Messaged the mods with proof. While we wait for their stamp of approval, lets get the ball rolling!

Edit - Thanks everyone for participating in my IAmA. I hope I was able to sufficiently answer all of your questions. It is currently 2:25pm CST. I'll be answering questions for about 30 more minutes, and then I must bid you farewell! Feel free to leave a question, and I will get to it tomorrow afternoon.

Comments: 335 • Responses: 107  • Date: 

GooseSlayer12 karma

Do you think the prison system should focus more on rehabilitation of inmates or on a level of punishment that acts as a deterrent to future criminal activity?

HooShKab00sh35 karma

Rehabilitation should not be handled by the prison system. Rehabilitation is something that needs to take place outside of the prison system. It should also be guided by qualified individuals capable of addressing the underlying issues surrounding the offenders personal choices and habits that led to the initial offense.

The prison system itself should be focused purely on punishment, as that is its purpose.

tappie14 karma

I agree with this statement whole heartedly. Being incarcerated was the most unpleasant experience in my life and the only thing I learned is that I never wanted to return. Once out I made sure to never make the same mistakes or any others that would land me there again. If I had been comfortable in there, or been taught that was where I went to get help I may have made much different decisions once I was free.

HooShKab00sh12 karma

Thank you for proving my point. It's much different for the people who have actually been there than it is for the people who just have an opinion.

HomelessBurrito7 karma

Thanks for the reply. My question is: How can you expect to rehabilitate offenders outside the prison system after they are locked away like animals for many years in the company of other criminals. Try locking up a dog in a tiny cell and then letting him back out on the street, I wouldn't to be the person opening the door. The rehabilitation process should be part, and the main goal of the prison system - they cannot be separated. Western countries such as Finland, Sweden, and Norway who treat prisoners like human beings and give them life skills and work expereince while in prison, experience the lowest recidivism rates.

HooShKab00sh31 karma

The rehabilitation process has to be started a tried before an offender even sets foot in a prison. The US has a terrible habit of slapping ridiculous prison sentences on people who actually need help.

Lighting6 karma

Interesting - I've never thought of it that way before. So you'd separate rehabilitation from prison and make prison what then? A place to send the people who would never be released and just keep them in solitary? I don't understand why you think people in prison should not be given rehabilitation services?

HooShKab00sh6 karma

It has a lot to do with the mentality of institutionalization. I think it's important to separate the two because sending someone to a rehabilitation center to get better or correct a behavior is less damaging than sending them to prison. It's all about mindset.

Lighting3 karma

Ah - so it's a labeling thing then. They are still "sent away" but to a different class of place. My gut guess is that if the person is ever going to be released, and is at all rehabilitatable, then it and things like addiction treatment should be part of all levels so that when they are released, recidivism and the ultimate cost/damage to society would be lower.

I know in some states they do that already - where people like Moms with young kids are sent to a rehabilitation center to see if they can abide by strict guidelines with frequent drug tests, etc and if they can't then they get sent to prison. I have heard AZ used to do that until they privatized their prison system and now just send anyone they can get to prison and scrapped a lot of the rehabilitation services. (note: just hearsay - I've not researched the actual stats on AZ)

HooShKab00sh4 karma

That's why I was said previously that rehabilitation would have to be voluntary. So they are not "sent away" and the distinction between the two is more than just labels.

SadPoliwhirl1 karma

Why should we punish people for crimes in the first place? The only thing that punishment does is make victims feel better. It satisfies their need to hurt those who have hurt them. But of course this only applies to violent offenders. What about the non-violent offenders? Often jail only serves to damage prisoners mentally, taking away years of their life that they will never get back. Personally, I think the concept of "punishment" is barbaric and a caveman way of thinking. Prisons should not exist in the form that they do. Look to Norway's prison system, with one of the lowest recurrence rates in the world. They are KNOWN for cushy prisons centered on rehabilitation.

HooShKab00sh3 karma

As pointed out by /u/HomelessBurrito

Finland, Sweden, and Norway who treat prisoners like human beings and give them life skills and work expereince while in prison, experience the lowest recidivism rates.

It can be done, the US is just doing it wrong.

SadPoliwhirl2 karma

Yes, I understand, but you seem to be saying slightly conflicting things. You say that the rehabilitation process should start before they set foot in prison. But this implies that you still believe prison should even be a thing, and you stated that the main point of prison should be "punishment". My main point is, you seem to support a facility whose main goal is to "punish" prisoners, at least in some situations. Can you justify this, or dispute it?

