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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 127280 Find in a Library
Title: When Disaster Strikes Twice
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:52  Issue:7  Dated:(December 1990)  Pages:90-95
Author(s): S Cadeaux
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 6
Type: Program Description (Demonstrative)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: When inmates at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill staged a 2-day riot in October, 1989, the State Department of Corrections (DOC) used a variety of techniques to help the facility's trained spokesperson handle the public relations aspects of the incident.
Abstract: New media relations officers (NMROs) are responsible for gathering and verifying information, writing statements, reviewing it with the prison superintendent, and sending it to the press office. The press office then clears that statement with the DOC Commissioner and the governor's press office. During this incident, initial media inquiries were forwarded to the DOC central press office, while NMROs began to collect information and set up a media briefing area. A log detailed the series of events. Press briefings were held periodically to give updated details on injuries and operations. Despite these efforts, there were several broadcasts of speculative and unconfirmed reports. News media emergency plans were reactivated when inmates staged the second disturbance; the press officers conducted overnight briefings every three hours, while prison officials were regaining control of the institution. In this way, the press office was able to maintain the DOC's credibility with both the media and the public.
Main Term(s): Press relations; Prison disorders
Index Term(s): Media coverage; Pennsylvania
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