I was asked to do an AmA by several people recently. There was a very good prison guard AmA about two months ago, so I can only offer different perspective and stories.

Due to the security policies and administration of my department I will not be able to disclose where I work beyond it is in America. I also do not represent my department in any way. I will only share stories about incidents that are closed cases and available to the public. I will provide verification of my identity to mods privately.

Edit: Happy New Year! Thank you for making my AmA successful and fun! I will check periodically (tomorrow for sure) to see if there are any additional questions I can answer. Thanks for your interest!

Comments: 369 • Responses: 77  • Date: 

MrKoon17 karma

Do you ever catch prison rape? Do you have an friendly relationships with any prisoners?

These questions do not have to be related.

Sasquatchiii14 karma

I have never personally caught anyone in the act. I have had several reported to me and have taken the appropriate action. I have been told by the inmates that it happens way more often than it is reported however.

I have all types of relationships with the inmates. I work with them 12 hours a day in many capacities. That's only natural. I also honestly want to make the effort to help them become functioning members of society when/if they leave prison.

bigbozz9 karma

What is the "appropriate action" taken in cases of prison rape? Does the victim get relocated/isolated (or do they just get into more trouble with other inmates for snitching)?

Sasquatchiii19 karma

Both. We have a system where they will never be around inmates they feel threatened by including single cell isolation if they need it. However, once an inmate is labeled a snitch, word gets around and we can't control that. Life is hard for a snitch.

mysterybkk6 karma

wouldnt it be desirable for some people to stay in single cells for the remainder of their stay? is there a time limit? i mean if you say that life is hard a snitch, can they ever safely be returned to the general population?

Sasquatchiii8 karma

Nothing is ever completely safe. However we leave it up to them to decide when to resolve a safety concern and we do everything in our power to keep them safe from each other and safe from themselves.

seth7o514 karma

Weirdest thing you've found hidden in a cell?

Sasquatchiii50 karma

Once we found a little homemade cage with a homemade hamster wheel and a picture of a hamster. There was a mouse inside running in the wheel. To be honest it was really creative heh.

lolodotkoli17 karma

Did you guys take it away? Poor guynwas just lonely

Sasquatchiii38 karma

Yes, health concerns. I did think about Mr. Jangles a little bit though :)

PieceOfPie_SK13 karma

Is the relationship between inmates and officers as negative and violent as it is portrayed in the movies?

Sasquatchiii18 karma

Sometimes, but in my experience generally no. I feel relatively safe walking around. I hear a lot of shit talking behind my back, but to my face most of them are respectful enough. If there is violence against staff it seems to be mostly provoked in some fashion or another, with the occasional emotional outburst or mental illness issue.

gunner69612 karma

Worst thing you've seen (or heard about) one inmate do to another??

Sasquatchiii30 karma

One guy smashed another guys head in a door. It crushed his jawbone which went up and severed his jugular vein. He died very quickly and it was very bloody.

Viper-S1512 karma

Have you ever considered suggesting a 'Death Race' type of scenario to make things more fun?

On a more serious note, have you ever had any celebrity guests visiting? (Not necessarily as inmates)

Sasquatchiii12 karma

The thought of the old Colosseum gladiator days has crossed my mind of course, but never in a serious manner. Gladiators are neat, but that is not humane. We have had many movies filmed at this location. Several years back I got paid pretty good overtime to be a security escort for a film crew that came out here for a few days.

Viper-S1513 karma

Thanks for the reply.

I think I've worked out where you work though, is it Azkerban?

Sasquatchiii47 karma

Yes, and I am a Dementor! You caught me.

kmad8610 karma

Any of the women employees conduct in relationships with the inmates?

Sasquatchiii27 karma

Yes. Sadly this happens quite frequently. Women and men get involved with female inmates... and male inmates. Staff sexual misconduct is a sad part of my career as I have seen very close personal friends lose their jobs because of it.

archier10011 karma

how does this happen? do guards have sex with prisoners in their cells? wouldn't other guards/inmates notice?

