To all Correctional Officers

This is a discussion on To all Correctional Officers within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by SIXTO I agree, people who start as jailers end up making better cops. In my relatively short 10 year career I can ...

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  1. #46
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    I agree, people who start as jailers end up making better cops.
    In my relatively short 10 year career I can say I agree as well.
    Friends don't let friends be MALL NINJAS.


    I am just as nice as anyone lets me be and can be just as mean as anyone makes me. - Quoted from Terryger, New member to our forum.

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  3. #47
    Member Array Thegear234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    Keep your enthusiasm, you will need it.

    There are a lot of lessons learned inside that translate well to the outside. I'm inside by choice, and yes, some of us are considered LEO's no matter what the "real cops" think.

    Inside you will learn about the most important thing, and really the only thing, RESPECT and how to talk to people, not at them. I've talked with a lot of city, county, state and federal LEO's and none have ever complained about a former C.O. who now works the street. If you can hack it inside, you really and truly can make it anywhere.

    Working inside the wire is a very negative environment. Yes, it almost like doing time yourself. It will be what you make of it. It can be boring, if you want it to be. You could use that boredom to do cell searches, work snitches, monitor phone calls, do breathalysers, and many other jobs that maintain the security of the institution.

    For the police officers that think C.O.'s are just prison guards, some are and some aren't. Just like there are police officers and there are Cops. To put it bluntly, I don't respect "police officers" but I respect Cops. You will learn the difference at some point in the future. Most LEO's can't do the job inside, and that is a pity in my opinion. Knowing how to talk to people is an important skill that I see underutilized by a lot of police officers.

    Take care, stay safe and always keep your word. That is the only thing you will have on the inside.

    Biker

    Thank you I plan on working as a CO while going to college for Criminal Justice and upon graduation will be going to the academy, and after working with the state police I will hopefully get a place working as a U.S. Marshal. We will see what happens.
    Live in yellow or die in white.

  4. #48
    Member Array Jcabin's Avatar
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    I'm heading to police academy in august. I'd like to stay in my general area, and if I cannot find a job with any regional police departments, I'm likely going to end up working county or state corrections until the hiring freeze on police jobs is over. I think it's a great way to gain experience that you can use on the street. Also since I want to stay in the area, it will give me insight on the ilk of criminal/gang/crime that I'll be dealing with as a police officer in my region. Learn the lingo, meet the people, gain some repertoire.

    I have a friend who works state corrections, and he doesn't advise I get into that field. He said the pay is good, but his co-workers are scum. Turn over rate is high, atleast 1/3 of each new group of CO's become mules, and then 2/3 quit. He see's alot of "cameras getting shut off" so the CO's can deal with inmates by whooping the hell out of them, or to let inmates fight inmates.

    He says he doesn't have nearly any co-workers he could call a friend or trust, he goes in, covers his 6, and gets out at the end of the day.

  5. #49
    Ex Member Array jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    my hat's off to anyone who can do that job. being LEO is hard enough, but being LEO locked indoors with hundreds of criminals, and no weapon but your wits? you couldn't pay me enough to do that job.

    i worked with a man who was a CO in a state pen here in PA. he mostly dealt with violent sex offenders. he did it for 7 years, then decided he'd had enough. he took a 2 year break from law enforcement, then went back, and is now working as a patrolman in a nearby city. he says that after working in the pen, working a beat is the easiest, least stressful job he's done.

    and, yes, COs are law enforcement, and are recognized as such by law. they're protected under LEOSA.

    my best wishes for the OP, and anyone else getting into this career. i wish you success.

  6. #50
    Member Array LethalStang's Avatar
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    All I had on me was OC, cuffs, keys, latex gloves(for searches or contact with certain inmates), radio, and sunglasses. Thats it. The only thing keeping those guys inside were the 24/7 patrol trucks running the perimeter.
    Quote Originally Posted by rottkeeper View Post
    If you are living your life worried about being a victim all the time and not enjoying life to the fullest, you are already a victim...
    -You don't know what you don't see-

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  7. #51
    Member Array UncleDannie's Avatar
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    I retired after 27 years inside the wire. I was a street cop for 2 years prior to that. I started out as a Prison Guard and worked my way up through the ranks until I retired as an Associate Warden. I still have my original Hat Badge that said Soledad Prison with crossed batons. I recommend it to everyone. It's a great career or a menial job, what ever you want it to be. It's all attitude. I was trained in the Walk and Talk method, and the other writers are correct. It's ALL about respect. Your job is to protect them from each other and to protect the public from them. You are NOT there to carry out some punishment, the Court did that. You are not there to judge them. A jury of their peers already did that. Your job is to guard. I was proud of my role and the job I did, as I guarded them and the public. Yah, yah, I know, I was a California Correctional Peace Officer, but my job was to stand between the inmates and the public. I stood guard, but always considered myself as a member of the Law Enforcement Community.

