To: Congress and Department of Corrections Commissioners Nationwide

Raise the Qualifications for Prison Guards Nationwide

Raise the Qualifications for Prison Guards Nationwide

Petition Text

Sign this petition demanding that Congress and Department of Corrections Commissioners raise the qualifications for Correctional Officers nationwide.

1. Prison guards should have at least some level of college education.
2. Prison guards should be at least 25 years of age.
3. Prison guards should have yearly background checks and psychological evaluations.

Why is this important?

Behind prison walls, there are thousands of everyday incidents that convey explicit power-conflicts between prisoners and correction officers, both in state and private prisons. Though these conflicts are, at-large, a result of a conditioned hostile environment, they are also the result of a general lack of education, training, experience, and respect toward the people serving their time in prison.

Incidents of violent assault are common. In a Mississippi state prison, a female warden was punched in the face by a male prisoner twice her age and size after she "disrespected, disciplined and made an example of him" in front of other inmates.

Rape too, is a prison epidemic that we are too familiar with. At Rikers Prison in New York, a female prisoner was gang raped by two male guards who were responsible for escorting her to the bathroom. Though both correctional officers were fired, neither was charged. What we do not hear about are the hundreds of lives taken each year, both guards and prisoners, as a result of power-conflicts.

More often than not, prison guards undergo inadequate C.O. training, have minimal educational attainment, and in many states, are able to jump into the field as early as 18 years old. In addition, not all, but very many prison guards are both physically and psychologically unprepared for the job.

In Georgia, educational programs,` in partnership with colleges and universities are being implemented in prisons state-wide. Prisons have allowed these programs, on the condition that courses and scholarship funds are available for the correctional officers as well. Georgia prison officials feared that their officers, mostly high-school educated, would react hostilely to inmates being able to take college courses.

In state prisons all over the country, C.O.s make everyday decisions that affect the long-term lives of those imprisoned. Correctional officers need specialized training, with an emphasis on conflict resolution, instead of combat and coercion. They need to be educated to understand the psychological condition of the prisoners they care after. They need to be educated to a point where neither anger nor resentment arises from witnessing an inmate take a beginning level college course.

Power-abuse is never acceptable. No human being deserves to be stripped of their identity, humanity, or life due to power-conflicts rooted in lack of education, mental instability and inadequate training and experience. If we are going to use correctional institutions as the primary punishment for those who break the law, we need to invest more into our correctional officers, by raising the C.O. qualifications nation-wide.

Sign this petition demanding that state legislators and Department of Corrections Commissioners raise the qualifications for Correctional Officers nationwide.

1. Prison guards should have at least some level of college education.
2. Prison guards should be at least 25 years of age.
3. Prison guards should have yearly background checks and psychological evaluations.


Reasons for signing

  • A job with a high potential for abuse should have high standards.
  • Relatives have been abused while in prison.
  • Prisoners should not be made to suffer at the whims of the Prison Guards

Updates

2016-07-09 13:18:31 -0400

5,000 signatures reached

2016-07-08 10:54:06 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2016-07-08 10:30:32 -0400

500 signatures reached

2016-07-08 10:01:06 -0400

100 signatures reached

2016-07-08 09:55:22 -0400

50 signatures reached

2016-07-08 09:52:18 -0400

25 signatures reached

2016-07-08 09:49:19 -0400

10 signatures reached