Sasquatchiii17 karma

That has happened before, yes. There are a slew of places and variety of reasons. Sometimes it is the Officer abusing his/her power, most often it's inmates seducing said Officer.

miaiam5 karma

Do you think women should be guarding violent male offenders?

Sasquatchiii2 karma

Personally? Depends on the woman, but overall no. I've know some bamf women though.

ahchoe10 karma

Opinions on Michael Scofield?

Sasquatchiii19 karma

Dead sexy.

Upvotesplease10 karma

If you had the power let some of those prisoners free (legally) would you?

Sasquatchiii2 karma

I would have to be the Governor, and that will never happen.

labambach7 karma

How often do you find the inmates making and drinking hooch?

Sasquatchiii11 karma

As often as I search cells. They can make it really quickly, under 2 days generally.

macjunkie6 karma

have you participated in an execution? does it effect you?

Sasquatchiii9 karma

Participated directly no, but I have been here while they have occurred. There is a lot of media attention when an execution takes place and a lot of protestors. There is a lot more security needed on those nights. I have not been in the room while executions take place. Sadly, over time I have become very desensitized and can't say many things affect me.

elaskows26 karma

Any successful escape stories?

Sasquatchiii17 karma

Not since I have been employed here. The only "escapes" per se were walkaways from half way houses (where some inmates parole to). As far as the prison compound it's self, no. There have been a handful of attempts, but nothing anywhere near an escape.

dominicl146 karma

Do you sometime imagine yourself you could evade from this prison, I mean, you must know it a bit or seen people try, right?

Sasquatchiii17 karma

Yes! Everywhere I go inside I think to myself "If I was an inmate, I would try this..." My imagination keeps me pretty proactive and I've found quite a bit of contraband because I thought to myself "I'd probably hide shit in there" then find shit in there.

MSTmatt5 karma

Do you feel like the prison system actually rehabilitates and corrects the inmate's behaviors, or do you think it is just to separate them from the rest of society for a given period?

Sasquatchiii9 karma

I think we have a lot of programs in place and certainly try, but I think its quite a bit of both. Many opportunities to program are available but only some people take it The majority of offenders re-offend either way.

felinepiracy5 karma


Sasquatchiii8 karma

I was working retail for very little money. I played paintball with a guy that worked out here and he told me their starting pay. It was .75 cents more an hour than I was currently making. Applied, got the job, made a tiny bit more money hehe. The insurance was pretty good too and the 20 year retirement is very nice.

All of the time. about 80% of the inmates that parole or terminate wind up back here. There is a joke about a revolving door...

I am married. I don't want to indulge much information about my wife, but needless to say her working environment is just as dangerous as mine, so she does not mind it.

I have never felt like my life was in dire jeopardy yet. I have been assaulted a handful of times, but never with a weapon and never serious injuries.


Have you become friends with any of the prisoners? Any interesting stories?

Sasquatchiii15 karma

Friends, not so much. For instance I ran into a guy at a bar and he offered to buy me a drink which I politely refused. We did chat for a bit however. I ran into another one at a Carl's Jr. who made my meal and brought it out to me personally because he remembered me. I wouldn't hang out with them and play Xbox or anything, but I'm friendly enough. Association is against policy also.

Rod_Belding5 karma

Do you see this as a long term career? What's the next step as far as promotions go and are they hard to obtain? Thanks for the AMA!

Sasquatchiii9 karma

I have been here 10 years. In 10 years I can retire. I have been on the promotion list for Sgt. but have not made it quite yet. They have had Sgt. tests 4 times, LT. tests 2 or 3 times, and Captain tests twice in the last 10 years.

NRB5 karma

As someone who has been hired and will soon start training to be a Corrections Officer, what is something that you could tell me to make the first couple weeks easier?

Sasquatchiii40 karma

These guys are human beings. Treat them like you would want to be treated. Be firm, but fair. Don't say one thing then do another. Be honest and beyond reproach. At the same time remember than many of them are very dangerous. Stay alert of your surroundings and never fall into a state of complacency. Leave your work at work, and your home at home. Don't take things personal.

archier1005 karma

What is the pay like?

