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Losing control

 

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Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

I have another friend who works in a state correctional facility. She is being harassed by her supervisor and it’s affecting her job. I told her to just do her job to the best of her ability, disregard what other officers say and when the supervisor asks something to be done be respectful to his rank, do that task and go home. But, I did tell her that documenting what the supervisor says word for word is very important in addition to the date and time, keep that in a logbook at home. She is doing that. I really get upset when an officer is being harassed by a supervisor let alone another fellow officer. Isn’t being a CO stressful enough?

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

My old prison 50 percent I loved and respect,felt liked a coward when I left ,it’s a shame when a prison is judge by the 20 percent who do their job day in and out . I got a lot of enemies and friends ,liked I said when I joined this com.site,new to the game .Used to be a Catholic when I was a medic in the service I din’t care ,as a correction officer “Lord don’t led me screw up”.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

It is always good to hear different perspectives. We all approach our job differently. I used to tell the new Lt’s that you can’t treat everyone the same. Each person is different. Each person has good qualities and bad qualities. I like to think that I treated everyone the same. I did not belong to a clique nor did I create one. I treated all Officers with respect. The solid ones, I am afraid, I did socially talk to more but, I never ignored anyone. I did not consider myself to be the best but, I did strive to be better than the others. Everyone has thier faults. You try to control your emotions and not as, Jamestown said, let them know about yourself. I loved watching my new Officers. They were like we were when we first started. I would not step in and bail them out (verbally). They had to learn how to handle that themselves. However, I would talk to them in the booth and let them know how I learned through experience, in handling that situation. 98% of the security staff that worked for me was outstanding. The other 2%,,,,,,,,,,,use your imagination.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Remember a few years back going 3weeks without a day off.It took a toll on me,after 21 straight days I decided to stop at a local bar,knew a female bartender.well long story short I ended up putting a patron in am armlock.He put his hands on my shoulder while I was talking to her,don’t remember doing it but after that plus almost sleeping the whole day on my first day off I decided that best thing I can do is my job to the best of my ability and start finding other outlets,hobbies,gym,and if I feel liked a drink the liquor store and go home………

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

I think officers should hold themselves to a higher standard at all times, especially in the presence of inmates. Inmates have an uncanny way of finding the faults in officer’s personalities. They want your sympathy. You have to display what they call the “jail face” in Verbal Judo with inmates. Keep your personal thoughts, family, where you live, what you do after work, what you did before you were a CO is not what you discuss with inmates. I had a drug dealer tell me, “I make more in one week than you do in a whole year.” I thought a minute and replied to him, “That’s probably true, but I can live with myself, can you?” As for coddling inmates that’s really caused by state and federal laws. From my reading most of these rights inmates are using now started getting more demanding after the 1977 Attica, N.Y. riot where the state gave inmates many rights that they didn’t have previously. Grievances are getting way out of hand. We had one inmate grieve that his green shorts were not washed properly, luckily the State Commission threw that out. As for rank I always respected my superiors rank because I was taught that way from being in the military. Having said that, I may respect that supervisor’s rank but there is nothing saying I have to like him or her personally. There are good supervisors and incompetent supervisors in every facility. I do agree that you need to just do your job to the best of your ability, go home and forget you work there until the next shift. Stay safe.

 
Remle riflepg irish assassin 286 posts

Hmmm…. First off to answer a question from noneya. “Where do I determine I’m different from the inmates?” Quite simple really, I work and make an honest paycheck, I don’t think its cool to cause harm to someone else to get what I want. I don’t resent authority figures cause I did something wrong. I know if I screw up it’s my fault. I accept the fact that while life may deal you a “bad hand” as you say, thats no excuse for being a drain on productive society. Quit crying how bad life is and do something to better yourself. Oh wait, that would require work and effort, I keep forgetting most inmates think they world owes them and work is for suckers. Well if this describes you or anyone you know then your probably just another turd in the punch bowl of life.

Second, Yes the system is broken,Inmates are coddled way to much. Nobody wants to take responsibility for their mistakes or for doing anything wrong. “Ain’t my fault yo… Life delt me a bad hand so I had to lie,cheat,steal and rape defenseless people cuz I’m gangsta and dats jus how we roll.” Grow up and face reality. Everyone thought acting like a retard was cute in the second grade to get the extra cookie at lunch time but after that it’s just completely played out.

