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Recent Posts by ThePickle

 

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Oct 13, 2010
Male user ThePickle 8 posts

Topic: Letter of The Law / Is ethics missing from training programs?

Although my Dept. does have a “code of ethics” that all employees are required to be familiar with, the idea of “ethical behavior” as the subject of a class in our annual training apparently has not occurred to anyone although I do think it would be a good idea.

All Officers in my Dept. are required to be “board certified” through B.P.S.S.T. (the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training) but as I was “grandfathered” in many years ago I have no idea as to the contents of the training they receive at the academy. Given what I have observed from many of the new Officers little things like “ethics” and “hard work” are not stressed all that much. :)

 
Oct 06, 2010
Male user ThePickle 8 posts

Topic: A Broader View / Crime and "Punishment" in Modern Corrections

Mick wrote: “For every 1% of inmates that you help the other 99% are trying to get one over on you.”

After 22 years in this business I assure you that I am will versed in the games and manipulations that inmates engage in. As to a small victory bringing “personal satisfaction” I will once again reiterate, I don’t employ these techniques primarily for the inmates benefit nor do I employ them for my own personal satisfaction, I use them because they further my main professional objective and that is to protect the public.

I have fought inmates on the tiers and been part of countless cell extractions. I have bleed more than once and have been taken to the hospital on three occasions. I have fired my weapon from the towers and helped roll out more than one dead inmate. I have every reason to be the worst kind of hard ass you could imagine and I am not because I truly believe that it is counterproductive to my achieving my primary duty.

 
Oct 05, 2010
Male user ThePickle 8 posts

Topic: A Broader View / Crime and "Punishment" in Modern Corrections

Mick Wrote
“Yes we can aspire to achieve this goal but most of the time reality intrudes.”

But it is in the attempt that we find success, even if it is only a small percentage of the time.

And as you say “change will only come to those that WANT to change”, a sentiment that I wholeheartedly agree with, but the notion that something that is good for society is not worth pursuing because the rate of success amounts to only a fraction of those that we deal with everyday, I fully reject.

Even if the only thing I achieve through using these techniques is to ensure an orderly and well run institution and safe environment for myself and my fellow Officers it is more than worth the effort.

I have been doing this for 22 years and have employed these techniques everyday and believe me, I have no illusions that this will solve “everything”, yet neither do I harbor the idea that ALL inmates are beyond redemption as far as their criminal endeavors are concerned. It is for those rare few, that can indeed benefit that I persevere.

The questions that I would ask of the posters, one of which claims my ideas are to idealistic and the other who claims “I have problems” (whatever) would be…

1. How do you go about your fulfilling your primary duty to “protect the public”?

2. If these techniques, along with sensible security practices, maintain an orderly and safe facility (and they do indeed achieve these two goals) what exactly causes you to view them in such a negative light? Is it the impression that you actually give a shit whether someone goes back out into the community and succeeds that stops you? Are you afraid of being labeled a “chocolate heart”.

Remember not once did I say that I employed these techniques to “benefit” the inmate, although some do indeed benefit. I do this to further my primary goal and that is protecting the public.

 
Oct 04, 2010
Male user ThePickle 8 posts

Topic: A Broader View / Crime and "Punishment" in Modern Corrections

Just something I posted in response to certain “misconceptions” about what Corrections in todays society is and is not about.

Crime and “Punishment” in Modern Corrections.

Our Correctional system is NOT designed nor is it supposed to be used to “punish criminals”. Our current system is a product of hundreds of years of philosophy with regards to crime and “punishment” and as a result tends to focus on two main objectives.

The first, last and most important duty we are taught as Correctional Professionals is our duty to “protect the public”. This means keeping the bad guys safely tucked away from society at large, as by their actions they have shown themselves to be a danger to that society. I have often explained to folks in the general public that inmates are incarcerated AS punishment, they are not incarcerated to BE “punished”.

