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Sep 09, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

And so….

I’ve been dropping applications to get away from the field, and I got a bite.

So ends my time in the corrections field.

Do I wish it had worked out differently? Hell yes.

As I stated, I’m actually good at this, I actually enjoy it. I simply can’t afford it. If the hours were there, completely different story.

I wish you all the best of luck, special thanks to Squeeze for participating in a thread that had a large sum of views, but almost no interaction.

I hope this was useful to at least one individual, then it would be worth it.

Thanks again.

 
Sep 07, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

Appreciate it, Squeeze.

For me, personally, I’m actually good at this.

Unfortunately, I was budgeted for the 39 hours they promised us. Anything less, a bill isn’t getting paid.

I’ve been lucky only because I’ve been mandated. So for me, I need to find a little more financial stability.

Still, I wanted to give something, and this thread is my humble offering.

To the kid fresh out of their Criminal Justice course, who views this as a career path, I just want you to know what you’re getting into, to have more of a reference than I had.

And again, my story is completely different than that of hundreds of others.

But you must, MUST investigate.

 
Sep 07, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

Squeeze is spot on in a lot of ways.

My Green Mile reference was really the only frame of reference that I had to jail life, I’ve had no run ins with the law, the concept of that many guys just running around loose, like some big malevolent pumpkin patch, never occurred to me.

As for the money end, we calculated that training, outfitting, and processing a class runs roughly 10 grand apiece. The number of hours that they’re required to train us, all that good stuff.

They manage to keep one or two per class.

They pissed away 60 grand.

Again, if it sounds like I’m complaining, it’s not my intent. This is meant to be educational to people who were like me, a couple of months ago, who weren’t even sure where to look for information.

I only discovered this site because it was mentioned in the academy.

Just looking up what the “agility test” entailed was terrifying. Check a few on Youtube, you’ll be convinced that membership to a Ninja clan is a requirement.

 
Sep 07, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

Is the work hard?

In my facility, no. Midnight shift is supervise cleaners for an hour, put them in, and do an hourly check. The hard part is fighting to stay awake.

Physically, not demanding in the sense that you would think.

No, the physical toll is trying to not eat when you shouldn’t, to maintain a workout routine of some type when your hours are completely out of whack.

I’m not a donut guy, but I had one in uniform, and I’m not being facetious when I tell you, it tasted different, somehow. Maybe the best donut I’d ever eaten. Could just be that it was a really good donut.

Point is this: unless you’re locked into a shift, bouncing from shift to shift, doing 8 hours, going home for 8, and then coming back for 16 is gonna take a helluva toll.

Your facility may vary. Greatly.
That was the point of this thread. I made the mistakes I’ve made because there was zero information out there for me. I found this all out as I’ve gone along.

Had I known this ahead of time, I’m pretty sure that I would have come up with a different career path.

What makes it tougher, these rules all vary from county to county, and State service is a completely different animal.

The nearest county to me runs an old school linear jail, and follows a completely different rulebook, and they’re 5 miles from me.

Investigate.

 
Sep 07, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

If it’s not a direct supervision facility, it’s a “Linear Supervision” jail.

That, apparently, is the one you see in the movies.

If you’re considering this as a job opportunity, ask these things. If there are tours available, (yes, some jails actually offer tours) then take one.

If you know a C.O., talk to them.

Understand that the nature of this job is political. As has already been pointed out, piss off the wrong individual, and it can have a lasting impact on your career.

 
Sep 07, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

“So what am I supposed to ask, Benning Boy?”

I work in a “Direct Supervision” facility.

I had no idea what that was. I assumed, once again incorrectly, that all jails were “Green Mile” or “Shawshank Redemption”. Long halls of bars, that sort of thing.

Wrong.

I’m in a large room, with 75 of them roaming freely, until I send them to their cells. I had no idea of this concept.

The bulk of our training was “Inter-Personal Communication”, essentially, how to talk to inmates. We got a day of baton training, which was useless, since we’re not permitted batons.

Pepper spray training was getting blasted with pepper spray. Why? So we would know what it feels like.

Following that logic, we also should have been beaten with batons, so that we know what that feels like, too.

There was hand to hand training, I frankly would have liked to see that expanded. In my place, if you don’t have a healthy background in some form of martial arts, you’re at a dangerous disadvantage.

 
Sep 07, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

The fellas have it correct.

Let me be clear, this isn’t a thread about me complaining about my current condition, but a heads up to people looking at this as a job option.

In my situation, I knew beforehand that my facility had a large employee turnover.

My mistake was assumption. I assumed that those that quit just weren’t tough enough, were terrified of inmates.

Wrong.

Everybody quits because of short shifts, they leave because they don’t know if their morning shift is gonna turn into an afternoon shift as well.

The majority of my class left full time jobs to come aboard, because we were told that there were hours. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

My advice to folks considering this, investigate the hell out of it.

 
Sep 06, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

Ask a lot of questions.

I was told that mine was a “paramilitary” organization. What does that really mean?

Paramilitary: of or relating to a group that is not an official army but that operates and is organized like an army.

Yeah, my organization wears fake BDUs, blouses them, has a couple of military ranks. Any similarity to the military ends there.

