|The Ultimate Betrayal|
|By Contrenia C Fann|
I weighed the decision very carefully before I called my former Captain. This decision pertains to recommending my family member for the position as a correctional officer at his institution. She had recently graduated from a major college and earned a bachelor degree in Criminal Justice. But, with no prevail, after graduation she was unable to gain any employment. Previously, she had been on several interviews and was politely rejected because she didn’t have any experience. I really wanted to help her but I didn’t want to risk my reputation, career, and status with my former correctional family if she failed.
Before I made my decision, I had a long talk with her and gave her my book to read. I talked to her just as if I was a field training officer and she was a new hire. I wanted her know that inmate manipulation and personal dealing does not discriminate who it takes out. The last thing that I said to her was, “There is no honor or loyalty among thieves, if you break any policies, believe me an inmate/offender will report you in the end”.
Shortly after her employment, she changed. While she used to ask me about advice, she didn’t seek guidance anymore. I was told that she moved out of her home and move in with her girlfriend. The lifestyle of her girlfriend was anything but what a college graduate needed in his or her life. She was a mother of four, unemployed, and living off of government assistance. Apparently, her job is the oldest profession that is recorded in American history. Truly my god daughter had fallen in with the wrong crowd. There was nothing that her family or I can do. I knew it was a matter of time before something happened with her job. She had become estranged with her family and me. I wondered how long before her personal life influenced her job.
Just like clockwork, she went from the best new officer to not following call in procedures. She was getting write-ups and had lost five percent of her pay for six months. One day in late August, I was sitting at my computer and I felt this overwhelming feeling to call and check on her, but I resisted. I called her step-father and told him what I felt and asked him to give her a call. I instructed him to tell her if she needed anything to let me know, because I knew she was trying to live up to the man’s role in her relationship. She was always a proud individual and proud would not allow her to ask her family for help. He called her and she said everything was fine.
A week later she called and said that she was under investigation for bringing cell phones into the institution. She constantly and consistently denied that she brought anything in to the prison. She staked her whole life on it. She proclaimed that she would never do that to me or disrespect herself in that way. Without coming out and saying it to her, I didn’t believe her. Four months later, after a long investigation and a lie detector test, she officially resigned.
While she never has admitted it to my face, I have to wonder, as a fifteen year veteran, did I see the signs before making that phone call. I thought of these questions that I should have asked:
Corrections.com author, Contrenia C. Fann, is the author of "Commonsense: Do Not Play Games With An Inmate" and the soon to be released "Common Sense: Misconduct Between Staff and Supervisors; ‘Do Not Get Your Honey Where You Get Your Money’”. She is a sought after expert and frequent panelist on correctional issues and has appeared at nationwide conferences to include: the National Association of Hispanics in Criminal Justice, National Association of Black in Criminal Justice, International Association of Correctional Training Personnel, Women in Corrections Conference, and the Southern States Corrections Association Conference.
Other articles by C. C. Fann
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT