MCAS Beaufort --
Marines responsible for escorting prisoners to and from the brig at Joint Forces Base Charleston are called chasers, and are responsible for more that just the transportation of that prisoner. Chasers must be thoroughly trained for any situation, ensuring that the prisoner in their care is safe and treated fairly.
“Whenever a prisoner has to go somewhere, whether it be to legal or a medical appointment, whatever the case may be, chasers are obligated by their command to come out, pick that prisoner up, and drive him to where he needs to be,” said Sgt. Cody Prickett, a corrections specialist at Joint Forces Base Charleston and teacher for the Naval Consolidated Brig Chaser Class. “It’s important to us to make sure they’re qualified to handle and deal with a prisoner, whatever qualification of custody he is.”
Each unit has chasers and is responsible for the Marines in their own unit incarcerated in the brig. The course to become a chaser is intensive, teaching Marines everything from ethics, to safely cuffing a prisoner while protecting themselves.
“I think it’ll be interesting to experience the [military police] side of the Marine Corps a little bit,” said Cpl. Mark Cason II, a recent graduate of the Naval Consolidated Brig Chaser Class.
Cason is an infantryman with some background transporting enemy combatant detainees, but he doesn’t think he’ll have trouble switching to transporting Marines.
“You still take some of the same precautions,” said Cason.
To protect themselves from sudden aggressive actions from detained enemy combatants, Marines keep detainees unbalanced by putting slight pressure on the back of their leg. When escorting Marines to the brig, personal safety is still a concern.
“When you [are escorting] a detainee, you want them off balance. With this, you just put your foot behind their foot so they can’t kick you,” said Cason. “You treat them with respect. They’re adults.
“You’re just there to help them safely get from point A to point B. They should be able to rely on you,” he said.