Been working for the department of corrections for about a year. It's a love/hate relationship

Sorry folks, fell asleep. I will be periodically checking the thread and answering what questions I can until I get back home and can't give this my main focus

Comments: 189 • Responses: 54  • Date: 

Nessie31 karma

Corrections officer. Is that anything like a grammar nazi?

Corrections_eh15 karma

i see what you did there... not sure how i feel about your joke though.

SeeBelowForDetails27 karma

Don't taze him bro.

webhero7710 karma

Don't rephrase me bro.

Corrections_eh4 karma

I approve of that, it pleases me.

Robbyrobbb12 karma

A good friend of mine is a CO and says he often treats inmates like normal people and doesn't curse or be aggressive unless its warranted. How cordial are you with the inmates?

Also he's mentioned to me that after having decent conversations with inmates he's curious what got them here so he looks it up and then his jaw hits the floor. How often do you do that and what the most fucked up thing you've seen a guy in for?

Corrections_eh4 karma

The other individual is correct, it's a very odd relatioship. You have to treat them like people, because they're all human (for the most part.) It's all about consistency really. You can't go into the job and be a lamb and try to turn into a lion the next day. You need to learn to pick your battles as well. Give a little leeway in some situations and you will get it in return.

The worst officers are the ones that bring their personal issues to work with them and let it affect the way you function at work. If you're lenient, stay lenient within reason. If you're a hardass, always be a hardass. Being stern without acting like a jack ass is the easiest way to stay safe in a prison

DirtyElite8 karma

Ive been locked up a couple times, traffic warrants etc. In my experience, COs treat people like animals, laughing at disabled people, being extremely condescending, and personal. You feel that youre better than, or above the people you lock up?

Corrections_eh2 karma

That's hard to be general about honestly. If you act like an animal and portray a thug then that's how you get treated. I would never laugh at a disabled person, that's not even a thought that runs through my head

jhale928 karma

When i was locked up me and my cellie had gotten a joint. When we smoked it at 2 am the CO came over the mic called us cheech and chong and told us to enjoy our night. Is that how you wouldve handled it?

Corrections_eh4 karma

Personally that is not how I would handle it. If you let the inmates get away with something one time they'll think they will get away with it all the time and that's a very slippery slope to loser their respect and your authority

literallyicanteven0 karma

Continuum of harm kind of thing?

Corrections_eh2 karma

I hate to use this analogy, because they are very far from being children. In this respect, they really are. They will test you limits and want to know how far they can push you

ImmortanJoe4 karma

What is your tone/manner of speech with inmates? I know you have to be stern and authoritative, but I'd imagine a lot of the hardened, more violent criminals wouldn't take very kindly to anyone talking to them with 'disrespect'. Like, if you ordered such an inmate to go back to his cell, what are the chances of him defying you?

Corrections_eh1 karma

Unless an indicia is looking for confrontation or just generally unstable, they will listen to you. They know who is in charge and they know the consequences. If you act differently with one security level of inmate you have to act that way with all of them or else you show the higher level inmates that they're above the rules and can just manipulate you

OctoSnake4 karma

On a scale of 1 to Zoo how much fecal matter was flung at you on any given work week?

Corrections_eh2 karma

Not as much as you would expect actually

DatArabGuy4 karma

What is the most fucked up thing you've seen?

Corrections_eh7 karma

that would probably have to be when i sat in on an inmate undergoing brain surgery after being assaulted.


Were you assigned to be there to make sure he didn't escape from the operating table?

Corrections_eh3 karma

All I'm going to in to detail about this situation is that it's procedure to remain with the inmate no matter what their condition


Cool, did you have to scrub in or like watch from a window?

Corrections_eh3 karma

i chose to observe from a window. It's already risky enough in an operating room, the last thing they need is another person in there to risk contamination.

attackresist1 karma

I've seen guys in hospice care in Oldham County that are just days away from dying of natural causes handcuffed to beds with a CO stationed outside at all times. Perhaps not the most efficient use of time, but SOPs exist for a reason, even if it's just politics.

Corrections_eh2 karma

pretty much. an inmate can be in a coma and we still do things as if he's not and that's how it should be.

toojer3 karma

My brother has been a CO for about a year. I'll ask you what I ask him every time I see him. So, on average, how many dongs do you see every day?

Corrections_eh6 karma

400% more than I'd care to see

bosshaug2 karma

How do you wash off that "prison smell"?

