Entries tagged with “Corrections officers

Facts & Research

New Voices

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May 02, 2024

Articles of Interest: Missouri and Oklahoma Corrections Officials Describe Psychological Toll of Performing Executions

An April 28, 2024 report by Ed Pilkington in The Guardian chron­i­cles the trau­ma expe­ri­ences by prison offi­cials assigned to car­ry out exe­cu­tions. Oklahoma cor­rec­tion­al offi­cers asked Attorney General Gentner Drummond to slow the pace of exe­cu­tions, cit­ing last­ing trau­ma,” Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and alco­hol abuse among staff due to fre­quent exe­cu­tions in the state. Former cor­rec­tions direc­tor Justin Jones told Mr. Pilkington, It affects your men­tal state when it becomes so rou­tine,” to per­form exe­cu­tions. When AG Drummond brought the request to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, Judge…

Policy Issues

Victims' Families

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Clemency

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New Voices

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Jan 22, 2020

Corrections Personnel, Victims’ Families, Jurors Urge Clemency for Tennessee Death-Row Lifesaver”

Saying that Nicholas Sutton has gone from a life-tak­er to a life-saver,” lawyers for the Tennessee death-row pris­on­er filed an appli­ca­tion for clemen­cy with Governor Bill Lee on January 14, 2020. The clemen­cy appli­ca­tion, which requests that Lee com­mute Sutton’s sen­tence to life with­out parole, con­tained affi­davits of sup­port from sev­en Tennessee cor­rec­tion­al offi­cials, mem­bers of the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies, and five of the jurors in the case.

Facts & Research

New Voices

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Federal Death Penalty

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Aug 05, 2019

Former National Corrections Chief Warns of Dangers Federal Execution Plan Poses for Prison Personnel

A for­mer high-rank­ing fed­er­al cor­rec­tions offi­cial has warned that the fed­er­al government’s plan to exe­cute five pris­on­ers over a five-week peri­od in December and January risks seri­ous­ly trau­ma­tiz­ing cor­rec­tion­al work­ers. Allen Ault (pic­tured) is a for­mer chief of the Justice Department’s National Institute of Corrections who also served as cor­rec­tions com­mis­sion­er in Georgia, Mississippi, and Colorado, and as chair­man of the Florida Department of Corrections. In a July 31, 2019 op-ed in The Washington Post, Ault says, I know from my own first­hand expe­ri­ences, super­vis­ing exe­cu­tions as a state director…

Policy Issues

Mental Illness

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New Voices

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Botched Executions

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Feb 27, 2023

Former Oklahoma Corrections Officials Criticize Relentless Pace of Executions”

In a let­ter to Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond, dat­ed January 13, 2023, nine for­mer Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) offi­cials called atten­tion to the trau­ma expe­ri­enced by prison staff from repeat­ed exe­cu­tions. The relent­less pace of exe­cu­tions means the prison nev­er real­ly returns to nor­mal oper­a­tions after the emo­tion­al and logis­ti­cal upheaval of an exe­cu­tion,” explained the offi­cials. Indeed, reports from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary describe near-con­stant mock exe­cu­tions being con­duct­ed with­in earshot of pris­on­ers’ cells, staff offices, and vis­it­ing rooms.”

Facts & Research

New Voices

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Conditions on Death Row

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Jul 29, 2019

Former Pennsylvania Prison Superintendent Describes Toll of Working on Death Row

A for­mer Pennsylvania death-row prison super­in­ten­dent says work­ing on death row makes cor­rec­tions per­son­nel feel less human” and can be pro­found­ly dam­ag­ing” psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly. Cynthia Link (pic­tured) served as the Superintendent of Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institution at Graterford from 2015 to 2018, dur­ing a peri­od in which the prison housed more than 20 of the Commonwealth’s death row pris­on­ers. In a July 16, 2019 op-ed for Penn Live, Link describes the psy­cho­log­i­cal toll that cor­rec­tions offi­cers face when work­ing on death row. She explains the chal­leng­ing nature of work­ing with condemned…

Policy Issues

Victims' Families

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New Voices

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Federal Death Penalty

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Nov 13, 2019

Former State and Federal Judges, Prosecutors, and Law Enforcement Officials and Families of Murder Victims Urge Federal Government to Call Off Executions