HooShKab00sh1 karma

There are going to be people who cannot be rehabilitated, or don't want to be. There will need to be a prison for these people. Robert Charles Gleason Jr. is a good example.

You could also argue what would have happened if he never went to prison to begin with and instead got sent to a rehabilitation center. In that case, what if?

sarrafish9 karma

You mentioned that a friendship or positive relationship with inmates can get you ostracized, I've seen the opposite. Not putting down your opinion/experience because I know it varies site to site.

My uncle is a correctional officer and got jumped by a guy, was out of work for 2 weeks recovering. While he was out, inmates that liked my uncle beat the living shit out of the guy who jumped my uncle. The guy never gave any correctional officer trouble again.

HooShKab00sh11 karma

Firm but fair. I've had many inmates tell me they've got my back if something happens. I'm personable and I'm consistent. That's all you really need to be in a setting like this.

Non123459 karma

I recently watched the documentary called "The House I lived in" which is an insight on the War on Drugs in the United States. It talked a lot about how mandatory minimums and mass incarcerations weren't the way to go to solve the drug problem the US was facing. I was just curious about your view on this as a corrections officer.

HooShKab00sh22 karma

Personally, it saddens me to see the way some of these guys have ruined their live by using drugs. What makes it even more despairing is the fact that some of these guys can't stop, and prison isn't helping.

Like any other addiction, you have to treat it. You can't lock someone in a room for months or years and expect the addiction to go away. It's habit, both physical and psychological, and it has to properly be broken.

It took tons of self perseverance before I was able to quit smoking cigarettes. I can't imagine what the harder drugs do to you.

apocryphon18 karma

I've been loving your responses. About this, and about the rehabilitation. I really hope there are many more officers out there who are as "human" as you. Locking someone up and throwing away the key because of drug addictions will never solve the problem.

HooShKab00sh7 karma

Thanks for reading! I try to rub off on coworkers as much as I can.

zoukon9 karma

so, exactly what does a correctional officer do? How is a normal day at work for you?

HooShKab00sh22 karma

A NORMAL day at work consists of lots of Reddit and watching the news with the inmates. It's highly dependent on what type of facility you work in. The style of my housing unit amounts to what is essentially daycare for offenders.

complacency kills though. These guys can and will snap at any point. We had an officer that works down in the kitchen gets his throat cut open years back. You always have to be on your toes.

buttons3015 karma

Did he survive?

HooShKab00sh8 karma

Yes, and he actually worked a few more years until retirement.

Kush51507 karma

What are your thoughts on private, for profit prisons?

HooShKab00sh5 karma

For profit prisons are good in my book.

For profit rehab centers are not.

Kush51506 karma

Could you elaborate as to why you think they are good? And, how do you counter the argument that innocent or non violent offenders are getting locked up because of profits?

HooShKab00sh9 karma

I suppose it's a very real possibility that innocent or non violent offenders are being locked up purely for profit, but it seem highly improbable. That's a convoluted plot that requires all sorts of officials to run it properly. From a stand point of making money, a talented book keeper and a friendly off-shore bank would be much simpler.

The reason I say for profit prisons are good, is because these prisoners who are there for punishment are still getting it, but there are countless other people who are able to make a living off of it. They are also generally much more efficient and practical than state run facilities.

citizenkane8615 karma

I don't mean to burst your bubble, but "Highly Improbable" actually happened... and it doesn't appear that hard to pull off

HooShKab00sh9 karma


Kush51506 karma

Easier than you'd think. Not trying to bash you or anything. You have given your thought out and honest answer, just another perspective I guess. Thanks, have a good one.

HooShKab00sh6 karma

I see. I'll be a little more observant next time!

whyyshrekispiss3 karma


HooShKab00sh3 karma

Thank you!

Jamesev935 karma

Do you think it's a conflict of interest to run a private prison though? Your job is to punish those so they wont come back, however its bad for business if they don't come back - So to speak?

In the same way its bad for business for a drug company to discover a super-affordable treatment for an illness, but would rather charge people more to treat them? If you can understand my analogy - it is 1:21am in south ameristralia

HooShKab00sh2 karma

I completely understand, but I think it's more of a paradox than anything else. It shouldn't happen, but it does, and it doesn't look like it's ever going to stop.