Finally, A decent officer will respect their supervisiors rank. I’ve had plenty of them I respected in rank only and several more I respected both rank and the person. Even if I don’t see eye to eye with who may be leading my shift the bottom line is still they out rank me so I do my best to put personal differences away and do my job. Once again if “you” are to lazy to do what is required it’s nobodies fault but yours. Man up, soldier on, and be responsible. Ahhh personal accountablitiy,It’s part of what seperates us from the inmates.

Sorry for the long rant, coming down from my seventh double mandate in three weeks. I’ll get off my soapbox now and let you all enjoy your day.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Your true friends will respect you for doing your job. They already know that each time you promote, there is add responsibility. One thing most people don’t realize, when you promote to Lieutenant, as I did in 2000, you are now the assistant Shift Commander. When anything happens on shift, you are responsible for it. To keep from getting hung out to dry, I made sure my Officers knew exactly what was expected of them and I made them tow the line. I always assisted them and trained them properly. If an Inmate hung himself successfully, the Inmates family want to sue right away. You better make sure your ducks are in a row. You know the old saying s*** rolls down hill? It does. In our field, you have to do your job. Pure laziness is the culprit of most problems. After I retired, an Inmate committed suicide by hanging. Remember, at my old prison, every block has cameras on every range. At roll call each night, the Captain or Lt. would remind all Officers to complete the required, proper range checks. You would think that would sink in. It does for a minute. Guess what, after reviewing the cameras for the block where the Inmate killed himself, it was determined that the Officers completed 6 or 7 range checks. 2×8(hours) equals 16. You can lead a horse to water but, you can’t make it drink. On the roster for each shift for each day is a notes section. In the notes section is what information is passed at roll call. On our shift activity log, completed by a Lt., the roll call announcements are logged in. It is called checks and balances. When the law suit goes to court, all pertinent paperwork and logs are taken to court. The Officers can’t come back and say I didn’t know. They also sign their post orders everyday, which tells them of the required range checks and to look into each cell. Some of the borderline Officers would tell me, you only make us sign the post orders to set us up. I would explain that if they did their jobs properly and by the rules and regulations, no one could set them up. They were basically telling me that they weren’t doing their jobs. Each time an Officer would get him or herself in trouble, their buddies would get made and take up for them. I would tell them that had that certain Officer just did their job, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. It is amazing how simple the job really is. Simple but highly stressful.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Your true friends will respect you for doing your job. They already know that each time you promote, there is add responsibility. One thing most people don’t realize, when you promote to Lieutenant, as I did in 2000, you are now the assistant Shift Commander. When anything happens on shift, you are responsible for it. To keep from getting hung out to dry, I made sure my Officers knew exactly what was expected of them and I made them tow the line. I always assisted them and trained them properly. If an Inmate hung himself successfully, the Inmates family want to sue right away. You better make sure your ducks are in a row. You know the old saying s*** rolls down hill? It does. In our field, you have to do your job. Pure laziness is the culprit of most problems. After I retired, an Inmate committed suicide by hanging. Remember, at my old prison, every block has cameras on every range. At roll call each night, the Captain or Lt. would remind all Officers to complete the required, proper range checks. You would think that would sink in. It does for a minute. Guess what, after reviewing the cameras for the block where the Inmate killed himself, it was determined that the Officers completed 6 or 7 range checks. 2×8(hours) equals 16. You can lead a horse to water but, you can’t make it drink. On the roster for each shift for each day is a notes section. In the notes section is what information is passed at roll call. On our shift activity log, completed by a Lt., the roll call announcements are logged in. It is called checks and balances. When the law suit goes to court, all pertinent paperwork and logs are taken to court. The Officers can’t come back and say I didn’t know. They also sign their post orders everyday, which tells them of the required range checks and to look into each cell. Some of the borderline Officers would tell me, you only make us sign the post orders to set us up. I would explain that if they did their jobs properly and by the rules and regulations, no one could set them up. They were basically telling me that they weren’t doing their jobs. Each time an Officer would get him or herself in trouble, their buddies would get made and take up for them. I would tell them that had that certain Officer just did their job, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. It is amazing how simple the job really is. Simple but highly stressful.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Thanks for the words of encouragement Jamestown.You are right I seing it happen in one of my old adseg unit one night.All the inmates where lock in,nurse made her rounds,and the count was good with 40 minutes to go before change of shift,there was a group of us talking.
One of the old heads have a few months in as a Sgt.got hired to work in the prison that he started.He was talking to his old buddies?guys he work with and being thru war with,I was just observing,keeping my mouth shut..One of his bud told him the following "You change since you got those stripes,you’re am asshole!WOW,,,,,,Guest you really don’t know your friends..