To protect the public Correctional Professionals employ a myriad of techniques and these include the idea of modeling proper behavior through professional conduct and through our interactions with inmates. I can hardly expect an inmate to conduct himself in a socially acceptable manner if my behavior is not also socially acceptable. That means I do not curse at inmates, I do not physically abuse inmates, I do not deny inmates access to what the courts and society have deemed he has a right to. A puppy, not properly trained, will piss on your bed time and again unless you “teach” him that is not acceptable.

We “teach” the inmates what is and is not acceptable through the use of both positive and negative reinforcement of behavior. That is to say we reward good behavior with privileges and discourage bad behavior with a more restrictive form of incarceration. While I can’t speak for every other State inmates here are not “given” privileges that are then “taken” when they behave in an objectionable manner. Are those of us in “normal society” rewarded for just showing up? No, we must earn those things that we most desire and thus it is so with inmates incarcerated in my State.

Over time as an inmate shows that he can follow the rules, work or go to programs as assigned by his incarceration plan, he is afforded the “opportunity” for better housing assignments and “access” to privileges such as televisions. Notice that I did not say the inmate is given a T.V. Do we in normal society get special rewards just for acting in an acceptable manner? No we do not. But being able to get along with others in our society has it perks, like getting a good job and being able to afford a T.V. Thus it is so with my inmates. Good behavior and holding down a job gets you an “Atta Boy” but if you want a T.V. you still have to pay for it.

As you can see through our actions we are attempting to prepare inmates for their eventual reintegration into society at large and thus we come to the second goal in modern Corrections. It is a simple fact that most inmates,upwards of 90%-95% WILL be let out of prison at some point and will be expected to function in normal society. That is the second goal of modern Corrections, to release an inmate back into the public that is better equipped to “deal”.

I have heard the cry of the public for years that inmates ought to be treated poorly in order to enforce the idea that “prison is a place they don’t want to come back to” and I ask them if they believe in the GIGO principle. GIGO is a computer term for “Garbage In, Garbage Out” and it is a simple truism when it comes to Corrections.

We receive the worst of society. They are unable to cope within the bounds of normal society, in some part, because they have simply never been shown how to do so. It is through the practices I have outlined above that we attempt to release an inmate that is “better” than the one we received.

It has been said that “Corrections doesn’t make anything” and to that I say …If we are doing our job right we are “making” better citizens.

That being said I understand the frustration that normal citizens go through. They view prisons through the prisms of their own misconceptions and blanch at the notion that we are “coddling” criminals.

They call for use to “lock them down and don’t give them nothing”.

To which I reply fine. If you want this inmate released back into your neighborhood, just as bad as, or perhaps even worse than he was when we got him I suppose that’s up to you.

Just don’t come crying to me asking why didn’t I “stop” him before he committed his next crime cause all I will have to say is that…. I tried, but you were more interested in “punishing the criminal” than you were in “protecting society”.

 
Oct 01, 2010
Male user ThePickle 8 posts

Topic: The Club House / If corrections had a slogan what would it be?

“I just had crap thrown on me and I am heavily armed. You still wanna call me a “Guard”?"

“When was the last time your kids “shanked” the Babysitter?"

Ok maybe not Motto’s but I am thinking about have them printed as bumper stickers. :)

 
Oct 01, 2010
Male user ThePickle 8 posts

Topic: Letter of The Law / unfairness in corrections

Sorry to hear that batman59.

I think the longer you work in corrections the more you see certain inequities. Politics and the good ole boy system still have a major influence on the day to day decisions and the best we can sometimes do is keep our head down, do our eight and hit the gate. After 22 years and after seeing ALL kinds of this B.S. I have to focus on my primary task of protecting the public.

When the shit storms are brewing sometimes the only thing you can do is put on a poncho and soldier on.

 
Oct 01, 2010
Male user ThePickle 8 posts

Topic: The Club House / Where in the world are you

Striker asks: Where in Oregon?

I work in Salem.

 
Sep 28, 2010
Male user ThePickle 8 posts

Topic: The Club House / Where in the world are you

Working as Corrections Officer in Oregon since 1989




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