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Questions for DOC guys.

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by Derrin33, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Derrin33

    Derrin33

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    I just received a conditional offer from a prison here in Oklahoma. Whats it like to be a CO? Looking for any advice on things to read or to look in to. The pay is much better than the local PD, so that's why I picked the DOC. Is that normal around the country? Also, looking for a good set of boots, best bang for the buck kinda thing. Any help is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. bci21984

    bci21984

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    the jail, detention center, prison, etc. is the hardest "beat" in law enforcement. to fall back on an old addage, complacency will get you killed.

    theres actually several addages that could be used here. a wild animal is most dangerous when caged.

    anyway, if you end up taking the job, pay attention in training, listen more speak less, its why youve got two ears and 1 mouth.

    i got hired in 2004 when i was 19, been doing 40hrs a week ever since. in my 6 years, id just about guarantee that ive dealt with more murderers, rapist, and all around hardened criminal types than most beat cops encounter in a 20 year career.

    best story to date: we had a seasoned criminal of african descent on a parole violation warrant come to jail, he was very nice and polite as he had been in the system numerous times and knew that given respect gets respect, we had a couple of "wannabe" aryan teens in a holding cell on the booking floor. they caught sight of the new intake and started making noise and idle comments in his direction through the door. the parolee very calmly looked at me and said "excuse me one second sir" and turned to look at the teens, the parolee was about 6'0 and was built and covered in house ink, when he turned to look at them he simply said "if they put me in there with yall, i'm f(u)cking both of yall in the *****" they were sitting at the back of the cell quietly in no time. he turned back to me and said "now where were we" and it took everything i had to keep a straight face.
     

  3. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

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    Yes, the more seasoned crooks are interesting for putting less seasoned ones in check.:supergrin:
     
  4. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

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    As you can see by my avatar, I work for the BOP. Over all I have a cumulative total between two agencies of about 18 years of experience.

    I have spent most of my time in the routine hack's jobs. No special squads or what have you. I have done a lot of armed escort, unarmed escort and the like. I also speak a little bit of Spanish, which makes it easier for getting through to the inmates whose primary language is Spanish.

    Some around the younger years get interested in various specialty lateral duty positions. There is nothing wrong with that, but before you go into that, you want to first get out of your probie year, or 6 months, (depending on how they do it in OK).

    I would recommend picking up a book called "New Jack", and a copy of "The Games Inmates Play".

    Remember, in just getting on, you are fresh meat, and need proper training and experience. You have two ears, two eyes, one mouth for a reason. Look and listen twice as much as what you speak. No question is a dumb question, as it is the one question that might help you keep your job. You go behind the fence with one set of holes. You don't need additional ones added while on duty. When off duty, be alert, watch your surroundings, and don't mix it up with questionable types. Your character off duty is just as important as your character on duty. The ones who have been there at the facility for awhile, (where you are hired on at), may have experience that you have never dreamed of. It pays to listen. Learn well, and you will live to see yourself at a successful end of career at retirement.
     
  5. Patchman

    Patchman Florist

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    Good luck Derrin. It is the toughest beat in LE. If I had to do it for 20 years I probably would quit after day 2. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  6. pal2511

    pal2511

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    I loved and hated working the jail. I'm on the road now... not sure which I like more
     
  7. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

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    I will finish up 20 years in late 2016. A little over six to go. Yay.:cool:

    I may just stay as long as possible to help my kid a little bit with the university education, where possible. Retirement comes first, then most likely something else to bring in some money for awhile. At least once in awhile.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  8. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    Beware

    Be aware

    and Be fair!

    Treat everyone equally. Don't ever get lulled into getting a little more personal and friendly with any one inmate, no matter what.

    They'll play on your emotions. Give you some fake tip, set you up, make you think you owe them, keep pushing 1 little step to see how far they can make you bend a few minor rules for them, try you out by showing you some small infraction and seeing if you'll let it go because they are cool with you, and it keeps going and next thing you know, they own you.

    Hack can tell you all about it. He's seen it all.
     
  9. Bill Lumberg

    Bill Lumberg BTF Inventor

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    It takes a strong person to make a career out of it. Talk to CO's in the state, at the prison where you would be working. It's different depending upon location. Here, you would not be law enforcement, on or off duty. Totally custodial. Other places may be sworn. Good luck.
     
  10. Colorado Fatboy

    Colorado Fatboy Rocky Mtn High

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    Of course you've dealt with more than a beat cop. The difference is the environment. Beat cops don't know what they are dealing with you do for the most part. If you take the criminals out of the outside environment and put them in a controlled one it makes a difference. I've always said I'd rather be in a chow hall with 100 convicts than have to face one of them on the outside in a dark alley. I always carry a gun on the outside, inside I only have OC. And backup is usually very close. More so than a state trooper that has a gun pulled on him out in BFE.

    Anyways to the OP check out this link, it's a great read! Also a great forum with a dedicated corrections area.

    http://forums.officer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94304&highlight=downing
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  11. PTRJason

    PTRJason

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    From my experience, and be it that it was only 6 months. I HATED IT. I was a cop before and had a lot of patrol work under my belt and then hard times hit and I went to work for Indiana Dept of Correction, Indiana State Prison, which houses the death row for Indiana and is the only mens prison in Indiana, other facilities were correctional facilities, not prisons.

    I loved the work out it gave me as I had to hike up and down 5 flights of stairs for the 5 ranges each house had. Then tower duties and everything else.

    I would say the only thing that kept me from not quitting was that we worked 12 hour shifts, two days on two days off, three days on three days off and it worked out that every other weekend was fri, sat, and sun off. Other then that I always felt like I was going to a job, and I mean that in a bad way. I got hired knowing I would not be there long so I did not really mind, but others have been trapped saying they only planned on being there for a year, and are going on 15-25 years, and that scared me.

    It was not my cup of tea because I hate the feeling of being restricted, I need to be in a patrol car driving around, not locked in a cage just like the offenders.

    Just do not rule with an iron fist, most inmates know the gig, and they will test you, if you snap on them you failed and they have you. Just let things roll of your back and let them know their games do not bother you and they should try someone else. You know your duties, do not let them tell you how to do them.

    We had to pass out mail to them, other officers passed out mail early, I waited until after 10pm lock down so I knew everyone was in their cell as we were not supposed to leave mail unless the inmate was there to take it. I did not make any friends like that and I did not care. They gave me sob stories that they have to reply to their mail and they have work early so they have to sleep and cant stay up. I stopped, looked at my patch and said, "yup just as I thought, Indiana DOC, not US Mail... you will get your mail when you get it..." They got pissed off but knew they could not do anything about it.

    If I was sorting the mail and happed to have the ranges separated already and they came up to the cage and asked nice, I would look and see if I could find their mail, if they demanded, they got ignored until they asked nice or walked away.

    I learned a lot of new things and hiding places. Just remember if you take the job be FIRM FAIR AND CONSISTENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do not treat them as your friends, do not write up someone for a violation but say there is a guy that likes to hangout near the cage or office or whatever and talks to the officer all the time, or is a porter or a cell house worker and you catch him for the same thing, he gets written up too as he is no different from the other inmate that was written up just because you see him more and may feel sorry or relate to him.

    They will mess with you, they ARE HUMAN too, but still in there for a reason and you still have a job to do.

    I am NOT knocking those that have been doing it for years, it is just not for me, but I am not going to tell someone not to do it. Try it if you like it, good, if not use the experience for another job.