Contingency Plan for an Earthquake in a Prison

The occurrence of disaster disrupts the way in which systems in social setting interact. It is necessary for individuals to consider the possibility of such disasters and make plans to accommodate the eventual outcome of disaster. Contingency plans are based on a wide range of possible occurrences owing to the unpredictability of the events.

Correctional institutions are inhabited by individuals whose conduct is deemed unsafe for the rest of society. Prisons are targets of invasion by gangs, drug cartels and terrorists groups whose members could be held there (Carlson & Garrett, 1999). As a precaution, each prison should have a contingency plans to accommodate such implied threats. The correctional facilities thus contain individuals whose lengths of incarceration are calibrated according to the adversity of their social conduct. As a result, seclusion of such individuals is of utmost importance.

Carrabine (2004) postulated that it is upon the state to provide security and suitable comfort to facilitate the correction process. Since the facilities are as prone to disaster as any other entity, it imperative for the authorities to put measures in place to cater for such eventualities. Destruction of the correctional facility is bound to allow escape of inmates who are prone to wrecking havoc in the neighborhood.

Security in the premises should be assured physical means by a strong wall. A perimeter wall deters the incarcerated from escaping the premises in case anything occurs. Such a wall should be high enough and impossible to scale in addition to being an appropriate distance from the housing facility. Correctional facilities should have a quadrangle in which people can assemble awaiting dispatch. As a result, incase the disaster lead to destruction of building, the quadrangle will act as the location for emergency services to coordinate rescue mission.

The occurrence of the disaster is bound to compromise the reliability of the facility. Thus, the management of the prison should have measures in pace to curb any escapes (Rundle, 2009). A reliable paper trail from frequent head counts is necessary to establish the number before and after the disaster. This will enable the authorities to account for any individual from those present. Without a paper trail, it is impossible to ascertain the population immediately before.

A communication medium sufficient to relay the message should e available to enable the administration alert the concerned individuals across the compound. A siren normally works under such circumstances (Carrabine, 2004). The activation of such siren should have designated level of seriousness as a means of easing communication. Such a communication medium should have a back up plan to enhance reliability in case there is a power outrage. Responsibilities should be clearly laid out regarding action at the emergency. Emergency communication with off-duty officers to back up the situation should be clear. As a result, responsibilities during normal working should not resemble those during an emergency, except for the command procedures.

As postulated by Carlson & Garrett (1999), the assessment method should be efficient as a means of ensuring that the right kind of assistance is sought. Rapid response is required, which should be accurate and straight to the point. Thus, wrong assessment could lead to understatement of the scenario, and contribute to substandard responses. Rapid response should include assistance from a reliable law enforcement entity in close proximity to coordinate the search and rescue mission.

A balance has to be struck between securing the felons and protecting their right to life. Adequate training is required regarding the worst-case scenario in order to enable the officer appreciate the use of force guidelines and discover ant loopholes in a customized situation (Rundle, 2009). After the rescue, the prison facility should have a designated location where all prisoners are held in awaiting processing. Transfer to a different prison could compromise the correction process, thus the state will be mandated to provide another facility to hole the convicts.

Conclusion

The integrity of a correctional faculty is its ability to change the behavioral characteristics of the convicted felons. It is the duty of the state to facilitate this function by making the prison a facility, which keeps people out and in, as appropriate. Disasters should not come in the way of this duty.

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