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Is it really as negative as it sounds?

 

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Remle riflepg irish assassin 286 posts

Either that or I always liked just out bit@(*ing them. Usually they left me alone after that and I got some good entertainment watching them look confused and walk off afterwards.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Working in a Prison is a negative experience. Everything around you is built and founded on negativety. Bringing a positive attitude into the prison is extremely hard. Inmates hate when you smile or are in a good mood and still do your job. Fellow workers can’t stand it when you seem to be on top of your game. Misery loves company. When they start talking about how bad it is, how much the administration doesn’t care about you. How the state thinks of you only as a number. Tell them this. I don’t work for the state, I don’t work for you, I don’t work for the administration. I work for my family. I come to work everyday because they pay me and because I want to. I follow the rules, policies and regulations because I have to and because I don’t want to give an Inmate everything I have worked for. This is for me and my family. Then walk off. You can’t imagine how quiet it gets among the negative people when you do that.

 
Remle riflepg irish assassin 286 posts

Thanks… I just try to tell the ugly truth how I’ve seen it and lived it. This career has put my personal life in ruins more than once,and if I didn’t have my own ways to deal with stress it would be very much worse than it has been in the past. I’ve ran the gauntlet of everything from depression to alcohol. Thankfully I had family and a few good friends to help pick me back up before it got out of hand. I tell everyone that having my old money pit shovelhead harley probably saved my sanity even though it always needs work,it gave me something positive to focus on. But it has it’s own rewards cause now thats my favorite way to spend an off day. Knees in the breeze, enjoying the weather and not even thinking about the prison grind. It sounds a little dramatic but I’m living proof that having an outlet hobby in this career really can and just might save your life.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Irish Assassin your are absolutely correct. WOW…. Love how you put that. Very nice.

 
Remle riflepg irish assassin 286 posts

By ALL means, find a hobby or something completely unrelated to corrections to occupy your free time. Reading, fishing, golf, walking, etc… anything that seperates you the person from you the officer. Destressing after work is just as important as having the right mindset at the beginning of shift. If you have a family of your own then make time to spend with them as yourself, not as an officer. Family and friends are the best support system around but always remember they are there to help you not to hurt you. It’s easy to bring the stress home and that just wrecks havoc on your personal life. I know from experience So long as you can find the best way for you to keep the mental grind of the job from wearing you out. We all vent some steam from time to time but try to do it in a way that doesn’t distance you from whats important. Corrections is a job, but it won’t replace the really important stuff.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Corrections is negative if YOU are negative. Its a career choice and if you want to get through 20 years or more you have to develop the fortitude to withstand criticism from inmates, being harassed, be sworn at, being subjected to insults and innuendos and sometimes getting into physical fights with inmates. You have to do your job professionally at all times. In Verbal Judo we learn to put on our “jail face” which is not what we are like on the outside. From years of working in a jail I can tell you that stress is the problem all of us deal with and how you handle that stress affects your abilities to be an effective officer. Be positive on the job when you start the day and remember that you are what you are and nothing more, nothing less. Don’t let the situations and issues take you down to the inmates level during a shift. The best advice is when you get done with a shift, leave your uniform there, change into civilian clothes and until you return for your next shift forget you work there. Don’t take the stress of the job come home with you and take it out on your family or significant other. Enjoy activities that make you happy and relaxed (not drinking yourself into a stupor). As they say in state prison…have a safe shift.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

The best way to deal with their games is to think like they do. When I completed cell shakedowns, I always got inside their minds. The most off the wall places to hide stuff is right in front of your face. Inmates will always play to your feelings. They pick up on what you like and dislike. It is the same in the real world. Con artists always find out more about you then you know about yourself. When they blow up your ego, you are more inclined to give them trust.

 
Female user Ice_Storm 1 post

I read this book “Games Criminals Play” as commented below. That book is awsome!! And it has helped me immensely on the job day to day!!! We should be versed on their games, and the way they test officers. I have been able to pick up on things before they happen, thanks to this book!!

 
Male user Probation/Pa... 1 post

Good advice from all – if you follow what they have said you can’t go wrong. Good Luck! BTW, I did 19 yrs. prison work and now in probation/parole and “the game” can be the same on the streets. Get the book “Games Criminals Play” and listen to good, experienced staff.

 
Oldpics 229 COGrim 25 posts

ssandy- Stop spamming the forums. You post the same reply to every topic and insert links to web sites. If you are not in corrections or law enforcement and if you are not going to contribute to discussions, please leave this site.

 
Srt misc 266 Striker 34 posts

I agree with mick and comfort…as for an elite SWAT team are you refering to the institutional SRT teams as well as State teams..yes there not SWAT as in the sense most people think but they do provide a needed service inside the fences..as a first responding person it will be the SRT who will be there until a local resource can be activated..so remember that when you get your but in a sling

 
Riot helmet Mick 307 posts

Hummingbird you seem to have a major problem with the Job. If you are a Corrections Officer then I would suggest you leave the Job you would be much happier out of it.