Corrections_eh4 karma

The smell doesn't really stick, it's a combination of body odor, state soap and ridiculous microwave meal concoctions

beatlejuicex2 karma

Do you go out of your way to protect inmates being preyed upon? If you don't will you please start.

Corrections_eh4 karma

We have procedures in place if an individual feels threatened. If they don't come to us with their issues we can't really do much about it besides observe what's going on and intervine when needed

Jade_Lance2 karma

Why is the possibility of inmate predation upon other inmates even allowed???

Corrections_eh2 karma

because there are a lot more of them than there are of us. we can't possibly give 100% attention to every single inmate.

kowreck2 karma

You said its a love/hate relationship. What do you love and hate about it?

Corrections_eh-1 karma

There are some days when i love my job, but there are just as many days when i feel it was a mistake to get into corrections.

valley_pete0 karma

Solid answer, thanks.


Corrections_eh3 karma

That's really all I can say about it without being specific. There are situations in which we feel like we get treated poorly by other staff

Lurkin_Larry2 karma

What has been the scariest moment of your career?

Corrections_eh7 karma

for some context, that stereotype of inmates being highly muscular and spending a lot of time at the weight pile, very true in a lot of cases.

This inmate had gotten his hands on some spice and had not reacted well. The individual had become non-compliant and combative while the yard was on lock-down. I'm not what you would call small, but this guy was massive and it took 4 officers to subdue the individual and restrain him.

Nessie8 karma

Cardamom? Tarragon?

Corrections_eh5 karma

Clever, but no. Synthetic marijuana

didntsayeeeeeeeee1 karma

Why are inmates even allowed to have weights?

Corrections_eh3 karma

I'm not sure where the other in divulge got his information but our inmates have a cess to a weight pile whenever the yard is open. It keeps them occupied.

GrownAssMatt2 karma

How do you feel about the private prison industry? Is this something that seems threatening? Does it seem as corrupt and horrible as it does for those that have no involvement with the prison industry?

Corrections_eh3 karma

Honestly I've never dealt with the private prisons, so I can't give an unbiased opinion.

ElPutoAmo1 karma

what is the weirdest/coolest/strangest/most ingenious prisoner made piece of contraband you've seen?

Corrections_eh3 karma

Inmates are there 24/7, they have all of that time to come up with ways to hide things or solve problems.

Personally I've seen a lot of different methods of hiding stuff. Best I've probably seen would be using tin can lids for anything from a screwdriving to a cutting impliment for produce

WashDaWindow0 karma

I don't know why people are down voting you, you seem like a cool dude.

Corrections_eh2 karma

i try to be. i deal with assholes all day every day, there's no need to be one myself.

thebigdeak1 karma

Have you read your organisation's social media policy?

Hint: Code of conduct

Corrections_eh2 karma

I have, which is why I'm not going to give any information that could be used to identify myself. That's also why I won't be give any details or go too deep into anything.

People deserve to know what really goes on in a prison. Setting. Whether they may be considering it as a line of work or if they're just curious.

attackresist-1 karma

I'm guessing that's why many of these questions are going unanswered.

Corrections_eh3 karma

Actually I had fallen asleep last night, I am back again and widdleing away at the questions

Thomas90021 karma

Do you think it's a good thing to lock people up for a majority of their time?
What I want to say is: The goal of putting someone into prison is to make him feared of getting locked up again. So he wouldn't commit a crime again (or would not commit a crime in the first place).
Wouldn't it be better for the vast majority of people if they get some real help?

Corrections_eh2 karma

Constant lockup can cause mental health issues in people who didn't have them to begin with. While there are people that deserve to be on constant lockdown, there are many many more people that are in for stupid mistakes and actual do learn from them. We have a lot of programs to help individuals deal with their decisions and also a lot of programs to help then better themselves do that when they do end up rejoining society, they're well equip to avoid going back.

gnujack1 karma

What's the most clever hiding spot you found?

Have any staff at your facility gotten into relationships with the inmates?

Corrections_eh2 karma

tubes of toothpaste with the toothpaste put back in, under the bar of deodorant. that's about as clever as it gets. a lot of places are just places a lot of COs are too lazy to look in most of the time.

about the relationship question, yes it happens. that's all i'm willing to say about it.

nje291 karma

Have the prisoners ever injured you?

Corrections_eh1 karma

not yet and i hope it never happens.

DrLeah1 karma

How do inmates try to manipulate you? Is it obvious? What are they most often trying to accomplish?

