Wednesday, April 25, 2007

WISH-TV Investigates New Castle Prison Riot: Many Unanswered Questions

WISH-TV's "I-Team 8" is finding more questions than answers as to why yesterday's prison riot at New Castle happened. Here's a summary of some of the issues raised by WISH-TV:

  • The timeline of DOC doesn't match what employees are saying. Employees say the riot has been brewing for weeks and actually started at breakfast and not at mid-day as told by DOC Commissioner David Donahue.
  • Employees claim the facility is short-staffed. Donahue says the facility is not short-staffed, but Arizona officials decided last week to stop sending new inmates because the facility is under staffed.
  • Arizona officials complained that the facility is also short of trained staff. They complain that GEO, the private contractor managing the facility, pulls staff from other areas without properly training them for their new roles. Donahue thinks the GEO staff did a "phenomenal job.
  • Why was Donahue delivering a speech in Gary about homelessness today instead of spearheading an investigation to learn what happened?

WISH-TV adds, "I-Team 8 has found the staffing problem is not limited to Geo Group and the New Castle Facility." "It continues to be a serious systemic problem throughout Indiana DOC facilities." "Governor Daniels was not available to respond to our questions."


Anonymous said...

There has been historic low staffing levels at DOC under both the current and previous administrations. In fact, Gov O'Bannon was told of the low levels multiple times by a prior DOC commissioner. It is a low-paying, high stress, dangerous job that few want.

Wilson46201 said...

One of the reasons prisons are placed in distressed, high-unemployment rural areas is to draw on the really large pool of unskilled, cheap labor. Prisons are used as an economic revitalization tool. It's a sad reflection on society though, isn't it, when incarcerating people is a growth industry??

It's America, home of the brave and land of the free, that has the highest percentage of its own population locked up.

Anonymous said...

What if some of the inmates filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of their incarceration, and the judge found that as the Arizonans broke no Indiana law, their incarceration at New Castle constituted false imprisonment, which is a felony under Indiana law, and Mitch Daniel's dealmaking to put them in Indiana prison constituted conspiracy to commit felony false imprisonment, and Mitch ended up in New Castle himself. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Anonymous said...

It's pretty interesting to read the posts on the forums about the riot.

By Noon on Tuesday the AZ inmates had taken over landline telephones and were calling family members as evidenced in this thread:

The seventh post in this thread was purportedly written by a New Castle correctional officer who had quit four days prior, and he said that the inmates had been telling the guards that the AZ prisoners were going to riot soon:

These issues really need to be probed but for some reason us Indiana citizens seem to be so unwilling to demand accountability from our elected officials and far too accepting of malfeasance from our public officials.

Anonymous said...

Here is something to take a look at besides the general understaffing of idoc facilities. Turn over rate idoc can't keep employees. Why? because they are severly underpaid for the amount of stress and everyday danger they deal with. So people just quit and, therefore number of seasoned staff at most facilities is very low. One of the easier solutions to idoc's problem would be to give the officers a raise they are the lowest paid in 3 out of the 4 surrounding states. Ohio guards start off at 18.00hr our guards start off at 12.70hr. You can make more than that waiting tables at denny's and not have to deal with hundreds of inmates every day.