Suggestions from Real Prison Guard

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Navarro
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Suggestions from Real Prison Guard

Postby Navarro » Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:20 pm

I'm an actual Correctional Officer, with several years experience, at a notorious institution. If the developers are interested, I have myriad suggestions, and I'll list a few here:

-Institutional Count:
Correctional facilities conduct formal counts of the inmate population several times daily, in order to confirm that no escapes have occured, primarily. Formal counts occur at the same time each day, and are usually scheduled at least once per shift. The process is complex, but I'll simplify it here. The Master Control Center (Control) will announce by intercom a global "No more movement" command. All inmates at that time are expected to cease their current activities and to report to or remain at the location they're expected to be during count. For most, this will mean they're to remain at or return to their assigned living area, be it a cell, dormitory, or other form of housing unit. There are many reasons why an inmate may not be required to return to their living area for count, but within this game the only prisoners who wouldn't be required to return to their living area are inmates working in the kitchen or shop, those within the infirmary, and those participating in a visit. Next, Control announces by radio a direction to officers to commence with the count. Officers who are assigned to a specific area will count the inmates within their area, and officers who are not stationed and officers who's areas have no prisoners within them during count time will count the areas which don't have officers stationed within them, and will also assist in counting areas where another officer is stationed. Staff wouldn't necessarily immediately know if an escape had occured, but the faster it's noticied, the higher the probability that the inmate can be captured by authorities beyond the prison, and the quicker that capture will be.

I recommend the option of Count to the regime. If no staff observed the escape, then the player would become aware of the escape when count fails to clear - when the officers report a total number to the chief which is less than the number the insitution is supposed to have. An insitution would be penalized for an escape, as is already done in the game. The length of time which passed from the time of the escape to the time of the discovery would be relative to the severity of the penalty. The longer it takes the discover, the more incompetent the insitution and its staff appears, and also the harder (and more expensive) it is for outside authorities to locate and capture the escaped prisoner. Penalties can be reduced through blaming a staff member and firing them for the escape (a guard, or even a janitor). There's also many other forms of count, however the only other form which could be usefully impleneted within the game would be an Emergency Count, which isn't a scheduled event, but something which would be directed by the chief on account of believing an escape might have occured.

-Cells, Holding Cells, and Dormitories:
Holding Cells and Cells already exist within game, but dormories don't yet. Dorms are a significant part of most or all prisons, and players have already been attempting to place dorms in game even through the game doesn't actually allow for them yet. Dorms are like holding cells, but instead of benchs, they contain beds. They're a cheap alternative to cells. Fifty beds in a single dormitory is cost effective, and also conserves space. I recommend implenting dorms in an official capacity, but with the dorms having a maximum capacity relative to the number of beds within them, just as a normal cell. Naturally, actual holding cells would continue to accomodate overflow.

-Bars as Walls
Institutions, particularly older facilities, have cells which area completely composed of bars. So, a room would be built as normal within the game, then bars would be erected on the interier of the room, securing an area of that room, and a cell door applied to the bar structure. This can be commonly found at older institutions, where officers will then patrols around the room on the outside of the bars/cells, able to see within the cell from all angles.

-Window Transparency
Guards in real life frequently rely on windows to see into areas in order to monitor prisoners within. Allowing guards to be able to see through windows, including into other rooms, would greatly boost realism and customization.

-Processing/Intake:
I recommend guards move all new-arrival prisoners from the Delivery zone to the Holding Cell rather than directly to unoccupied cells. After all inmates have been moved inside and placed in a holding cell, then guards should begin moving inmates from the holding cell to unoccupied cells.
-The Prone Position
When a serious disruption occurs, such as a fight, an alarm will sound, generally a solid tone klaxon. When inmates hear that alarm, they're expected to either lock down (if near their cells), or to "get down," typically by laying on their stomach in a prone position. This makes it easier for officers to respond to the event quickly without having to push their way through groups of prisoners, helps officers on scene rapidly identify the prisoners involved, and also acts as a safety-net for staff, as an inmate laying on the ground is less dangerous than an inmate on his feet. It's a means of containment, and could be applied in game by sounding a alarm, and having prisoners stop moving.