Corrections_eh3 karma

For a lot of them it's just a game they like to play, for others they're trying to see what they can get away with. Sometimes there are inmates that try to get as much information o you as they can for nefarious intentions

Fidesphilio1 karma

How did you get into this field? Were you in law enforcement before?

Corrections_eh2 karma

I got into corrections because it is law enforcement experience that I can use on a resume in the future for other lines of law enforcement. As for the guy below me, we have a few people that were at one point in other lines of law enforcemebt, but they are usually people that weren't quite cut out for the police department

Lululemonparty_1 karma

What objects if any have you recovered from any prisoner's rectum?

Corrections_eh3 karma

Personally none, but it's usually drugs

KGB_INC1 karma

I'm actually currently a probation officer of about 6 months and I'm hoping to get in the field of corrections as a counselor or something of the sort. If you got to choose your line of work over again, would you pick this or something else? Any memorable stories?

Corrections_eh1 karma

Honestly I would do it over again the same way but maybe a different facilty.

attackresist1 karma

What facility do you work for? Good chance you're in Oldham County, I suppose, since there seems to be a prison every 300 yards down there.

Have you ever attended a Shakespeare Behind Bars show?

Corrections_eh2 karma

Keeping my facility a secret, sorry. No I have not attended one.

doctinker1 karma

KSP? KSR? GRCC? EKCC? Luckett? Little Sandy? Northpoint?

FoKilPt0 karma

Maybe Peewee Valley? Lol.

doctinker2 karma

I left it and Western off the list because his other comments were about male inmates. He's also probably not at Blackburn or Bell Forestry, or he wouldn't be talking about serious fights.

Corrections_eh2 karma

Honestly I'd like to keep that to myself for fear of backlash from supervisors if they were to see me answer some of the more delicate questions

FoKilPt0 karma

Yeah I was just joking about peewee. You're right about those camps, fights definitely go down in them but nothing serious because nobody wants to get there level jacked and get shipped out of one of those cupcake camps. That's why there isn't a large tattoo scene in the ky prisons, I had a few tats picked but everyone was afraid to make a gun and fuck with their time. Even in eastern people didn't want to end up losing those benefits that mean so much to you when you are doing time like a key to your door haha

doctinker0 karma

Man, if you did time in gladiator school, I don't envy you.

It's too bad this guy didn't really respond to anything in this AMA. In my experience, COs almost all turn into dicks eventually. No matter how good of a person you are going in, the prison guard culture of distrusting and disrespecting inmates is so pervasive that I think it turns everyone bad eventually.

Corrections_eh3 karma

Actually I had fallen asleep last night, actually sitting in a parking lot on my phone because I saw I had so many questions and didn't want them left unasnwered.

While there are more than enough asshole in corrections,not all of us are dicks.

Lurkin_Larry1 karma

This might not be exactly your area of expertise, but I'm a high school student looking to get into law enforcement (goal of FBI, detective position, or Marshal Service, etc.) I'll be heading off to college next year. What should I major in? Are degrees in Criminal Justice and Criminology taken seriously? Or would I get farther with a less specific degree?

Corrections_eh6 karma

Criminal justice degrees are taken seriously and would more than likely help more than anything else.

Lurkin_Larry1 karma

Thank you very much

Corrections_eh3 karma

You are very welcome, and good luck with your future career

larrymoencurly1 karma

How much does the typical corrections officer get in bribes each month from the prisoners?

Corrections_eh1 karma

i wouldn't know. i value my job more than quick cash.

larrymoencurly1 karma

Does that mean you're easily tricked? :D

All that contraband doesn't get into prisons on its own.

Corrections_eh2 karma

no, it means if an inmate even hints towards a bribe, that inmate gets disciplinary actions taken against them.

throndse1 karma

Do you sometimes do nice stuff for certain inmates?

Corrections_eh2 karma

I treat all inmates equally

TripleOGeg1 karma

What's the most dangerous situation you've ever been in?

Also, why is every post in this thread getting downvoted?

Corrections_eh2 karma

Hospital trips or generally any time an inmate leaves complex. I'm not sure, could be because I fell asleep and left the thread unanswered for a fair bit of time

Brandoni61 karma

I'm 20 living in CA and am going to be attending the academy to become a CO when I turn 21. What I really want to do is become a parole officer though. Any idea how I can make that happen? Am I headed in the right direction? I don't know how to get ahold of any parole officers to ask unfortunately.

