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 August 18, 2017

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Was yours a maximum-security prison?

Asked by brikhaus over 4 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.

Where do prisoners get buried?

Asked by Gordo over 4 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.

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 over 4 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.

What's the craziest thing you ever saw happen?

Asked by Bob over 4 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.

How long can you get for having a tattoo gun under your bed

Asked by terra about 4 years ago

Sorry, but I don't remember for sure.  Possession of the tattoo gun is different than tattooing.  I THINK the gun is 30 days.  Since the law has changed now and putting tattoos on someone without a health certificiate is a crime now in California that would carry a much heavier penalty. 

How come prisoners have access to weightlifting equipment? Why would we give violent people resources to become bigger and stronger?

Asked by yellfire over 4 years ago

Not in California, not for years. They MAYBE still have some in the fire camps where physical conditioning is important, but I think not. The weight piles disappeared from California pens over ten years go.

What's the racial breakdown of the prisoners at your facility?

Asked by jan.oakland over 4 years ago

I have been gone for quite a while, but the last time I checked it was roughly 30% white, 30% black, 30% hispanic with the rest made up other American Indians, Pacific Islanders, S/E Asians, etc. Since California had about an 11% black and 19% hispanic population at that time you can see whites are significantly underrepresented in the prison population and hispanics and blacks are significantly overrepresented. There has been a census since I retired so I am confident those numbers are no longer accurate.