In the year since two inmates at Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis were responsible for the longest prison hostage standoff in U.S. history, officials have fixed glaring security problems and lax protocols that enabled the incident to happen, reports the Arizona Republic. Rules have been rewritten, security procedures beefed up, and officers and supervisors tested and retrained throughout the entire prison system.
Serious problems remain, particularly with low pay and short staffing that can affect morale and officer performance; some say another crisis is possible. At Lewis prison, staffing is slimmer than it was at the time of the standoff. In kitchens, oversized spoons and other utensils are tethered and can no longer be wielded as weapons. The door to the office, where an employee was raped and an officer stripped of his uniform, is locked and access is blocked by a cage. Gates around the guard tower, where officers were held hostage for 15 days, are padlocked. An officer on the roof watches inmates with a shotgun. An investigating panel called for more sweeping changes to prison culture, including improved officer pay and a review of criminal sentencing, which have yet to be done.