Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Email: lori_greene@allegion.com, Blog: www.idighardware.com or www.ihatehardware.com


Apr 30 2019

ABC15: Hundreds of padlocks installed on prison cell doors

Category: Egress,News,VideosLori @ 12:24 pm Comments (11)
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I’d love to hear your thoughts on this news story from ABC15 in Arizona, about the fire and safety concerns associated with installing padlocks on prison cell doors.  Because of broken or missing security devices on the cells, and the danger this presented to prison guards and other inmates, up to 1,000 padlocks are planned to be installed as a “temporary measure.”

“I think it’s a desperation move. I think they want to show they are doing something,” said Donna Leone Hamm, director of Middleground Prison Reform. “But it’s a cockamamie idea on any level. It has a Rube Goldberg mentality to it. It’s just so dangerous. How could they ever ever justify in an emergency evacuating 100 or 300 inmates in a very quick amount of time by unlocking individual padlocks? It’s a no-brainer that it is a blueprint for disaster.”

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that code requirements for egress (even in prisons) will be ignored in favor of security.  This is a pretty extreme example, but not unlike what we are seeing in other types of facilities.  In the rush to add security, safety is sometimes overlooked.

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11 Responses to “ABC15: Hundreds of padlocks installed on prison cell doors”

  1. Jeff Tock says:

    WOW…all current sentences are being converted to death sentences, regardless of the crime they were sent there for if a fire breaks out. This can not be allowed to happen. Where did the maintenance dollars go? This has obviously been going on for a long time. I wonder how many other prisons are suffering from a lack of maintenance.

  2. Darrell says:

    It’s astonishing to me that people recognize and apply “common sense” the safety of exiting a prison cell, but in the next breath ask why can’t barricade devices be installed on classroom doors…

  3. Ronald Betschman says:

    Things will change when:
    1.) indictmetns are handed down
    2.) The State Fire Marshall closes the place down

    Until then it will be laissez faire.

    State run or contracted out?

  4. Mark Williams says:

    Wow!. So a lack of funding for maintenance over the years is now a crisis which requires putting lives in danger by putting the cheapest solution possible in place….. Who owns this problem? When someone loses their life, the foregone maintenance costs will pale in comparison to what the cost will be to settle law suits.

  5. David says:

    Wow… I wonder if those padlocks are able to be opened with a pop can?

    After subscribing to the youtube channel ‘lockpickinglawyer’ I quickly realized that there are a bunch of flaws and vulnerabilities with the majority of padlocks on the market.

    Add to the fact that you will be using these padlocks in an area filled with people who can be suspected to have a decent understanding of how to lockpick, and this sounds like a terrible idea.

    Although from what I’ve observed it appears that the doors are solid which prevents people from within the cell from accessing the padlock, however if you’re installing a thousand padlocks; I would imagine there are going to be areas which are secured via a padlock but still accessible to inmates.

  6. Peter Schifferli says:

    I wonder what imbecile decided to install the padlocks? Certainly warrants immediate dismissal of whomever was responsible together with any administrators who allowed this to take place. Shame on any and all who did not properly maintain the prison locking system and thus allowed this situation to occur.

  7. Bryan says:

    What is the world coming to?
    More idiots in charge.
    Time to investigate those in charge for dereliction of duty, where did the maintenance money go?

  8. Joel Niemi says:

    “The statement also said the prison staff has been working closely with the State Fire Marshal to ensure that emergency evacuation procedures are adequate and in compliance with all applicable rules, regulations, and laws.”
    I wonder what the conclusion will be on that.

  9. Paul Chastant says:

    Unfortunate, no excuses can be accepted. Having been a Facility Director for a State Department of Corrections the annual budgets for maintenance are ROBBED to support Staff costs, many of which can be questioned as real priorities. The bad and most common term in Corrections has become “deferred” maintenance. That said, there is NO EXCUSE for the unsafe practice of installing padlocks on cells to replace failing detention hardware. Designed for extreme duty, detention hardware rarely fail at one time. Maintenance can be scheduled and budgeted! All facilities have a responsibility to assure safety for ALL, no mismanagement of budgets should be considered as an option for poor unacceptable practices. Codes aside, as the article presents, this is just unsafe for everyone involved. Using padlocks will NEVER be the answer! Those who installed, as well as the leadership that allowed padlocks to be install need to be made accountable…..UNACCEPTABLE! Can’t speak for Arizona, but State Corrections generally is one of the largest budget units. Gives to question, where is the money going? Good and needed article!

  10. David Federico says:

    Someone got great backyard retreat complete with swimming pool, sauna,hot tub, etc . These facilities if in fact state run have dollars allocated for these repairs . Just like school boards have money for proper active shooter locking hardware. But hey human life doesn’t matter.Especially someone in for life. We have for too long been Guinea pigs for every thing ever produced and brought to market. One only has to look at the auto industry.

  11. RR says:

    can’t speak personally to turn of the century technology.. only familiar with electromechanical mechanisms that close cell doors and there is a secured manual override for true emergencies/electromechanical failures…

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