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Commander is the truth plain and simple.Being a backup is my job to assist the floor officers,now I know I am not perfect but they,not all of them need to communicate,you are not weak if you are tired or about to go under,I will respect you for informing me that you are tire if you don’t tell me and the proverbial crap hits the fan,you can bet I will not put my job on the line for them…

All it will take for am inmate to get assaulted during 3 shift and you can bet they will look at the camera to see if the officers where making their rounds.My job is to back them up when they do,extra set of eyes and my hand near the emergency button on my radio…So far no incident.I always grateful for a good shift.
 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Canusxiii I think if you feel that you would like to be a supervisor by all means apply and let management know you are interested. I was a supervisor on weekends or when the Sgts were off and although it was busy some days I did quite well. I know that Commander had much more experience as a supervisor than I did so he can advise you about the advantages and pitfalls of supervision. One thing you need to learn is that the fellow officers you work with now will become subordinates under your command if you are a supervisor. That creates some dissension in the ranks because some of the officers are jealous you got promoted rather than them, some of them are going to resent you from things that happened months or years ago in your relationships with them. Others who are the dedicated officers will respect your authority and they are the ones you lean on for getting the job done.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

I can tell you from the heart canusxiii, I did not tolerate my partner sleeping on duty while I was an Officer, and I did something about it as a Supervisor. I personally ended 3 careers due to sleeping on duty. There is no place for that. What if your’e making a range check and an Inmate grabs you and slices your throat or even worse, you slip and fall and are knocked unconscious. If your partner is sleeping, he may wake up and find you dead. I would confront him and let him know if you catch him sleeping again, you will write and Incident report. He can call you snitch all day long but in the end you probably saved your life or someone else’s life. That is so disrespectful and such a slap in the face for a nobody to expect everyone else to carry them. Sorry if that came across raw. That is a sore subject. I know what it is like to see a fellow employee wheeled out on a gurney with a sheet over their head or zipped up in a body bag. A feeling that reaches inside your soul and threatens to rip it out. Keep your eyes and ears open. Sounds like you may have to watch your own back.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Jamestown congratulations on your retirement.I got a long way to go before I do.Good post,I work with am officer who has two jobs right now,his excuse for sleeping on the job! He doesn’t realized he is setting a bad example for the new guys,he tends to block the camera view to his podium so he won’t be seing sleeping,he makes his rounds somehow?.
Setting a bad example to the new guys.caught one doing the same the other day.Told her to take a walk she wasn’t to happy….Granted working 3rd shift ain’t easy but we gotta do our jobs.Someone told me I make a great supervisor the other day,thinking about it,right now my greatest problem is the officers I work with,good ones to oh I hope they step up if the shit hit the fan?