TalleyrandP7 karma

What have your experiences been with prisoner rape so far? A person who worked with prisoners in the Massachussets prison system said officers sometimes ignored instances of gang rape because it helped keep an established hierarchy.

HooShKab00sh7 karma

Being at county level, rape doesn't happen very often here because the turnover is a little bit higher. There are always offenders coming and going. That being said, I haven't personally had to deal with a rape scenario, and I'm glad.

StuntPaul6 karma

Any real characters come your way? Who was the strangest person you encountered?

HooShKab00sh8 karma

Characters would be an understatement. Over the years (four to be exact) I've met many different people from all walks of life. I'd have to say the strangest person I've ever encountered was Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, who was arrested in connection with a bombing plot targeting the Fountain Place skyscraper is Dallas, TX.

allnutty6 karma

Is it true, that guards will let slip to other inmates, that a new inmate is a paedophile or child molester? So that "justice" can be served?

HooShKab00sh8 karma

I've heard of it happening, but that is an extreme violation of policy as well as trust. How can you expect the inmate to listen to you if they can't trust you?

Bamont5 karma

How do you feel about the revolving door mentality of the justice system? My father was a district attorney for almost two decades, and he used to tell me that while probation was good in some cases, the parole system is one of the most ineffective and ridiculous concoctions the state ever created. A vast majority of criminals return to their previous lifestyles because the opportunities to succeed do not exist in most prisons, and especially within the given population.

Do you experience this? Do you usually see the same people coming and going out of the system? What do you think we can do to change it?

HooShKab00sh9 karma

I see many of the same faces coming in and out. It's always the "You're back again?! What happened this time?" kind of thing.

As far as actual prevention and rehabilitation goes, I really think it has to be done outside of the justice system. You can't steer someone clear of incarceration by incarcerating them. It makes no sense, and it is not a proper deterrent. Consider the following facts. More than 50 percent of all crimes are committed by re-offenders, and 40 percent to 60 percent of parolees return to prison.

Bamont14 karma

While I appreciate you doing this AMA, I think you're unfortunately part of a systemic problem in this country with regard to how we treat offenders. There's a reason why the recidivism rate in the United States is so high in comparison to others: most other wealthy, industrialized nations do the exact opposite of what you just stated. They rehabilitate people while they're incarcerated, and not only is this healthy for society, it's also healthy for criminals.

Essentially, your approach double-dips. Not only do you punish them while providing no (or very few) opportunities to better themselves, but you also want to wait until they're phased back into society (after being locked up with other violent offenders in fairly isolated conditions) to start the rehabilitation process. How much sense does that make, really?

I recall watching a documentary where a lifer earned his college degree and started helping other inmates get their GEDs and take some college courses while incarcerated. The average recidivism rate for the rest of the prison was almost 75%, and [those he taught] teetered at around 20%. There's an obvious connection between providing people with the tools and education necessary and a reduction in the propensity of crime.

HooShKab00sh4 karma

Rehabilitation should mainly be for the first time offender, and rare for the repeat criminal. The program must be voluntary, involuntary rehabilitation will never work. Reward for successful completion of the program would be a complete erasure of the offender's criminal record, so the individual can reenter society with a clean slate.

jchillinandshit4 karma

involuntary rehabilitation does work. The man who sponsored bill wilson (founder of aa) was mandated by the court to go through the steps with the oxford group. he did not "want" to get sober

HooShKab00sh3 karma

There's always an exception.

Bamont-2 karma

Your response is quite indicative of the tunnel-visioned nature of those who work in the justice system. I'd be willing to bet you've never stopped to rationally consider whether or not repeat criminals are a result of a failed judicial and incarceration system.

Furthermore, involuntary rehabilitation does work (and is less expensive). Involuntary incarceration into a violent and overcrowded prison system does not.

HooShKab00sh4 karma

It's fine if you hate the justice system, but I don't understand where you get off calling my response "tunnel-visioned".

Are you even reading what I'm writing?

_BaNaNa5 karma

He watched a documentary, so it makes him an expert. How can you not agree with his logic?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

I see. I'll definitely be adding more documentaries to my "must watch" list.


Did your prison guard union tell you to say this?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

I never joined the union. Those fees are retarded considering how much we get paid.

LiberalTennessean5 karma

What is the weirdest/most dangerous thing you've found hidden in a cell?

