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Maximum Security Prison Guard Shares The Most Disturbing Parts Of His Job

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posted on May, 20 2013 @ 11:59 AM
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Just enjoying my morning coffee, thought this was worth a share.
I found this article really interesting because prison was something that I saw portrayed in movies and to be frank, I never understood or cared for that matter what went on inside as i'm sure most of the people are in there for due cause. However, reading it from the perspective of a Corrections Officer, who himself has feared his own life on many occasions, really did intrigue me and wanted to share with my fellow ATSers

[Side note - I do understand that the US has some very harsh penalties that I absolutely do not agree with in regards to time being served, but by "most" I mean that i'm sure there are the few wrongfully accused]

Link


Corrections officers (CO) responsible for overseeing prisons work in one of the most stressful and hazardous jobs in the U.S. — topping the list of occupations with some of the highest nonfatal on-the-job injuries


One Ohio CO came to Reddit and went on to answer questions in an "Ask-Me-Anything" (AMA) format, offering a very interesting (and somewhat disturbing) look at the life of a prison gatekeeper.
(Some answers have been slightly edited for clarity.)



On whether he has ever been afraid for his life while on the job:
I once denied access to chow 5 minutes too early and had 70 irate inmates standing in front of me pounding their fists. I called for backup, but at that moment I feared for my life due to their sheer strength in numbers.
I once was clocking out and was told by my supervisor that there was a riot planned in the block I was working that day and they planned to take a CO hostage. Thanks a lot, boss.

On the dangers that officers face outside of work:
My wife and I have a code phrase. If we are out and about and I say "time to find socks", and quickly walk away--that means I've spotted a former inmate that could possibly wish harm on me and my family. The life of my family and my life are threatened every day, followed by "I get out in xxx days." It only takes one to follow up.
He went on to say he's run into former inmates twice, but they ended "without incident." He also noted that "time to find socks" was not the actual code he uses.


On some of the unique weapons prisoners are able to create:
I see a lot of straightened, sharpened bed springs. A razor blade melted into a toothbrush handle. Tightly rolled paper and elastic band from a pair of underwear can be used to make a lethal bow and arrow.


On what was the most disturbing contraband item ever discovered at his facility:
Cell phones are HORRIBLE. Gang leaders can quickly communicate and coordinate with other inmates at other institutions. Riots, murders... Things like that. I've found steroids. Freakishly strong, insubordinate inmates that refuse to [do] anything you ask are dangerous. Especially when it becomes physical.

On how prisoners can possibly get such an item:
Staff bring in phones and in return are paid on the street by inmates' families.
I've heard [smugglers can be paid] $1500 for a smart phone. But I've never fully investigated. I value my career and livelihood of my family [too much] to do something impulsive like that.



On the importance of respect in prison:
The older gang leaders are respected by staff if they give the respect. They don't have to lift a finger on the compound. Their soldiers get them food, clothes, press their clothing, do all their work really. Older inmates that are respectable are called "convicts". A young gang banger is an "inmate".

On how prisoners find out about convicted child molesters and rapists:
When they call their families, they have the family member look up the inmate by name or number on the state offender search Web page where charges are listed. Child molesters normally have a very distinguishing look to them. He agreed that inmates generally despise rapists and child molesters, saying "they are preyed upon and extorted very much."

On how to survive your first day in the joint:
Mean what you say and say what you mean. If you tell a guy you will get him something, get it for him. If you tell a guy you're gonna slam him if he doesn't go back to his cell, well ... get busy.

On whether he ever feels pity towards any of the inmates:
It does break my heart when I see an inmate holding his kids in the visit room. Those children did nothing to have their father taken away. A father is a protector and a mentor. Those children are missing all of that.





I would suggest looking into the AMA link, there were a few other greats questions that perhaps were unsuited for the ATS policy.. Mods, move if necessary!

