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Going from State Prison to County Jail

 

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Male_user Squeeze 135 posts

Here’s a wonderful article to read and explains the issue much better than I:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/asylums/special/excerpt.html

 
Male_user Squeeze 135 posts

Stick with the jail FRY666, I decided not to retire due mainly to job satisfaction. That or being Irish I just don’t know when to get out (with my insanity :-) ) No offense IrishAssasin you still have yours!

 
Male_user Squeeze 135 posts

There is hope. I believe we as a society are coming full circle. I read recently an article in the Journal of psychiatric something or other that one of the proponents of decentralizing the regional asylums is now lobbying to return to centralized treatment centers that he so adamantly worked against in the 70’s. However he would like to see more safeguards in place to prevent the abuses that led to the dismantling of the previous system. I agree with him there must be better oversight of potential abuse of the mentally ill much in the way of PREA regulations. He now recognizes that many mentally ill simply cannot function in community treatment and be allowed to be on their own. Much of the rise of homelessness can be correlated to that 70’s-80’s mainstreaming of the mentally ill. I believe that a study (if not done already) would indicate a greater expenditure of taxpayer money is wasted in the current system on collateral costs (ie… jails, police, mental health treatment, hospitals) than if many of these patients were centrally located. Most important these people would be getting better treatment since they don’t have to go find them. They don’t take their meds, take care of themselves, clog the hospital emergency rooms. While working here at my jail I also worked at Creighton Medical Center part time for the last 24 .5 years. I can attest to the number of mentally ill people come in the ER time after time. One came in (name withheld) 5 times in one 24 hr period. He would come in by squad, stay a few hours , be released and then a tourist would call a squad on him again over and over.We as taxpayers paid for this. It is a complex issue but i would rather pay for a centralized treatment center than the current system. Sorry, ranting again.

 
Male_user frydd666 22 posts

Squeeze, I would have to agree with you. We seem to have a problem, now all we need is a cure. Unfortunately, I do not think that most jails are set up to house the mentally ill, and as you stated, we are not trained for that task. Seems to me that we need more mental facilities to help the mentally ill. I think this would definitely help out the jails, and I am not sure, but I a thinking it might also ease the burden on some of the prisons. I am guessing, what will happen is, we will just continue doing the job the best we can and hope that someday, the government will say, “Hey! There is a problem here!” and fix it. Until then, I will look to folks like you, that have the experience and I will try to learn how to do the job to the best of my ability.
Thanks

 
Male_user Squeeze 135 posts

i can relate to your dilemma when mention the women. I too am knocking at the 60 door. remember that the women are coming from a hugely different environment than the men. Most women in Jail are there as a result of
crimes they committed but after many years of abuse,drug use and other factors. That is why they need to be classified from a “needs” perspective. The mentally ill pose even a greater dilemma for corrections. Many are housed in Jails as a result of the mainstreaming of the mentally ill from the 70-80’s where they closed the centralized treatment centers “asylums” to community treatment. the there wasn’t enough money or other resources to provide stable environments. So they go to the streets and end up in jails. So now the jails
resources are stretched and officers haven’t had enough training to effectively control those who are afflicted. It’s a tough job but rewarding.

 
Male_user frydd666 22 posts

I am pretty new to this, having started this job last October. I work in a small county jail. We don’t have many inmates, but we do have a few situations that prisons don’t have. Our jail houses both male and female inmates. One of the big differences I see between us and the prison in our county is the status if the inmates. As was pointed out, in a prison, the inmates have been charged and convicted of a felony. In our jail, we have pre-trial detainees. These are people who have been arrested, but have not been to trial yet. In their case, things are a bit different. In Kansas, a pre-trial detainee can not be strip searched without just cause. We can pat them down anytime, but only if we find contraband, weapons, drugs, or something like that can we follow through with a strip search. We have to be able to justify why we decided to do a strip search. On an inmate coming from a prison to our facility, we can strip search them anytime as long as it isn’t harassment. we also get our share of psych patients in here. This also presents a problem as we are not setup to handle psych patients. We have to monitor them constantly and be very careful they do not hurt themselves or others. As for female inmates, this poses another issue for us. Our female inmates are houses in the same building as the male inmates. this can lead to issues like male inmates hollering at the females, not to mention the basic common needs of females. Many of the females we have are either in for misdemeanors or pre-trial. For these females, incarceration can be a fairly shocking incident. This means, even though they are not on suicide watch, we still have to watch them closely while they try to adjust. The same can be said for males as well, however, I think it is a bit more prevalent in females. I like my job, and although we are understaffed as is usual in any job of this type, we still contend with issues like everyone else and we make do. I did not think I would like this job when I first started, but I am actually happy here. This coming from a person that is pushing 60 years old. I do not think this type of job is for everyone, but for my personality, it seems to fit well. I treat the inmates with respect and they treat me likewise. I just joined this site and have read many of the comments that you all have been posting. This is some of my education coming from the people with experience. I know I am probably older than most of you, but you have experience where I am still gaining mine. I have found your postings very informative. even when the setting is a little different (prison vs jail) there are still similarities and I there is good information being put out. So keep on posting and further my education. Thank you very much.

 
Male_user Squeeze 135 posts

I too have moved from Prisons to jail work. I have found the environments vastly different. A prison is different because everyone is sentenced, they know pretty much how much time they have to do and they are getting or in a routine. Not much happens in prisons on a daily basis in comparison to jails but when it does I have found those incidents to be far more serious than jails. Jails have few programs and more boredom for the inmates. the anxiety level among the inmates and staff is higher, there is more movement due to courts,evaluations,attny visits etc…but the incidents are generally not as serious. The inmates don’t have as much time to plan incidents as prison inmates do so they tend to be more spontaneous. The setup of officers are shorter and not as well planned either in jails as the inmates look for quicker gratification in the setup.
Women in jail are much more difficult to manage as most of them are on some kind of psyc drug and tend to be needy and whiny. Men are more predictable in their behavior patterns and less annoying although some individuals can be. We classify males on a security level but more jails are classifying females on needs basis. Any questions i can help only with my opinion from years of experience.jails are generally tougher to work in with many exceptions. I have nothing but the utmost respect for all corrections and law enforcement. No disrespect to any of us.

 
Male_user XDS.45 1 post

I worked here in GA for almost a year in an all female facility (state prison) and enjoyed what I did. Even though I was a male officer working at a female facility we still did everything here running dorms, cell checks, etc, etc. Now after about 2 months I was moved to our special management unit and worked there on a lockdown range for the rest of my time at the prison. Became real accustom to working with the worst we had to offer and mental health inmates. I received another civilian job making better money and accepted it in November. Now i’m wanting to go back to law enforcement but I want to go to a county jail where I can move on to patrol later down the road if I wish. My question is what are the biggest differences in working with female and male offenders? I have zero experience with males but by the time I left the prison most the inmates in our facility knew me and respected me for being a fair and consistent officer (something that wasn’t common here). Also just wondering for people who have made the move like this do you enjoy the jail more then the prison?

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