HooShKab00sh9 karma

Weirdest is mentioned in a previous reply.

A dildo made out of soap. Crafty as hell, but strange, considering it wasn't a homosexual unit.

As for the most dangerous, shanks and a cell phone.

bigtimesauce7 karma

"most dangerous"

"cell phone"

Interesting thought.

HooShKab00sh10 karma

A guard at the prison near my work was shot in the parking lot after her shift. Cell phones in prison/jail are dangerous.

GoSharkDogsGo1 karma

There are homosexual units?

HooShKab00sh5 karma

Yes. They are voluntary.

kelification4 karma

How do you become a correctional officer? Did you have to get any special qualifications before applying for the job?

HooShKab00sh5 karma

Varies from place to place. At my particular place of employment, you have to be 18 with a diploma and in reasonable physical shape.

corkboy4 karma

How much correcting would you do on an average day?

HooShKab00sh5 karma

Not much. Maybe one or two mistakes / rule infractions.

serendipitousevent13 karma

'Colour WITHIN the lines, prisoner!'



HooShKab00sh5 karma

Reminds me of the finger painting scene from the south park episode The Death Camp of Tolerance

GriffenBHO1 karma

great episode

HooShKab00sh3 karma

Ein bear?! Und bear has nothing to do with accepting people of different races!

Piippana3 karma

Adebisi behaving good?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

We get along. He's teaching me how to crack a coconut with my scrotum.

mac_miller_fan3 karma

Do you think that Marijuana law reform needs to happen soon?

HooShKab00sh3 karma

It's already happening.

mac_miller_fan3 karma

Not so much in the midwest.

HooShKab00sh4 karma

Give it time. Once the federal government gets a look at the state budgets of marijuana legal states, I'm sure they'll change their minds.

And if they don't, other states will.

HooShKab00sh2 karma

This article is exactly right. There needs to be better applicant screening, higher standards, and more pay.

everystory3 karma

Have you ever had anything resembling a friendship or a positive personal relationship with one of the prisoners?

HooShKab00sh13 karma

Friendship or positive "personal" relationship, no. That kind of thing will get you ostracized by your coworkers and possibly fired, depending on the circumstances. I do, however, have positive interactions with virtually every offender I meet. I really go out of my way to make sure that these guys know I am just as human as they are.

deabag3 karma

Is it true that inmates throw piss at guards, or are they on their best behaviour because they have trials pending?

HooShKab00sh10 karma

Piss and other bodily fluids are commonly tossed at officers who single themselves out by acting like assholes.

zoukon3 karma

is it normal for the prisoners to show aggressive behaviour towards you or the other officers?

HooShKab00sh5 karma

Aggressive behavior is not as common place as most people think. Inmates stand to gain more from being manipulative, which they play the part well. I've seen many officers fired and even arrested after getting personally tangled up with offenders in their housing units.

The_Black_Stallion3 karma

Whats your best story of employee corruption. Unnecessary force, smuggling, fighting, etc..

HooShKab00sh17 karma

A smuggling ring consisting of 13 people is being investigated. As of today, I believe four of those people have been arrested. Two more have been fired. There really aren't too many stories regarding corruption, as that kind of thing is generally kept under wraps by internal affairs.

As for unnecessary force, I had to pull a coworker off of an inmate after he started beating him senseless for running his mouth. An inmate can stand there and talk shit all day, but assault is assault, even if you are an officer.

bigbudtrill3 karma

Have you ever witnessed someone trying to escape or plotting on escaping?

HooShKab00sh1 karma

Never witnessed someone escape, but we had an inmate climb up the fence and through the razor wire a few weeks ago on the midnight shift. He was caught at a hospital about three days later.

cloom151 karma

Just curious, but why would an inmate be outside during the night?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

Sanitation workers taking out the trash.

donuts13 karma

Have you ever had a moment where you seriously feared for your safety?

HooShKab00sh16 karma

Yep. The most recent one took place in the nurses station. A sizable offender was brought to us from book-in for preliminary screening and a psych evaluation. Standing at ~6' and easily 300 pounds, it would take more than one person to get his guy under control should he decide to act out.

As luck would have it, I was the only one there when he decided to rush me. I was caught off guard and knocked backwards onto a gurney while this guy was trying his hardest to beat me into a pulp. I grabbed both of his wrists and brought my knee up and over in front of my groin to protect myself as best I could. After a coupe of minutes of struggling, some coworkers arrived and offered up a healthy dose of mace. Needless to say I was caught in the crossfire. Not fun!

hibernatepaths2 karma

What kind of seld defense equipment do they give you? Club, mace, stun-gun? Taser? Something else?

