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  #126  
Old 03-24-2019, 07:33 AM
carm2405 carm2405 is offline
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Bikerguy - thanks for all your responses on this thread. It is all very interesting... I have some more questions:

- someone asked before what you "liked and disliked" about your job - but I'd like to nuance it a bit differently:
What is the most fulfilling thing about working with prisoners?
What is the most difficult or frustrating part of your job?

- you said before that you like the pay/benefits/pensions - so why do you think there seems to be a shortage of COs in many prisons?

- is it true that in some prisons housekeeping and maintenance staff have to fill-in for a shortage of CO's?

- what is "GED"? I am not American, and am not familiar with this term.

- In an earlier message you said:

Quote:
the unit bosses make sure it runs smoothly and there are no problems on the shift.
by "unit bosses" do you mean a prisoner who is sort of a leader of the unit? are these "fair" bosses or "bullies"?? Are there sort of "alpha-male" fights amongst inmates to take the role of a "unit boss"

- Finally, it seems to be a fact that the prison population in America is a much larger percentage of the population than other "Western" countries. Do you think America will ever change to a more "rehabilitative or restorative" system rather than punitive. From my perspective, I think that calling prisons "Penitentiaries" seems to not offer any hope for a person to be changed and re-introduced to society. Other prisons in America are called "correctional institutions" and that creates a more positive impression.
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  #127  
Old 03-24-2019, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carm2405 View Post
- what is "GED"? I am not American, and am not familiar with this term.
This one isn't specific to prison so I'll save him some keystrokes. :P
GED is a general education diploma. It used to be considered an alternate to a traditional high school diploma earned by attending (roughly) four years of high school. But now it's accepted as an equal certification as people choose to take GED exams over attending traditional high school for a wide variety of reasons.

High school diploma = GED.
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  #128  
Old 03-24-2019, 04:18 PM
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US federal prisons require every inmate who does not have at least a High School diploma (12 years of schooling) to attend GED classes in bop prisons. It still depends on the individual, is it a learning experience, or nap time.
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  #129  
Old 03-24-2019, 06:27 PM
Bikerguy Bikerguy is offline
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Is it harder to deal with the inmates while they are on lockdown? As far as their attitudes go?
Attitudes? Not really. Attitudes don't really bother me. The issues with a lockdown is the logistics. Feeding them means bringing food to them when usually they walk to the chow hall or bringing medical and medication to them instead of them going to the clinic to get their daily dose.

It's honestly more work for us.
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  #130  
Old 03-24-2019, 06:57 PM
Bikerguy Bikerguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carm2405 View Post
What is the most fulfilling thing about working with prisoners?
What is the most difficult or frustrating part of your job?

- you said before that you like the pay/benefits/pensions - so why do you think there seems to be a shortage of COs in many prisons?

- is it true that in some prisons housekeeping and maintenance staff have to fill-in for a shortage of CO's?

- what is "GED"? I am not American, and am not familiar with this term.

- In an earlier message you said:



by "unit bosses" do you mean a prisoner who is sort of a leader of the unit? are these "fair" bosses or "bullies"?? Are there sort of "alpha-male" fights amongst inmates to take the role of a "unit boss"

- Finally, it seems to be a fact that the prison population in America is a much larger percentage of the population than other "Western" countries. Do you think America will ever change to a more "rehabilitative or restorative" system rather than punitive. From my perspective, I think that calling prisons "Penitentiaries" seems to not offer any hope for a person to be changed and re-introduced to society. Other prisons in America are called "correctional institutions" and that creates a more positive impression.
Its really hard to say there is anything fulfilling about my job.

I'm not a substance abuse counseler who helps someone with their sobriety or a marriage counselor or a teacher. I'm not a police officer who takes down a massive drug ring after many months or a detective that solves a murder. Many times I am just a warehouse worker. Sure there are times I find a large amount of contraband but that feeling of success goes away because it is an uphill battle.

What frustrates me? Well the easy answer is management. But it's also the fact that we can be doing more, much more. But the powers that be don't want to spend the money. To hire more teachers and more COs to better police the prison.

There is a shortage because in many states, COs are the lowest paid law enforcement and many leave after a few years to be police. Plus with ever tight budgets, management does not or can not hire more.

In the federal prisons all staff are considered law enforcement and are trained equally reguardless of their actual job. Because of that many fill in from their normal jobs to be COs because they have a shortage of COs.

70% of prisoners do not have a high school diploma (primary school when you graduate at 18 before going to university) so most prisons attempt to at least have GED classes so they can get an "equivalent diploma" to high school.

Prison is a tribal society and the tribe is usually broken down by race. Each tribe is really a prison gang. We can sometimes get information from the gang leaders about the overall "climate" in the prison. Most of the time it really makes it easier for us to pass off unofficial information to them.

As a unit officer I can talk to the leaders about my expectations of their behavior in the unit. Sometimes I notice a particular inmate might be displaying an attitude or he might be a few steps away from getting into serious trouble. So I tell the leaders and they can talk to him. I'm not saying they go and beat the guy up. But they will have a talk about his attitude that way less heat will come to all of them.
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