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Yes Commander like yourself I am glad that I retired last year. Its so true that as officers you have to put up with two separate but combined groups of personalities. First the inmates who have nothing better to do for 24 hours than screw with the COs, and the second group is your fellow officers. Among the officers you have the “I am going to sit on my ass all day”; “I don’t do that”; “shut up ass or I will come in the block and beat the crap out of you”; “this job sucks”; “they don’t pay me enough”; “I’m tired, leave me alone.” Then the officers like you and I were doing our job everyday to the best of our abilities.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Losing control is a very bad thing. Working in corrections you find a lot of different personalities and cultural back grounds. Some Officers come to work to be the man because they can’t at home. Some female Officer come to work looking to “Hook Up”. Some Officers come to work not to work. Then there are those of us who come to work to do the right thing. I always prided myself on being on the straight and narrow. I was not perfect. WHen an Inmate assualted a Staff member, did we twist his wrist a little harder? Maybe…. Did we escort him alittle harder? Maybe….. But, you have to know where to draw the line. I did not believe in hitting an Inmate while he was in restraints. I would not allow an inmate to invade my personal space (about 5ft circle around my body). If one stepped to close, I drew my OC or PR-24 as an immediate reaction and show of force. Inmates would laugh and say are you scared, I would then answer “No, are you?” Normally they would immediately retreat when they seen you draw on them. I never backed down from any confrontation. But, some required good talking skills. The Inmates know from your 1st day, what your’e alll about. You don’t have to try to convince them otherwise. As they constantly have to prove themselves to other Inmates, you too have to prove yourself dailey not only to the Inmates but to fellow staff members and yourself. I have no respect for Officer, Supervisor, or anyone else who goes to work to get their honey. I went to work to get my money. The job is stressful enough. I am not saying it isn’t cool if you and another Officer hit it off and then develope a relationship. I am just saying that there is a time and a place for that. Work is not it. You guys probably have had to deal with cliques while at work. Seems the harder you work and the more dependable you are, the more they mess with you. Well, take comfort in this, when you retire, you no longer have to deal with them. They are on their own now.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Jamestown it sounds liked you got you’re hands full.Being a relief officer and a backup,support on the dorms is my job to make sure the floor officers on 3 shift don’t lose control.Is a compliment when I am walking away from the dorm I heard the word ass….,means I am doing my job.Second a paper trail would cut their tv privilege ,only one tv on the dorm.We keep the remote and the power for the tv are outside the dorms so we can shut them down at 10pm.
You never know when they will go off.Gotta be on guard constantly for the unexpected.Any problems right now would bring a shakedown on them….
Hardest thing for me is getting along with all of my officers,one officer,newbie had a habit of getting of his podium and running down to the dorm gate anytime he didn’t like what he hear,put a stop to that,I see you running I am assuming there is a fight or medical…so don’t run keep up the good work,,,,,VerbalJudo helps

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

I have told officers time and time again that you need to be consistent when running a floor, tier or dorm. It does two things. First the inmates know that you as the officer know what you are doing, have confidence in yourself and demand respect to get respect from them. Second, any officer who follows you in that unit knows the inmates obey the rules and that he or she doesn’t have to be concerned about issues that started on your shift and now become theirs. If the dorm rule is inmates lock in every hour, then do it. We had a rule that beds had to be made and TVs off before they leave the cell for rec, visits, doctor call etc. If they didn’t do that the inmate would get a demerit. Eight demerits, out of the pod and very strict rules about behavior as it is considered a privilege to be in a dorm instead of the linear section of the jail. We started issuing jail charges on inmates years ago for various rule book violations (classed by A-B-C-D, A being the most serious). The disciplinary officers would hold a hearing to determine if they violated a rule then would decide how many days of double-lock they would receive. In the past five years inmates who assaulted inmates were criminally charged with Assault 2nd, a 2 to 4 year possible sentence. Staff assaults were the same charge and in New York state a new law gets an inmate 4 years in prison for throwing any liquid at a CO and a second offence gets 4 more years in prison. Stay safe.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Is pretty easy to loose control if you gived the inmates am inch they will want a mile I used to said.Some of the best units I was in where the ones the officers back each other.Example;Eastside pod 80.1 sallyport,co watching the doors and cells on east and west also 80 inmates.With unity came a well run floor.If there where disagreement there where problems.Sadly,the relief co with only 3 years in was bringing in contraband.

Not saying I was the best there is but when I felt I was going to loose control ,cell searches,on top of more,extra sheets,fan or radio I’d don’t match their inmate I’d …. Still learning but if you don’t make your rounds, stay in the dugout or podium,you are showing them that you don’t care.Making my rounds am saying in my mind “They shall I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death”helps.Scare yea but I cannot show it or else they will run the pod.
 
Male user Stag 3 posts

I have worked in the same jail for a few years. In dealing with inmates I am firm but fair, what I do to one I do to all. I am considered a tough officer. I have respect of most inmates, the ones that know what respect is. That’s all we have behind the walls. I tell the inmates that I don’t care what there here for or why. My job is safety and security of lives and whether or not they like it we have rules that they are to follow. If there choose not to follow them then I will take action to correct their mistake. If they want to be loud and disruptive, fight and just be hateful to other, we have a place for them. A place they can yell, scream, kick their doors, intimidate other, and be disruptive. I send the to the "Hole.’ It’s only a report. After that I back up what I said but in a respectful way. We don’t hold these position as judges. Who cares why they are there. Do you job and run your cell block. If you see an inmate running you block for you reclass him to another area and gain control of your blocks.
I do understand about the administration. The Good Ole Boys. Eventually they will fade out. Also if you think things need to be fixed, put yourself in a position to assist in fixing them…..promotions.
I also understand that some of the officers that let the inmates rule, flip some of that responsibility back on the F.T.O.s and instructors. They teach and watch these new recruits and let them slide. Senior Officer???? you are to blame to. We need to help each by protecting each other. If you see an officer do something wrong or let things slide, let them know so they can be a better officer. We are a team. Let’s start acting like one. Later.

