Keeping Prison Fatalities and Staff Injuries At Bay
In May of 2010, the National Sheriff’s Association and the Treatment Advocacy Center worked together to prepare a study, which confirmed what many people already expected. The study, conducted using data from all 50 states, found that persons with serious mental illnesses were three times more likely to end up in a prison than a hospital. (http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/storage/documents/final_jails_v_hospitals_study.pdf) While the situation of the mental health system clearly needs to be addressed, there is no easy fix. Prison facilities need to take steps to protect both staff and inmates from unnecessary and often silent risks, such as those found in restroom facilities.
Prison Bathrooms: What You Need to Know
It’s virtually impossible to predict what type of undiagnosed conditions your inmates have. Even those with a diagnosis may be improperly medicated or require more care than they’ve received in the past. With all the variables involved, you must assume and prepare for the highest level of risk to avoid exposing your staff or your inmates to serious harm.
Bathrooms are one of the few places in a prison facility where inmates may not be continuously monitored, and the same holds true for those with access to facilities in their cells. Porcelain or plastic fixtures pose a risk to inmates with mental illnesses because the items are easy to vandalize and may even serve as ligature points for those with suicidal tendencies. Jagged pieces of broken fixtures can serve as weapons for use against staff and other people in the prison. Inmates with serious addictions might attempt to get at the contents of your soap dispenser because some inserts contain alcohol.
Durable stainless steel fixtures, such as the OPS 1-Touch soap dispenser, are ideal for prisons facing the issue of housing mentally ill inmates. The OPS 1-Touch is designed with smooth lines so inmates can’t find a proper ligature point and its eight-bolt installation system prevents inmates from ripping the unit from the wall.
Since OPS 1-Touch soap cartridges don’t contain alcohol, there is no additional lure for inmates with an addiction. The warranty against damage from acts of vandalism lasts for five years and protects your investment from the onset of purchase.
If your inmates have access to other plastic or porcelain fixtures, such as sinks or toilets, consider investing in upgrades to metal pieces instead. While there is an upfront expense, you’ll save in staff time and replacement costs with more sturdy and durable equipment.
Contact the experts at www.vandalproof.org today to learn more about how the OPS line of products can help make your facility a safer place for inmates and staff. By taking the right steps today, you can prevent a tragedy in the future.