Posts Tagged ‘Correctional System Forensic Nursing’

Innocent Prisoners

March 19, 2007

I have been doing some research on people that are wrongfully imprisoned. I find this a very interesting topic, as I am sure there were hundreds or maybe even thousands of inmates that were on death row and died before the courts allowed DNA to be presented after a person was convicted. There are an estimated 15-20% of the U.S. inmates that are innocent of the crimes they were convicted of. There have been several cases where the inmate was released from prison after the courts allowed the DNA to be entered after the person was convicted, and was certainly found to be innocent. I just can’t imagine being in prison, possibly serving a life sentence, or even on death row knowing that I was totally innocent. I cannot find a date that the first inmate was released from prison after being found innocent though. I believe that with the DNA database in place now that a lot more cases will be dismissed or they will find the right person responsible for the crime.


Reference to article “Forensic Nursing In Prisons”

March 10, 2007

I find this article very interesting due to the fact that I am a nurse in a correctional setting and it is difficult at times to have a nurturing personality as a nurse and be in an environment that encourages “non caring behaviors.” I constantly have to remind myself of where I am and the inmates are most of the time playing their childish games to see if you respond or to get a “get out of jail free card.” There are a lot of mind games played in a correctional setting. I believe the Forensic Nursing class taught by Dr. Johnson is going to further my assessment skills for inmates that have been victimized or traumatized themselves and to preserve and gather evidence of crime. There has already been several times I have had to gather evidence and preserve it until a detective is able to get back to the jail. The officers and I as the nurse work together with the inmates to ensure consistency among the inmates and security for all levels. There are a lot of times that I may notice something suspicious and report it to the officers and they do the same for me when the officers have found someone hoarding their medication. I would eventually like to begin working with the detective division part time to further my forensic nursing career and not remain inside the jail full time.


Seize in a prison

March 9, 2007

I just finished reading “Siege In Lucasville” by Gary Williams. Lucasville is a city in the very southern part of Ohio that has a maximum- security prison, which is Southern Ohio Correctional Institution. In April of 1993 there was an 11day riot, which was the longest and third deadliest riot in American history. There were nine inmates and one prison guard killed during the riot. Nearly $40 million worth of damage was done to the prison. Larry Dotson, one of the prison guards during the riot tells the author his account of what happened during the time he was being held hostage and a day-by-day account of the standoff. Gang members stating the prisoners were unhappy because it was mandatory that every inmate is TB tested and for some of them, this was against their religion. This is how the riot started. They were also unhappy because of prison over crowding and having to cell with inmates of another race. This book was certainly an eye opener for me since I work in a correctional facility.
The author also tells about the torture and terror that Larry Dotson experienced in the midst of rival prison gangs struggling to negotiate with the authorities and coexist with each other. Mr. Dotson’s beatings resulted in him being hospitalized for two weeks, several months of physical therapy, and years of emotional healing. He has also had to attend 17 post riot trials.
I believe the Lucasville riot was well thought out by inmates for a significant amount of time. There was extreme destruction of the facility and the inmates literally took over the whole prison. They used free weights to break through the safe wells that were intended for the officers to hide for safety. Authorities found out afterwards that there was no reinforcement in the concrete block walls. After authorities reviewed everything that happened during the riot, there were a lot of changes in policies and procedures. I think this was definitely a learning experience for them, although it was at the price of several lives and $40 million.
The hospital could’ve used forensic nurses during the initial assessment period when officers and inmates were brought in to the ER post riot. There was evidence and several hundred weapons found at the facility that had to have DNA collected, in which a forensic nurse would have been an asset to the investigation team.


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