Hundreds of for­mer state and fed­er­al judges, pros­e­cu­tors, law enforce­ment and cor­rec­tions offi­cials, and fam­i­ly mem­bers of homi­cide vic­tims have signed on to a series of let­ters urg­ing the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment to halt the five fed­er­al exe­cu­tions sched­uled for December 2019 and January 2020. In four sep­a­rate let­ters addressed to President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr, 175 fam­i­ly mem­bers of mur­der vic­tims, 65 for­mer state and fed­er­al judges, 59 cur­rent and for­mer state and fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tors and law enforce­ment offi­cials, and 26 for­mer cor­rec­tion­al pro­fes­sion­als offered diverse perspectives…

Facts & Research

New Voices

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Apr 20, 2020

Jerry Givens, Former Executioner Who Became Outspoken Critic of Death Penalty, Dies at 67

Jerry Givens (pic­tured), who per­formed 62 exe­cu­tions dur­ing his time as a Virginia cor­rec­tions offi­cer, but lat­er became an activist against the death penal­ty, died April 13, 2020 of COVID-19. He was 67 years old. During his 17 years (1982 – 1999) as a mem­ber of Virginia’s exe­cu­tion team, the com­mon­wealth per­formed more exe­cu­tions than any oth­er state except Texas.

Executions

Methods of Execution

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Apr 27, 2023

New Podcast: Discussion with Ron McAndrew, Former Florida Warden Who Presided Over Executions

In the lat­est episode of Discussions with DPIC, Anne Holsinger, Managing Director of DPIC, inter­views Ron McAndrew (pic­tured), a for­mer Florida Prison Warden who wit­nessed exe­cu­tions using elec­tro­cu­tion and lethal injec­tion in Florida and Texas. He offers reflec­tions on the neg­a­tive impact that exe­cu­tions have on the fam­i­lies of both the vic­tim and the con­demned, the cor­rec­tion­al offi­cers, and on himself.

Facts & Research

New Voices

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Feb 21, 2023

NEW PODCAST: Former Prison Superintendent Frank Thompson on How Executions Affect Corrections Officers

In the February 2023 edi­tion of Discussions with DPIC, for­mer Oregon Superintendent of Prisons Frank Thompson speaks with DPIC Managing Director Anne Holsinger about how his expe­ri­ences as a cor­rec­tions offi­cer — as well as being a mur­der victim’s fam­i­ly mem­ber — have affect­ed his views on cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. Thompson over­saw the only two exe­cu­tions per­formed in Oregon in the past 50 years and was respon­si­ble for devel­op­ing the exe­cu­tion pro­to­col. He said the process of per­form­ing exe­cu­tions cre­at­ed an addi­tion­al group of vic­tims” among the prison staff. Seeing the stress it caused him…

Executions

Methods of Execution

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Botched Executions

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Apr 27, 2023

Ron McAndrew, Former Florida Warden Who Presided Over Executions

In the lat­est episode of Discussions with DPIC,” Anne Holsinger, Managing Director of DPIC, inter­views Ron McAndrew, a for­mer Florida Prison Warden who wit­nessed exe­cu­tions using elec­tro­cu­tion and lethal injec­tion in Florida and Texas. He offers reflec­tions on the neg­a­tive impact that exe­cu­tions have on the fam­i­lies of both the vic­tim and the con­demned, the cor­rec­tion­al offi­cers, and on himself.

Executions

Methods of Execution

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Dec 08, 2021

South Carolina Execution Practices are Shrouded in Secrecy

As South Carolina pre­pares pro­ce­dures for car­ry­ing out exe­cu­tions via fir­ing squad, an inves­ti­ga­tion by Columbia’s dai­ly news­pa­per, The State, reports that impor­tant infor­ma­tion about the exe­cu­tion process and the sources of mate­ri­als to be used in exe­cu­tions is being hid­den from the public.

Facts & Research

New Voices

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Nov 12, 2021

South Carolina Execution-Team Members Talk of Debilitating Emotional Toll of Capital Punishment, Former Warden Calls Death Penalty Inequitable’

South Carolina cor­rec­tion­al staff who par­tic­i­pat­ed in exe­cu­tions suf­fered life-alter­ing trau­ma that was wors­ened by an inflex­i­ble prison admin­is­tra­tion that pro­vid­ed lit­tle sup­port to address the psy­cho­log­i­cal injuries they sus­tained. Two senior staff mem­bers are now on dis­abil­i­ty, unable to work, and are suf­fer­ing from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Depression. A third mem­ber of the exe­cu­tion team end­ed his own life by suicide.