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.

SubscribeGet emails when new questions are answered. Ask Me Anything!Show Bio +

Share:

Ask me anything!

Submit Your Question

232 Questions

Share:

Last Answer on August 18, 2017

Best Rated

How do conjugal visits work? Where do they happen and do prisoners get as many of them as they want?

Asked by DJ over 4 years ago

Prisoner have to be in the correct custody classification, not be a lifer or a condemned prisoner, and be disciplinary free. There are limited spaces for conjugal visits and the scheduling is tight. When I left a prisoner might reasonably expect 3 or 4 such visits in any 12 month period. The visitors must pay for the food, which is bought by staff at local stores. Visitors are no longer allowed to bring food in, too much stuff was getting smuggled that way. There must be a legitimate family relationship, California does not recognize common-law marriages, girlfriends do not get conjugal visits.

Can inmates really earn degrees from prison?

Asked by Prof X over 4 years ago

Not as easily as before, at least in California, due to cutting off of grant money. Other than that it is certainly possible, all you need is the teachers the time and the class material.

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 4 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.

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

Asked by dilious over 4 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.

What is the psychological evaluation like?

Asked by Lolop over 4 years ago

I have no idea.  They did not have a formal psych screening when I started with the department.

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

Asked by Shawn over 4 years ago

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

Besides cigarettes, what contraband do prisoners exchange most frequently?

Asked by lucky777 over 4 years ago

Drugs. Porn is pretty good too, at least in prisons where it is prohibited.