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 April 17, 2018

Best Rated

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

Asked by Alexia about 5 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.

Who cleans prison cells - the prisoners or some janitorial service? Also, how do prisoners do laundry?

Asked by mitchfork about 5 years ago

Prisoners do their own cell cleaniing, unless something REALLY messy happens, like somebody gets killed in there. 

Generally speaking the inmates turn in their clothes in bags on one day and get them back the next day.  The bags, with the clothes in them, get run through the wash and dry in the laundry bags with number tags on the bags so they get back to the right place.  Individual clothes are not labeles to individual inmates, at least not in california.  They are responsible for washing their own personally owned clothing, which they are allowed to own in General Population.  Landury is a major expense and a major logistical headache in the system.

 

Do some long-time prisoners become so institutionalized that they don't even care whether they get paroled?

Asked by Sam Chee about 5 years ago

Yes. It is rare, but it does happen. They get to the point where they are more comfortable in custody than in the real world.

My boyfriend was very good to me on the outside. He took care of me. We were dating for 2 years. But, now he may face 10 years. I am confused. I really love him! He wants me to marry him. I am unsure! Can you give me some advice?

Asked by sunny over 4 years ago

I'll try, though advice is dangerous and sometimes nothing works.  Most people, including me, are STRONGLY opposed to jailhouse romances as they pretty much have a 100% failure rate.  You, however, have had a relationship before he got locked up.  So there are a few things you need to look at.  One is time.  Depending on what state you are in 10 years may mean three years, or it may mean ten years.  There is a HUGE difference.  It also depends on the offense.  If it was a sexual offense (i.e. child molestation, etc) he is unlikely to change.  If it was something else, like robbery or burglary, he may get his head straight.  If he has a significant record already he is likely to change only via old age or infirmity, and you will have to look forward to him being incarcerated on and off for the rest of his life.  Do you have any children?  Do you have any children with him?  Does he have any children with anybody else?  Are you self-supporting, do you have a job?  Will he expect you to kick down money to him while he is locked up?  Will he expect you to spend all your weekends visiting him in prison?  Are you ready for all that?  My basic advise on ANY marriage is, if you have to ask, you are not ready.  When one partner is about to go away to prison for what might be a long time, I definitely think it is a bad idea.  More info would be helpful, but that is my basic response.

Why do so many prisoners become Muslims while in jail?

Asked by qwerty about 5 years ago

On a numerical basis it isn't so many, but the numbers can become meaningful.  When you get somebody who is disaffected, probably feels dumped on and discriminated against, finding a group of like-minded people who are willing to tell you that YOU are ok and the SYSTEM is what is wrong is personally validating. 

You mentioned prisoners making wine, weapons, tattoo guns and such, MacGyver-style. What's the most inventive thing you've ever seen a prisoner make?

Asked by McGillis about 5 years ago

one guy made a fairly good looking but fortunately non-functional, Sten gun in the furniture shop. that was clever, scary, also terribly stupid.

How is famliy life as a correctional officer? I really want to be one, but also want to have a family life. Is it hard to balance the two?

Asked by Zack almost 5 years ago

It is difficult due to the shift work.  Once you get some seniority (in the Calfiornia system anyway) you can bid on a job and the days off and shift that go with it.  Some people stay on first watch (graveyard) voluntarily for some time so they can interact more with their family.  Also vacations are seniority bid so it can take several years to get a summer vacation.  Most people start the job young and don't have children yet.  That helps.  Family and work is a juggling act in the real world.  The shift work does make it harder.