Arizona Prison Flaws – Overcoming the Divide and Conquer Strategy

“The conflicting propaganda [or even their great ideas] of opposing parties is essentially what leads to political abstention. In other words, too much contradiction leads to the impotence of being an effective agent for a party or a group. However, to be honest, I witness this same attitude or behavior in my twenty years in New Mexico corrections. The nonparticipation of the free spirit is the result of resignation, the external symptom of a series of inhibitions. Correctional officers and union leaders should not chose to abstain even under diverse conditions. Subject to fear and intimidation, as well as other pressures, a group or party can no longer perform a political act when put in check by the mere decisions from its own parties. Never realizing that the lack of unity not only abstains their vote in matters of concern, they never realize until its too late that what have taken over within the parties concerned are general attitudes of surrender.

In my short five years within the agency I have witnessed dominance by the Central office group over 10,000 men and women because of one main factor. Thus their commitment to continue their divide and conquer methods discussed with the warden’s meetings every so often in a most riddled manner, has continued to provide them the dominance created as they control the overwhelming span of influence by the use of disseminating information to those same parties begging to be participatory but in reality serving at the executive group’s pleasure through clever strategies that pit one against the other in their ideology or strategic thinking. Carefully choosing one party over the other for a matter of consultation or mediation empowers that party to go back to their followers and break the good news. Doing exactly the same with the other parties on different matters discussed, they also bring good news to their followers and break the good news. Keeping them satisfied as if they are accomplishing their tasks, this division keeps the dominance in check and the others at a most distinct disadvantage when the dominant factor decides not to talk, to consult, or to mediate with any of these groups and makes the decision within its own power structure to impact the many who thought they were being represented regarding such decisions.

As long as the powerful forces within the agency, located on the fourth floor in Phoenix can usurp their power and willpower upon the different groups within the agency there will be no one ideal solution serving the entire department at one time. Playing these political “favor” types of strategic games with the leaders of each party or group is a tactic to keep them divided as each one seeks they role as the point of their party, promising to never relinquish such a position as long as the membership benefits from their leadership. This allows the dominant figures to feed each leader a portion of the pie in such a way to make them feel significant but in reality they being played as pawns in a much larger game around the table. The key is located here between the leader of the group and the memberships who believe their leader and will follow their advice, their lead and their message. By default, the director can choose to abstain [to take the lead role] and appoint one of the other leaders to speak and thus only one message is heard.

Once it has been established which of the four alpha individuals carry the weight or dominance of the agency, that voice, that leader and that message will be heard. It will no longer matter which of the four has loyal followers for they weaken themselves by standing apart with smaller numbers reflecting their own influence rather than the majority. Thus the power of authority takes over and becomes the leader by default of the chemistry inside that room where not one of the alpha leaders can come up with enough voices, enough followers and enough influence to change the direction so much desired by the majority but never reaching the ability to become the dominant force inside that room. In the meantime, the dominant fourth floor leader will continue to divide and distract, using rhetoric that has a resemblance of caring and taking care of business. In the overall picture, these issues are secondary to a much larger fundamental political issue and that is to remain in power to lead. As you realize that the parties you belong to and loyal to reach their own levels of impotence while they collect your dues and spend it on your behalf with no result in the finality of the mission, your frustration will lead you to seek another leader and another party. That’s how it is done. The dominant force remains in the lead and the others remain to be pawns in the game.

Feelings of betrayal and disappoint are strong factors in the ability to unit and stand up for one voice, one message and one leader. The courage to attain such a position means that multiple leaders must ask their own parties if they agree or disagree to join forces as one group and re-gain the control of the 10,000 masses that need leadership for fairness and wellness within the workplace and peace of mind when at home. Courage is divided between physical strength [mass], intelligence and will power. Those who have those qualities can benefit from better relationships and more influential messages to keep them safe and protect them from fear and intimidation while in the workplace.