflect a positive outcome and demonstrate control. One must take the report and go a little bit further if it wants to know the whole truth and not just the partial printed.

Whether their intent is to not alarm us or to misrepresent their business to us, the public and the legislators deserve to know the truth and the whole truth. Not implying they fabricate their facts to make it softer, the style they use is similar to many other agencies that are inclined to be politically correct. They alter their use of terminology, use gender neutral terms, maintain short and concise emails, and practice their speeches to avoid being too relaxed and make comments that can be interpreted the wrong way. This method, however taken, is not conducive to truthful reporting and release of their public safety responsibilities.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Take your racist, homophobic bullshit over to az central where the rest of the sociopaths hang out. You wouldn't have the cajones to do the job this man did. Hell, you lack the stones to even spend 5 min in a prison setting.

Hoss
Hoss

Very true about recycled trash. You forgot Teflon John Halahan, Ivan Bartos and a few others, but like you said the list goes on and on et nausium. The read I am getting right now is they all are pushing for privatization, and the hell with everyone who is dedicated to the profession... And the safety of the general public.

The administration has allowed the prisons to fall apart. Systems failing every day, security devices breaking and not being repaired, staff being ordered to conduct "business as usual" while 25% understaffed (or more) on the shift. I could go on and on. But unfortunately no one appears to care from the Governor on down to the average citizen. For different reasons obviously.

It might be a futile fight, but it is one that needs to be fought none the less. It would be easier fought if the union would get their collective heads out of their butts and do what they claim they are there for, PROTECT THE STAFF.

Carl Toersbijns
Carl Toersbijns

Hello Carr - man am I glad to hear from you its been years and way too long - I see your message carries the same content about culture, lack of leadership and deliberate indifference towards treatment of staff and the "insides" of the politics. We miss your courage and hope that sooner or later the Governor gets the message that change is necessary to get out of this dreadful rut the DOC is in as it destroys people's hope to do the job right without retaliation or fear of discipline.. I echo your sentiments - I love those who do this thing for so long and never get a pat on the back from their bosses. Hang in there for one day, this will change but it will take alot of guts at the top to do it and get rid of the egomaniacs that run this agency.

Anon
Anon

Carl, Thank you for speaking the truth that the public needs to hear. Your informative comments are important to many, especially other officers who need to speak out but we understand why many have been silenced.

Zona
Zona

YOu do realize there are more illegals thrown out of this country now than when bush was in office, odnt you?

Concerned Citizen/Taxpayer
Concerned Citizen/Taxpayer

Carl, Thank you for the outstanding information you've provided which confirms much of what we already know that's been kept from the public. You are courageous and making a difference. Others are coming out and many others are taking action even if you don't know them. The Governor's office run by Coughlin / CCA with an eye to turn Arizona into a prison state is truly shameful. Where's the AG investigation on this?

Anon
Anon

Arizona should STOP prison building and begin to fix what they have. Where's the $50,000,000 Federal Stimulus money that Gov. Brewer gave to Arizona Department of Corrections, increasing the mass industrial prison complex? While education, health care and building stronger communities was slashed to the bone? Solution: release non-violent, wrongfully convicted, ill and dying inmates and mothers, whose children need them. Get the proper ratio of officer to inmate back in place.

STOP ARIZONA'S PRISON GROWTH NOW! IT'S OUT OF CONTROL!!

Michigan is closing a medium custody prison and saving taxpayers millions that can be used for education and priorities. California is forces to release tens of thousands of inmates. Arizona should NOT be importing other states inmates.

MulletMarty
MulletMarty

I have to admit, I've always admired your ability to adapt to prision life Shaduck.

restitutiontouscitizensfirst
restitutiontouscitizensfirst

all unions sold out to management decades ago. all are corrupted through and through. we need unions but if and when new unions rise from the ashes please everybody be mindful to make no place for current corrupted union officials - too late now for them to change their tune - they have allowed too many to spend decades in misery - they are toast. 911 First Responders are marginalized as mentally ill because nobody wants to pay their medical costs. They supposedly have some of the strongest unions in the nation - obviously not.

 
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