How dangerous is the job? Per year how many guards are seriously injured at your facility?

Sasquatchiii6 karma

I make just over $17 an hour. In the 10 years I have been here there has been one fatality and a handful of minor injuries against staff.

puddles85543 karma

FATALITY? Can you describe that?

Sasquatchiii2 karma

I can't go into detail on this because it would make finding where I work very easy. I'm sorry. An inmate murdered an officer however.

enjee4 karma

Any corruption? If so, what's the worst thing you've ever heard of or seen another guard doing?

Sasquatchiii12 karma

In my opinion corruption happens at all levels. I feel there have been some very corrupt decisions made by administration. I only know about corruption amongst staff based on them getting caught and disciplined. I can only assume there is more based on the amount of contraband recovered and through talking with inmates. It does happen however. I have seen CO's get hired specifically to mule things in to the inmates. This is not a very common occurrence, at least I hope not.

Sasquatchiii21 karma

Oh I didn't answer your second question very effectively. Once an Officer brought in a gun to an inmate. He thought it was no big deal since he didn't bring any bullets. He was snitched off before it was ever delivered thankfully, since the inmate already had bullets in his possession. This was a very long time ago.

drunk_kronk4 karma

Have you met anyone you thought was imprisoned for something he didn't do?

Sasquatchiii18 karma

Yes as a matter of fact. We had a guy that was locked up for like 22 years or some crazy amount of time, then one day out of the blue he was exonerated and immediately released. I'm relatively certain this happens all over the world, but it is very statistically unlikely.

drunk_kronk5 karma

But did you think he was innocent before hand?

Sasquatchiii13 karma

I generally don't concern myself with why someone is in prison or if I believe them to be guilty or not. That process has nothing to do with me. I can only do the job I have been trained for which is keeping them safe during incarceration, and keeping them them from escaping.

drunk_kronk6 karma

Of course well let me ask a follow up question, have you ever had a prisoner who was completely different to what you'd come to expect?

Sasquatchiii27 karma

Certainly. I had to take an inmate down once for being overly aggressive toward another staff and not obeying a direct order to cuff up and cool down. This guy was known for his temper and general insubordination. I'm a really big guy, but this guy was much much stronger. There was a brief wrestling match but he gave up nearly as quickly as it started and let me cuff him. He could have won I'm certain, but he apologized and seemed genuinely remorseful. I saw him at a club years later with a bunch of his "homie" looking friends, a very intimidating crowd. He came and shook my hand and told me about all the good stuff he'd been up to. I have never seen him back at prison.

On the flip side, I know a guy that I used to talk to about like you would talk to a buddy. One day he tried to throw shit on me... I was surprised.

Derothil5 karma

Of all the AMA's I've read from other CO's... I'm more inclined to believe you even if there is a lack of physical evidence because you sounds like an actual veteran CO. Hats off to you for this one.

Sasquatchiii2 karma

I'm quite surprised the mods have not contacted me for proof yet to be honest. Thank you though, I'm new to reddit and extremely in love already.

CalmYoTitz4 karma

What is the most clever "shank" you've ever found?

Sasquatchiii18 karma

I've seen a variety. Most are slashing types or thin puncture wound types. I once recovered once made of 3/8ths inch thick tempered steel that was about 15" long. No idea where they got that one! Found this one recently. http://imgur.com/jX6Bt

TuckRaker3 karma

Who is the most notorious inmate at the prison and what did they do? What have your interactions with this person been like?

Sasquatchiii17 karma

I can't answer this question. I work with people you have certainly heard of however, and all of my interactions center around mutual respect.

Mr_Fffish3 karma

Most important question of the whole shindig....What movie did you just see?

Sasquatchiii5 karma

Les Miserables! Fantastic show.

dubbykinz3 karma

Wow, this is a very interesting AMA! I did a school project years back on a particular maximum state penitentiary (forgot which one, was back in high school).

What kind of schooling did you have to do to get into this career field? And what motivated you to follow through into this field?

