skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 165215 Find in a Library
Title: Remembering the Camp Hill Riot
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:59  Issue:1  Dated:(February 1997)  Pages:56,58-59
Author(s): R M Freeman
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 3
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After describing the 1989 inmate riot at the 2,600-bed State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill, Pa., this article profiles the occupational stress experienced by correctional personnel in the riot's aftermath and suggests a philosophy to help relieve such stress.
Abstract: The riot, which began on the afternoon of October 25, 1989, subsided in the evening and then experienced a resurgence the evening of the following day, injured 69 staff members, many of whom had been taken hostage or trapped in burning buildings; 41 inmates were injured. Eighty percent of the buildings on the 52- acre site were vandalized, burned to the ground, or suffered extensive smoke damage. Six of 10 cellblocks were gutted so severely that it was a year before the last block was restored for occupation. The interior fence of a two-fence perimeter security system had been breached. When the riot ended on the morning of October 27th, Camp Hill was no longer a functional institution. Each employee and inmate who was present at Camp Hill during the 1989 riots now knows that a seemingly safe and predictable world can collapse at any time, without warning. Even staff who were off duty when the riots occurred become anxious when they think about what might have happened to them if they had been on duty at the time of the riot. Many staff members accept the uncertainty of their jobs and show no outward sign of the anxiety they harbor within. Other staff accept the uncertainty of prison life and function normally because of the resources of their religion, background, or emotional capabilities. Some staff cannot face the possibility of another riot and leave corrections. Others attempt to deal with their anxiety destructively through excessive drinking and scapegoating. Some think about suicide and a few even attempt it. Staff anxiety is intensified by the aftermath of recriminations, scapegoating, blaming, and job insecurity. Adversity, however, can make individuals and the corrections staff as a whole stronger and wiser. Correctional emergencies are part of the professional learning process, and those who learn from them benefit personally and professionally.
Main Term(s): Corrections occupational stress
Index Term(s): Correctional officer stress; Pennsylvania; Prison disorders; Stress management
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=165215

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.