Corrections_eh2 karma

For starters, here you need a bachelor's degeee, but they also want you to have some sort of law enforcement experience. We have a few CO'S that are only there for the experience to go into other lines of work, like myself

Yetis1 karma

How do I become a corrections officer? I have military experience. What are the steps?

Corrections_eh2 karma

I can't say for other states but generally here you just put in an application like any other job

uhaul261 karma

Have you corrected anyone?

Corrections_eh2 karma

Sure, that's my job

uhaul262 karma

Will you correct me?

Corrections_eh3 karma

something you're doing should be done another way

Buddha-1 karma

What is your favorite dinosaur?

Corrections_eh5 karma


Roxanne12661 karma

How often do you come across... Prisoners doing sexual acts? Or if ever? Do they have sell mates? How would you handle that situation? Do you work in a co ed prison, female, male

Are you in maximum security or minimal security?

I know you have to be confidential, but in the most minimal way you can say, what's the worst thing someone is in prison for (ex. Rape murder) and what is the most smallest thing someone is in for ex(stealing a cash register)

Corrections_eh2 karma

most commonly it's just an inmate "changing his own oil" if you catch my drift, which is on a daily basis.

my prison is all male.

i've seen serial killers and i've seen a guy that got charged with arson for burning his own car in a field on his own land.

Plutochk1 karma

Are "just friends" pen pals beneficial to inmates? I've considered doing it just for the sake of brightening someone's day. Any insights?

Corrections_eh2 karma

honestly i don't have insight into this to give you any real answer. i don't really concern myself with the inmate's mail. we have people who's job it is to read what goes in and out.

RememberU2U0 karma

Do you get pissy when people refer to you as a guard? My friend who is also a prison guard always gets pissy.

LaFs146 karma

As a CO/Guard tell your friend stop thinking he's a cop. The only people I know who get pissy about being called guard are the failed/wannabe cops.

Corrections_eh3 karma

Sure, a lot of us do want to be cops, that's why a lot of us get into corrections, for the experience. Personally as long as the word security isn't in front of guard I'm fine with it. It's easier to say prison guard than it is to say correctional officer and people think you're just trying to make your job sound more prestigious than it is.

DeadGirlsCantSayYes2 karma

I feel like a VERY high percentage of COs are wannabe cops.

LaFs142 karma

In my experiences, that is not the case. I have been a CO for 7 years and I'm from a town that has 7 prisons. Needless to say I know a lot of COs. 95 percent wanted to be COs from the start. Here in Canada COs are paid VERY well (80k avg), on par with police and maybe even more in some cases. A few decide to be cops after they become COs for a change of pace, I can count on one hand the number of people I know that failed police screening and therefore became COs. Like I said 95% are very happy where they are, wouldn't want to ever be a cop. Us Canadian COs have a very comfy job with amazing pay and benefits. American COs, well, that's a different story. American prisons are over crowded (warehouses) very volatile compared to Canadian prisons, and they make pennies (I think avg is 35k). So I'm assuming most people didn't want to work there in the first place but wound up there. (Which leads to a whole host of other problems).

Corrections_eh3 karma

Honestly, in this state the pay for a CO is substandard and most of us only get into it to move on to other law enforcement down the road.

Sternishefan0 karma

20 years ago I had to spend a short time in a Long Island.N.Y. jail for driving without insurance, saw an inmate brought out of his cell and kicked many times by the head officer while about 8 guards encircled him. Between every kick he'd yell, "Who's the big man now?" Off to the side was a young guard who was obviously stunned by what he saw. It was a brutal assault on an inmate who was described afterwards by another inmate to me as, "A mouthy n*****." I guess my question is, to be blunt, do you think that you'ld be able to live with yourself after experiences like this begin to happen to you in your chosen career?

Corrections_eh6 karma

If it were me in that situation that individual would no longer be in charge and it would have never started to begin with if I knew it was coming. Personally I'm not the type to be intimidated by threats from a supervisor if the policy is on my side.

Achievement_Haunter-1 karma

Howdy, Jim! It's great that you're not letting the man bring you down.

My question is thus: Do you know Vincent D'Onofrio?

Corrections_eh1 karma

Sadly i do not, which is a shame with such a quality name

DeadGirlsCantSayYes-3 karma

Are you still mad at your father for beating you as a child?

Corrections_eh2 karma

Actually my father was absent for the majority of my childhood