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

Best Rated

I know you said the staff don't read the letters, but what sort of things in the letters are the most helpful, welcome, etc for the inmates, and what subjects should be avoided?

Asked by Mary W over 4 years ago

Money is most helpful and welcome. Complaints about how rough things are at home without them, or how stupid they are to end up in prison, are probably the least helpful.

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 4 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 do prisoners get tattoos in prison?

Asked by MOOAAR over 4 years ago

It isn't hard to make a tattoo gun. A broken guitar string and a motor stolen out of a tape player will do it. They use blue or black ballpoint pen ink. A lot of guys get Hep C or HIV from dirty tattoo needles.

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 4 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.   

Do prison staff actively try and prevent prison rapes, or is that something they generally turn a blind eye to?

Asked by Red over 4 years ago

Very rarely do such crimes occur in full view of staff, or other witnesses.  When reported they are actively investigated.  Also preadtory inmates (or even likely victim inmates) are classified as such, and are often single-celled or housed in protective custody.  IN addition staff do patrol the tiers and dorms  to keep an eye out for all sorts of nastiness. 

How do inmates shave in prison, assuming they can't have blades?

Asked by OC Blake over 4 years ago

generally they use disposable type BIC razors. it is not hard to break the blades out of them, melt them into a tooth brush handle and turn them into a pretty decent slashing weapon. except in Adminsitrative Segregation razor blades are not that tightly controlled, it just isn't practical.

In california what is the policy on hard drugs to become a correctional officer?

Asked by Alexia over 4 years ago

Good question.  I dont have a good answer for you since I was never in the hiring loop other than interviewing.  I had nothing to do with background checks.  I admitted to a little weed in highschool in the 1960s, more than 15 years before I hired on.  They had no problem with that.  I suspect they have a problem with recent drug use. Obvisouly any felony conviction is disqualifying.  My guess is they would have a problem with any significant hard drug use history.