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  #31  
Old 02-11-2020, 10:57 PM
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...to just be left locked in there cells.
You may even find some family members or sympathetic and/or misguided people take over from the guards by supplying food and other necessities. They may not have the keys to open cells or the equipment to break them open, but...
In the case of family or friends, they may understand that opening the cells and releasing the prisoner(s) could be a very bad thing, but given their personal ties, leaving them to die isn't an option either.

Could be a bit of an adventure hook there. For example a person approaches PCs for help in getting somebody out because they're no longer able to feed them through the bars. Person tells PCs the prisoner is wrongfully imprisoned/victim of marauders or some other sob story (could be true, could be total fiction). PCs help and release a serial killer into the world and then have to deal with the consequences.
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:24 PM
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As an alternative to mass killings or locking up inmates and literally throwing away the key, I can imagine a few instances where prison populations are reduced to the worst of the worst (violent criminals, serial recidivists), freeing up a lot of prison space and reducing the number of guards needed to keep them contained. Within the prison walls, the inmates have free reign. The inmates can move freely among the cell blocks, and can use the "yard" to grow food, raise livestock. Local family and friends can supplement this prison-grown food supply if willing and able. If the inmates kill each others, so be it. As long as they don't try to escape, they can do what they please.

Guards maintain a fortified perimeter and are authorized to shoot on sight if prisoners attempt to escape.
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Old 02-12-2020, 03:12 PM
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...Guards maintain a fortified perimeter and are authorized to shoot on sight if prisoners attempt to escape.
Possible, but I'm thinking that post nuke that will be the exception rather than the rule. How many of the guards, who shouldn't be forming anything more than a professional relationship with inmates, will stick around when supplies and their salary stops coming? May be a handful who do it purely out of a sense of duty, however given many of the prisoners in the higher security facilities (especially) have and continue to express great hostility to the staff, in some cases through physical attacks, any sense of duty would likely be to the job, not inmates.

At least in a POW camp, the inmates, while technically hostile, aren't sociopaths, etc. They at least can generally be reasoned with, and both sides tend (not always of course) to have a level of mutual respect. Many of those prisoners could be released without great problem, provided of course they're aware of the general overall situation, and this is shown in the game by many units having integrated other nationalities which in a number of cases include some who were once enemies.
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Old 02-12-2020, 03:46 PM
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Possible, but I'm thinking that post nuke that will be the exception rather than the rule. How many of the guards, who shouldn't be forming anything more than a professional relationship with inmates, will stick around when supplies and their salary stops coming? May be a handful who do it purely out of a sense of duty, however given many of the prisoners in the higher security facilities (especially) have and continue to express great hostility to the staff, in some cases through physical attacks, any sense of duty would likely be to the job, not inmates.
That's a very valid question. I didn't mention it, but the scenario I presented assumed a prison still administered by a state- i.e. the guards are "paid" in some way by a government of some sorts. Maybe it's just food and fuel, but in a world where such things are no longer a given, it would probably be enough to keep showing up to work.

I agree that once pay stops, the guards are gonso. I can imagine a situation where a local community might take control of administering a prison rather than allowing the release of its inmates into said community, but this would be a very rare exception.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:36 AM
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I can imagine a situation where a local community might take control of administering a prison rather than allowing the release of its inmates into said community, but this would be a very rare exception.
Given even just the passive levels of security on prisons, it would take a fairly hefty effort to get inside in the first place just to check on the status of inmates. Far easier to just ignore the problem for a while until it's no longer a problem....

And we all know people in general usually take the easy path.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:11 AM
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Just abandoning a prison is tantamount to releasing the inmates into the community. Without active supervision, most U.S. prisons wouldn't be at all hard to break out of.

I also think y'all overestimate the psychological ease of welding prison cells closed, dooming those inside to a slow, agonizing death via dehydration. The same goes for lining up all the inmates and shooting them, or whatever. I'm sure it would happen, but I reckon it would be the exception rather than the rule.
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:41 AM
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Just abandoning a prison is tantamount to releasing the inmates into the community. Without active supervision, most U.S. prisons wouldn't be at all hard to break out of.

I also think y'all overestimate the psychological ease of welding prison cells closed, dooming those inside to a slow, agonizing death via dehydration. The same goes for lining up all the inmates and shooting them, or whatever. I'm sure it would happen, but I reckon it would be the exception rather than the rule.
Hence the snipers stationed around the prison. Sooner or later, all the prisoners will be dead, one way or another.

