Organization Type: Corrections facility
Role Within Organization: Warden
Organizational Scenario: The mission of the Castle Rock Detention Center is to “provide the highest
level of public safety through the secured incarceration of criminals and effective strategies that will
foster the rehabilitation of prisoner behavior.”
Unfortunately, Castle Rock has had trouble living up to that statement as of late. The Castle Rock
Detention Center holds an average of 2,000 prisoners spanned across several different facilities,
operated by approximately 250 employees, within the county. There are two main dormitory-style
prison facilities, housing both male and female inmates, with one primary booking facility adjacent to
the courthouse that houses temporary holding for male, female, and juvenile prisoners.
Over the past four years, eight inmates at Castle Rock have committed suicide, and many other inmates
have filed civil lawsuits claiming abuse, lack of access to proper medical care, and failure of the facility’s
staff to protect them against sexual and physical abuse from other prisoners. The Department of Justice
(DOJ), Civil Rights Division, has begun an investigation and has already found a pattern and practice of
constitutional violations in the correctional facilities operated by Castle Rock. As a result of these
constitutional violations within the operation, inmates may have suffered harm and even death.
Preliminary findings of the DOJ investigations showed four violations. The immediate goal for you, as the
warden, is to address the following issues as part of a long-term turnaround strategy for the prison:
Conditions at the facilities were found to be inadequate. Sanitation, poor laundering,
housekeeping, and pest control were found to be contributing factors to poor and ongoing
health problems for inmates.
Overcrowding was also a major contributing factor to increased risk of health and safety of
prisoners. This issue is exacerbated by the highly unbalanced ratio between staff and inmates.
The facilities do not have adequate training programs for staff, both for day-to-day operations
and ethical development.
The perception of the facilities from inmates, staff, and the community is quite poor. The
facilities must work to restore faith both from within the community and with Castle Rock itself.
Crisis Situation: The DOJ has completed its investigation and has recommended a court-enforced
agreement to resolve the issues it has identified at Castle Rock. Not only has it determined there to be
more violations that before, but most of the deficiencies showed that the problems were systematic.
Because of the pressure to agree to the court-enforced sanction with the DOJ, you, as the warden, must
look to directly address the critical issues highlighted in the DOJ’s investigation of the prison. Funding is
limited, so you, as the warden, will need to consider your options and plans carefully when you are
developing a tactical plan. The following are the new violations as determined by the DOJ:
The facilities and the county-run healthcare system have not addressed serious medical and
mental health needs of inmates during the intake process or during their stay. The treatment
was often inconsistent and inadequate and led to many of the suicides over the past several
Correctional officers engaged in a practice of using excessive force against inmates, causing
serious injuries. Additionally, correctional officers have been accused of not addressing
complaints of sexual and physical abuse between inmates. Many inmates indicated that the
officers “look the other way.”
These issues need to be addressed in conjunction with the long-term turnaround of the prison.