-Power of Persuasion
Prisoners usually comply with officers because the officers are in charge. Prisoners almost always listen to supervisors because they're even more powerful than the officers. A prisoner who's needs aren't being met might act out, but being in the presence of an officer reduces that probability, and being in the precense of a supervisor reduces it even more so. If counselled by an officer for their attitutude, the probability of them acting out is reduced even more so, and yet more so if counselled by a supervisor. An officer can make a general statement to a group, reducing threat, and as can a supervisor, further reducing that threat. I recommend giving guards the capability to speak to individual inmates or groups, causing them to chill out to some degree, and giving the chief the same ability but with greater effect. This is of course, a proactive measure meant to pacify prior to an incident occuring, preventing the incident all-together.

-Prisoners Who Can't Jail
Inmates, particularly the younger convicts, sometimes will act in a disruptive manner, fail to follow directions, or harass staff. This could be demonstrated by coding an percentage probability that an inmate will fail to follow the regime (ie staying in the yard when they're expected to return to their cell to sleep), verbally abusing staff ("#%!$" thought bubbles), and those actions would increase the probability that other nearby prisoners would also act out. This behavior should of course result in lock down, solitary, or a use of force by guards. Naturally, the probability of inmates acting out in these ways would be relative to their mood, based on unmet needs.

-Shotgun Escorts
Inmates may be directed to to perform duties outside of the prison. If the area the prisoner(s) are going isn't fenced or walled off (as the garbage and delivery areas aren't in the game), one or more officers will escort them, while weilding a shotgun. If an inmate then attempts to escape, the officer will fire on them.

-Gangs, Differences, Classification, Separation, and Segregation:
Inmates separate themselves based on charges, race, religion, and gang affiliation, among other subjects. I recommend adding classification concerns to prisoners. Assigning them traits which other inmates will be responsive, such as those described above. Some would be extremely responsive to certain traits in others, others less so. Inmates of certain qualities could be required to be housed in certain areas of the institution, keeping them separate from prisoners of oppositing qualities, reducing fights, riots, and other problems. Meanwhile, failing to maintain separation of groups hostile toward one another would of course result in greater incidents. Real institutions will have different regimes for different ares of the prison. A-Block may be required to eat at 10:00 and go out to the yard at 11:00 while B-Block would do the opposite, specifically for the purpose of keeping A and B blocks separate. So, it would be preferable if A-Block could be classified for a specific prisoner attribute (specific nonrival gangs for instance) and B-Block for spefic other attributes or statuses (such as Protective Custody). PC would be for inmates who possess attributes that result in their victimization, such as child molesters, gang drop outs, homosexuals, and small or feminine prisoners.

I have many, many other suggestions and points, but yeah.
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Postby thekillergreece » Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:47 pm

I mostly like those ideas, I will add more info if you dont mind:

Shotgun escorts. Ofc, Chris MUST remove the supply truck that deliveries prisoners..It should be changed to Police Van. You can see prisoners in it, 3 officers sitting and 1 officer driver, driving. Once stopped, 2 officers escort the prisoners out of the police van while the other will make sure everything is fine. Driver will do nothing. Once, prisoners are out of van, guards will escort them in cells. If someone will attempt to escape, even he is handcuffed, officer will shoot on air for warning. If Prisoner does not stop, he will die. Or shoot at his legs, severe drop him uncoscious or bleeding to death if the shot is very serious.

Prone position. I like it. And is sure a must be added.I think I made a thread about this. An alarm should sound when a riot or serious fight with multiple prisoners involving will start.

And, GANGS. They could be responsible on riot, escape plans and attacking staff...If a guard finds out that those gangs are responsible of a dangerous violation, they will risk an execution or the next bad move they do, they also risk to be killed by a guard.

Good that you are a CO here, you may give us important and awesome..real life ideas.



I hope Chris will add those..They sound very important, a must add like they already do in real life prisons and are..realistic
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Postby Check Six » Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:38 pm

Navarro,

Welcome to the forum.