 
Lion Comfortably ... 154 posts

Hummingbird, I think you stumbled onto the wrong site, this is corrections.com, not iamaformerinmate.com

Some of your requirements make sense though. If you barely managed to graduate high school, that may be a plus, because as I’ve found over the years when you try to talk intelligently to most inmates, they just look at you slack-jawed with that 1,000 mile stare because you’re talking way over their heads’ and they have no clue what you mean. So being closer to their level of intelligence may help with that communication barrier.

And you do have to have a high tolerence for incompetence, because most inmates are just that, incompetent. They were raised that way.

 
Flag shakey 191 posts

Yeah what Hummingbird said… except

1. I said heck with high school and got a GED.

2. My ass don’t get fat for some reason ( it all goes to my belly).

3. What’s a dolt???

4. Did I mention I got a GED….oh.. never mind, I see it above at # 1……..DUHH

Man, I crack myself up…:)

 
Female user Hummingbird 2 posts

If you barely managed to graduate from high school. If you have a high tolerance for incompetence. If you have a hankering to sit around on your fat butt and eat junk food. If you can convince yourself you are a member of some elite SWAT team and not just a dolt with a ring of keys - yeah, it’s not as negative as it sounds.

 
Female user azcorrections 7 posts

well i think if your the type of person that can’t say no…and your working in this environment..your done…male or female….inmates can and will manipulate both, and if you don’t have your priorities in place, if you don’t value self respect, and care about where you work, you should just quit, before you compromise yourself..I have worked for the departmart of corrections for almost ten years…and i’m the middle of the road guy..i am a female..I carry myself in such a way, that male inmates think twice about screwing up. I have been on tactical support unit, i have been on the chase team for 2 years, i have been back up ssu officer (secruity service unit) working with STG’s.I am a FTO for 8 years, and right now i am back at the academy as an advisor for the second time in my career, help training new officers coming into the departement. For the next 7 weeks we will go over policy, and senerios, self defense, inmate games, discipline as an officer, and working as a team, learning to care and depend on your fellow officer, instead of looking for an inmate to fill that hole..no doubt, out of a class of 40 cadets i figure right off the back i’ll have 3 to 5 of these guys that are gonna get compromised.
and it’s unfortunate, but it happens…sometimes i think that when these new officers get on a unit..you have seasoned officers not wanting to train them right,they are sometimes disgruntled, and just wanna do their 8 and hit the gate..i have seen enough througout the years, we sometimes are the cause of these people failing in the institution.these inmates love praying on weak officers..and well if they aren’t being supported by us, then the inmates will eat em up…some people just have no self esteem..they get tricked bag by these inmates, and it’s too late for them to change it…
women in the prison system are treated either great, or they are disrespected by inmates because they allow it. coming to work in tight ass pants that leave nothing to the imagination is disgusting..as i woman i say that, because if i have to work a yard with someone like this..usually they are surrounded by inmates goo-goo and ga- gaing all over them. I’m not only watching a yard with 192 inmates but i’m also baby sitting the officer, who’s too busy giggling, and tripping over her tongue..it gives women a bad name, and its a wonder sometimes why they are not taken seriously. and thats coming from a female..I spend most my time concentrating on my inmates knowing whos who and where the heroin is coming from, and who are my problem children..its hard working with someone who’s holding up the building for 3 hours..the job is what you make it…if you pride yourself in what you do, and want to do the right thing..nothing or no-one will be able to sway you..an inmate is an inmate no matter what…keep it professional, approach determines response..learn how to say no…and say it with confidence…these inmates have nothing to loose where as you have everything….remember your work ethic. You didn’t get a job at the the prison to fall in love with an inmate. And guys you may make about 3,000 on an inmate bringing cell phones, drugs, but when the party is over, your packing your gear. Because these knuckleheads will turn you in…so just when you think I’m the coolest CO, these inmates think i"m the bomb….guess again….you’ve been played. It’s really quite embrassing to watch an officer be escorted of a unit by CIU, your deputy warden, and captain, and worst, your local police show up, with jewlery just for you…it’s not a pretty sight guys..wake up, and say no to inmates, they don’t care about you………..you are just a tool they need to introduce contraband into the institution.. if you think your not cut out for this..quit now, don’t embarass yourself and the department..and your family..if you even care about them….you don’t bounce back from stuff like that…

just say NO CO

 
Thinblueline riggsville 39 posts

Karma, as a 21 year veteran here in Jacksonville, Fl. (first, Howdy neighbor!), I must ditto what Mick, OCCD and Illinois have told you. You will see both ends of the spectrum. One of the things I tell our new recruits is, after about a year your family will tell you that you have changed. Your social circle will become other COs. Your head will be on a swivel coming out of stores walking through parking lots. Not that any of this is bad.