Sasquatchiii6 karma

All you need is a High School diploma and the ability to go through the police academy. Having a degree helps in the promotional process regardless of your major. You can never go wrong with more schooling.

Came here for a .75 cent raise on my current job.


What were you doing before? Was it worth it for that extra $0.75? How much are you paid?

Sasquatchiii3 karma


I make a little over $17 an hour.


$16.50/hr is already pretty good for retail.

Sasquatchiii6 karma

This was 10 years ago when I was making $10 an hour in retail. I hired on to the Prison @$10.75 an hour.

Disturple2 karma

10 years ago you got paid more working in retail than i get paid at my current job... cries

Sasquatchiii2 karma

I was a department head on the night shift too. It was bad.

amaranthb3 karma

What kind of food to they eat? Is it different for each meal of the day? Also, do the workers of your prison eat from the same kitchen? I read somewhere that bologna sandwiches are common, but a jail I know of grows and cooks everything from scratch.

Sasquatchiii5 karma

It's different per day as far as there is a repeating meal schedule every 28 days or something. They three balanced meals a day equal to about 3000 calories if they eat everything. There is one culinary that services the entire compound. I've seen lots of bologna, waffles, biscuits and gravy, pizza, hot dogs, egg rolls... etc. There is a lot of variety. We can eat the food, and some do. Some others bring in their own stuff from home.

UltimateOreo2 karma

Does Sodexo cater your prison?

Sasquatchiii2 karma

I'm not sure. I have never worked in the culinary. I know we have a big workforce of inmate cooks and lots of the stuff is made by them.

sophiethenerd3 karma

Scariest moment?

Sasquatchiii16 karma

I would say the very first time I encountered a relatively big incident. I fished in to the maximum security gang unit. We responded to an emergency button. Looking in the cell there was blood everywhere and this inmates face was beat to a pulp. He had taken blood and wiped it all over the walls in odd witch craft type shapes. While I looked at him through the cell window he was going on about how he had summoned evil spirits and if I entered the cell they would take our soul. He kept banging his head into the wall and speaking it tongues. At the time it was really creepy and I had never encountered anything in my life quite like it. Once we extracted him from his cell, had him seen by medical, and interviewed him it turned out it was all a show. His cell mate had beat the shit out of him and he put on the show so it wouldn't look like he was snitching. I was young, new, and nervous.

bigbozz6 karma

The individual cells have emergency buttons in them for the inmates, or one of the other officers triggered the emergency?

Sasquatchiii6 karma

The majority of our cells have emergency buttons that will alert the control room of any problems. Some even have speakers we can talk/listen with. Depends on how old the pod is.

Strayacnt2 karma

Have you ever had an inmate whom you knew personally from the outside?

Sasquatchiii8 karma

Yes, a few guys I went to school with have come through here.

Wyfind3 karma

What was it like then? Did they expect you to be more lenient to them? Did they give you a hard time?

Sasquatchiii4 karma

More of a "knew of" them situation than like buddies or anything so the relationship was the same as any other inmate. I haven't had anyone I'm good friends with come through here. I do have a buddy who I make fun of all the time because he seems to have more money than he should based on his job. I tell him when they imprison him for white collar crime he needs to give me all his MTG cards and Xbox games or he's gonna live with Bubba.

ericeric100102 karma

What is the weirdest thing you've seen an inmate do to himself or to someone else?

Sasquatchiii27 karma

One guy in max took a staple and slowly cut his chest over and over and over until essentially his rib cage was exposed. He then took a pencil and tried to stab it through into his heart. When we responded there was a TON of blood and he was laying on the floor. The pencil was twitching along with his heart beat. He lived.

One female inmate used to wipe shit in her hair and body and would masturbate with shit.

One guy cut his penis off.

SlicesOfLife5 karma

With what? Psy. patient or a "normal" bloke?

Sasquatchiii10 karma

Two of these were normal guys. The girl was a mental health inmate... most of the time. She'd go back and forth.

