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justabill
9/17/2007 3:52pm,
Hello,
I am scheduled to take the test for correction officer this weekend. I was wondering if any of you out there in Bullshido land are current or former COs, and would you recommend this career to another? Also any pros and cons (no pun intended) of the job?

Thanks!

kwoww
9/17/2007 4:42pm,
Don't know specifics, but it's probably a tough job.

And good luck with the test.

Matt W.
9/17/2007 4:53pm,
Well, I was a CO in Washington before I became a CCO (aka Probation Officer). It was a good experience and I learned a lot. The shift work sucked, of course. So did working nights. But those are things that will vary from place to place and depend on experience (your schedule's going to get better the longer you've been in it).

Also, you'll find it is a great starting place to move on to other opportunities. I used to want to be a cop, but after I got into corrections I discovered there were all these other avenues of advancement, including this sweet gig I have now. I get to do most of the things that made me want to be a cop, but with banker's hours and weekends/holidays off.

What kind of place would you be at? Jail or prison? If prison, what level of security? Male or female? All those things will influence your experience.

SFGOON
9/17/2007 5:32pm,
Of course, there are the negatives, like getting faeces or flaming toilet paper thrown at you. They will also stick you with needles, wipe urine, semen or further faeces on you, shoot you with a crossbow fabricated from newspaper and an elastic band, and on occasion stab you with a sharpened toothbrush.

Other than that, it's a rewarding career that may lead to a great job at gitmo.

justabill
9/17/2007 5:38pm,
Thanks for the responses. If accepted, I could be placed in one of three facilities. The first is a maximum security prison, the second a minimum security and the last a DWI center. Not sure on gender, but I would imagine male.

justabill
9/17/2007 5:40pm,
Of course, there are the negatives, like getting faeces or flaming toilet paper thrown at you. They will also stick you with needles, wipe urine, semen or further faeces on you, shoot you with a crossbow fabricated from newspaper and an elastic band, and on occasion stab you with a sharpened toothbrush.

Other than that, it's a rewarding career that may lead to a great job at gitmo.


Some people pay for that stuff in NYC, laugh.

kwoww
9/17/2007 5:41pm,
Which do you think you wanna go to?

Serious question.

justabill
9/17/2007 5:44pm,
Which do you think you wanna go to?

Serious question.


At first I'd want to start at the DWI facility or Minimum security to get a feel for the job.

Matt W.
9/17/2007 5:57pm,
I was in a Med/Min security prison. Never had any of those bad things happen to me, though I was cursed at some. Heh. Of course, we had a "direct supervision" model so everyone had to have a certain level of respect for each other.

I've been told that in many ways the higher security gigs are easier because the dudes are all locked down most of the time. But those are also the situations where they're more likely to go ape-**** on you too. So there's pros and cons (no pun intended).

Ryno
9/17/2007 7:09pm,
I worked in a Juvenile Hall, mostly Max Security for 3 years. I didn't like the impact that it was having on me socially. 0230 to 1230 shift work sucks. Dealing with criminals all day long really made me trust people less. It eventually led to field probation work, which was better, but still not my cup of tea. Once again, dealing with criminals more than normal folks just got annoying.

You definitely need to have a certain kind of temperament if you want to work in corrections and succeed. I could do it, and didn't have some of the anger/power trip issues that some staff members developed, but it still didn't exactly make me happy.

What I did enjoy was having some kind of positive impact on the kids. I liked running a tight well-scheduled program. I didn't mind writing reports, and making recommendations to Probation Officers and DAs when they'd call down to the units to ask how kids were doing. (This could sometimes affect their sentencing.) I'll also admit to liking the occasional action. Jumping into a gang fight with only 2 other staff members, a pair of cuffs, and a belt alarm will definitely get the adrenaline pumping. Other than that, overtime was plentiful.

SFGOON
9/17/2007 10:44pm,
Max-sec in Washington sounds like Naselle Youth Camp. I had a buddy of mine spend about four years there.

Matt W.
9/18/2007 2:08pm,
Clalam Bay and Walla Walla are supposed to be pretty hard core. But I never worked there. AHCC, where I was, was pretty much a country club. They had a guy killed there this year, and he was the first one ever since it opened in '93.

Ryno
9/18/2007 2:42pm,
Naselle states that it's unfenced. That wouldn't be max security, and it's described as medium from what I can tell. It looks quite a bit different that the max security that I worked in Sacto. Nothing less than multiple assaults, or armed robberies would get you into the max unit, with most kids having at least an attempted murder to multiple homicides under their belts. Needless to say, our security was very tight, with multiple layers. I actually found it to be one of the easier units to work, as it was much more predictable/restricted than the other units. But if something went down, it would tend to be much worse than what would happen in the lower security units.

justabill
9/18/2007 4:07pm,
Thanks for all the info guys. I think I'll give it a try, worst case I can transfer or just find another job if I don't like it. Although, the conditions and hours sounds like something I can handle. Here in Suffolk County police get paid a ridiculous amount of money after a few years. COs are a little behind the PD, but pretty close.

ojgsxr6
9/18/2007 4:13pm,
Did you take any of the Police tests?

justabill
9/18/2007 4:58pm,
Did you take any of the Police tests?

No, missed the cutoffs while overseas. They take years to get back to you anyway. My buddy took NCPD test in 2004 and still hasn't finished the application. I am told the CO process is a lot faster.