And I would have no problem welding the prison cells shut, myself if necessary. As I said, we would empty out the prison of nonviolent prisoners, and weld the bars shut on the nasty murders, rapists, child molesters, etc.
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  #38  
Old 02-15-2020, 12:20 PM
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And I would have no problem welding the prison cells shut, myself if necessary. As I said, we would empty out the prison of nonviolent prisoners, and weld the bars shut on the nasty murders, rapists, child molesters, etc.
And these prisoners would calmly stand at the back of cells while being welded in?
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:50 PM
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And these prisoners would calmly stand at the back of cells while being welded in?
No, you bring mean-looking gun-toting guards with you.
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Old 02-15-2020, 06:58 PM
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Of if they get too close, you "accidentally slip" with the welding torch...
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Old 02-16-2020, 04:19 AM
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Just abandoning a prison is tantamount to releasing the inmates into the community. Without active supervision, most U.S. prisons wouldn't be at all hard to break out of.

I also think y'all overestimate the psychological ease of welding prison cells closed, dooming those inside to a slow, agonizing death via dehydration. The same goes for lining up all the inmates and shooting them, or whatever. I'm sure it would happen, but I reckon it would be the exception rather than the rule.
I am not sure how the prisons around you are built, but the ones that I have done prisoner transfers to were I live would not be easy to break out of, also someone was talking about using them using the "yard" to grow food and such, the one that I go to most of the time, it is inside, with thick walls all around it. You would need heavy equipment to do just about anything with this center.
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Old 02-16-2020, 05:24 AM
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I am not sure how the prisons around you are built...
All the prisons I know (and a number of other industrial facilities also) are built so that the passive measures will absolutely stand up to just about anything prisoners can throw at it. Sure, over a long period of time they may be able to dig their way out with a spoon, but that isn't going to happen without starving to death first.
Some prisons do have various tools and machinery which could help, but that's all locked away out of reach when not actually in use and heavily supervised - might as well all be on the moon for all the good they will do.
Anything above low security facilities are all steel and reinforced concrete with no available areas to grow more than the odd weed in the cracks. Low security (usually prison farms in my experience) are a different matter, but only prisoners who present the absolute minimum of risk get sent there and in a T2K situation have probably already been drafted or used as additional manpower elsewhere. The prison itself might end up used as a POW camp with a little bit of an upgrade, and later as a secure base for a military unit, or even local civilians looking for some sort of a solid fence to help keep marauders at bay.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:15 AM
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Most prisons here in the U.S. built after the 1960s or so, are surrounded only with chain-link fencing. If said perimeter fence isn't monitored and guarded (and/or electrified), there's nothing to stop people from scaling or knocking said fences down. Once outside of the buildings where the inmates are housed- which admittedly might take some doing- I can't imagine it would be that difficult to get past the fencing.

Getting out of the housing units would be trickier, but do y'all really think a couple of hundred men couldn't figure out a way to bust through a few metal doors? It would take time and a lot of muscle power, but it's entirely possible.
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Old 02-16-2020, 07:21 PM
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...couple of hundred men couldn't figure out a way to bust through a few metal doors? It would take time and a lot of muscle power, but it's entirely possible.
Not when they're designed to prevent more than a few men at a time applying their strength, and there's no suitable materials available to make rope - prison sheets for example are made to come apart easily when put under that sort of stress, mostly as suicide prevention, but also to eliminate their use as rope to go over walls, etc.

Even if you could get rope strong enough to handle the MANY tonnes of tension, getting that many prisoners to work together all at the same time would be an absolutely amazing feat of leadership. Most can't even work in pairs without somebody ending up with a shiv in the ribs.

Additionally, prisoners spend most of their time in relatively small groups (unlike what movies like to show), with gates, doors, etc between each group. It's really only in the exercise yard that they can be found in larger numbers, and then they're locked out of the buildings and away from all the useful stuff that might help them escape.

I really can't imagine the guards letting the prisoners have essentially free run of the place when they walk off the job. More likely they'd be locked inside perhaps with access to the kitchens, latrines and food storage areas, but beyond that....

I know here in Australia on the rare occasions guards go on strike, police have to take over. At those times the prisoners remain locked inside their individual cells with food delivered to them. A toilet and hand basin are in each cell to cover immediate needs. The only difference to that I can see in a T2K situation is the police wouldn't be stepping in to keep an eye on things and it's unlikely food delivers would occur. Might be a prisoner or two released into the gaol to attend to that, but they'd still be locked within the walls just like everyone else (just with a little more leg room).
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:25 PM
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I'm not proud of this, but the U.S.A. has the largest prison population in the world, and hundreds of prisons run by states, the federal government, and for-profit corporations (not to mention city and county jails, and juvenile detention centers). There are currently at least a half-a-dozen documentary/"reality" shows on television here in the US about prison life, and fictional depictions of said like Oz and Orange is the New Black. I haven't watched every episode of every one of these many prison shows, but I've seen enough to know that:

In some prisons and jails, inmates in gen-pop spend most of their waking hours hanging around in large groups and are only confined to their cells at night. In particularly overcrowded prisons, they live in open-floor dormitory areas.