Sasquatchiii4 karma

Depends on the housing situation. Even the most secure segregated inmates seem to get things they aren't supposed to have once in a while. The heart guy had been given some stapled documents and the pencil from a lawyer.

ccyy2 karma

How much time is spent rehabilitating people so they have the skills they need to live outside without 3 hots and a cot? Once felons, job opportunities are very limited, so how does the system help retrain them so they don't need to steal in order to be able to eat or otherwise survive?

Sasquatchiii3 karma

We have so much programming, I can't begin to try and list it all. High school, college classes, domestic violence and relationship classes, anger management, vocational training (job skills like welding, building houses and fixing cars etc). The list goes on. We have programs at halfway houses that get them into jobs and placement programs that put them to work, provide housing etc. It seems to me that every opportunity to succeed. The way I see it is that while they are here they make so many criminal associations that offer better paying opportunities on the outside to do illegal things that they just opt for the better pay. I personally think that they make the choices that determine if they do or do not re offend and come back to prison. I would like to hear the opinion of an ex-inmate on this thread though if any of you are reading this.

Jordon19932 karma

do the inmates celebrate holidays with an activity? and if yes which holidays

Sasquatchiii5 karma

Most holidays yes. This last Xmas they all pitched in a bunch of commissary to make a big "spread" and they make homemade ice cream with milk and chic-o-sticks.

sarah_roars2 karma

Hey, I have quite a few. If you can answer them all, wonderful, if not, no worries. I have a brother who's a CO, so a lot of curiosity from that.

  • What kind of questions do you and don't you like family/friends asking about your work? I want to know what's going on in my bro's head, without bugging him.
  • How do you stay positive (coping mechanisms)? I know the work schedule can be pretty vicious, and the environment isn't exactly great.
  • What are the biggest stereotypes you've seen that are true/false about COs and inmates?
  • How would you respond to those who see abuse in every single act of force to help them understand? Are there any fears that you would recognize as valid when it comes to misuse of force?
  • What habits/attitudes have you seen work best for inmates to simply get through prison time?
  • What % of the pop. takes advantage of educational/religious/reform-minded programs?
  • If a state person asked you to provide 3 tips of how they could improve conditions for workers and/or inmates, what would you say? I know it's not your job, but any of us can see where our jobs would be better if something was done differently!

Sasquatchiii5 karma

My family and friends were curious at first, but once they know how boring and routine 99% of the job is, they stop caring as much. I imagine this would differ based on the individual but I tell them anything they want to know.

I cope with copious amounts of alcohol. That and I'm pretty good at separating work and home life. I try not to take things personal.

Most annoying stereotypes are that CO's are a bunch of badge heavy bullies and that inmates are all worthless piles of shit.

Use of force is a tricky situation. According to my training I need to be one step higher on the force continuum than my opponent. Everything we are taught is just to get us home safely. We specifically use gear and higher ratio of staff to inmates in order to maintain our safety. Are there bully cops? Sure. Are there bully inmates? Yes.

Mind your own business, do your own time, never get in to debt.

All of them. We force them to at least finish high school unless they are on detainers waiting to be deported. They have to take sex offender treatment and/or drug programming if that is part of their crime as well.

Give us a bigger budget, be less punitive in the court system for petty crimes, and raise morale for both sides.

BigTalk452 karma

What movie or tv show is the most realistic and which is the most far fetched?

Sasquatchiii12 karma

All of the Lockup series are legit. In fact, I'm in an episode of one of those :) Of course, even then the media pushes it a little far, the inmates and officers brag a little more than necessary etc.

Edit: Most far fetched? Probably Oz.

iRayneMoon2 karma

Good timing and thanks for doing an AMA!

I have a strange question from an article I read awhile ago about prison abuse and I would really appreciate your professional opinion.

Let me see if I can sum it up clearly because the article wasn't online... So it will take a bit to get to the question.

This one prison had staff that was abusing this prisoner who was emotionally and mentally not all there to begin with. He wasn't violent in the least, in fact quite the opposite, he was well known for being anxious and jumpy, but also gentle and soft spoken. It was so well known that other prisoners actually left him alone and told new inmates to not bother him.

