Magazine article Corrections Forum

Mock Prison Riot 2004

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Mock Prison Riot 2004

Article excerpt

What are your options if an inmate refuses to come out of his cell during a shakedown? What can you do if two people on a bus are impersonating corrections officers and enter the facility with the purpose of assisting an escape or if there's a riot in the yard and the inmates have recreational equipment as weapons? The best response to threats like these and others were demonstrated by tactical teams taking part in the 8th Annual Mock Prison Riot held May 2-5, at the old state penitentiary in Moundsville, West Virginia.

The Office of Law Enforcement Technology Commercialization (OLETC), the National Institute of justice (NIJ), the National Corrections and Law Enforcement Training and Technology Center (NCLETTC), and the WV Division of Corrections jointly sponsor the annual event. Exhibitors get the opportunity to take high-tech equipment off the drawing board and put it into the hands of law enforcement and corrections officers.

"The technology showcase at the OLETC Mock Prison Riot is different than most 'vendor showcases' in that those invited to attend are the manufacturers themselves," says Diane Quinn, corrections technology agent, OLETC. "Many of the technologists are inventors and the products may be still in the developmental stages."

The Mock Prison Riot is one of those rare cases where everybody wins. The participating technologies benefit from field-testing and input from the tactical teams, in fact, suggestions for modification are encouraged. The teams have the opportunity to try out technological advances in "real life situations." This year, 95 technologies, which included less than lethal weapons, drug detection, concealed weapon detection, and firearm training simulation, were registered by companies to exhibit. Evaluated for effectiveness, participating technologies were rated by their ability to aid teams in subduing crisis situations, minimizing injury and saving lives. Tactical teams were trained and certified in the proper use of the equipment, which increases officer confidence and protects departments from future liability.

Although the events are simulated, the CERT response is real. Teams react as if this was happening in real-life-and staged events can take surprising, unexpected turns, as in real life. …

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