Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Report: Correctional officer 'code of silence' exists in prisons
News10 — Two years ago this week, Folsom State Prison inmates Michael Vera and Cameron Welch allegedly cut the throat of another prisoner at the command of prison gang leader Samuel Cox.
Four months later, according to court records, guards at Corcoran State Prison pepper-sprayed a mentally ill inmate while other guards watched and made video recordings.
In both cases, guards were accused of failing to report the violations.
In a California Office of the Inspector General report released in June, investigators talk about a practice of guards failing to report the violations and crimes they witness. It's referred to as a "code of silence" among guards.
In one case, the report stated two correctional officers allegedly stopped speaking to a sergeant who previously reported misconduct of team members. It says the guards called the sergeant a "rat."
Former correctional officer and union representative Jeff Doyle said, "That is what it really comes down to is not being a tattle-tale, not a rat."
Doyle, who now operates a prison employee blog titled Paco Villa, said 99 percent of guards are honest.
"The code of silence thing was really at its height when I first started doing the blog, and it's one reason the blog took off and became a success," Doyle said. continue reading...