Personally, If I knew that I had to do another 20 years where I am, I would do it with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. Don’t get me wrong, my EOS date is circled on the calendar (April 13, 2013…but who’s counting LOL).

There are female officers that I would have no problems with them filling in on my crew. Then there are the ones, well, you know. One of the differences between the two that comes to mind is MINDSET. How you conduct yourself. Human nature is human nature. I have seen little petite small frame females do just fine with big ol’ “John Coffee” size inmates (see The Green Mile to find out who John Coffee is…i.e. BIG).

As for watching out for blackmailing. Use the “Bell, Book and Candle” to vet your decisions. If you have to make a decision, first is there anything written “in the book”. guidelines, rules SOP, etc. Second do “bells” go off..Your concince. Last, how would you feel about your decision in the “Light of day”? As in if you read about it in the newspaper. Or would you make the same decision if your mom or dad or pastor or sheriff where standing there.

 
Male user Illinois Won... 15 posts

First of all, I am with Mick. The only way a C/O is going to get blackmailed is if he or she gives an inmate a tool to blackmail with. I wonder, though, if your friend is referring to inmates “spinning” the C/O. That is a daily pitfall that only experience and wisdom can keep in check. I’ve been a C/O over 8 years, and I still remember inmates spinning me daily for the first year or two. That was made worse by the fact that we were a brand new facility. 90% of us were new hires, without the wisdom, training, and support of experienced C/O’s. I still get spun occasionally, but I usually know it when it happens now.
At our institution, female C/O’s are usually well respected. Yes, there is way too much “reckless eyeballing”, but one word out of line to a female gets an inmate a one way ticket to seg for at least 30 days…zero tolerance. While our administration sux, they do get that right.

IW

 
Male user OCCD 57 posts

Corrections, like most things in life, is what you make of it. Like everything else, it’s 90% attitude and respect. And it’s much easier if you generally like people and are outgoing. At the same time, a little paranoia is helpful, because being paranoid DOES NOT mean that they are’nt out to get you. Because they are. Everyday. So a strong, balanced personality, strong values and a higher faith will generally get you through the rough spots. But don’t EVER kid yourself: no matter how experienced or knowledgeable you get, inmates will ALWAYS be better at deception an dmanipulation than you are. Because it comes naturally to them. And that’s how they survive and even make a living. Good habits and discipline early on can prevent a world of problems later.

 
Riot helmet Mick 307 posts

The truthful answer is that it’s a mixture of both good and bad. But in saying that the good vastly out weights the bad. This Job is not for everyone. Yes you will have inmate testing you but as you gain in experience the less that happens. And yes you occasionally get assaulted but one joins the Job knowing that this is a possibility.

As for blackmailing Officers this is thankfully very rare. And will only happen if you let yourself get into a position where they can. On the plus side you will form friendships that will last a life time. You will be doing a Job that is a valuable resource to your community and satisfying for yourself.

As for different prisons. Each prison has it’s own personality so to speak. A Super Max facility will be a much different beast to an Low Security Prison. But each will have their own problems and ways of dealing with them.

As happens with many of my friends they would not like to have their daughters working in the Job. Why? Because the Job opens your eyes to the underbelly of society. It makes you harder and more cynical. So I think that your friends father may be painting a blacker picture of the Job than is really necessary to keep his daughter away.We have many female Officers working with us and they have less problems working in the male prisons than with females.

So if you do decide to join you will find a Job that is interesting and at times exciting. Each day brings something new. The best way to describe this Job is like being a Police Officer of a small city inhabited entirely by criminals. And that is what you have to deal with on a daily basis. So if you are up for a challenging career then roll the dice and see if’s for you.

 
Female user Karma5414 2 posts

I’m not asking to be coddled…I do want the truth, but I thought I’d form a better view of the job if I talked with more than one person. We have a correctional facility in our town, and I’ve been curious as to employment opportunities there. However, I spoke with a friend of mine (her father works at the facility), and she paints a rather bleak picture.

She describes constant sexual harrassment. Women officers getting bodily fluids thrown at them. Inmates playing psychological games and blackmailing officers into bringing them illegal contraband. She also describes various correctional officers being attacked by inmates.

On the other hand, I have another friend who worked at a correctional facility in the Macon area, and she said the job was quite pleasant. Inmates were rowdy but usually respectful and most of her job was spent outside doing perimeter sweeps.

I suppose the difference in views could stem largely from the difference between the two prisons (the harsh outlook was based on the comings and goings at the correctional facility in Valdosta, GA), but I’d like to know what the “standard” is at most prisons.

And if anyone also knows first-hand experience of the Valdosta correctional facility, that would be very helpful as well.

One more thing: I am female. So any and all perspectives from women officers would be invaluable.

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