Do you get a choice or is it all standard issue?

HooShKab00sh4 karma

We are issued mace and hand-cuffs. I choose to carry neither.

hibernatepaths2 karma

Very interesting! I'm assuming it helps with gaining the inmates trust for a more agreeable working atmosphere?

It seems smart, but you must be very confident then. Do you have any kind of self-defense training?

HooShKab00sh8 karma

Basic defensive tactics, but to be honest, it was like 5 hours of rolling around on a blue mat and calling it a day.

Confidence is key around here. I choose to carry neither because I come to work every day believing I can handle any situation with compassion and wit rather than brute force. It helps to build trust with the inmates and gain respect.

I do, however, attend krav maga classes once a week. Got to be prepared!

morganweedman2 karma

What's the strangest/most disturbing thing you've seen since you've worked there?

HooShKab00sh8 karma

I got pooped on by an old man who apparently had the whole thing planned out. I took the bait...

Tactical_Milk_Man4 karma

That sounds disgusting. How did he even get the chance?

HooShKab00sh18 karma

He "fell" out of his wheel chair and couldn't lift himself back up. Upon picking him up and helping him back into his chair, he proceeded to shit on me and said "I got you, you mother fucker! hahaha"

GriffenBHO2 karma

Can an undergrad with a psych degree get a job at a prison pretty easily? Thats my plan?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

If you are sure that's your plan, you shouldn't run into any issues as long as you pass all the necessary checks and balances.

GriffenBHO1 karma

what kinda job would it be? Pay?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

Pay is highly subjective to the agency you are applying with. The job is also pretty subjective. Some agencies are so small you will be responsible for most every step of the process. This is pretty normal for city level jails. County, depending on location, is where things start to scale. Since the system is much bigger, you'll be responsible for one part of the machine. I work at a county level inside of a housing unit, so my days are pretty routine. I also bring home about 2k a month AFTER taxes, medical, dental, and retirement.

Edit : That figure does not include overtime.

GriffenBHO1 karma

I mean working as some sort of psychological assistant or worker. I know i need a masters before I can really do much, but cant I do thing like intake evals and such?

HooShKab00sh1 karma

You'd be working with the medical facility that your agency has a contract with. I have no idea what the qualifications would be.

GriffenBHO1 karma

thats man relevant info. Think I should bulk up if im not the biggest guy around if im guna be working with abunch of these crazy motherfuckers?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

Bulking up isn't necessary. Just make sure you are proficient in the art of self defense. No amount of muscle will let you over power someone on PCP.

DirtSmoothie2 karma

Are you aware of the story of the Real Rick Ross? Rick Ross the rapper's name is William Roberts, he was a corrections officer before trying the music industry. He took his name from Freeway Rick Ross, who was a notorious drug dealer before goung to jail. Now Freeway has been released through the system, and is making a documentary. The Joe Rogan Experience has several great interview with Freeway Rick Ross.

HooShKab00sh2 karma

Fully aware. I really never understood what the big deal was with the rapper being a former CO.

Mackinstyle2 karma

Do you find it problematic to society that 1% of American men are incarcerated?

Based on what you've seen in these jails, if I gave you $100B a year to spend, how would you spend it in attempt to lower the number of incarcerations each year?

HooShKab00sh1 karma

More more more rehabilitation attempts before turning to a prison sentence.

Mackinstyle2 karma

What about preventative measures? Do you think better public schools and better social programs would have an impact or is the problem more systemic to US society?


HooShKab00sh1 karma

Both of those would have a huge impact. I didn't mention them because I thought you wanted a narrowed answer. Sorry about that!

ashole112 karma

Most famous inmate?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

Hosam Maher Husein Smadi

GlitchEF2 karma

Have you connected with any of the inmates and become friends with them after their release? Any awesome success stories to share?

HooShKab00sh5 karma

No success stories to share so far.

Although, the sister of a former inmate is on her rise to stardom. Check her out!

Cops and Robbers - Noelle Bean

muricarocks2 karma

What do you think about the war on drugs? What do you say to critics that say that longer sentences does not lead to less crime? What is your take on the school to prison pipeline? What do you think about private prisons?