    Bottom line. Go for it, and be the best at it you can. If you find you hate the work, get out fast, before you get hurt or hurt someone else.
    Uncle Dannie
    FOP Lodge 55, RPOAC, NRA Life Member

    One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory

  8. #52
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    Thats some of the best advice I've seen so far Uncle Dannie.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  9. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleDannie View Post
    I retired after 27 years inside the wire. I was a street cop for 2 years prior to that. I started out as a Prison Guard and worked my way up through the ranks until I retired as an Associate Warden. I still have my original Hat Badge that said Soledad Prison with crossed batons. I recommend it to everyone. It's a great career or a menial job, what ever you want it to be. It's all attitude. I was trained in the Walk and Talk method, and the other writers are correct. It's ALL about respect. Your job is to protect them from each other and to protect the public from them. You are NOT there to carry out some punishment, the Court did that. You are not there to judge them. A jury of their peers already did that. Your job is to guard. I was proud of my role and the job I did, as I guarded them and the public. Yah, yah, I know, I was a California Correctional Peace Officer, but my job was to stand between the inmates and the public. I stood guard, but always considered myself as a member of the Law Enforcement Community.

    Bottom line. Go for it, and be the best at it you can. If you find you hate the work, get out fast, before you get hurt or hurt someone else.
    Outstanding career. Outstanding post. Oustanding advice. I bet your guys loved working for you.
    Gonzo
    PS - I have never worked in corrections, but I have a lot of respect for the guys/gals who do. I respectfully defer from the whole "LEO or not" question.
    "Skin that smokewagon!".

  10. #54
    Member Array ZombieShoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dripster View Post
    The best advice to give you is this. Be firm, fair and consistent from day one. If you say you are going to do something do it. Don't be afraid to say NO. You are going to be tested as all NEW JACKS are. Just stand your ground and do not give away the house and you will be fine. Trust me on this your co-workers are more of a problem than the inmates. Figure they are bored to death being inside and have nothing better to do than talk **** about each other. Keep your personal life to yourself don't ever talk in front of the inmates as they always have their ears open for gossip. Do your eight and skate. But I say this dead seriously If an inmate ever puts his hands on you you make sure he's the one going to the infirmary not you!
    and agreement.....

    I'm a CO in a jail setting. Two years this month. Spot on and let me add some stuff. (in no particular order)

    #1 All inmates are snitches. For all the talk about "snitches getting stitches" they will squeal like pigs on each other. Especially when they are alone with you.

    #2 Everything you write down is a legal document. Don't think of falsifying anything. Not only can you get fired for falsifying something you could in a SHTF scenario get prosecuted. If you say you did X make sure you actually did X.

    #3 Remember cameras are there to watch you as much as they are to watch inmates. Any report you write better match what the camera shows. Otherwise reread #2. ;)

    #4 When writing a report write what you did. Don't write what others did, don't speculate, or write a fraking novel. Make sure what you write matches what you did as well.

    #5 Trustees are to not be trusted AT ALL. They are the mailmen in the system. Moving contraband/messages back and forth between cells and doing other things when your back is turned. They may laugh and have a nice conversation with you but they will also be doing things they shouldn't be doing.

    #6 Inmates are not to be trusted AT ALL. I think this one is obvious. Now some inmates get mad when you don't believe them right off the bat but I just tell them my philosophy is "trust but verify".

    #7 Some inmates can be "trusted" more then others. Yes I know its contradicting #5/#6 but each inmate is a person and you will learn that some are more honest then others. Still verify what is being said though. Don't assume it is 100%.

    #8 DO NOT PUT A INMATE IN THE POSITION OF HAVING TO MAN UP IN FRONT OF OTHER INMATES OR EARN DISRESPECT. You will have a fight on your hands. If you have a problem with a inmate do what you can to separate them from the other inmates and you will find things will calm down faster. Sometimes this may not be possible.

    #9 Listen and learn from veteran officers but don't follow them blindly. You will learn who you can trust and who you can't very fast. Especially when it comes to security issues. Remember when the SHTF the "well Officer X told me...." won't fly. Not only will they say you should know better but Officer X will most likely say, "he misunderstood me" or "I didn't say that".

    #10 Expect to make mistakes. It's part of the learning process. Inmates will get over you from time to time. Especially when you are new. As long as your mistake isn't a "getting fired" type of mistake, learn your lesson, take your lumps if any, and move on.