(At the bottom of the link, you can read the full AMA)



edit on 20-5-2013 by RooskiZombi because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 20 2013 @ 12:06 PM
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reply to post by RooskiZombi
 


Thanks for sharing. It's surprising how both crazy and smart a lot of criminals are in prison. I can agree it's dangerous because of lot of conflict between prisoners and staff. Lock-up is a great program that shows what happens in jails and prisons. But it's always good to here the dirty details from a guard who has first hand experience.



posted on May, 20 2013 @ 12:09 PM
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reply to post by Phoenix267
 


Agreed!
The Bow and Arrow underwear made me chuckle. Very creative indeed.



posted on May, 20 2013 @ 12:11 PM
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reply to post by RooskiZombi
 
Someone very close to me was a prison guard for a few years. There is a HUGE turnover and they are often far under staffed. It is a very dangerous and thankless job and if you show any sign of weakness (kindness is more often than not interpreted as weakness) you put yourself and your co-workers in extreme danger. My dear friend was beaten almost to death in a stairwell and other prisoners blocked the other guards from getting to him. The prisoner only had one month left of his sentence and had an additional 15 years added because of the incident. Most of those incarcerated are definitely there for a reason and though the majority claim innocence only a tiny fraction of them have been imprisoned unfairly.



posted on May, 20 2013 @ 12:18 PM
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reply to post by littled16
 


It's scary knowing the only laws and rules obeyed are the ones enforced. Regardless if it's by the prison staff or gangs. As a person who sees people as animals I can see how dangerous and crazy people are in prison. A lot of them are charming enough to persuade anyone to their bedding. I cannot sugarcoat that people in prison are slaves to the system. These people are literally animals who would do anything for power and control.



posted on May, 20 2013 @ 12:21 PM
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reply to post by littled16
 


I hope your friend is better.. That is awful

I can imagine the turn over rate being quite high. I considered doing this line of work but in a minimum or even youth facility but had too many people discourage me with the implied dangers, especially as a small woman.

What in a persons right mind would make them, with one month left, commit a crime that would more likely than not add more time? The mentality is beyond me..



edit on 20-5-2013 by RooskiZombi because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2013 @ 12:25 PM
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Does prisoner brutality exist? Or from your experience, is it pretty much followed to the book?

I've seen inmates beaten so badly by staff, for assaulting staff, that they are unrecognizable.
They are just as violent amongst each other. Some will slit the throat of another over a debt of two packages of soups (ramen noodles)



posted on May, 20 2013 @ 02:02 PM
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I went to prison (NO, I will NOT TALK ABOUT WHY I WAS THERE, none of your business, think what you want, not my problem), and basically kept to myself, frequented the library, and worked in the mess hall. I didn't have any problems with the COs, they pretty much left you alone if you're not a troublemaker. They can pretty much pick out who is going to be a problem and who isn't. I gave them the respect they're entitled to, and got the same in return. When I was getting out, most shook my hand as I was leaving, telling me not to come back lol.



posted on May, 20 2013 @ 02:17 PM
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My small town has 5 prisons. One is DOJ run, the rest are private. I know lots of prison guards. Much of what is said here is correct. The grittiest type of stuff seems omitted....but i haven't had time to read the link.

In any event, I do not support our prison system. It preys on the poor to create corporate profit.



posted on May, 20 2013 @ 02:44 PM
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One of the answers I found a bit surprising was in regards to the intimate aspect of prison, so to speak..



Almost weekly there is an AMA from former prisoners. Every single one I've seen they say that inmate rape is very, very rare. They always say that consensual sex is common, but rape just doesn't happen often at all.
Are you saying that your experience at your prison is different than that?

I'd say it is consensual 99 per. of the time. They regret it afterwards and claim rape.


I wonder if that is true...



posted on May, 20 2013 @ 10:32 PM
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Originally posted by RooskiZombi
One of the answers I found a bit surprising was in regards to the intimate aspect of prison, so to speak..



Almost weekly there is an AMA from former prisoners. Every single one I've seen they say that inmate rape is very, very rare. They always say that consensual sex is common, but rape just doesn't happen often at all.
Are you saying that your experience at your prison is different than that?

I'd say it is consensual 99 per. of the time. They regret it afterwards and claim rape.


I wonder if that is true...


I heard of one instance of that when I was down



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