|Shoe-eating & Other Oddities–From CO Wife|
|By Caterina Spinaris|
Editors Note: The following was submitted by Caterina Spinaris Tudor, the Executive Director of Desert Waters Correctional Outreach. It was sent to her by a CO's wife. "laughing helps us stay sane"
“He ate his shoes!” was what my husband mumbled over and over one evening during his first couple of months on the job in the prison system. What sort of job had he found himself in and what sort of people would eat their shoes? Thus began his life as a corrections officer, dealing with not only shoe-eaters, but inmates that would do just about anything.
Corrections is a field that is unrecognized, underappreciated. It is rarely thought about, other than by those working in it or who have family that spend their days or nights working in this environment. But without the folks working behind the walls, the rest of us would be in a world of hurt. And with the ever-increasing inmate population at all security levels, the challenges and risks of this job increase right along with it.
As the wife of a corrections officer, I know I don’t hear even half of what goes on during his workday. But I have sure picked up a whole new lingo, which is required if you want to keep up with a day in the life. Bang-in, hack, shank, SHU, Boss, shake-down, hooch, tat, kite, bubble, sally-port, grill, lockdown, cop-out, chit, body alarm…. Is there such a thing as a prison lingo translator? Wonder how much it would pay?
Then you have the fact that the corrections employees don’t know their fellow workers first names! Going to a work sponsored event or bumping into coworkers out in the world is always interesting when getting introduced. Everyone is either just their last name, Thomas, Rodriguez, Hughes, Miller, whatever, or they are their title—Warden, Captain, Lt. Or someone says “I’m sorry, I don’t know your first name.” First names are rarely used on the job, and thus they remain a mystery to most.
Here are a few more thoughts on corrections peculiarities.
He’d get protein by eating his shoe
Canvas laces and soles
He didn’t need any bowls
Though he bit off more than he could chew
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