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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261 Questions

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Last Answer on October 23, 2018

Best Rated

Do jails read inmate mail? If so, what if a letter is talking about a crime or a prison break?

Asked by dilious almost 6 years ago

Don't know about jails. Prisons CAN read inmate mail other than legal mail, but they rarely do. There just isn't the manpower to do it. Where I worked there were six workers who did nothing but open, inspect, sort and deliver inmate mail. If you were to actually have to READ all of it it would require dozens of people. That gets expensive.

Was yours a maximum-security prison?

Asked by brikhaus almost 6 years ago

The facility I worked at was primarily a medium security institution, with a modest (144 bed) high security area and a somewhat larger (250 bed) minimum security area.

Are for-profit prisons big business in the US?

Asked by statham almost 6 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.

What's the craziest thing you ever saw happen?

Asked by Bob almost 6 years ago

Thats hard to say. I do remember that twice, when I was running the Reception Center, we got in prisoners who said, "You've got the wrong guy, I shouldn't be here." They were both right, the county had sent the wrong prisoner, same name but wrong guy. Also the dept. had a prisoner extradited from out of state, Oklahoma I think, and it turned out his parole had run out and we had no right to haul him in. Paperwork screwup, happens every year or two.

Where do prisoners get buried?

Asked by Gordo almost 6 years ago

None of the prisons in California have operational cemetaries, though both Folsom and San Quentin have very old ones. When a prisoner dies the remains are turned over to the next of kin for burial. If the next of kin do not take them, they are burried at government expense in whatever cemetary the government contracts with. I believe that is handled by the county and not the state, though I am not 100% sure of that.

Does prior correctional experience help out when applying to CDCR? What does the department look for in applicants? I am currently a C.O at a max with another state, but I would like to go back home to California

Asked by Gevaudan over 5 years ago

Not sure that it helps, but it doesn't hurt.  Quite honestly most higher-ups in CA, people that make hiring decisions, look a LOT of states as flyover country and view experience there as insignificant (or at least did when I was still working).  However, experience anywhere does tend to mean you have time in the environment and won't just walk away becuase you find the venue psychologically uncomfortable.  It is PROBABLY a positive, and is almost certainly not a negative.

What movie or TV show did the most realistic job of portraying life in prison?

Asked by Shawn almost 6 years ago

None that I am aware of. Possibly Mariah (TV SHOW) was in the same time zone.