Long story short, a few guards would abuse him. They'd go in his cell and kick him around and blame the other prisoners, they purposefully humiliated him by asking him to "speak up" and "stop shaking", and taunted him by making sudden loud noises to startle him.

A few of the specific incidents were pretty bad. One incident he had started to lose weight from stress and three guards came into his cell at night and made him eat dirt and rocks. The guards that abused him also had a running bet to see who could get him to "jump the best" by making a loud noise or alarming him someway. Another, he was having night terrors and yelling in his sleep and one of the guards started to beat him in his sleep to make him be quiet.

Then later he got really bad insomnia from being too afraid to sleep so he had to see a doctor. The doctor saw marks on him and could tell he wasn't mentally sound. Further investigating led to the guards being fired and charged with several different things. Also the abused prisoner's case was reopened after interest in him grew a little. Turned out a glaring piece of evidence was overlooked and he hadn't committed homicide, but had acted in self defense. So the story had a happy ending...

While the guards at his first prison were being investigated he was staying in another prison, for obvious reasons. The guards there didn't really know how to handle him because he'd just hide under his bed and rock back and forth. He wouldn't talk very much, wouldn't make eye contact, absolutely hated being touched or having people in his space...

So the question I have is about a prisoner like him...

How are guards/staff suppose to handle a prisoner like that? A prisoner who isn't violent or aggressive, but just scared and upset? The guards at his second prison tried dragging him out of his room, which turned out to be a bad idea because it terrified him so much he'd faint on occasion... I mean, seriously, what do you do?

Sasquatchiii8 karma

I have not seen a situation remotely like that. Police brutality is nothing new however, and if that story is 100% accurate then those Officers did not deserve to be employed. If I had an inmate like that I would get him to the mental health ward. It would be up to the doctors there to determine what happens to him from that point unless he becomes a security threat. From what I've seen most non-violent mentally ill offenders either get heavily medicated or moved to the state hospital.

iRayneMoon2 karma

This was awhile ago to be fair, and in a somewhat rural area that tends to be easy to overlook if you know what I mean. Even then it is a really bizarre situation.

When the guy was released he just went back to being a hermit and living on his small farm. Guy was polite, easy going, and kind of reminded people of a shell shocked war veteran, so everyone tended to be careful with him. He lived a few towns over from here.

If prisoners aren't aggressive, but scared of guards how are you suppose to handle the situation if it happens the one time before you have them sent to the hospital? Is it the same as an aggressive prisoner threatening violence?

Sasquatchiii4 karma

If an inmate is aggressive our of fear or for any reason I will take the same actions. I can't determine the motif behind his aggression so I will do what I'm trained to stop the threat and keep myself and co-workers safe. This involves a force continuum, or in other words, I need to always be one step higher to maintain control of the incident.

dregofsociety2 karma

Has the Mexican Mafia infiltrated your prison? If you are in Cali, the question is moot since it's the home of the eMe. If you are in Cali, has the loyalty to the eMe from its members continued to dwindle with many of them PCing up?

Sasquatchiii3 karma

We have some, and many loyalists.

intelligentleman22 karma

What is the best prison joke an inmate has told you?

Sasquatchiii6 karma

One I had a black inmate come up to me and ask "Why do niggers stink?" To which I replied "uuuuuuuuuh" Black guy "So blind people can hate us too!"

I giggled. He reminded me of Dave Chapelle hehe.

Gershon122 karma

Most creative way you found someone try to smuggle drugs?

Sasquatchiii13 karma

We have a lot of stray cats that wander the prison yards. They slip in and out of the fences with ease. On one unit I had guys that fed the cats so they would hang out more. It was neat for a while until I noticed the cats started having collars on them. Upon further investigation I learned that visitors on the outside of the fences in the parking lot were feeding these cats also. One visitor put collars on them all and would tie little pouches of drugs on them. The cats would then slip in past security to eat what the inmates were feeding them.

