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 September 19, 2020

Best Rated

Hi Bob,
Im almost finished with my BSCJ Degree and was considering becoming a CO I was wondering if I should even apply because my fiance has felonies on his record, would that prevent me on the background check?

Asked by Sheri over 7 years ago

No, it would not.  It would not even be an issue unless you cohabitate.  if you live together and he is still on parole or probation it MIGHT be some small issue, and unofficially might be a medium-size issue, depending on who is doing your background and who has to approve it. It also might matter what his offense asnd background was.  If he is / was heavily gang involved there would be some suspicion that you are a mole.  If he is just a felony DUI or has a 10-year old commercial burglary, it wouldn't be a big deal.  It would be much more of an unofficial problem than an official one.   

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

Asked by yellfire over 7 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 fascination for female guards to sleep with male inmates? Seems to happen a lot. (I assume they get fired for that...?)

Asked by Gordo over 7 years ago

Some girls like bad boys. Sometimes it is just the forbidden fruit. Also inmates are, as a group, very good at sensing flaws and targeting people with them. In most states sex between inmates and staff is considered rape because the staff have power over inmates. They are normally fired if they don't quit first, and they are often prosecuted.

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

Asked by terra about 7 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. 

Besides cigarettes, what contraband do prisoners exchange most frequently?

Asked by lucky777 over 7 years ago

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

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

Asked by jan.oakland over 7 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.

Can inmates really earn degrees from prison?

Asked by Prof X over 7 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.