Correctional Officer

Correctional Officer

Bob Walsh

Stockton, CA

Male, 60

I worked for the California state system, starting as a Correctional Officer and retiring as a Lieutenant in 2005. I now write for the PacoVilla blog which is concerned with what could broadly be called The Correctional System.

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Last Answer on October 23, 2018

Best Rated

TV and movies make it seem like inmates can still get a hold of booze, drugs, weapons, and other contraband. Is that realistic?

Asked by 51/50 almost 6 years ago

pretty much. booze they can make easily enough. drugs are small and easy to smuggle, especially with the search policies and the practice of NOT using drug dogs on visitors. shanks are easy enough to make. firearms inside prisons are very rare indeed, at least in California prisons. in third world holes they are quite common.

Are inmates allowed to keep pets of any kind? Even goldfish, birds, that kinda thing.

Asked by monica over 5 years ago

Not in California, though it happens unofficially.  Feral cats, mice, that sort of thing.  There are prisons where inmates do animal care, horses and service dogs, but they are not "pets" per se.

The infamous Birdman of Alcatraz never had any birds at Alcatraz, and lost permission to have the birds at Leavenworth when he was caught with a still to turn the seed into booze.  He was also a vicious homosexual pimp who wrote reams of homosexual pornography using prison staff as characters.  Also he didn't look anything like Burt Lancaster.

 

Now that you're retired, do you miss the job at all?

Asked by Jack Sr. almost 6 years ago

I miss some of the people. Not so much the job. The job is not what it was when I retired.

Is male-on-male prison sex as prevalent as film and TV would have us believe? Is it purely a power thing or do inmates actually turn gay while in jail?

Asked by Curious almost 6 years ago

it happens, but prison rape is not the every-day occurance hollywood would make it appear to be. i have seen prisoners who are straight on the street and are gay inside, but that is not particularly common either. prisoners are very much like other people and they come in almost infinite variations.

What's one "luxury" the inmates get that would surprise the public? (I saw a documentary the other day about a Cali prison where some of the inmates had TVs in their individual cells, much to my amazement.)

Asked by Bellicosa almost 6 years ago

It is hard for me to answer an open ended question like that. About two years back a death row inmate got a heart transplant, cost the state well over $1 million. inmates do not GET TVs, but are allowed to buy them. the electrical drain becomes significant in the older prisoners that were never set up for this purpose. they can also have fans, inmate housing units except hospital units are not air conditioned. My prison, DVI, used to have a pool but that has been shut down and filled in for years. Inmate medical care in California is absolutely top drawer, name-brand pharmaceuticals, usuall see specialists in 2-3 days.

Do female prisoners organize themselves into gangs and racial groups like the men do?

Asked by Kid Quik almost 6 years ago

Never worked at a female prison. I have been told the women have cliques, but they are not nearly as racially based as the men's.

Have you ever seen the show Oz? Do prisons with that much chaos and violence really exist?

Asked by W0mbatz almost 6 years ago

Yes I did watch it. As far as I know that was complete fiction. Humdrum does not sell advertising or gain viewers.