Thursdayftw2 karma

What's your opinion on how our prison system is compared to something like Sweden's?

Sasquatchiii10 karma

I don't have any information on how Sweden does their Corrections. Perhaps we should do an AmA request for prison guards in other countries?

Thursdayftw5 karma

America is a terrible place to serve time in. It's terrible. Sweden focuses on prisoner rehabilitation and education. The point is to come out a better person than you went in. In America, you come out much, much worse than you went in. This contributes to quite a lot of repeat offenders

Sasquatchiii4 karma

I'll have to look into how they do things, you've sparked my curiosity.

generousheart2 karma

How does one break out of prison?

Sasquatchiii3 karma

I've never seen a successful way. We have two 25' perimeter fences that are covered with razor wire. It's serious. There are also motion, vibration, and microwave alarms, outside patrol, and tower guards. I've seen ONE person make it over the first fence. He broke both his legs on the other side and was severely cut up. There were officers on scene before he even made it over as well. He gave up.

Viper-S152 karma

If you are still answering questions, I have not seen this one asked:

What is the quality of life like for inmates in your prison? What kind of food do they get and what "entertainment" is there? Do they get TVs, internet etc?

Thank you.

Sasquatchiii2 karma

They get three meals a day, balanced and nutritious. Quite honestly it's usually tasty also. I've eaten with them many times over the years. The well behaved ones are eligible to rent TVs. They can purchase CD players and books and such. There is time in the yard and gym. They are able to have people come visit. There are various religious studies. All of these benefits are based on behavior and with these privileges come consequences for breaking rules. They can all be taken away to help manage offender behaviors.

LordOfTheSloths2 karma

Have you read Ted Conover's novel "NewJack: Guarding Sing Sing"? If so, is it an accurate description of what life as a CO is like? I'm a criminal justice student, and after reading this novel, becoming a CO is the last thing I'd want to pursue as a career choice, especially as a female. Would you recommend this career choice?

Sasquatchiii2 karma

I have not read that. A LOT of people here at least come work at the prison because we pay to tut them through the police academy. They are then on a two year contract to repay the state. Now with P.O.S.T. Certification and two years of experience they are much more eligible to get a job with another state, county, or municipal police force, and it didn't cost them a dime. I know several females that work at my institution, and most of them seem to enjoy it. Most of them work with female inmates but plenty work with the men as well.

thilardiel2 karma

How were you able to publish the picture of the shank on this website? First, pictures like that are property of the state you work for, right? Like, you took the picture from a camera owned by the facility and took an electronic copy of the picture and sent it to an email account? If your employer found out, would you be in deep shit?

It's a generic shank, so it's not likely to be identified so I doubt there will be any consequences.

Is your prison privatized or are you an employee of your state?

Sasquatchiii6 karma

We did not pursue the shank as evidence in any investigation. It was tossed into a box of various shanks and other contraband that we showcase to the public who come through on tours. To the best of my knowledge that makes it safe to share. If an administrator found out and got a hair up his ass over it, I could potentially be in deep shit. The same goes for this AmA. This is one of the reasons I can not disclose who I work for. We are not privatized.

superbreadninja2 karma

Would you rather fight 100 duck sized inmates or 1 horse sized inmate?

Sasquatchiii4 karma

100 duck sized inmates, cause how cool would it be to be a part of Gullivers Travels?

Hoof_Hearted122 karma

What's the deal with the Aryan Brotherhood, are they as badass as they seem on TV?

Sasquatchiii3 karma

I think the tv exaggerates most everything. I have seen some severe acts of violence from that gang, but the same goes for every other gang we have.

Gardimus2 karma

What changes would you like seen implemented to the correctional system?

How could you make the correctional system more effective?

Sasquatchiii4 karma

I would like to see higher morale amongst staff. The environment is inherently negative and hard to work in but on top of that administration is constantly cutting benefits and rarely giving cost of living increases let alone raises. As the years go by I see less and less effort put in to communication and training as well. I'd like to see more effort put in to unifying staff as a team. It never hurts to have more training as well.