Firstly, thank you very much for your insightful input. Many of the forum users here have seen many prison films, and even more prison films since they "discovered" and fell in love with Prison Architect. But they are mostly Hollywood influenced or display ancient procedures that are no longer practiced due to their problematic nature. It is great to hear from an actual CO and hear your thoughts about what is realistic or a more believable scenario for any situation.

Your input is very thoughtful, and it only remains to be seen as to whether your ideas can actually be coded, or that Artificial Intelligence is developed sufficiently to make them "work".

Thank you for adding a sense of realism here. I am a security supervisor, and as such, know a bit about security of premises and personnel, surveillance and maintenance systems etc, and crowd control. Your work adds to the knowledge many users here have from their personal experiences, either from simply watching "Cool Hand Luke" or "Papillon" or "Shawshank Redemption", or being on one side of the bars or the other (though it seems to me doubtful that any former inmates would wish to participate in this game).

I hope that you will be a frequent visitor to these Forums, and provide your invaluable input to many threads.
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Re: Suggestions from Real Prison Guard

Postby Sildaekar » Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:13 pm

Navarro wrote:I'm an actual Correctional Officer, with several years experience, at a notorious institution. If the developers are interested, I have myriad suggestions, and I'll list a few here:

-Institutional Count:
Correctional facilities conduct formal counts of the inmate population several times daily, in order to confirm that no escapes have occured, primarily. Formal counts occur at the same time each day, and are usually scheduled at least once per shift. The process is complex, but I'll simplify it here. The Master Control Center (Control) will announce by intercom a global "No more movement" command. All inmates at that itime are expected to cease their current activities and to report to or remain at the location they're expected to be during count. For most, this will mean they're to remain at or return to their assigned living area, be it a cell, dormitory, or other form of housing unit. There are many reasons why an inmate may not be required to return to their living area for count, but within this game the only prisoners who wouldn't be required to return to their living area are inmates working in the kitchen or shop, those within the infirmary, and those participating in a visit. Next, Control announces by radio a direction to officers to commence with the count. Officers who are assigned to a specific area will count the inmates within their area, and officers who are not stationed and officers who's areas have no prisoners within them during count time will count the areas which don't have officers stationed within them, and will also assist in counting areas where another officer is stationed. Staff wouldn't necessarily immediately know if an escape had occured, but the faster it's noticied, the higher the probability that the inmate can be captured by authorities beyond the prison, and the quicker that capture will be.

I recommend the option of Count to the regime. If no staff observed the escape, then the player would become aware of the escape when count fails to clear - when the officers report a total number to the chief which is less than the number the insitution is supposed to have. An insitution would be penalized for an escape, as is already done in the game. The length of time which passed from the time of the escape to the time of the discovery would be relative to the severity of the penalty. The longer it takes the discover, the more incompetent the insitution and its staff appears, and also the harder (and more expensive) it is for outside authorities to locate and capture the escaped prisoner. Penalties can be reduced through blaming a staff member and firing them for the escape (a guard, or even a janitor). There's also many other forms of count, however the only other form which could be usefully impleneted within the game would be an Emergency Count, which isn't a scheduled event, but something which would be directed by the chief on account of believing an escape might have occured.

-Cells, Holding Cells, and Dormitories:
Holding Cells and Cells already exist within game, but dormories don't yet. Dorms are a significant part of most or all prisons, and players have already been attempting to place dorms in game even through the game doesn't actually allow for them yet. Dorms are like holding cells, but instead of benchs, they contain beds. They're a cheap alternative to cells. Fifty beds in a single dormitory is cost effective, and also conserves space. I recommend implenting dorms in an official capacity, but with the dorms having a maximum capacity relative to the number of beds within them, just as a normal cell. Naturally, actual holding cells would continue to accomodate overflow.

-Bars as Walls
Institutions, particularly older facilities, have cells which area completely composed of bars. So, a room would be built as normal within the game, then bars would be erected on the interier of the room, securing an area of that room, and a cell door applied to the bar structure. This can be commonly found at older institutions, where officers will then patrols around the room on the outside of the bars/cells, able to see within the cell from all angles.

-Window Transparency
Guards in real life frequently rely on windows to see into areas in order to monitor prisoners within. Allowing guards to be able to see through windows, including into other rooms, would greatly boost realism and customization.