In others, large groups of inmates work most of the day in laundries, kitchens, and workshops. Such inmates have access to various tools and machinery that would be quite helpful in getting out (assuming they could get into said work areas. See +).

Your characterization that prisoners can't work together and will only end up killing one another is overly simplistic and calls on the basest of stereotypes*. Prisoners have worked together to build/operate stills, pass notes from door to door in the solitary confinement blocks, develop working economies, and run various criminal enterprises from inside prison walls, and continue to do so as I write (and you read). There's simply no logical explanation for why inmates couldn't work together to break out of prison buildings in a life-or-starve-to-death situation.

*Even in supermax prisons, there are engineers, chemists, construction workers, etc. serving time for murder and other high crimes. These are people with knowledge and skills that would be very useful in breaking out of prison.

Yes, the prisoners would be locked inside prison buildings when the guards leave, but unless they are each locked and/or welded into their individual cells, they will eventually be able to get out.

A. I don't think most sane, ethical people would be OK with having a direct hand in the slow death of dozens, if not hundreds or even thousands of people.

B. Yes, there would be quite a few that would reluctantly do it, and even some would do so enthusiastically with little prompting. But, as soon as the prisoners figure out what's going on, there's going to be bedlam. Welding inmates in their cells is much easier said than done.

+To execute the simplest of breakouts, groups of four men, working in rotating shifts, using a metal bench or some other basic ersatz battering ram, could, with several hours (or even days of work), defeat a steel door.

All of the above is just for the United States. In several third world states (at least), prisons are essentially walled in colonies where inmates are largely left to their own devices. There are guards to make sure that they don't get out, and food deliveries, but the inmates essentially have free run of the prison.

Granted, Australian prisons might be very different, so I'll cede to your authority there. I doubt the Aussie prisoners are all that much different from prisoners everywhere else, though.

BTW, have you read Shantaram?
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:07 AM
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Most prisons here in the U.S. built after the 1960s or so, are surrounded only with chain-link fencing. If said perimeter fence isn't monitored and guarded (and/or electrified), there's nothing to stop people from scaling or knocking said fences down. Once outside of the buildings where the inmates are housed- which admittedly might take some doing- I can't imagine it would be that difficult to get past the fencing.

Getting out of the housing units would be trickier, but do y'all really think a couple of hundred men couldn't figure out a way to bust through a few metal doors? It would take time and a lot of muscle power, but it's entirely possible.
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I'm not proud of this, but the U.S.A. has the largest prison population in the world, and hundreds of prisons run by states, the federal government, and for-profit corporations (not to mention city and county jails, and juvenile detention centers). There are currently at least a half-a-dozen documentary/"reality" shows on television here in the US about prison life, and fictional depictions of said like Oz and Orange is the New Black. I haven't watched every episode of every one of these many prison shows, but I've seen enough to know that:

In some prisons and jails, inmates in gen-pop spend most of their waking hours hanging around in large groups and are only confined to their cells at night. In particularly overcrowded prisons, they live in open-floor dormitory areas.

In others, large groups of inmates work most of the day in laundries, kitchens, and workshops. Such inmates have access to various tools and machinery that would be quite helpful in getting out (assuming they could get into said work areas. See +).

Your characterization that prisoners can't work together and will only end up killing one another is overly simplistic and calls on the basest of stereotypes*. Prisoners have worked together to build/operate stills, pass notes from door to door in the solitary confinement blocks, develop working economies, and run various criminal enterprises from inside prison walls, and continue to do so as I write (and you read). There's simply no logical explanation for why inmates couldn't work together to break out of prison buildings in a life-or-starve-to-death situation.

*Even in supermax prisons, there are engineers, chemists, construction workers, etc. serving time for murder and other high crimes. These are people with knowledge and skills that would be very useful in breaking out of prison.

Yes, the prisoners would be locked inside prison buildings when the guards leave, but unless they are each locked and/or welded into their individual cells, they will eventually be able to get out.

A. I don't think most sane, ethical people would be OK with having a direct hand in the slow death of dozens, if not hundreds or even thousands of people.

B. Yes, there would be quite a few that would reluctantly do it, and even some would do so enthusiastically with little prompting. But, as soon as the prisoners figure out what's going on, there's going to be bedlam. Welding inmates in their cells is much easier said than done.