MikefromPrison2 karma


Sasquatchiii5 karma

Very strong patronus spells. Oddly, they always come out as bulls.

catsrule3621 karma

In what capacity are you armed?

Ever caught or stopped a prison escape?

Any successful ones?

What's the pay like?

Do you enjoy the job?

Why did you choose said job?

How old are you now?

When did you decide to become a guard?

When do you think you'll quit?

Sasquatchiii3 karma

Working inside on housing units I carry pepper spray and handcuffs. In secure rooms I have access to riot gear, shields, pepper ball guns, OC gas and gas masks. In the control room we have a shot gun with less lethal and lethal rounds. Outside we have sniper rifles and shot guns in the towers and the patrol units have shotguns in their vehicles and sidearms.

I have been involved in a few attempted escapes, but nothing really noteworthy as they were half assing it. Nothing neat here. No one has escaped for at least 10 years.

Just over $17 an hour.

It has it's days. Most of the time it's boring. Some of the time it's incredibly shitty. Overall it provides for the family and gives me good insurance.

I came here for a .75 cent increase over my previous retail job.

I am 34.

When I was 24.

When I am at least 44!

hhhnnnnnggggggg2 karma

Is it worth the danger? How dangerous would you label it?

Sasquatchiii2 karma

More dangerous than Walmart, less dangerous than ice road trucking.

chadandjody2 karma

Out of curiosity, what are the conditions for use of the sniper rifle? I assume it's not just for a prisoner escaping but for some situation of a person immediately threatening another person's life.

Sasquatchiii2 karma

Escape ONLY. Any other use without authorization would be a terminable offense. Although our policy contradicts state law on this one, so if I shot an inmate stabbing another inmate I would lose my job but not be criminally charged.

[deleted]1 karma


Sasquatchiii5 karma

I have answered this a few other times in this thread.

bobbrah1 karma

Have you been bribed by inmates with connection to the outside before? Like to smuggle in drugs. And how common does that happen If you wanted to make side money doing this, would you be able too easily , hypothetically

Sasquatchiii5 karma

I have been approached several times with the offer to make a little money on the side by bringing in things for inmates. This is a common problem that occurs and some officers get sucked in to it. They offer you lots of money to bring in something not illegal at first, something you couldn't get criminally charged with, but as soon as you do it once they've hooked you in because now they can hold it over your head by saying how they will rat on you and get you fired if you don't start bringing in more stuff. I've seen staff get wrangled in like that to where they were bringing in all sorts of packages from the outside that the officer did not even know what was inside it. It's a bad situation. Could you make a lot of money? Probably. Would it be easy? Certainly. Would you eventually get caught? Absolutely. Inmates would rat you out in a heartbeat as soon as you lost your value. Is it worth it in the end? Not at all. Besides, as a "Correctional" Officer it is my duty to act with integrity and honor to set an example.

bigbozz2 karma

So there are no checks on what COs are bringing in to work with them (so I could just walk in with a small "lunch box" full of drugs without anyone knowing)?

Sasquatchiii3 karma

This differs from prison to prison. We have to use a see through bag to bring our lunch or whatever we bring. Besides that they check our IDs at several points on the way in. Policy states that you can be subject to a search of yourself or your property, but I have never seen that happen. We SHOULD be able to trust all the people we work with.

archier1001 karma

Reading some of your other responses, looks like some of the inmates are possibly insane. Does prison make prisoners go crazy? Do they ever recover from going crazy if so?

Sasquatchiii3 karma

I can't say what makes people crazy. I can say we have many mental health programs in place to help those in need. I am not qualified to say if people recover or not from mental illness based on the doctors and programs we have available.

OCG1 karma

What's the worst part about your job?

Sasquatchiii2 karma

For me personally it's the low morale amongst staff and the "us and them" dichotomy between staff and administration. As law enforcement I would love to see more of a team effort from all.

Of course I can't say that looking at a bunch of dicks all the time is my favorite thing either. Strip searches and urinalysis mean lots of dick gazing.