In this paper the subject to discuss is the prevention and mitigation analysis of the Arizona Department of Correction’s Morey Unit hostage situation. This incident was very terrible in the United States history in escapes made from prisons. In Buckeye, Arizona at the Lewis Prison Correction facility in the Morey, on January 18, 2004, Ricky Wassenaar and Steven Coy made an attempt to escape from the unit by taking two correctional officers hostage and took over Morey’s unit tower, causing a 15-day hostage and standoff incident. The following discussion is an analysis of issues, prevention, and mitigation recommendations for future incidents aiming at fiscal, operational, and administrative problems regarding the Arizona Department of Corrections. Discussing the Arizona Corrections Department Using the SWOT method to find the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in each of the following categories; security, defensive tactics, communications, individual unit response, delivery of tactical and intelligence/negotiations, resolution of hostages, and Administrative police/budget. Security
Investigation into the Morey Unit’s hostage incident the security measures in relation to the inmates, the yard, kitchen, and tower found issues of policies and procedures not followed through during the departure from their cell and to the kitchen area. The Inmate security discoveries during the investigation include the searching of inmates leaving the cell but failed to conduct a search when arriving at the kitchen. By not conducting a search on the person could have been the cause of inmates to gain access of weapons from the yard. The officers conducted the searches in a quick manner than taking their time to search the inmates the right way. The pat downs should be in detail manner. Also the searches of the same sex were not mandated and rarely conducted.
Inmate security recommendations are to conduct detail pat downs from the departure of the cells to the arrival to the kitchen. The cross gender and same sex pat downs should be a requirement and conducted on a regular manner. Every department of corrections should develop a special squad to go around the facility conducting searches on each inmate. Inmates gathering contraband is a continual problem so to increase the searches and scanning to inmates cells, mail, yard, and person could help reduce the risk of inmates gaining access of lethal weapons. The department should conduct searches with unpredictability, thoroughness, and consistency.
Yard security discoveries include that the inmates may have hidden the weapons used in the escape under some gravel or other soft material out in the yard while walking to the kitchen. The only recommendation is to remove all gravel or objects that would give inmates the ability to hide weapons in or under. The yard should stay empty at all times.
Kitchen security discoveries include the officers working each shift were not changed and the behavior was the same every day. The officer’s actions were in a routine manner, so the inmates studied the behavior constantly before attempting the escape. For the two inmates to have such a violent background should not have been able to work in the kitchen. Also the inmate’s kitchen duties were taken away weeks before the escape because of the guards hearing about the plan but found no evidence of the plan and was given back kitchen duty. The kitchen area did not have any cameras, the doors were unlocked most of the time, and the procedures of handling the utensils were delivered by hands. Acquiring one officer to guard the inmates in the kitchen gave easy access for the inmates to overpower the officer. Kitchen recommendations are to rotate the officers work shift constantly to make it difficult for inmates to catch on to a routine. The inmates that have violent backgrounds should have a limit on their work assignments. There should be more than...