+To execute the simplest of breakouts, groups of four men, working in rotating shifts, using a metal bench or some other basic ersatz battering ram, could, with several hours (or even days of work), defeat a steel door.

All of the above is just for the United States. In several third world states (at least), prisons are essentially walled in colonies where inmates are largely left to their own devices. There are guards to make sure that they don't get out, and food deliveries, but the inmates essentially have free run of the prison.

Granted, Australian prisons might be very different, so I'll cede to your authority there. I doubt the Aussie prisoners are all that much different from prisoners everywhere else, though.

BTW, have you read Shantaram?
As I have said I can not speak for all prisons, jails, federal detention areas just the ones that I have been to. In my area none of them have bars inside they have reinforced steel doors with concrete walls. Only one of them has a chain link fence around it, and that is after you get out of the concrete and steel building. So yes if you can get out of the building it would not be difficult to get out the rest of the way, but getting out of the building with out either some tools and/or outside help would be almost impossible in my opinion.

Now having said that prisoner ingenuity is sometimes nothing short of mind blowing, so what they could come up with I can not say for sure. However the likely hood of having "a couple of hundred men" able to work on any part of it is not going to happen, at most you are going to have maybe twenty. As for the battering ram where are they going to get the ram? The most I have seen in a cell is a sink (light gauge steel), a toilet (also light gauge steel), a bunk(s) (thicker steel but still softer tempered), and maybe a shelf(s) (once more soft metal). So none of these will work as a battering ram, so unless they can come up with some idea that I can not (and as I said their ingenuity can sometimes be mind blowing so possible) so far they have no way out.

Now if we expand this out to the work areas for the most part the basic setups do not change none of the tables and such are really study enough to make a good ram, and most of the areas are designed to not have tools that would be very usable to escape with. However the workshops do have tools that could be useful (more likely more useful tools in the maintenance area then the prisoner workshop) but if you are planing on leaving them would you let them have access to this area? If you are planing on leaving and not coming back would you not want to take at least most of the easy to move tools?

I am not one who thinks that they would not be able to work together, but before we got to the point that they would be left in there cells to die, I do think you would only have the worst of the worst left, all the rest either having been drafted, or released to reduce the number of guards needed. Now yes it is possible that some of these remaining inmates have advanced knowledge that would help they to escape. I am not sure how many of the guards that would be left at this point would really have issues with just locking them up and walking away, as I said I am basing this on there only being the worst of the worst left. So if you only have the murderers, rapists, child molesters and the likes left and likely the ones who are anti-social, I think it is much less likely that the guards will have any attachment to them. It would be entirely possible to have revulsion and/or dislike for them depending on how they have acted during the time that they have been there.

Now lets go on the assumption that they somehow did get a tool that would let them defeat the door (or the wall around the door enough to get the door open) I am guessing that with any hand tool it would take several days at the very lest per door (lets say between two and four day per) the shortest route out of the one that I went to most often was four doors and that was from the holding cells where they placed the inmates that we notified them before hand we would be picking up, from other locations it would double or more the number of doors to get through. So we are looking at between eight and sixteen day for the easy way, now even if it takes half that time (four to eight days) this is assuming that the inmates started right after the guards left, that they did not wait any time. The more time that they waited before they started working (thinking that the guards would be back or whatever) the weaker they would become from lack of food (depending on if/what they had in there cell with them), now they will be able to last for a month or so. But the more hard labor they are doing without food the weaker they will become so tasks will take more time and so on.
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:15 AM
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My nephew was a prison guard before he joined the Army. (He's still in the Army, BTW, but as an Infantryman.) From what he described of his job (at the Huntsville, TX maximum-security facility) being a prison guard at a maximum-security prison is like Napoleon described wars: "Hours of boredom punctuated by minutes of sheer terror."
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Old 02-17-2020, 11:35 AM
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Wasnt there a Challenge Magazine article about a bunch of Russian officers who broke out of a prison they were being held in somewhere in New Jersey?
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Old 02-17-2020, 11:57 AM
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Thanks for sharing your experience, CDAT. You raise and reinforce some important points.

To answer your question re ersatz battering rams, in some prisons, ones with indoor common areas, I've seen metal table-bench combos bolted to the floor (the seniors at the high school I work at once detached and stacked many such tables in the commons as their graduation prank). Once detached, pieces of such could be used as battering rams to attack doors and/or walls. I agree that defeating reinforced steel doors and or concrete walls would take quite a lot of time, but that is something inmates have tons of.

What's stopping prisoners from doing this now is guard supervision. That's the key, IMHO. Without active supervision, prisoners would be free to try anything within their means to get out of prison buildings. This is why, if/when the guards go home (in a SHTF scenario), it would only be a matter of time before inmates would be busting out.