What is your response to correctional unions who donate money to candidates that are tough on crime and who keep the status quo on drug laws?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

Its all just as crooked as the next business. I don't agree with many of the things that happen, including "charitable" donations for campaigning.

Wright5142 karma

How much college education(if any) is required or recommended for that position? Also, are there any opportunities for advancement? I'm a female college freshman who is interested in this type of career so thanks for doing this AMA :)

HooShKab00sh3 karma

Advancement is more likely the bigger the agency. As for requirements or recommendations, it varied by agency.

I'm waiting on the next promotional exam to be issued. I'm studied and ready!

5T0RM2 karma

How often does prison rape between inmates occur?

HooShKab00sh1 karma

Where I work, not very often at all.

Makern2 karma

Do you work at one of the prisons that if the inmates start a fight, you just let them fight and afterwards, just pick up the peices?

HooShKab00sh1 karma

I'll call for backup and wait. Usually they have enough time to duke it out before backup arrives.

Bonesnapcall2 karma

Did you hear about the female guards in Maryland that were basically sent there by the gang to run the prison for them?

Does your prison have any problems with this?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

I never heard about that, but I will read up on it. Thanks for the tip!

We don't have problems with this. I'd imagine our facility is far too big for this to be realistically possible.

Lighting2 karma

How much of your jail is privatized or for-profit? All of it, just the booking system, the medical system, food services, etc?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

The food services are privatized for profit. Also, an inmate is charged $10 dollars upon usage of medical services if funds are available.

I believe that's all of the profiteering that goes on around here.

CovingtonLane2 karma

Forgive me for not knowing any of the details, but surely you've heard of prisoners who are made to wear pink. I understand they hate it so much that the recidivism rate is low. Do you have opinions on this? Does it work? Or does it just antagonize? Would you like to see it implemented where you work or do you call 'bull shit'?

HooShKab00sh3 karma

All the boxers issued to male inmate are pink. I've never heard a serious complaint about it in the last four years. I'm going to have to call bullshit that something so trivial would have any noticeable effect on the recidivism rate.

blingbin2 karma

What's the weirdest contraband you've ever found?

HooShKab00sh4 karma

A dildo made out of soap. Crafty as hell, but strange, considering it wasn't a homosexual unit.

spennyjo1 karma

So there are units that segregate the homosexual population from the rest of the inmates?

HooShKab00sh5 karma

It's completely voluntary. There are these little cards that they can request to fill out so they can be transferred to a homosexual unit.

spennyjo1 karma

Do you have issues with inmates requesting to be on these units to purposefully rape or provoke violence?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

I haven't personally worked in one of the homosexual housing units, but from what I can deduce nobody has done this. Although there was a situation where a male officer was receiving oral sex from one of the male inmates.

mlima51 karma

Theres a separate unit for gay people?

HooShKab00sh1 karma

Yes, but it is voluntary.

JakTheRippa2 karma

Do you feel empathy for any of the inmates, despite them having committed crimes to be there in the first place?

HooShKab00sh12 karma

Well, the interesting thing about working at a county level rather than state is that some of the offenders here haven't actually been proven guilty of anything. As you know, innocent until proven guilty. That being said, I could take the time to research the offenders history to verify any priors, but that is unreasonable if I were to do that with everyone I meet.

That being said, I just make sure that they make it out of here in one piece. I'm no judge, and I don't act like it.

JakTheRippa2 karma

Refreshing attitude towards your role. Do any of your colleagues automatically lean towards empathy or judgement?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

Absolutely. There are coworkers who naturally lean towards one or the other. It's all about personality I'd imagine. I, however, have a strong distaste for someone who leans to far to either side. I try very hard to maintain a neutral stance, and I believe everyone else should too.

JakTheRippa3 karma

My cousin is a former Prison Officer in Scotland and he had some disgusting human beings. At one time he was looking after the Lockerbie Bomber.

He used to have to read the convictions to new prisoners, and he eventually left because he felt it hard to read off the details of disgusting sex acts against newborns and not kill the guy right there and then.

No question, just a thought I had.

HooShKab00sh5 karma

I don't associate with sex offenders anymore than is absolutely necessary. Those people are the scum of the earth.

kaiser_2 karma

How many inmates do you house convicted of drug possession/related offences?

