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Inmates don't always hate jail

 

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Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Our facility has two outside work crews that sentenced county inmates can work on. The first crew works all day outside at a tire dump taking one tire at a time, putting them into a stacking machine, running bailing wire top and bottom then the tires are compressed into a square cube which is used by the county for road base.The second crew works at the county landfill picking up loose garbage all day. They do not get paid at all, the only benefit is getting outside instead of staying in jail all day. We do house federal inmates but the US Marshal and ICE will not allow us to use any federal inmate to clean or work outside their dorm or cell. State facilities in NY of course have numerous work locations for each inmate in addition to daily drug and alcohol classes or GED.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

I agree, Inmates should not be allowed to lay around and do nothing. In Ohio, Inmates in segregation get money every month. It is not much but 1 penny is too much for an Inmate who is locked down 23 hours a day for not obeying prison rules, regulations and policies. It is part of the entitlement mentality that is so pervasive in society today. If an Inmate doesn’t want to work, lock them in segregation, give them the basics and forget about them. They are the ones who cost tax payers so much money.

 
Female user mta7035 33 posts

I too agree that there are so many projects that could be done using inmate labor. Labor unions and folks at the ACLU would argue that we would be exploiting inmates by using them to do jobs that should go to law-abiding citizens. There are some inmates who are actually willing to work and could be taught skills that could be useful upon release. Our society has gotten soft on crime and hard on working people. Somewhere along the way we got it all screwed up.
Hard as it is to believe, there are some inmates who actually want to turn their lives around and become responsible citizens, unfortunately, they are few and far between.

 
Getty rf photo of cat and praying mantis Campi 227 posts

It has become more a right of passage now of days. The inmate population is too comfortable. With overcrowding inmates are given jobs that only require 30 mins. of work a day. The rest they can work out, play games (We literally have a Wii in the rec. Dept.) or sloth around on their racks watching tv. I think we should instead of housing them put them to work. There are roads that have ditches that need dug and litter on highways.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Yes, they do have it easier in jail/prison than they do on the street. I believe it is past time to make getting locked up a reality check instead of a vacation. I do not mean beating Inmates for the sake of beating them, However, my previous prison I worked at, in Segregation, they have TV’s and can get permission to change the channels. There are 4 TV’s on a wall mounted stand on each side of the block. They view the TV’s from their cells. I thought segregation was punishment for not adapting to prison rules and regulations. They used to only be able to recieve money from people on their approved visiting lists. Now they can get it from anyone. I know hundreds of Inmates that scam the public. There are a lot of gullible people on the streets who feel they are helping out someone. Yes, these guys have it made.

 
Female user mta7035 33 posts

You all hit the nail on the head. Society has done nothing to make jails/prisons unappealing. Inmates have more rights than the average citizen does. I cannot go anywhere and get medical or dental care for $5 or $10 as inmates can in jail. I pay $600 a month for health insurance and often am afraid to get preventative care because of the high bill that will follow. Yet, I am expected to spend my hard earned dollars to provide excellent medical care for individuals who often refuse to take care of themselves. I always thought jail was suposed to be punishment, go figure.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

What’s just as crazy,3 generations of family lock up in prison or the father on the north side complex and his two sons on the soutside.
Talk to one of the boys"CO with a record is hard to get a good job.".Poor coping skills like slim said.No support on the outside.They are back,only place they know where they had a bunk and 3 meals a day.
Some committed felonies after they where realized an show up at the prison gate to turn themselves in.Believe it or not!!

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Its amazing to the general public when I told them during a tour that recidivism rate in our county was almost 95 percent. So I would tell them for every 10 inmates released, 9 come back. Also the public doesn’t understand like we do what happens when you return a drug dealer or alcoholic or burglar back into society. Do you really expect them to find a job as a convicted felon? They have no coping skills just like Slim was talking about. How can you survive outside jail without money, friends or a place to live? I remember several boys who were 16 years old when I first saw them in 1989 come to jail. How distressing to have those same boys who are now young men at age 32 coming back to jail again and again. I asked a few of them, “what in the hell are you doing back here?” Almost to a tee they said, “I screwed up, got in with the wrong crowd.” As we have all discussed what prison is doing for inmates is “warehousing” them until they break the law, get arrested and sentenced again.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Very good point Mick. They do get spoiled and they have security 24/7, something else they didn’t have on the street.