-Processing/Intake:
I recommend guards move all new-arrival prisoners from the Delivery zone to the Holding Cell rather than directly to unoccupied cells. After all inmates have been moved inside and placed in a holding cell, then guards should begin moving inmates from the holding cell to unoccupied cells.
-The Prone Position
When a serious disruption occurs, such as a fight, an alarm will sound, generally a solid tone klaxon. When inmates hear that alarm, they're expected to either lock down (if near their cells), or to "get down," typically by laying on their stomach in a prone position. This makes it easier for officers to respond to the event quickly without having to push their way through groups of prisoners, helps officers on scene rapidly identify the prisoners involved, and also acts as a safety-net for staff, as an inmate laying on the ground is less dangerous than an inmate on his feet. It's a means of containment, and could be applied in game by sounding a alarm, and having prisoners stop moving.

-Power of Persuasion
Prisoners usually comply with officers because the officers are in charge. Prisoners almost always listen to supervisors because they're even more powerful than the officers. A prisoner who's needs aren't being met might act out, but being in the presence of an officer reduces that probability, and being in the precense of a supervisor reduces it even more so. If counselled by an officer for their attitutude, the probability of them acting out is reduced even more so, and yet more so if counselled by a supervisor. An officer can make a general statement to a group, reducing threat, and as can a supervisor, further reducing that threat. I recommend giving guards the capability to speak to individual inmates or groups, causing them to chill out to some degree, and giving the chief the same ability but with greater effect. This is of course, a proactive measure meant to pacify prior to an incident occuring, preventing the incident all-together.

-Prisoners Who Can't Jail
Inmates, particularly the younger convicts, sometimes will act in a disruptive manner, fail to follow directions, or harass staff. This could be demonstrated by coding an percentage probability that an inmate will fail to follow the regime (ie staying in the yard when they're expected to return to their cell to sleep), verbally abusing staff ("#%!$" thought bubbles), and those actions would increase the probability that other nearby prisoners would also act out. This behavior should of course result in lock down, solitary, or a use of force by guards. Naturally, the probability of inmates acting out in these ways would be relative to their mood, based on unmet needs.

-Shotgun Escorts
Inmates may be directed to to perform duties outside of the prison. If the area the prisoner(s) are going isn't fenced or walled off (as the garbage and delivery areas aren't in the game), one or more officers will escort them, while weilding a shotgun. If an inmate then attempts to escape, the officer will fire on them.

-Gangs, Differences, Classification, Separation, and Segregation:
Inmates separate themselves based on charges, race, religion, and gang affiliation, among other subjects. I recommend adding classification concerns to prisoners. Assigning them traits which other inmates will be responsive, such as those described above. Some would be extremely responsive to certain traits in others, others less so. Inmates of certain qualities could be required to be housed in certain areas of the institution, keeping them separate from prisoners of oppositing qualities, reducing fights, riots, and other problems. Meanwhile, failing to maintain separation of groups hostile toward one another would of course result in greater incidents. Real institutions will have different regimes for different ares of the prison. A-Block may be required to eat at 10:00 and go out to the yard at 11:00 while B-Block would do the opposite, specifically for the purpose of keeping A and B blocks separate. So, it would be preferable if A-Block could be classified for a specific prisoner attribute (specific nonrival gangs for instance) and B-Block for spefic other attributes or statuses (such as Protective Custody). PC would be for inmates who possess attributes that result in their victimization, such as child molesters, gang drop outs, homosexuals, and small or feminine prisoners.

I have many, many other suggestions and points, but yeah.


I myself am a former C/O (from the county jail, not a prison though) and what you suggested hit it right on the spot. You've got my support on these. It may be difficult however to code some of them in, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see...
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Postby henke37 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:44 pm

Mostly good stuff. But I am not sure if everything is a good idea within the context of the game. Realism is good, but fun is better.
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Postby LennyLeak » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:23 pm

Nice post. I like that you did not just tell us how real life is, but wrote the post considering implementation.

