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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/9/2005 9:07:16 PM EDT
This is a article a read once and kinda sums things up.

What would the average citizen say if it were proposed that Police Officers be assigned to a neighborhood which was inhabited by no one but criminals and those Officers would be unarmed, patrol on foot and be heavily out numbered? I wager that the overwhelming public response would be that the Officers would have to be crazy to accept such an assignment. However as you read this, such a scenario is being played out in all areas of the country.
We are Correctional Officers. Not Guards (who are people that watch school crossings). We work at minimum, medium, and maximum security Correctional Facilities. We are empowered by the State to enforce its Penal Laws, rules, and regulations of the Department of Correctional Services. In short we are Policemen. Our beat is totally inhabited by convicted felons who, by definition, are people who tend to break laws, rules, and regulations. We are out numbered by as many as 50 to 1 at various times of our work day and contrary to popular belief, we work without a side arm. In short, our necks are on the line every minute of every day.

A Correctional Facility is a very misunderstood enviornment. The average person has very little knowledge of it's workings. Society sends it's criminals to Correctional Facilities and as time passes, each criminals crime fades from our memory until the collective prison population becomes hordes of bad people being warehoused away from decent society in a place where they can cause no further harm. There is also the notion that prison inmates cease to be a problem when they are incarcerated.

Correctional Facilities are full of violence perpetrated by the prison population against the prison population and facility staff. Felonies are committed daily but are rarely reported. They are called "unusual incidents" and rarely result in criminal prosecution. Discipline is handled internally and, as a rule, the public is rarely informed of these crimes. In the course of maintaining order in these facilities, many Officers have endured the humiliation of having urine and feces thrown at them. Uncounted Correctional Officers have been kicked, bitten, stabbed and slashed with home made weapons, taken hostage, murdered and even raped in the line of duty, all while being legally mandated to maintain their Professional Composure and refraining from any retaliation which could be the basis for dismissal from service.

In addition to these obvious dangers, Correctional Officers face hidden dangers in the form of AIDS, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C. Courts are now imposing longer sentences and the prison population is increasing far beyond the systems designated capacity. As the public demands more police on the street, governments everywhere are cutting police in prison where violence reigns supreme, jeopardizing all those working behind prison walls.

Although you will never see us on "911" or "Top Cops" we are Law Enforcement Professionals. We are the "FORGOTTEN COP," hidden from public view, doing a dangerous beat, hoping someday to receive the respect and approval from the public who


Copyright © 1995

Used with Permission

Donald E. Premo, Jr.
New York State Correction Sergeant
Coxsackie Correctional Facility

Out of a graduating class of 35 officers there are 3 left from mine at 8 years. Our current staffing for the state of Delaware is 345 positions short of minimum staffing levels.(Total officers 1200,Full staffing 1800) Things are only getting worse for correctional officers. You always here about more officers being added to the streets to combat crime but Its starting to take its toll in the correctional inst. , as officers continue to be given larger amounts of inmates to be taken care of. This is a problem all around the country.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 6:18:25 AM EDT
Yep, you're crazy. I couldn't do that job.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 7:03:00 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 7:51:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2005 7:56:17 AM EDT by NorCal_LEO]
Theres a book that gives some insight into a CO's job that I read awhile ago called "Newjack". In fact, it plays out in this article's author's agency IIRC.

A reporter gets turned down for a request to do an article, so he goes through the corrections academy and actually gets the job.

I would be interested to hear opinions from any CO's that read this.


Link Posted: 8/10/2005 1:18:40 PM EDT
That's a good book. I read it a few years ago, very interesting indeed. Very good insight into how the correctional system is run over there.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 3:54:19 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 4:13:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2005 4:14:13 PM EDT by ARmory04]
I worked at Angola for a little over six months when I was 18 . . . . Then I soon got a better paying job in the firearms industry.
I learned quite a bit to say the least, and it has definitely benefited me as a Police Officer. I can tell almost as soon as someone gets out of their car if they've done time or not.
It was an experience . . . .
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 4:28:01 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 4:44:11 PM EDT
When I worked for the state level DOC I always loved the look on the faces of the police that came in to interview an inmate when we told the they had to lock up their weapons before they came threw the gate.

It's an eye opener thats for sure.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 5:16:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 6:16:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Striker:
We had an on going problem with one of the local PD constables when he was a new part timer. He is a retired MP and I think the other guys put him up to it. He would set up a speed trap at our shift change and always nailed at least one of us.
We had no problem with the fact he nailed us for speeding..do the crime..blah..blah..blah.
What we did have a problem with was his attitude. He was a real dick when he was writing one of us up. Wrote Correctional Officer in big block letters on the bottom of the ticket, sarcastic,etc.
Well guess who was the responding officer one day when we had a sudden death at work!
He had to go inside and down to a housing unit..in uniform with no duty belt. Along the way he met several of us (not me) that he had ticketed and been a real dickhead to.
All of a sudden we were the long lost brothers he'd never met. We managed to leave him by himself as much as possible although always under observation.
Like walking down a range..the guys stayed about 3 or 4 steps behind him and listened to the inmates welcome him to their house!
Funny thing..after that we never saw him at shift change anymore.

I would have paid good money to see that.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 6:26:12 PM EDT

We on the road have a saying about prisons...the only difference between the people in there are which side of the bars they are standing on.

No seriously, I could/would not do it.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 6:46:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 6:52:15 PM EDT
Let's see...............

I was a US Army MP for 3 years.
I was a VA police/security officer for 6 months.
I was a state correctional officer, in MA, at the largest prison complex in MA, for 2 years.
I am currently a Deputy Sheriff, having served in the jail, and on patrol.

You can make jail/prison sound like as much of a wild west show as you like. The truth is that often times units or facilities that run poorly are caused by ineffective control by individual officers, or the prison administration.

Yes there are very bad people in there. But the envirnment is supposed to be controlled, as much as possible.....................

Take one of those same prisoners, put him on a drug/alc. binge, give him a weapon, and a car............... See how much different he is then. Police officers may have more tools that correctional officers, but police officers work in an uncontrolled environment.

Correctional officers are just that, correctional officers. They are not police officers, Judges, or any other part of the justice system. They are what they are.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 7:24:03 PM EDT
I posted the "Forgotten Cop " on the GD Board a couple of years ago and the response was mixed
Some were Sympathetic and others were downright Hostile

Most people including the County Cops here do not want to do our job
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 7:49:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:

Police officers may have more tools that correctional officers, but police officers work in an uncontrolled environment.

Correctional officers are just that, correctional officers. They are not police officers, Judges, or any other part of the justice system. They are what they are.

No offense but a Correction Officer was ambushed, shot and killed yesterday while performing his Transportation Duties.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 9:03:58 PM EDT
I have been a c/o for four years at level 4 prison It is one of the most thankless jobs there are. And I'll tell you when police officers come in and they see even one inmate in the hall they refuse to step through the trap we all have tough jobs and without one part or the other it would not work but corrections are looked at as the red headed stepchildren of law enforcement
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 1:45:34 PM EDT
C/O's are the redheaded step children in LE. It is a thankless job. My neighbor works at a Prison unit about 25 miles away. He is one tough old hombre too.
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