Friday Crime Vids – Supervision Models and Jail Violence

Posted: July 19, 2013 in Corrections, Violence
Tags: , , , ,

If you’ve ever been in a jail, or worked in one, you know that they can most definitely be laboratories of dysfunction and violence.  Confine people in a small area long enough, even if they aren’t drunk or high, give them little or no opportunity to avoid contact with each other, add the stress of pending legal problems and other human frailties, and aggression will often be the result.

That’s why many jails have moved to a direct supervision model that keeps inmates out in the open where correctional staff can easily see and hear what’s going on most of the time.

Many modern jail intake areas look more like a bus station than a lockup

Many modern jail intake areas look more like a bus station than a lockup

This works fine, of course, for the majority of inmates who just want to be left alone and  get released as soon as possible. They’ll sit patiently and watch TV until bail or bond is posted and they can be on their way.

For some detainees, though, especially those who have significant behavioral issues, direct supervision often isn’t an option. There are also a number of older jails that still use an indirect supervision approach across the entire facility.

No matter the supervision model, violence can and does occur, even in the most well managed facilities. Which gets us to this week’s vid.

It’s hard to tell exactly what lead to the fight in the below video, but it probably wouldn’t matter to know the actual cause. Fights start for any reason or no reason at all.

Notice how long it takes officers to respond to the fight. In a direct supervision facility, officers would probably have been able to stop the conflict before it became physical. In this case, the assault goes on for a bit before officers arrive and tase one of the combatants to end the brawl.

Jail brawl caught on CCTV

Bottom line, modern jails that use direct supervision models can reduce violence, along with all of the collateral problems it causes, such as lawsuits, damage awards, and other consequences that are wasteful of taxpayer funds.

Have a safe, jail-free weekend!

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