So, the idea that a community near a prison (and with hundreds of prisons in the U.S., there are many such communities) taking it upon themselves to police the local prison, rather than simply turning a blind eye or executing all of the inmates, isn't really far-fetched.

Again, I agree that at a few prisons, guards might take it upon themselves not to leave any inmates alive when they leave, but I think that would be the exception rather than the rule.
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:59 PM
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And let us not forget that most prison gangs have members on the outside and ties to non-prison gangs. Such groups would have a vested interest in getting their people out of prison.

I used to live in a prison town and I've made deliveries to said prison. I personally knew a pizza delivery guy who made a wrong turn going to the prison and was stopped by multiple armed guards. The guys with rifles in the towers are not just for keeping the prisoners in but keeping the prisoner's buddies out.

Then you have the various relationships between guards and prisoners. While most guards are totally professional you still get friendships between the guards and inmates. These run from guards who help out an inmate who is trying to reform, guards that do favors for criminals to guards that are criminals. You also get the occasional intimate relationship between guards and prisoners. I can totally see guards at a women's prison taking some of the inmates as concubines when they leave.

It's really a complex subject and it really depends on the prison. Some like Pelican Bay I could see some of the worst prisoner's culled. I could also see attempts to break prisoners out of the SHU.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:24 PM
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I have to agree with CDAT and Rockwolf66, The prisoners don't exist in a vacuum and some prisoners may actually have good relations with the staff (these are usually referred to as "trustees"). I think that the worst offenders would be marched in front of the other Prisoners and executed by any occupying force (particularly a military one). WHY? Because that prison or jail is a VALUABLE RESOURCE! Every correctional facility generally has...

1) A large dining facility which can feed hundreds on short notice.
2) An independent power supply (diesel or natural gas based) to keep things running during an emergency.
3) Communications with the local government that are at least "disaster-resistant" and the ability to coordinate with government agencies.
4) Workshops and Fabrication facilities for a variety of Trades including Carpentry and Metalworking.
5) An Infirmary with the capability to treat at least minor injuries.
6) Security and Surveillance for important equipment storage.
7) Most importantly, a ready "labor force" that they don't have to pay and can push hard without major repercussions among the population.

I think that most facilities will be converted into makeshift production facilities or repair shops with important resources stored there and managed by the "captive labor force" they have at their fingertips.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:54 PM
Lurken Lurken is offline
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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
I have to agree with CDAT and Rockwolf66, The prisoners don't exist in a vacuum and some prisoners may actually have good relations with the staff (these are usually referred to as "trustees"). I think that the worst offenders would be marched in front of the other Prisoners and executed by any occupying force (particularly a military one). WHY? Because that prison or jail is a VALUABLE RESOURCE! Every correctional facility generally has...

1) A large dining facility which can feed hundreds on short notice.
2) An independent power supply (diesel or natural gas based) to keep things running during an emergency.
3) Communications with the local government that are at least "disaster-resistant" and the ability to coordinate with government agencies.
4) Workshops and Fabrication facilities for a variety of Trades including Carpentry and Metalworking.
5) An Infirmary with the capability to treat at least minor injuries.
6) Security and Surveillance for important equipment storage.
7) Most importantly, a ready "labor force" that they don't have to pay and can push hard without major repercussions among the population.

I think that most facilities will be converted into makeshift production facilities or repair shops with important resources stored there and managed by the "captive labor force" they have at their fingertips.

Just butting in to fully agree with this. This is a very likely outcome.

Even if the prisoners get reduced due to emergency drafts or forced labour, the facility stands and should work as an excellent center for a cantonment.
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Old 03-03-2020, 01:22 PM
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rcaf_777 rcaf_777 is offline
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I would figure that you might some former military pers who are now police officer ordered back to full time duty, depending on there skill set while in the army. Some others my leave the police to volunteer for duty. In both case maybe you see retire officers coming back as reserve officers, special deputies or whatever. After the bombs hit you see Sheriffs do stuff like in the last stand

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Stand_(2013_film)
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Old 03-08-2020, 05:35 PM
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WallShadow WallShadow is offline
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Originally Posted by mpipes View Post
*SNIP* Most police armories were destroyed by firestorms in the aftermath of the nuclear attack. Surviving police armories have been thoroughly culled through by surviving officers or systematically looted. Even most of the destroyed armories were picked over by salvage parties or looters, but there are pockets of police weapons and ammo still remaining in the ruins of police stations.
I hope those folks picking over police armories stopped by the evidence lockers to check out what was being held for trials that will probably never be heard.
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