Reality Training: Female CO assaulted by mob

How do you cope with this kind of incident, and, perhaps more worrisome, what do you do once it's over?

By C1 Staff

In this rather unsettling video, a female corrections officer is overwhelmed by a mob of inmates. She and other officers were injured in the incident. 

Both the video and the fallout from the incident are concerning; management failed to report the attack to authorities until after the CO threatened to break the chain of command and report the incident herself. 

This incident took place at a pre-trial facility near downtown Miami, and occurred after a cell door that was supposed to be closed was left open. Seventeen inmates attacked the officers. 

Take a look at the video and join us below it for some questions to better examine the incident.

Things to consider:

  • The DOC must have the officers’ back, and apparently it does not.  The female CO was the victim of a criminal assault, both physical and sexual.  Three other COs were assaulted.  She and the others injured are law enforcement officers and deserve their day in court with all the protections of the law that they have taken an oath to uphold.     No one in corrections likes to see COs in harm’s way.  But when it happens, it should be fully investigated as a criminal act, witnesses interviewed, evidence gathered and perpetrators charged in house and criminally.    There is no excuse for this long of a delay.  
  • Second:  How does the management expect to have the support of subordinates when this occurs?  If this type of ineptitude is part of a larger pattern, there will be a critical morale problem and undue stress among staff.  I do not know if this is an isolated incident where a CO assault was ‘dropped through the cracks’.  If it is an on- going problem, then what happened if a CO is permanently maimed or killed?
  • The inmates do not need to see agency incompetence.  The problem ones will have the view that inmates can get away with assaulting staff.  It gives them unnecessary power.
  • From a training standpoint, there must be several issues addressed:

Why was the cell door opened?  Accident?  Lack of awareness?  Lack of training?

Was staffing in the area adequate?

Review critical incident procedures and charging inmates:  from top to bottom.  Rewrite and revise if necessary.

Everyone-EVERYONE- on staff should learn from this.  This incident, no matter how wrongly handled, should not be ‘swept under the rug’.  It should be discussed in training-out in the open.

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