HooShKab00sh6 karma

After looking at a small sample from our facility, it's roughly half, which comes out to around three thousand.

boatorcycle1 karma

I once had a friend come out of a juvie sentence with tons of visible injuries. He explained that once a day the guards would take a tiny kid and a huge kid and make them fight and they beat you if you refused. I didnt believe him at first but a mutual friend told me the same a year later. Is this something you've ever heard of? Are you inclined to believe them? For context, I live in Canada

HooShKab00sh1 karma

I don't work with juvenile offenders, but I don't see this being out of the realm of possibility in the more rural areas of the US.

UlyssesTheSloth1 karma

Who's the worst prisoner you've dealt with?

HooShKab00sh9 karma

A man coming down off of an extreme heroin/PCP high. The easiest way to describe it would be Linda Blair from the Exorcist on steroids.

I don't even think that man knew what planet he was on. Piss and shit EVERYWHERE.

abidingmytime1 karma

Are poor people incarcerated at a greater rate than rich people? Are black people incarcerated at a greater rate than white people?

HooShKab00sh7 karma

I'm going to make a huge generalization here and say that many of the offenders here are at or below the poverty line. As for racial statistics, there are actually more white offenders incarcerated as of this morning than black.

Khoeth_Mora2 karma

Is that consistent with the racial ratios in your area?

HooShKab00sh8 karma

According to data from the US Census Bureau, rate of incarceration is much higher for blacks than whites.

HoldenCaulfield71 karma

I'm curious about relationships between convicts. Are the majority of inmates relatively respectful towards one another or do you have to break up fights a lot?

I sound naive, but are there "prison gangs," like in the movies?

HooShKab00sh6 karma

There are definitely gangs. There is also rampant self imposed racial segregation. I'd say a hefty 90% of the time, the inmates are fairly cordial with one another but there is always the idiot who likes to pick fights. What I find most fascinating is that the inmates will do quite a bit of self policing in order to prevent officers from having to get involved.

clarklil1 karma

Do you think the US should legalize weed?

HooShKab00sh1 karma

It would certainly cut down on the incarceration rate, but I think the regulations imposed on it would have everyone just as mad as they are now.

As for my personal opinion, I don't care either way. I smoked cigarettes for five and a half years and will never smoke anything else as long as I live.

skynxx1 karma

Do Ol' timers still call you a H.A.C.K.?

HooShKab00sh1 karma

Not familiar with the moniker. Mind explaining it?

lmnopqrsthrowaway1 karma

How much sex between prisoners goes on?

HooShKab00sh8 karma

Probably more than I'd like to know. I've only caught a handful of guys in the act.

There was also an incident involving sex between an officer and an inmate. That was pretty hilarious.

lmnopqrsthrowaway3 karma

What happened?

HooShKab00sh8 karma

A girl that worked with us was one of those hefty girls who thought everyone should treat her like a queen because "she had it going on" and men were lining up to be with her.

Turns out she needed a self esteem boost because her fiance left her so she did the dirty with an inmate.

Looking back on it, I wish she would have asked for help or something, but she was a total bitch.

kebzb81 karma

How often do you witness officers mentally or physically abusing inmates?

HooShKab00sh4 karma

Daily. I won't call them out in front of the inmates because I can get in serious trouble for that, but I will address it with them in private if I feel they crossed a line.

kebzb83 karma

I appreciate you answering that honestly. I have asked that question before and received the response that it rarely happens and if it does its totally justifiable. Obviously a prison is an intense place to work in and you are dealing with convicts but I firmly believe that everyone should be held responsible for their actions and your role/profession shouldn't change that. Thank you for doing this AMA!

HooShKab00sh2 karma

Thank you for reading!

srv02 karma

but I will address it with them in private if I feel they crossed a line.

Where exactly is the line? Can you describe the difference between what you consider to be acceptable versus unacceptable in terms of inmate abuse? When is it okay, when is it not?

HooShKab00sh5 karma

If I wouldn't say it to my mother, I don't say it to an inmate. Physical force is excessive if it is not consistent with the ladder of force.

admarok201 karma

What was the most ridiculous "contraband" you caught someone with or saw someone try to sneak in?

HooShKab00sh4 karma

We had a guy high out of his mind get ALL the way to my housing floor with a bag of heroin in his hand. Just clenched in his fist.

What. The. Fuck.

As for "ridiculous", someone managed to sneak his Calvin Klein boxers all the way to the housing unit.

hernanemartinez1 karma

Is it true that weak people gets raped in prison?

