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  #1  
Old 11-13-2017, 04:05 PM
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Default Are California prisoners the property of prison staff?

I frequently hear correctional officers make statements such as, “Inmate, get off my table,” “Inmate, get off my yard,” “Inmate, get off my bed” and so on.

The idea that they own everything in the prison sounds like they have serious ownership issues, along with superiority complex and delusions. Read More..
http://sfbayview.com/2017/11/are-cal...-prison-staff/
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:34 PM
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Meh. I understand the inmate's point is abuse of power, but the analogy is poor.

The prison and its property don't belong to inmates or staff. But there is a power imbalance. I can admit that plenty of times in a job where I was responsible for kiddos in a public school, I told them to "stay off my table" or "don't draw on my walls". It wasn't because I believe I owned the property (or the child), it was because it set a tone.

Does that tone indicate an abusive mentality? Maybe.

I know when I visit my husband I follow the rules and respect facility property. Why? Because it's not my house. My husband follows the rules and respects the property because it's not truly his, either. Hence the ability of CDCR to write up an inmate who tears up a sheet to make a pully for working out.

Corrections tends to draw two types of people: those who feel they can have a positive influence over someone who needs one, and those who feel they can have power of someone who lacks it. Language matters, but in this case, both of those people can use that same exact language and mean two completely different things.
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:33 PM
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I personally thought the article was just taking shots at prison staff, I don't believe it describes all staff at prisons and certainly don't believe all drugs come in through staff. Been to too many visiting rooms and saw way to many idiots try to smuggle stuff. Oh and those idiots were not staff!!!
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:04 PM
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There's a judge in KY that talks like that too. Her courthouse, her jury, etc. It's common for people to take personal responsibility for their work surroundings.
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:17 PM
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I know more than one Parole agent who thinks that anyone on parole is still *property*
So, yeah. I'd guess they still *own* them till they time out.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:44 AM
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I really really hate these article titles that are purely for shock value "Are California prisoners the property of prison staff?" makes me roll my eyes and not want to read it at all. However, I agree with Mia here.

Power is a dangerous thing. There are great CO's who somehow don't let it get to them and then there are those who like to play god and in turn take that mentality home to their families. Anyone who hasn't read the Stanford Prison Experiment really should. It's human nature that given power you will change.

As far as drugs coming in...yes, a LOT of it comes in through the CO's. I've seen it at absolutely every level of incarceration from county jails to state and private facilities and federal USPs. When huge amounts are coming in, it's typically the staff. When my ex was in Pollock USP there was a CO that was bringing in 3 OUNCES of heroin a week. On the way cheap side that's $3000 street value making it worth over $10,000 in prison. CO's get paid crap money...selling drugs is real profitable until you get caught. A mother/daughter CO team at a private prison in AZ just got caught taking in prescription pain pills. It's a huge thing. Of course it's being brought in by visit also...but not at the same rate. With ion detectors and dogs and cameras...it's a whole lot harder for visitors.
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sass4221 View Post
There's a judge in KY that talks like that too. Her courthouse, her jury, etc. It's common for people to take personal responsibility for their work surroundings.
If you have an apartment, it is yours, even if you don't have property rights as you would with a condo, let alone a house.

Most judges view the jury in a case as their jury. They are the ones actually allowing the jury to be seated. They are the ones responsible for the tax payer money going to a jury trial, let alone a trial where there's misconduct. They are the ones who actively protect their jury, making jury duty as pain free as possible yet as fair and impartial as possible. Without a jury (bench trial), they are the ones who act as the trier of fact. This duty passes from the judge to the jury s/he empanels. So, the judge becomes pissed if attorneys abuse the jury, there are outside attempts to influence the jury, the jury does not act according to the judge's rules (usually talking about the case before deliberations or watching or reading news about the matter). The judge makes sure the jury is well fed through the judge's bailiff responsible for the jury.

