I work at a Correctional Facility. It is a Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) prison with some 1,900 inmates currently housed.
Our facility is cross-fenced inside with a 12 foot fence topped with the military razor wire. Yes, you can get across it but you are going to pay a price. They have tried that here and the one that got across would have died in hours from the cuts without an emergency room.
I have experienced a full blown riot. This was only 98 prisoners but they trashed the whole mess hall and it spilled out into two of the fenced off areas.
These interior fenced in areas can be gated off to reduce movement.
It is just not possible that the staff could not get control if they have not exhausted their supply of CS [tear] gas. One of those large CS guns can fill a large outdoor area with enough gas to choke down the best of them.Then you cuff them all and they are contained. I have seen this happen.
All of the admin buildings have top positions from which the COs [Correctional Officers]–note they are not called “guards” anymore–can dispense from shoulder weapons canisters to any point in the yard to supplement the big foggers.
Is the potential for losing control a problem? Yes, of course…
Is anybody at our prison talking about it? Me… but not the administration that I know of.
My county sheriff (headquartered some 25 miles away) has discussed this with me in detail. He is prepared to protect this area if a general prisoner break takes place.
And when the electric locks fail they stay closed. You can only open them with a key at that point.
So, if the inmates take control of a few pods and some interior yard space: You retreat behind a series of doors and barred gates until you are all back beyond “central”. Central is the command and control center with all the electronics. If you lock [the facility] down and all the doors through to the admin area and leave by the front gate. The only way they can get out is under the fence or over the fence with the concertina wire on top.
Most will die inside once the water is shut off and they strip the kitchen. Most of the food is stored beyond the kitchen in separate security areas. Ultimately the smart ones will try to retrieve enough solid items to build a ramp up to the top of the wire; or dig underneath. After constructing a ramp they’ll probably throw a couple of mattresses over the top and try to get over the first fence. Yes, that’s right, the first fence. But then 15 feet away is the second fence just like the first one. But now they have to build another ramp by moving the objects up the top of the first fence and pushing them over. By this time the locals may be barbecuing just across the fence and shooting one or two now and then just for fun…
So, in my estimation, getting out of our Correctional Facility will not be easy.
I have sat in my car in the parking lot waiting for time to go in for my shift and looked at the security fence and thought “just how would the inmates get across this?” Given enough time, yes they will do it. But only under conditions where they are not opposed from the outside. But any locals who oppose them will keep them inside until they turn to drinking the blood of the weaker inmates. Cordially, – Joe in the Midwest