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Riot helmet Mick 307 posts

Keep your eyes and ears open and use your voice and posture to impart the idea that You are in charge and insubordination and rebellion will not be tolerated. Respect must be earned. And you get that by being straight and consistent. Prison is like a Jungle populated by predators. You have to show them that You are the very top of the food chain. Show them that and you will have earned their respect. And on a lighter note, enjoy your new career it’s a ride like no other.

 
Male user armando 2 posts

I have a corrections class graduating this afternoon, does anyone have words of wisdom for them!

thanks,
Armando
Montana Law Enforcement Academy

 
Small 986654 maniac 12 posts

wvco and daniel, welcome. I really cant add too much to what has already been said. It’s a whole other world behind the walls. As co-ert said, be a mna of your word. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Don’t make promises. Giveing your word in there is a huge thing. Alot of the respect that you build with the inmates comes from wether or not you keep it.

Don’t go in with a “Billy Badass” attitude. How you walk onto the yard the first time is how the inmates will look at you from then on. Be yourself. Acting like your better than they are will only make things a whole lot harder from the start.

One thing I always tell the new hires that I help train is this: Our job isn’t to judge them, they have already been sentenced. Our job isn’t to make their time any harder that it already is, they will do that for us, just watch.

This is a job/career that can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be. What else can I say……. Good Luck, and keep us posted.

 
Male user CO-ERT 2 posts

Welcome to the field both of you.

okie covered a lot of it. Being new you will be tested. Everyday. For me I have found the best approach to be fair and honest about everything. As I saw stated above inmates have 24/7 to think about everything. They see and hear everything and a lot of em have a good memory too. If you are honest with them (not saying about your personal life, keep anything not at work away from work) they can’t come back and catch you in a lie. Combine this with being fair in your job and more often than not you will be respected by both your peers and the population. If you don’t know something I have found it is better to say “I don’t know” rather than lie (half the time they already know and this is a test of your character to them as well). If you tell someone “I’ll look into it” or “I’ll let you know” do it, be a man of your word.

The reason I add this is, atleast where I work, when you are making your rounds you can be outnumbered by upwards of 40 to 1. I have had other Inmates step in and tell some that were getting mouthy to do as I told them or to not give me any crap. Respect can make the job easier and is better earned through fairness and honesty than by flexxing your muscles. It also goes a long way into feeling more confident than when it hits the fan your teammates will have your back without hesitation.

I am also on our ERT team. As Mick said, it adds another dimension to the job and a whole lot more excitement. If you like the job and feel confident I would encourage you into looking into the special positions available.

 
Male user armando 2 posts

Daniel, you are about to enter a whole new culture with the brotherhood/sisterhood of corrections/detention facilities. I think Okie said it all but one thing to remember, Be honest with yourself and always have someone to vent to!!

Armando Oropeza
Corrections Program Manager
Montana Law Enforcement Academy

 
Male user wvco 3 posts

Thanks Mick. I am eager to get in there and start the learning process. I did some time as a police officer, so I have plenty to unlearn.

 
Riot helmet Mick 307 posts

WVCO, Best of luck. If you find the Job is for you will love it. And after a few years on the floor you will have the experience to branch out into new sections like Gang Intel, SORT/CERT, Special Search Team, etc. Which make the Job even more interesting.

 
Male user wvco 3 posts

I just received my start date with the WV DOC. Since I began the this process last October, I have been reading everything I could in the forums and articles here to get an ideal of what to expect. Thank you to everyone who has posted with their thoughts and pieces of advice for newbies. I have noticed there is very little on the internet for people interested in a corrections career. This is the best resource for someone to find information and to connect to others in the same field. Thanks again, everyone.

 
Lion Comfortably ... 154 posts

You are referring to the other used car salesmen when you say “inmate types” right? They rob you and never have to face charges!

 
Horn toad Transporter 41 posts

Daniel, I work in a county jail housing about 350 (up to 400 if needed). I have only been at this about 4 years, but I worked the floors for the first 2 1/2. I believe what has been said covers 99% of what you need to get started. However you will learn far more than these things as you progress in your new career if you stay with it. When I started I was coming off 10 years as a used car salesman. (OK OK quit laughing! It gave me good practice in dealing with “inmate types” lol!)

My first day of orientation we were given a packet that included a story written by an inmate who was and is very familiar with the system. It was called “DOWNING THE DUCK”. The story was true and was about the way inmates pick out a new guard to “befriend” and the step by step process they use to get the guard to do little things for them. These little things subtly become bigger and bigger until they have the guard where they want them. Then the guard cannot refuse to help them without getting into trouble. When I first read it I was skeptical of how it could be like that. Then I saw it up close happen to guards around me who started the same day I did. I say all that to say this: DON’T DO THE SMALL FAVORS FOR THE INMATES. YOU CAN AND WILL BE PULLED IN.

Where unit are you in the TDCJ/DOC?)

 
Riot helmet Mick 307 posts

Okie has pretty much summed it up. Just be yourself and do the Job to the best of your ability. It can be a scary and intimidating place at first but that will pass has you get to know your way around become friends with your collegues and learn about the inmates. If you watch the more experenced Officers you will see that they are at ease but alert when dealing with the inmates. As Okie said do it by the Book and nobody can fault you.

 
Tue 020 okie 6 posts

Daniel welcome to the Department of Corrections. Always remeber safety comes first, and security is not a convience. When beginning your new job it is important that you pay strict attention to experienced officers and always listen to what they have to tell you. In corrections you will never know everything. If you take on the attitude that you know everything other staff members will be quick to not tell you anything. No one can stand a no it all. When dealing with inmates they are going to try you in every little way expect it. They have 24/7 to think of ways to mess with you. So when an inmate approaches you and asks you something that you are not sure of don’t be afraid to tell them no. However, you need to follow up with someone that can answer the question. That way you know for future reference. Always check inmates on the little things. This prevents alot of big problems. You will get alot of inmates telling you that you are being petty, but like I said this slows down the big problems. Be consistant with each inmate, don’t let something slide with one inmate. This will only cause you problems down the road. It is always easy to go in hard and eventually lighten up on certain things. Versus going in being easy and then trying to get hard. Inmates have already seen the softer side of you if you try this approach. Get to know your rules and regulations read everything that you can get your hands on. This includes things like the inmates handbooks, orientation papers. If you find yourself in the middle of a use of force situation be sure to do something. If you don’t you might as well quit. This is the quickest way to have a whole group of correctional staff turn against you. Remeber it is us (correctional staff) and them (inmates). Always support your fellow brother and sisters of the wire. Hope this helps and good luck.

 
Male user daniel_brown 2 posts

Also, do you prefer working 4- 12 hour shifts or 5- 8:45 shifts. That is the TX-DCJ’s current shift schedule and I would like to know what you all think about your shifts.

 
Male user daniel_brown 2 posts

Hello All,

I am a new employee with The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, or DOC. I am curious to know what experiences you had when you were out of your academy. I have volunteered at jails before but this is my first time going into a prison enviornment.

I have read some great posts on other discussion boards from a lot of you but I would love to learn more about what you did to get through some very tough days in the beginning of your careers.

Thank you for reading this and I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards, Daniel

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