Most judges are assaigned a courtroom. It is their courtroom just like the classroom down at the end of the hall on the right belongs to Ms. Jackson. The judge usually has judge and staff only entrance to that courtroom, and nobody but janitorial goes into the judge,s chambers without the judge's permission. Even janitorial keeps out unless invited in if the judge is there.

The property right of judges to design the interior of the courtroom has been tested and does have limits. The 10 Commandments cannot be displayed on the walls because of the Separation between church and state. Displays and attempted displays like that, obscene material, or anything detrimental to justice would not be allowed and would call the judge,s ethics into question, leading to judicial discipline.

To some extent, you can look at the property right somebody has in anything as an extension of governmental grant. I buy a property, I own it and have the right to dispose of it as I want, even after death (assuming it's owned in fee simple, for those of you with a penchant for the archaic that still applies to this day, thank you England!). If I rent a property, I don't own it, but I have agreed to pay monthly and to adhere to specific rules in order to have some property rights over that apartment. If I have taken a specific posting, I have a property right in that job. I also have obligations, just like I do with an apartment. I have to take care of my office, my desk, my walls, and treat the staff appropriately, including my paralegal and my secretary. The moment I leave that job, I leave the job. I don't take the desk or the phone with me, even though I have cared for them for the duration of my tenure there.

A prison, for the COs who work there, is the office of the CO. They have specific postings, and they are just as responsible for the property of that posting as any other employee in any other job. Prisoners are going to be forced to take responsibility for damaged property that was issued to them. They will also bear the burden of damaged property tied to them through proof enough for a civil case. COs may or may not have to take financial responsibility for the stuff that's damaged on their watch. So, if a CO urinates on a computer he's responsible for - he's paying for that computer. With all the video available, both COs and prisoners are becoming more and more responsible for the stuff of the institution, especially where they can individually be charged with the damage.

Look at it this way, the CO has watch. He is responsible for that watch. He refers to it as, "my watch". The stuff he's watching is his for the duration of the watch as it applies to his job. He should also feel and take responsibility for the health and welfare of the prisoners as well. He is the first person to take charge of something, whether it's an emergency or something that could lead to an emergency if addressed the moment noticed, or something that causes problems. He is the one who should be separating inmates who seem intent on going at each other before they get to that point. He is the one who should feel responsible for and stop every attempt at suicide (not that they can all be stopped, even with a CO outside the cell looking directly in 24/7). He is the one who should notice that Offender Harris is looking ill and clutching his chest.

So yes, the inmates are his in terms of responsibility, for the duration of shift. You can say the same thing about Mrs. jackson's students - they are hers, and responsibility for health, welfare, and in her case, learning, also attaches. I have my clients. Chances are, you have a responsibility including a property right over somebody in your life - your children, for instance, or your customers, or your patients. This is not a property right forbidden by the 13th Amendment. In the case of inmates, inmates are specifically excluded from involuntary servitude. In the case of children, lack of competence means we have to take up responsibility for them in areas where they are incompetent by age. Customers, clients, patients, students - all granted by contract. Same goes for jurors.

Anyway, long story short - somebody,s making a huge deal out of absolutely nothing but their own rage. And that's the person who wrote the article.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:51 PM
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Yourself brings up good points. I've worked at my job for 11 years. Sat at the same desk for 11 years. It has pictures of my children, birthday cards from over the years, decorations, etc...I don't own it but it's MY desk. Same with my company computer and phone. I'm the safety manager of the company...so I've often referred to the employees in the field as "my guys" though they obviously aren't mine...they are my responsibility. If anyone went into their company shop and made a mess they would be quick to tell them not to make a mess in THEIR shop/truck/work area etc.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:53 PM
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In the end it really comes down to respect on all sides. A judge will be quick to tell you to take off your hat in their courtroom and a teacher will be quick to tell kids to not make messes in her classroom and a CO will likely tell an inmate who's writing on walls or sitting on tables to not disrespect their stuff. Though none of that really belongs to the person. When my dad was in the military a drill sgt yelled at him to get off his grass...what's the difference.
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