Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans' Tone.

In studying disturbances and riots in correctional facilities one of the lessons learned is that the tone of the facility dictates how violent a riot will be. The tone of a facility is determined by how the facility is run. An institution that has good services like medical, food, and programming sets a good tone. Equally important are the staff. If they follow proper policy and procedures, act in a professional manner and treat the inmates with the proper respect then should the inmates gain control you can reasonably expect few serious injuries or damage. Case in point was the riot in 1986 at South Carolina’s Kirkland prison. When 700 inmates gained control of most of the facility inmates helped hide and protect staff. Kirkland was a well run facility and no one was seriously hurt and little damage was done. On the other hand the Penitentiary of New Mexico was a terribly run facility in 1980. The prison had poor food, sometimes containing rat feces, overcrowding, officer goon squads beating inmates, gladiator games with inmates forced to fight other inmates, officers stealing from inmates, an infamous snitch system, poor day to day security, corrupt administrators and a host of other problems. When the inmates gained control of the facility the result was the bloodiest, most brutal and destructive riot in American history.

Poorly run cities can expect the same behavior when the thin veneer of civil authority disappears. Baghdad was a perfect example, Watts was another. Now it seems that New Orleans will become an example of what seems to be a commonsense cause and effect. Were things so bad for the citizens of New Orleans that at a time when everyone should be coming together to help each other survive a disaster they instead turn on each other in an orgy of looting, rape and murder? You don’t hear of similar conditions in other cities hit by Katrina. I can’t imagine such a thing happening in Albuquerque, a city I know. It’s not like we don’t have animals that will shoot down helicopters because they are “annoyed by the sound “. We do. But the carnage taking place in New Orleans seems to require a large scale disrespect for authority and morality. These are not random events scattered across a large city, it sounds like a city wide phenomenon that is keeping volunteers from across the country trapped in their staging areas. Maybe the media is over blowing the chaos and what we hear is not as bad as it seems but from the initial reports I have to conclude that New Orleans had to have had a very bad “tone”.

Update: There are looters and there are looters. In the first case we have dirty cops, which of course contribute to a bad tone in a city. In the second we have a hero that may face prosecution for utilizing an asset that the city should have utilized. Michelle Malkin, whose blog pointed me to this story, is on the case so I can feel assured that this guy wont go to jail for this. Maybe the Mayor should be prosecuted for failing to see that school buses should be utilized in an emergency when they obviously aren’t going to be used to transport kids to school. Help is on the way. La Shawn Barber,who by the way wants looters shot on sight, got this message.
You may get your wish, LaShawn. The 256th BCT is coming home. We are a battle-hardened, experienced urban counter-terrorist brigade of Louisiana boys who are coming home only to see our beloved State trashed and the animals running the streets of New Orleans. God grant that we be given free reign to clean out our city.
Ooh Ra!

Busses Update. B. Preston at Junk Yard Blog has done some amazing blogging on the busses scandle that will make your blood boil. Someone needs to go to jail for this.

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