 
Male user danbox 2 posts

I’ve worked in the prison system for 17yrs now and i have to state that this problem is also a trend in my system in the caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. This attitude displayed by our senior staff has encouraged a sharp rise in our inmates confrontational attitude towards officers and a sharp decrease in officer’s moral. To compound the situation inmates who habitually offend against prison policy are not dealt with or are given simple warnings. When such inmates push the envelope to far and force is used. they take us to courts and usually win large amounts of money against the state why?? because no charges was ever brought against the inmate no record in his file of previous infractions and in the eyes of the court he is a model prisoner further demoralizing the entire system. I am all reformation instead of retributive prison policy. but i do believe that reformation cannot occur without retribution. spare the rod and spoil the already spoilt child Heeeeelll No!!!

 
Male user Wiseguy 12 posts

I’ve worked in a county jail in Wa state for 14 yrs now and have definately noticed a trend. I have never worked at another facility so this is only my observation. There is a large sense of entitlement that has become more and more pervassive over my career. I believe this is in large a symptom of the generation we find comming through our facilities. The administration in my facility has always had a more liberal approach to disciplinary punishment. They are constantly questioning major infractions and often reduce or dismiss infractions entirely. Subsequently line staff become frustrated with the lack of support from administration. In my mind, dealing with a problematic inmate swiftly but fairly stops these issues from becoming the norm. When the administration reduces an infraction for a behavior problem, they undermine the authority line staff have to enforce the policies and procedures that are often written by the adminstration in the first place!

 
Srt misc 266 Striker 34 posts

nothing wrong with being a redneck transporter..

 
Garfield Irishsprig 16 posts

At my prison it is common practice to call a family member of an inmate anytime they are admitted for anything. I feel this opens up a whole new can of worms because now you have family members showing up wanting to visit. Many times it has been ok’d by our major for an inmate to receive visits even though the inmate is not critical. What is to stop a friend, family member, or gang rival from bringing a gun there? Even a double lifer will have his family notified because he was admitted for something as simple as cellulitis. The danger that the officers and the public can face are not being taken seriously in my view.

 
Garfield Irishsprig 16 posts

noneya sounds like a average 4th grade level stupid ex-inmate. Not only was this person talking out of their ass, their grammer and spelling shows the level of education they have. I guess if I had or was someone who robbed, raped babies, stole….. I wouldn’t want to follow institutional rules cause “I bez do’in my thang, & no M**F is gon’na F* with me I do bez telling my peoplez man!” Keep going noneya….. your still on the right path! lol

 
Horn toad Transporter 41 posts

Wow! I hate that I am getting in on this a year late, but I gotta comment. (It’s just my nature to speak my mind where idiots and criminals are concerned.)

Noneya has got to be a former inmate. The way they stand up for the inmate and talk plenty of $##! about the rest of us!? Come on? THAT’S an inmate posting without doubt! Or at least an inmate in the making. We have had approximately 6 female guards fired from our facility for shacking up with or dating former inmates. THIS sounds like how it gets started.

As for the topic itself: I believe we coddle the inmate too much. FAR TOO MUCH! In the facility where I work there are older (job wise) guards who are related to many of the “repeaters.” They give them more slack and that gets around to other inmates who try to leverage it when they don’t get their way. Those type guards make a dangerous job potentially deadly. I tell new guards to avoid confrontation if possible but to be ready to react if the situation calls for it. There is a time for “talking down off the ledge” and there is a time for a “ride on the lightening” (that’d be the Taser Noneya) or a dash of pepper.

As for the “victimization of offenders” stuff…well, stay the hell outta jail and it won’t happen. I’s like I tell all the inmates who complain about the jail and staff: “If you don’t like the rules, BOND OUT and don’t come back!”

For the record I DO HAVE two categories of inmates I don’t give a rat’s rear end about. That’d be the child sex offenders and the child abusers. They can rot in the hole then rot in Hell for all I care. Sorry folks, that’s just the Redneck in me.

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