Online Discussion 2: “A Tidy Cell 2290


A basic rule of the institution is that inmates are required to make their beds and tidy their cells every morning prior to leaving the unit to go to work or school. A particular correctional officer on your shift has the habit of going into the inmates cells and making the beds and tidying up the cells for those inmates who have left to go to work or school without complying with this basic rule. The officer knows that by doing this courtesy gesture on behalf of the inmates, he can avoid the need to discipline the inmates for not following the rule. Part of the officer’s reasoning for doing this on behalf of the inmates is his belief that should an incident occur where hostages are taken, the inmates would not hurt him, but rather would take care of him because he has “taken care of them.” Discuss the validity of this reasoning on the part of the officer. Example: A Tidy Cell When you first think about the situation and scenario it doesn’t seem that bad, but when you step back and look at all the facts and the issues that can arise my opinion changed. Personally, I do not think that would help the officer in the situation as tensions would be high and so would emotions. However, the officer could be doing this as mentioned in the scenario for their own benefit and safety if an incident ever arises. Firstly, after reading the scenario, it sounds to me like manipulation from the inmate(s), because they know that if they don’t make their beds or clean their cells that nothing will become of it. They understand that they have the officer(s) where they want them, and by doing that has caused a sense of fear within the officer(s) and as a result they end up doing the unauthorized behaviour. They prey on officers whom them believe are “soft” and “weak” who don’t have the ability to say no or take command of the situation (module 7). The officer is very naïve, understanding and sympathetic of the inmate(s) and that has clouded his judgment, and will become and issue if there is ever a lock down or hostage situation. The officer may think that by doing these gestures that the inmate(s) will like him better and as mentioned won’t hurt them in a situation, which is arguable but until that situation arises, we don’t know. Secondly, I think that the officer is scared if being considered “hard” and they should really refer back to the Correctional Officers Creed – “to be in authority through personal presence”. They may not feel as confident dealing with certain inmate(s) and maybe need to have additional training to help them understand that they have the authority and how to properly apply that authority. Lastly, it also seems that the officer is trying to establish a “friendship” with the inmate(s), which is a prohibited behaviour and one that the officer shouldn’t engage in nor continue to pursue. Even though they think that what they are doing now is justifiable in the sense that they are making the job easier for everyone and protecting themselves in the long run that is not the case. By doing such behaviour may actually result in the officer potentially losing their job from engaging in this inappropriate behaviour. The officer before they even realize it will already by the victim of convict manipulation and that no matter the favours they did or have done will not matter then. In conclusion, what the officer is doing is unethical and not only is he being selfish by thinking only about his needs, but he is also placing the other officers around him at risk. Some of the others officers might not be considered “soft”, but rather “hard” and this could pose a potential risk for others to be injured. The officer shouldn’t be that friendly in that way towards inmates as they might even want something in return back.

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