Corruption is a common occurrence in prisons in this country and around the world. The reason for this is because prison environments provide for the combination of individuals with lost rights and individuals with full power, plus minimal monitoring. This equation produces inevitable corruption.
The antidote to corruption is exposition. Corruption happens under the cloak of darkness. Once light is shed on the wrong-doing, a sort of purification process occurs and wrongs are righted. Hence, the first step in a successful plan to purge corruption from prisons would be video tape all actions in prison, and to give full access of operations to reliable media sources. “Reliable media sources” means any media other than the establishment media (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox) because the establishment media are beholden to multimillionaire owners and run stories that are only beneficial to their individual agendas.
With the aforementioned in mind, the anti-corruption strategy would provide unfettered video taping and access to the daily happenings of the common prisoner. Often, when brutality occurs, it is a he or she said/he or she said situation. If everything is videotaped, then the truth will be shown.
Constant training for employees who deal directly with the inmates is a must. When one person is in charge of and has control over another person’s life, like in prison, the one in control tends to get on a power trip. The old saying, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely,” is unfortunately and aged old saying that still applies to every human being because it is innate in human nature to control those around. With this in mind, daily reminders to the guards of the importance of resisting the temptation to engage in corruption is the most important strategy to stave off corruption.
The bigger problem is when there are drugs involved. Drugs are bought and sold in every area of prison life. Both guards and inmates engage in this activity. Guards take bribes. Money talks. Guards don’t make a lot of money, so the temptation to receive $500 here, $500 is huge. Drug-testing everyone every week, or even everyday would break this facet of corruption. Hence, drug testing to catch whose on drugs, and video of how they got access to the drugs would fare well in prisons. Normally, tracking others actions is unconscionable in the life of everyday individuals. But when a criminal goes to prison, by breaking the law he forgoes these constitutional protections and should be monitored.
By implementing the aforementioned strategies of video taping, employee training and drug testing would cut into some of the corruption. Unfortunately there will always be corruption because people are easily corrupted.
Bernard J. McCarthy, (1988), Keeping an Eye on the Keeper: Prison Corruption and Its Control.
Jennifer Waite, (2009), Corruption: True Stories from Prison.
Mail Online, (2012), Prison Service ‘Institutionally Corrupt.’
Noel Lawrence, (2012), How to Prevent Prison Corruption.