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“There is a new type of inmate in jail, the inmate who can look into the abyss and get out,” said one former federal corrections official.
“It’s the opposite of the person who would be caught looking through a window, so that inmate is not going to be put in a situation that’s going to put them at risk.”
The former corrections official also noted that while the prison is staffed with corrections officers who are trained to respond to inmates’ distress, “inmates are still going to go through the motions of their life, even in a jail.”
It was a theme that resonated with some of the former inmates interviewed for this article.
“The inmates that have been here for more than a year, the guards that are trained on how to treat inmates, have been there for a year and a half,” said Robert Smith, who served as a corrections officer for more of the 20 years he was in the agency.
“They have no idea how they are going to react when a cellmate is crying or a kid is upset.
It’s just not something they expect.
They’re very confused.
And that’s why I think that we have so many of these situations.”
The former officers said the correctional system has become an institution that is “completely out of control.”
“We’re at the point where, if somebody goes into a cell, they’re going to get beat up,” said Joseph Williams, who was an officer with the Chicago Police Department.
“I’ve been in jail here for 13 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this.
And the staff are getting away with murder, they are getting punished.
The whole thing is crazy.
The staff are not doing their job.
I think the system is getting so out of hand, I’ve been here 10 years and I have never seen something like this.”
One of the officers who spoke to this newspaper described the conditions in the correctional facility as a “shithole” and “a mess.”
“I don’t know how it’s possible for them to have such a small staff to deal with all the people that are in there,” said the former corrections officer.
“Inmates are being beaten, they have no access to medical attention, they get their food cut off, they don’t have showers.
They have no toilet paper.
They don’t even have a water fountain.
The bathrooms have no plumbing.”
The police officers and corrections officers interviewed for the article all said that the conditions inside the prison are among the worst they have seen.
“It’s one of the worst places I’ve ever worked,” said Sgt. William Schuster, who worked as a police officer in a small city in western Pennsylvania from 2009 to 2012.
“That’s the worst I’ve seen.
The only thing I can think of is that they would have to build a jail there.
I’ve worked with a lot of different kinds of correctional institutions, but nothing like this is like this type of place.”
The officers and prison officials said that some of those who were arrested and charged for the crimes of the past 20 years were released on bail because they had been “stunned” by the jail’s conditions.
“These guys were not going through the trauma that I was going through when I was in there, so they were out of there before I even had to see them,” said Schuster.
“But that’s how they think.
And they’ll go back to their old life and they’ll do whatever they want.
And when the time comes, they’ll be back in the same place.
That’s what I’ve experienced.”
The federal corrections system is under investigation by the Department of Justice for allegations of systemic and institutionalized mistreatment of inmates, including sexual assault and child abuse.
In June, the DOJ announced that it was launching a probe into the Department’s treatment of some of its former inmates.
The Department of Corrections declined to comment for this report.