I was told that there was a CERT team, and I formally applied for it. Come to find out it doesn’t officially exist. There are plans for it, someday, but there seem to be MANY plans that don’t come to fruition.

Talk to C.O.s that work where you’re looking at working.

 
Sep 06, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

Study for your exams.

There are things that will seem to defy common sense. Therefore, if you’re a common-sense person, relying on that for your tests can screw you.

 
Sep 06, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

The purpose of this thread is to help the new guys, so here’s what you can expect.

You will likely be pepper-sprayed.

It burns.

You will hear a ton of home remedies, a ton of ways to lessen the impact, strategies for overcoming this.

They are bull. It burns. And it will for 15 to 45 minutes. You’ll go home, get a shower. Then it will burn again.

For me, the initial hit sucked. I dealt with it, smoked a cigarette. People thought I was tough, but smoking took my mind off of it.

I went home took a shower. This was worse.

I ran around my house, blind, wet, naked. My dog was amused.

 
Sep 06, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

So, this is how it went.

Wrapped up training, and it’s a perfect, ideal world.

Hit the cellblocks, and all of that stuff went out the window. Got mandated in the middle of OJT. And was compelled to train another individual even though I was still training myself.

Again, keep in mind, this is County level.

The current full time staff whines about being short, but constantly berates the new guys, as if they want them to quit.

I graduated my class Valedictorian, and I frankly don’t see sticking this out for very long. We were promised 39+ hours a week, we see 24. My mortgage company doesn’t believe in excuses.

The inmates aren’t a problem. The staff, on the other hand, can be your greatest enemy.

 
Sep 06, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

Sorry, life has been busy.

Graduated, been working.

Haven’t been on here, didn’t seem to be much interest in the thread.

 
Jul 19, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

End of week one.

The Captain running training has been beyond super. The man gets it.

We’ve toured the blocks. We were asked before we got there if anyone was scared. None of us admitted it. The Captain told us that his first time, he was. I think those of us that didn’t admit it are liars. Myself included.

We’ve done a lot of role play, a lot of communication theory, and we’ve walked the block.

The Captain has, for me, cemented my faith that this was the right choice for me.

 
Jul 19, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

Quick break, for something I like to call “Jail Dictionary”.

Not so much as how to speak like an inmate, but rather to understand them.

Also, terms used by C.O.s to communicate through the shift.

What I’ve amassed thus far….

Podfathers- Those O.G. types that think they run the block.

Spray Day- The part of the Academy where you are introduced to the joys of Oleoresin Capsicum.

Commisary- The actual product that inmates purchase off of their books. A soup is commissary. A notepad is commissary.

Celly- Your cellmate.

I hope there is more to come, this stuff is often hilarious.

You don’t like it? You spin me….

 
Jul 17, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

Everything you know is wrong.

The bottom of the food chain in the civilian world is instant noodle soup. That’s what you buy when you’re on a budget.

In jail, the soup is the currency. Purchased at inflated prices, the lowly Ramen of the civilian free world is King in jail.

All of the stuff you’ve seen in movies? Bogus. One Officer walks among throngs of inmates, unarmed. All in the open.

 
Jul 17, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

Classroom breaks have been extremely useful. This affords an opportunity to talk to the guards who have been there awhile.

Thus far, all of them have been supportive, and free with advice. None has given an attitude of “Why are you bothering me?”

All of their advice has been consistent. “Pay attention in class, everything you need is right there.”

We’re reminded that the C.O.s back each other up, and thus far, their help for us newbs has proven that.

 
Jul 17, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

For me, the best part of the class is the informal introduction to “jail-speak”.

“Chi-chi” is a fascinating jailhouse gumbo that I never hope to sample. Don’t confuse it with “Fifi”, a term I shan’t go into here.

 
Jul 17, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

From there, off to class.

The Captain that runs training is extremely cool. He’s done this before, he gets the concept that the class is apprehensive.

On day one, the class has whittled itself from 14 down to 8 of us that actually show up.

The Captain intersperses the requisite boring classes with humorous anecdotes. It keeps us from falling asleep.

 
Jul 17, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

Once contacted by H.R., I was notified that I would be doing a physical, a psych eval, and an agility test.

Nobody could shed light on exactly what this entailed. Online searches produced results beyond the vague.

The physical was pretty standard. Expect to fill a cup. If you think you’ll come up hot on a urinalysis, I’m not sure why you’re applying.

The psych eval requires one thing; honesty. If you’ve never gotten angry, never gotten drunk, never wished ill towards a bad person, you don’t need to be in corrections, you need to be Pope.

Agility test? Mine required a set of tasks that simulated a typical shift at Jail, whilst wearing a heart rate monitor.

I passed all of it. I was in.

 
Jul 17, 2014
Male user benning boy 20 posts

Topic: The Club House / The Academy: Getting Started

Hello.

I’m new to Corrections. Indeed, I’m approaching day 4 of The Academy.

My reason for this thread is pretty simple.

After my interview, I was reasonably confident that I got the gig. When Human Resources set up a physical, I started researching what I could expect. I didn’t find a lot.

My hope is that this thread will shed a little light for the new guys on my particular process. It’s important to note that your process may vary wildly. As for me, I’ve attained appointment to a County position.

I invite the experienced to contribute as much as they see fit.

Let’s begin….




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