    #11 Inmates have 24 hours a day to cook up schemes. Stay on your toes, keep your SA high, question everything (out loud and in your head), learn to read how inmates act/talk/body language. An example where I work: Inmates who talk about lacing up, getting sneakers to fight, are usually just jaw boning. If an inmate really wants to fight he's not going to go get his shoes he's going to attack on the spot. However if you ever see a large majority of a unit in sneakers instead of sandals and it's not rec time be ready.

    #12 Try not to treat inmates based on their charges. It can be very hard to deal with some inmates. Cop killers, child molesters, rapists, and others might make you want to spit on them every chance you get but the inmates will very quickly accuse you of favoritism and then work to take advantage of that fact.

    #13 When on a detail every inmate is a escape risk. No matter what their charges are.

    #14 Expect inmates to be able to find out things about you even if you follow dripster's advice about not talking in front of inmates or other CO's (which is good advice - follow it). I had one tell me what city I lived in. I'm sure he probably even knew where I live because he was that type of inmate who took over the cell and had brains. Remember inmates do have the ability to talk to people outside the jail. If you are allowed to carry a gun at all times off duty then do it. If you are in uniform going to or from work always carry. (of course I just realized what site I'm on so you probably already do carry. )

    #15 With that said....Inmates might do stupid things but they are not stupid. Don't treat them like they are stupid. You will get burned if you do.

    #16 Inmates who've been around the jail block several times and inmates back from prison (for various reasons) tend to be more mature and easier to deal with as long as like Dripster said you are firm, fair and consistent. Younger inmates who tend to be "inmate rookies" are usually more troublesome especially if they are gang bangers. They haven't learned the ropes yet. You will see older inmates (especially ones from prison) put such rookies in their place.

    I've probably gone on too long..... so I'll stop.....

    Good luck......

  11. #55
    Member Array ZombieShoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwood66 View Post
    Congratulations since jobs are hard to come by in these economic times.

    Retired guard here from CA Dept Corrections. After years at 3 different max security prisons I can say that I do not miss the negative environment. When I started I was young and had no spouse or kids so the job was great since CA pay was quite a bit. But after getting married and having kids the job really hit home how negative the whole place is. It really could not be any other way since you have to realize where you are and what you are dealing with. Being a woman in a men's prison was a challenge in itself. You will definately learn to deal one on one with many different types of people and cultures. I personally had the most difficulty with Muslims and hispanics due to the views of women in general by those cultures in a prison setting. Everyone please do not read anything into that statement. It is a fact of life in prison and if you have not experienced the prison culture then you won't realize that there is a totally different set of rules. Some say that prisons are a microcosm of the real world but I do not subscribe to that theory. When you are in a place that begins and ends with negativity in all aspects of their life then it cannot be that microcosm.

    My advice to you is the following: always remember where you are, watch your and your partners backs, the inmate is always lying no matter how sincere they sound, they always have an ulterior personally beneficial motive for everything, and don't be lazy. It is a trap that is easy to fall into to become lazy which then leads to complacency in your job. Like everyone said the job can be very boring which can make you lazy.

    This job will be what you make it but for heaven's sake do not take it home with you!

    The last thing I can say is do not become badge heavy as this can make your job so much harder. Respect is the main thing in prison for both inmates and guards and if you can balance respect with being a diligent officer then you can have a rewarding career.

    Best of luck to you and always ask questions!
    Another post I agree with 100%.

    Leave the job at the job. Don't treat your family like they are inmates even if your kids do something that literally wants to make you pepper spray them.

  12. #56
    Member Array LethalStang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZombieShoot View Post
    and agreement.....

    I'm a CO in a jail setting. Two years this month. Spot on and let me add some stuff. (in no particular order)

    #1 All inmates are snitches. For all the talk about "snitches getting stitches" they will squeal like pigs on each other. Especially when they are alone with you.

    #2 Everything you write down is a legal document. Don't think of falsifying anything. Not only can you get fired for falsifying something you could in a SHTF scenario get prosecuted. If you say you did X make sure you actually did X.

    #3 Remember cameras are there to watch you as much as they are to watch inmates. Any report you write better match what the camera shows. Otherwise reread #2. ;)

    #4 When writing a report write what you did. Don't write what others did, don't speculate, or write a fraking novel. Make sure what you write matches what you did as well.

    #5 Trustees are to not be trusted AT ALL. They are the mailmen in the system. Moving contraband/messages back and forth between cells and doing other things when your back is turned. They may laugh and have a nice conversation with you but they will also be doing things they shouldn't be doing.

    #6 Inmates are not to be trusted AT ALL. I think this one is obvious. Now some inmates get mad when you don't believe them right off the bat but I just tell them my philosophy is "trust but verify".

    #7 Some inmates can be "trusted" more then others. Yes I know its contradicting #5/#6 but each inmate is a person and you will learn that some are more honest then others. Still verify what is being said though. Don't assume it is 100%.

