>Users:   login   |  register       > email     > people    

The Walking Dead
By Ted Tudor
Published: 10/07/2019

Razorwire I never worked as a Correctional Officer (CO). So why would I write a story for corrections staff to read? I volunteer for Desert Waters Correctional Outreach, and have listened to many COs’ heart-stopping stories. Most of my working years were spent as a professional truck driver. And now I realize that corrections staff and truck drivers share some work-related issues.

Three of the work-related issues corrections staff and truck drivers have in common are: long hours, poor working conditions, and lack of respect. In this article I will speak of the effects of working long hours. Yes, lack of sleep impacts workers and those around them.

When I started as a truck driver I was usually required to put in fifteen-hour days and generally sixty or more hours per week. There were a few times that over one hundred hours per week were logged. There were many weeks of well over sixty hours per week logged. One company that I worked for guaranteed that we would put in at least sixty hours per week.

I understand what it is like to work long hours in stressful conditions around people that do not like you, mingling with those that wish you were not there, and people who do hateful things to you. This I understand and have experienced. I also know what long hours without sleep has done to me and how dangerous it was for me and those around me.

In the 1960’s I drove regularly between central Ohio to the Chicago area and returned to my home base in Ohio. Most of the time I would make three round trips per week and sometimes four.

Depending on where I picked up and where I delivered, it would take eight to ten hours of driving time to make it one way. This was in addition to the time spent in pickup and delivery.

In order to log this time legally, we would sometimes have to push the pencil faster than what we actually drove. In reality I have been without sleep over 24 hours many, many times in my working years as a truck driver.

At that time almost all of the highways were two-lane roads and the roads between Chicago and Ohio went through several small towns. Some had traffic lights, some did not.

I have driven through some of those towns more than once and several miles down the road I’d be suddenly wondering, “Where am I going and where am I? How did I get here without going through the town of Larwill, Pierceton, Plymouth or other towns? Did I run through red traffic lights, stop signs? Did I run anyone off the road?” I once woke up in the right traffic lane with the engine running full speed and the truck was out of gear and not moving.

I don’t know what happened during parts of some of those road trips.

I have also hauled in the oil fields of the western US. At that time the legal system did not enforce the laws concerning the hours worked in the oil fields. Many weeks the logged hours hovered around one hundred hours.

By the grace of God, I am still alive. During some of those long hours I’ve experienced losing control coming off a pass, running over cattle in the road, waking up bouncing across the sage brush and ending up on dirt roads in the middle of nowhere, not knowing where I was or where I was supposed to be going.

Once I was so tired, I draped myself across the steering wheel with a lit cigarette between my fingers so that I would wake up shortly. I woke up sometime later with the ashes of the cigarette on the floor and water blisters between my fingers. I was so out of it, I slept through the pain of having my skin burn without waking up.

And I have done some really dangerous, stupid road rage stunts that I do not want to think about.

From what I have shared above you would think that I am not a safety-conscious driver. Wrong. In my adult years I have tried to be a professional, courteous and safe driver. But when extremely fatigued, I have seen in myself and others that the mind and body do not operate properly. Sometimes they hardly operate at all.

Several months ago I saw a person standing on a walking cast in a public place. I walked up to him and asked him how he had injured himself. He said he had fallen asleep at the wheel and wrecked. Yes, he is a CO and he was going home after working overtime. In the past month I’ve also heard of a situation where a CO was going home after working over-time, fell asleep as the wheel and killed someone. How many in the past year have caused injury or death because of sleep deprivation?

How many COs have recently pushed the pencil on logs because of sleep deprivation? How many COs have not really done the job that they said they did do–because of sleep deprivation. And how many people have been hurt because of this?

How many COs have been disciplined or lost their jobs because of sleep deprivation? How many lawsuits have resulted because of errors? How much did that cost to the agencies where these COs worked?

Very recently a high profile person detained at a jail died, apparently by suicide. The two COs who were in charge of that person reportedly were working overtime. What happened?

How does all this affect COs’ personal lives? From experience I can say that when you work long hours on a regular basis, you do not have much of a personal life. Oftentimes I arrived home after 12 to 15 hours on the job, only to find the house empty. Everyone had gone to an event, as they did not even know if or when I would be home. In some ways this could be a relief, because I was only going to be at the house 3 to 5 hours before having to head back to work. And I needed those hours for sleep.

When you work extremely long hours, you and your family does not have a normal lifestyle. The house where your spouse and children live feels like a secondary place to spend time. I actually was more tuned in to what was going on at work than what was happening with my family. Wherever I went when off duty, my mind was still partially on duty, and I was irritable and hard to get along with. If you don’t believe that this could be happening to you too, just ask those around you.