Personally I think your last point is the thing that would add the most to the feel of the game, and be a postitive gamechanging mechanic. Inmate segregation seems like a "must have" addition to the game. Having a somewhat complex race / gang relation system would be awesome!

I actually made a post a while back with some thoughts about how that could be implemented in a (AFAIK) somewhat realistic fashion while also being an interesting gamemechanic. I did not think about segregation based on charges though. I stuck to race and gang affiliations.
Here is the post: http://forums.introversion.co.uk/prisonarchitect/viewtopic.php?t=1129&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
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Postby Stonehammers » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:11 am

So now we have a former inmate and a current guard on the forums giving good advice on real life implications. All we need is a Warden, a cook, and a janitor and we will have the full list. :p
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Postby NoOpen » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:01 am

Man prisons over in America are a lot harsher than here in Australia, I know many medium security prisoners that have carpeted floors, pools, personal shower, wallpapered walls.
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Postby Sildaekar » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:08 am

NoOpen wrote:Man prisons over in America are a lot harsher than here in Australia, I know many medium security prisoners that have carpeted floors, pools, personal shower, wallpapered walls.


(From America:) I saw a documentary on Max security prisons in Australia and they got to cook out, and got steak like once a week. There was an American citizen locked up there who refused extradition because he was treated so well in Australia. But if you think America's prisons are rough you should look into Russia's!
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Postby hermanJnr » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:21 am

Stonehammers wrote:So now we have a former inmate and a current guard on the forums giving good advice on real life implications. All we need is a Warden, a cook, and a janitor and we will have the full list. :p


"I was a Workman at a federal institution, and I have a few suggestions about how to make building the walls more realistic..." ;)
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Re: Suggestions from Real Prison Guard

Postby Ric666 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:30 am

Navarro wrote:-Bars as Walls
Institutions, particularly older facilities, have cells which area completely composed of bars. So, a room would be built as normal within the game, then bars would be erected on the interier of the room, securing an area of that room, and a cell door applied to the bar structure. This can be commonly found at older institutions, where officers will then patrols around the room on the outside of the bars/cells, able to see within the cell from all angles.

-Window Transparency
Guards in real life frequently rely on windows to see into areas in order to monitor prisoners within. Allowing guards to be able to see through windows, including into other rooms, would greatly boost realism and customization.


I've been wanting these for a while. Would love to use bars to separate my canteen/corridor for example so the areas are still separate but security cameras can work through them. would be a great addition imo. :)
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Postby killerx243 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:25 pm

Stonehammers wrote:So now we have a former inmate and a current guard on the forums giving good advice on real life implications. All we need is a Warden, a cook, and a janitor and we will have the full list. :p


You forgot a doctor, gardener, lawyer, psychologist, chief, and foreman

Once we get those we'll start a band ;)

Just saw the construction worker :P
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Postby thekillergreece » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:14 pm

killerx243 wrote:
Stonehammers wrote:So now we have a former inmate and a current guard on the forums giving good advice on real life implications. All we need is a Warden, a cook, and a janitor and we will have the full list. :p


You forgot a doctor, gardener, lawyer, psychologist, chief, and foreman

Once we get those we'll start a band ;)

Just saw the construction worker :P


I doubt if there are lawyers in real life prisons..
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Postby Check Six » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:44 pm

There are many "prison lawyers". Inmates with plenty of time on their hands spend their time in the prison library studying up on law to find loopholes or other ways to get their cases re-tried, or thrown out of court and obtain their release. If they still are unsuccessful, other inmates approach them and explain their plight to the "prison lawyer" who may be able to offer assistance.

Whilst they are not employed in the prison, you see many lawyers in the game, but only in the visitation room.
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Postby thekillergreece » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:56 pm

Check Six wrote:There are many "prison lawyers". Inmates with plenty of time on their hands spend their time in the prison library studying up on law to find loopholes or other ways to get their cases re-tried, or thrown out of court and obtain their release. If they still are unsuccessful, other inmates approach them and explain their plight to the "prison lawyer" who may be able to offer assistance.

Whilst they are not employed in the prison, you see many lawyers in the game, but only in the visitation room.



Yep, I see many lawyers visiting their friend or what...But they do nothing, like reduce their sentence or what.

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