 
Riot helmet Mick 307 posts

A lot of the time I find is that as most of their friends are locked up they miss that friendship on the outside plus they don’t have to look after themselves in prison we do everything for them, No bills, 3 meals a day, medical support etc. All of which they have to do for themselves on the outside.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

When I first started in corrections in 1985, the Inmates didn’t like prison too well. They weren’t treated with kid’s gloves then. Granted, we didn’t walk around looking to beat anyone up but, if you put your hands on one of us, you would think long and hard about doing that again. There was a reaction to their action. They learned good decision making skills quick, fast and in a hurry. Their were consequences. The segregation block did not have TV’s. Movement at my old Maximum Facility was not a right it was a priviliege. Now days, it is more like a college dorm then a prison. Last week an Inmate severly beat a female guard in Toledo and when they brought him to my old prison, everything was on video. That is what society has come to. Soft as a marshmallow. I understand that we have to be more cautious in the approach we take to the daily job. It was a deciding factor as to my buying 3 years of military time so I could retire early. I could not stomach the job any longer. They were treated better than the people working there.

 
Svt FordSVT 60 posts

Slim brought up many good point. Family and supports are huge Many of these people have none or very little.
Once they exhaust their stay at the Salvation Army or a Mission, what do they do? Steal for money, sell drugs, get hooked on drugs / alcohol. Then life spirals down. We provide food, shelter, clothing, TV, warmth, programs, etc…
What is there to hate??

 
Male user commander 277 posts

I agree completely with all. We had an inmate at SOCF that was locked up on a car jacking. Doing 18 months. 19 years old from Cleveland Ohio. He is still locked up as of today. Came in about 8 years ago. He has been charged and convicted of assaulting staff members a number of times. He has no desire to go home. In Cleveland he is but one of thousands of thugs who commit crimes. In prison, he has a reputation of being an assaultive person and Inmates fear and respect him. We just had recreation with him during cell extractions. He gave my 5 man SRT good practice even if he always came out on the bad end. People from the street don’t understand their mentality. We understand it all too well.

 
Untitled Slim 57 posts

It seems to me that many of these inmates have no family or support outside of prison. We all know someone who when they call we don’t answer the phone. You know the person, the one who only calls when they need to borrow some money, always have a sob story about why you should help them, and when you do offer help they either take more than you offer or rip you off all together. How many of us know someone who will rip off thier own parents to buy some drugs?

These are the people that make up a majority of the inmate population. When they are realeased from prison they are not wanted by their families and friends because they have burned these people too many times. How many times have inmates told us thier own family will not accept thier calls? But when these same people walk back into the prison yard they are not viewed in the same manner. On the yard these eople are looked up to. They are reveared for there ability to be able to hurt others without regret. The worse they are, the more they are regarded in prison. They feel they belong, and many see the other inmates as thier families. They join gangs and become part of a community that normal people can’t understand.

There are always academics that will believe that there is a goverment program that will fix everything, but once a person becomes an outcast among his own community, most times they will return to where they are accepted.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

I am quite familiar with work crews. Usually one CO with three to six inmates. Always un-armed which I think it should be for obvious safety reasons. I did those crews for about two years. We went to various locations picking up tires (hundreds of them), put them in a portable tire baler which makes the tires into a five foot square bail that is used for road construction. The job they did was difficult and very labor intensive plus putting up with snakes and mosquitoes, etc.I always told the crew with me that if you want to run go ahead. I know who you are and we have pictures so just run and make me a hero on Channel 4 news. All I will do is make a call and the entire Swat team will use you for target practice. Never had one of them even think of escape. In NY the minimum is 6 years up to 8 years in prison for escape.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

I can talk about it to much Jamestown but recently at my prison there was an escape during the day shift outside detail.basically these inmates are sent.about anywhere between 6 and 10 with one officer to certain designated areas for garbage detail or landscaping.
Well two of them escapedThey where caught a few days later.One had 4 months left and the other one a year.When asked why,added 3 more years to their sentences.Neither one of them had anything to look forward too on the outside when they where realized ,Heck,prison is the only home they know.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

I would like to see comments from my fellow COs on this. At another LE group I belong to a Professor started going after me saying I didn’t really know that inmates are like a “caged bird.” I went on the defensive and wrote back that after 22 years of being with inmates I really know what they think and why and they do not always hate jail. I have asked countless inmates the same question, “Why are you back here again, I thought you wanted to do something for yourself?” The answer is almost always the same, “I got arrested again for selling dope, for stealing a car, for robbing a business…etc.” So apparently some of the Professors and academia believe that inmates hate jail. Really? If that’s true why does an entire family get arrested time and time again for selling drugs? Why does an inmate who has been to state prison 10 times tell me he can’t WAIT to go back to state prison? What are your thoughts?

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