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 11, 2017

Best Rated

Hi Bob! 1) Do new prisoners get hazed ("fish")? 2) Do prisoners divide up based on race with lots of tension between groups, as depicted in movies? 3) Are ex-cops or rapists treated with extra disdain?

Asked by ronmexico over 4 years ago

New cops get more hazing than new prisoners. Remember prison prisoners have done time in county jails, and most have done youthful offender time also. In the California system, and as far as I know virtually all other system, the prisoners divide themselves up, primarily althought not exclusively along racial lines. Staff have to work with and acknowledge those divisions because they are real. There are further divisions within the groups, I.E. blacks in California tend to go with Crips (blues) or Bloods (reds). Hispanic can be either Nortenos or Surenos. Rapists don't get nearly the heat they used to get, though most groups still don't much like child molesters. Ex-cops tend to land together in PC (protective custody) units. I understand there is a unit at Ione that is nothing but former cops, firefighters, public officials and the like.

Have you ever been attacked while on the job?

Asked by Salverado almost 5 years ago

Many times, though none of them were "personal." I just happened to be the guy in the uniform when the problem came up. Several of the attackers had serious mental issues. I was lucky and was never hurt badly. Many of my collegues were not so lucky.

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

Asked by Jack Sr. over 4 years ago

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

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

Asked by Kid Quik over 4 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 5 years ago

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

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 5 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.

Are for-profit prisons big business in the US?

Asked by statham almost 5 years ago

moderately, yes. there are a couple of large private prison operators that have contracts with many states and the federal government. i believe there are also some local jails that are operated by private operators. many more have outsourced their inmate helath care to private operators.