HooShKab00sh3 karma

They are victimized, but I've never seen or dealt with a rape.

hernanemartinez1 karma

What do you mean? "Victimized"?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

They have things stolen from them frequently. Forced to give up food from their trays. That kind of thing.

Sarahsmydog1 karma

I understand there is real manipulation tactics used by the inmates. As far as corrections officers go are you trained in how to deal with this? More importantly, do you counter that manipulation with your own tactics? I always imagined prison grounds being a psychological war between CO's and inmates. Thanks for the AMA, hope you have a safe shift!

HooShKab00sh2 karma

No, we are not trained how to deal with manipulation. We are only trained on how to identify it. Also, going by incident rate, women are far more vulnerable to it than men are.

It's interesting that you would call it a psych war between CO's and inmates, because that exactly what it is. It's the worst kind though, being a war of attrition.

Gapmasta1 karma

When you first went into the job how was it compared to what you were expecting?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

It was pretty close to what I had imagined. What shocked me most was the unprofessional nature of my coworkers and the lack of "giving a shit" that was thrown around.

bobby_crane1 karma

Are you a big guy? I imagine most male correctional officers are probably large and fit.

HooShKab00sh2 karma

6'1" weighing in at about 235 pounds.

I'm one of the biggest guys on my shift. It's funny, because I hardly ever put my hands on an inmate.

campermortey1 karma

I worked in the SF County Jail for a while interviewing inmates to see if they were eligible for Own Recognaisance (what a bitch word to spell) and they were really interesting. My experience is that so many of them just seemed to not care. Like they were there for 2 days and didn't seem to care what happened. Have you had this experience?

HooShKab00sh2 karma

With the low level offenders, most of them really don't care. They spend a few days in jail and go on about their business. Most of them don't realize what path they are on until they are looking at 10 to 25. By then it's too late.

campermortey2 karma

Yeah I noticed that. Some of the people though I noticed like this glazed over look on their faces. It was really hard to place. The murderers and the light drug users had the same face. Not all but some. Just struck me as odd and was wondering if you had seen it before.

HooShKab00sh3 karma

All the time. Your observations are spot on.

xmosblow1 karma

What would be the most rediculous thing you have seen an inmate incarcerated for?

I ran into a guy who spent two months in Jail for driving on a suspended DL. I thought that was kind of silly, what kind of overpunishment have you seen?

HooShKab00sh3 karma

I've seen someone sit in jail for months over <2oz of marijuana.

Totally uncalled for and pointless.

sarcasticsadizt1 karma

What do you find is the biggest problem with Jails in America? Overcrowding? Poor treatment of people?

HooShKab00sh3 karma

Staffing. The lack of it and the attitude.

nama-noo-noo1 karma

There was a brilliant documentary on BBC tv about the war on drugs here. Whole communities rely on the prison system for money. People are getting locked up for smoking a bit of pot. Can understand locking up bad people for bad stuff, but locking up someone for doing something that's harming nobody else is pretty sad. How does your conscience sit with locking up people who are obviously not criminals in the true sense of the word? Look at prohibition, and how huge section of population were made into criminals.

HooShKab00sh2 karma

My conscience rests easy because I'm not the one locking these people up. Although I don't agree with it, I don't have the power to stop it.

nama-noo-noo4 karma

wow that sounds like an answer from a crazy psychological experiment. There has to be accountability. Where exactly is the line in the sand? How high does the voltage go! In some respects the whole system as far as the WODrugs goes is dihumanising people. Thanks for the AMA

HooShKab00sh3 karma

I wish there was a better answer, but that's the best I've got. I spent a deal of time in a police academy last year, but I decided that this field of work isn't a viable for me long term. Too much accountability, not enough power to change things. Like inmates, officers are at the mercy of the system.

krcook5101 karma

I graduate from college in December for criminology. What are some job hunting tips you can give me?

HooShKab00sh3 karma

Apply apply apply. And get rid of Facebook. It just makes the process easier.

xxxmonarchy1 karma

Can you get something better than PB&J and stop flashlight treatments?

HooShKab00sh1 karma

You'd be lucky to get a PB&J where I work. Also, we don't carry flashlights.

zSymbolic1 karma

How big of a problem are drugs in your jail?

HooShKab00sh1 karma

We find a sizable amount about once a week. So it's most likely a fairly big problem. We just don't get to most of it in time.