And what about your health? Oh, WOW! Just watch that newly hired CO start to pack on the pounds. And watch the mental changes as they happen. I know some of this might be due to other sources of stress on the job, but how much of that is due to the stress of not getting enough sleep, especially if the new hires start on the night shift?

Sleep deprivation can be a killer. What can YOU do about it? Who is responsible for it? What needs to be done?

This article as been reprinted with permission from the September 2019 Issue of Correctional Oasis, a monthly e-publication of "Desert Waters Correctional Outreach".

Ted Tudor has been a volunteer at Desert Waters Correctional Outreach since its inception in 2003. He has worked as a truck driver and a truck driver trainer for 30 years. Ted is the author of the "Professional Truck Driving Manual" Volumes 1 & 2.


  1. Cheryls on 05/02/2020:

    This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work gái gọi kynu sài gòn

  2. Cheryls on 05/02/2020:

    This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work cism certification cost

  3. Cheryls on 05/02/2020:

    This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work 123 movies new sites

  4. Cheryls on 05/01/2020:

    Great job for publishing such a beneficial web site. Your web log isn’t only useful but it is additionally really creative too. There tend to be not many people who can certainly write not so simple posts that artistically. Continue the nice writing buy Runtz weed online

  5. Cheryls on 04/28/2020:

    Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. web maintenance singapore

  6. Cheryls on 04/28/2020:

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. fastcomet coupon

  7. Cheryls on 04/26/2020:

    This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article. poe boosting

  8. hamiltonlindley on 03/06/2020:

    Hamilton loved sports, especially croquet, where his favorite team was the Dallas Fancypants. He worked as a general haberdasher for 30 years, but was forced to give up the career he loved due to his keen attention to detail. He spent his free time watching golf on TV; and he played uno, badmitton and basketball almost every weekend. He also enjoyed movies and reading during off-season. Hamilton Lindley was always there to help relatives and friends with household projects, coached different sports or whatever else people needed him for.

  9. vishakha singh on 01/13/2020:

    I was searching for this for a long time and It has to be a good thing to get that much info. Delhi Escorts

  10. vishakha singh on 01/13/2020:

    Thanks for your appreciable efforts and I like the way you have written this amazing article. Escorts in Delhi

  11. vishakha singh on 01/13/2020:

    It is really a good thing to get that much info from this wonderful article. I like to be here on this website. Delhi Escorts Service

  12. johnsmith on 11/14/2019:

    It is the best platform where I visit regularly to take information about my study issues. https://www.theacademicpapers.co.uk/dissertation-writing-services-uk.php

  13. joanmelda on 11/13/2019:

    Anyone seeking high-quality Essay Writing Help Online will want to hire a qualified writer to handle their Custom College Essay Papers on time and offer the best Custom Essay Writing Assistance .

  14. puremelda on 11/13/2019:

    The firm gives cost-effective Nursing Research Paper Services that are impressive and you do not have to drain your pockets in the quest of Nursing Research Paper Writing Help and all your Academic Nursing Research Paper Writing Services.

  15. lewis on 11/08/2019:

    An allergy refers to a sensitivity of our immune system towards some substance, which produces respiratory, digestive, nervous or skin alterations. upsers | www.upsers.com | upserscom

  16. Ryan on 10/16/2019:

    Walking on the street is not the safest thing in the night. I think you should have to cover a story related to it, so that people will follow it when read here.learn2chalk.com

  17. ErnestDeer on 10/16/2019:

    An exciting article, after which I want to relax and get distracted, so now I’m going to play in the online casino Nightrush. I hope I am lucky today and I will win the largest amount possible.

  18. harmonxjim33 on 10/15/2019:

    I know what you might be thinking: “No way, Azur Lane on PC?” Well, here we are with a PC version alright – and this time, you won’t even need an emulator! Get to play the game directly onto your desktop without any hassle at all. azur lane

  19. kronospoker on 10/14/2019:

    Kronospoker Situs Judi Online, IDN Poker, IDN Poker Mobile, Agen Poker Terpercaya Indonesia untuk permainan Poker Online, Domino Qiu Qiu, Cemeqq, Capsa Susun dan Super10

  20. Stefan0 on 10/10/2019:

    I have watched the walking dead and didnt like it at all. Regards,

    CodyCross Zoogeschäft Lösungen

  21. panunball on 10/08/2019:

    Thank you for the articles and good content for studying the information. เว็บพนันบอลไม่ผ่านเอเย่นต์

Login to let us know what you think

User Name:   


Forgot password?

correctsource logo

Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of The Corrections Connection User Agreement
The Corrections Connection ©. Copyright 1996 - 2021 © . All Rights Reserved | 15 Mill Wharf Plaza Scituate Mass. 02066 (617) 471 4445 Fax: (617) 608 9015