    #8 DO NOT PUT A INMATE IN THE POSITION OF HAVING TO MAN UP IN FRONT OF OTHER INMATES OR EARN DISRESPECT. You will have a fight on your hands. If you have a problem with a inmate do what you can to separate them from the other inmates and you will find things will calm down faster. Sometimes this may not be possible.

    #9 Listen and learn from veteran officers but don't follow them blindly. You will learn who you can trust and who you can't very fast. Especially when it comes to security issues. Remember when the SHTF the "well Officer X told me...." won't fly. Not only will they say you should know better but Officer X will most likely say, "he misunderstood me" or "I didn't say that".

    #10 Expect to make mistakes. It's part of the learning process. Inmates will get over you from time to time. Especially when you are new. As long as your mistake isn't a "getting fired" type of mistake, learn your lesson, take your lumps if any, and move on.

    #11 Inmates have 24 hours a day to cook up schemes. Stay on your toes, keep your SA high, question everything (out loud and in your head), learn to read how inmates act/talk/body language. An example where I work: Inmates who talk about lacing up, getting sneakers to fight, are usually just jaw boning. If an inmate really wants to fight he's not going to go get his shoes he's going to attack on the spot. However if you ever see a large majority of a unit in sneakers instead of sandals and it's not rec time be ready.

    #12 Try not to treat inmates based on their charges. It can be very hard to deal with some inmates. Cop killers, child molesters, rapists, and others might make you want to spit on them every chance you get but the inmates will very quickly accuse you of favoritism and then work to take advantage of that fact.

    #13 When on a detail every inmate is a escape risk. No matter what their charges are.

    #14 Expect inmates to be able to find out things about you even if you follow dripster's advice about not talking in front of inmates or other CO's (which is good advice - follow it). I had one tell me what city I lived in. I'm sure he probably even knew where I live because he was that type of inmate who took over the cell and had brains. Remember inmates do have the ability to talk to people outside the jail. If you are allowed to carry a gun at all times off duty then do it. If you are in uniform going to or from work always carry. (of course I just realized what site I'm on so you probably already do carry. )

    #15 With that said....Inmates might do stupid things but they are not stupid. Don't treat them like they are stupid. You will get burned if you do.

    #16 Inmates who've been around the jail block several times and inmates back from prison (for various reasons) tend to be more mature and easier to deal with as long as like Dripster said you are firm, fair and consistent. Younger inmates who tend to be "inmate rookies" are usually more troublesome especially if they are gang bangers. They haven't learned the ropes yet. You will see older inmates (especially ones from prison) put such rookies in their place.

    I've probably gone on too long..... so I'll stop.....

    Good luck......
    This hits every aspect of hacking that is important, listen to this man.

    Edit: I need to emphasize leaving your attitude and work at the door because you will subconsciously begin acting like that on the outside too. I used to notice it most when walking in a store somewhere and "expecting" the people to move out of MY way, the inmates always move for you, not the other way around. Also, you'll find you like sitting in places that doesnt leave your six vulnerable and you can see whats going on around you.
    Quote Originally Posted by rottkeeper View Post
    If you are living your life worried about being a victim all the time and not enjoying life to the fullest, you are already a victim...
    -You don't know what you don't see-

    1*

    NRA Member

  13. #57
    Member Array redwood66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LethalStang View Post
    Also, you'll find you like sitting in places that doesnt leave your six vulnerable and you can see whats going on around you.


    I am so lucky to have a husband who understands this and he lets me sit where I can see the whole room. Otherwise I just have a totally creepy feeling.
    Woman With A Gun

    Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession. - George Washington

  14. #58
    Member Array ZombieShoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LethalStang View Post
    I need to emphasize leaving your attitude and work at the door because you will subconsciously begin acting like that on the outside too. I used to notice it most when walking in a store somewhere and "expecting" the people to move out of MY way, the inmates always move for you, not the other way around. Also, you'll find you like sitting in places that doesnt leave your six vulnerable and you can see whats going on around you.
    Or you start classifying everyone....

    "Ok that guy is a 6th floor, that guy is pysch, that guy is a future trustee...."


  15. #59
    Member Array redwood66's Avatar
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    Since I worked there before I had kids mine were raised to believe that there was no way they could get away with anything because I would know. (trained observer that I am )

    That bluff has worked for 18 years and I believe in my deepest heart that they have never tried drugs or done anything illegal partly because they were afraid they couldn't get away with it (Mostly because they are good kids). They even tell me that now.

    I know what you mean about classifying people on the street. Why would anyone purposely get a tat with no color?
    Woman With A Gun

    Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession. - George Washington

  16. #60
    Member Array ZombieShoot's Avatar
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    yes....tats....

    A big give away that someone has been in jail or prison.

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