A Message From The Warden

Inspired by this.

A Message From The Warden,

July 23, 2014

You probably know that there has been a fair amount of media attention about a recording of an incident between one of our Detainment Executives (DEs) and a detainee. The incident went viral on social media and generated news headlines. We have apologized to the detainee privately and publicly over the p.a. system, making it clear that we are embarrassed by the incident and the lack of sensitivity to the detainee’s desire to discontinue residency.

I’d like to give you my thoughts on the situation.

First, let me say that while I regret that this incident occurred, the experience that this detainee had is not representative of the good work that our guards are doing. We have tens of thousands of incredibly talented and passionate guards interacting with our detainees every day, who are respectful, courteous and resourceful.

That said, it was painful to listen to this incident, and I am not surprised that we have been criticized for it. Respecting our detainees is fundamental, and we fell short in this instance. I know these detainment incidents are tough, and I have tremendous admiration for our detainment professionals, who make it easy for detainees to choose to stay with us. We have a detainment queue because we believe in our prison, and because we offer a great value when detainees have the right facts to choose cells that work best for them. If a detainee is not fully aware of what the prison offers, we ask the detainment agent to educate the detainees and work with them to find the right cell.

The agent involved did a lot of what we trained him and paid him — and thousands of other detainment agents — to do. He tried to keep a detainee, and that’s important, but the act of keeping a detainee must always be handled with the utmost respect. This situation has caused us to reexamine how we do some things to make sure that each and every one of us — from leadership to the front line — understands the balance between detaining and listening. And that a great detainment organization always listens to the detainees, first and foremost.

When the prison has moments like these, we use them as an opportunity to get better, and that’s what we’re going to do. We will review our training programs, we will refresh our instructor for detainment drills, and we will take a look at our incentives to ensure we are rewarding guards for the right behaviors. We can, and will, do better. Thank you for your support, and many thanks to the thousands of exceptional guards all around the country who work so hard to deliver a great detainee experience every day. I am confident that together we will continue to improve the experience, one detainee at a time.

The Warden

The Warden, The Prison