Summary Of Descent Into Madness: An Inmate's Experience Of New Mexico

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At 1:40 in the morning on February 2nd and 3rd, 1980 the Penitentiary of New Mexico experienced one of the most violent riots known to the correctional system. The penitentiary housed 1,191 inmates, during the riot 33 inmates were killed by other inmates in a 36 hour period. Although some of the prison guards were beaten, sodomized, burned or stabbed none had died. The institution was changing drastically new staff was focusing on coercion and violence, experiencing different organizational changes and variations with security procedures and restraints of inmates. Mike Rolland, the author of the book, “Descent into Madness: An inmate's experience of the New Mexico State Prison Riot” was trying to convey his overall experience in the riot. …show more content…

The staircase is descending, this can be explained by the downward operation of the prison, the riot getting out of control and the inmates lives being more constrict because of the overall riot. The months leading up to the riot was known about by inmates and staff, yet nothing was done because the staff felt superior to the inmates. The institution was also encouraging inmate to inmate violence by creating the snitch system. The snitch system was used to gain specific information, revengue among inmates and to gain control over an inmate. The disorganization of the institutions, new staff and inmates being turned against each other resulted in the upcoming …show more content…

Throughout the violence and the dismantle of the institution I have learned that the relationship between a correctional officer and an inmate needs to be about giving and earning respect. The inmates are still humans, just humans that made bad decisions during a time in their life. The second thing I learned was that as a correctional guard, you need to be fully aware of your surroundings and not manipulate inmates. The guards were ignorant with their own power and did not notice when there was clear indication of a riot. This contributes to my understanding of the American prison system because it goes back to what we were taught as children, treat others how you want to be treated. The inmates were treated so poorly that they felt they needed to retaliate against the guards. Working in a prison is a possible career choice for me, this book taught me issues that can arise while working in a prison. As a correctional officer, I want to be a productive and effective, I will be friendly with the inmates but not become friends. Treating them with respect will often times result in them giving respect back, which will make them trust and respect your authority. I will be attentive of my surroundings and inmate interactions. By forming a bond with the inmates, you will create a solid foundation of

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