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Female user mta7035 33 posts

It’s funny, corrections is an area that very few nurses ever think about when they go into the field. It’s like it’s a secret. Then again, I don’t hear a lot of folks say " I want to be a corrections officer". They’ll say they want to be a cop or a highway patrol officer but hardly do you hear people say they want to be a correctional officer. You are right though, communication absolutely is everything. I stress this to inmate, officer, nurse, whomever. If you don’t tell me what I need to know in order to help you, I can’t help you. If you tell me half of the truth, don’t expect an accurate response from me. I live my by the motto, “pick your battles carefully so that you can fight another day”. I will never fight with an inmate or an officer unless it’s a life or death situation.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

I tried to get to know my new officers,feel their strong points and their weak points so far except for one,not bad.The exception is always bragging about he is the greatest thing that ever came out of the academy… Goes to the gym everyday…. Me I had misgivings about those officers that brag…Keep telling the new guys we are all human,we need to watch each others back that includes me,might be going on 8 but I am still learning….Communication is everything…..So far so good.
MTA I would not want to have your job as I said the nursing staff always had my respect with the exception of a few….dispensing the wrong medication to the wrong inmate…to seing me am hour after am inmate curse at them…keep telling they have the power to write them up,and finally given them a list of the new inmates on the unit that came in during the day to the ones that where discharge,move back into general population and they have no idea during dispensing the meds but they where few,,,about 2 I could Remenber.

 
Female user mta7035 33 posts

I just terminated someone for calling in sick all the time. She said “you can’t fire me because I’m sick! I bring a doctor’s note all the time.” Well for me the problem is that you never work when anyone else is ill or has a need, you never do anything extra, you barely do your job, you work three 12 hour shifts a week and I allow you to schedule your time so that it works with your family life and you JUST HAPPEN to always get sick before or after you’ve had 3 or 4 days off! I can’t run my jail that way, sorry.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Oh sick time is something that was on the top of the complaint list for the Warden. He couldn’t understand why officers were calling in sick all the time. Well part of the problem is they would only let 2 officers off at a time on the shift. For example, regardless of the seniority the supervisor would choose who would get a “preference” day to get off. So here you get only two PL days for a whole year (and you can’t use them on any holiday including Christmas). Family emergencies…planning to go out of town all cannot be planned unless you have vacation time. There again vacation was the two off rule which meant if two officers chose that same day to take off you were not allowed vacation that day. The other issue is officers watching the sick call offs by calling in to find out who was calling in sick that day. Being forced on a double shift ticks off any officer so they just call in sick themselves so they cannot be forced over. So glad I retired.

 
Male user Tanker83 7 posts

No doubt!

Just sad we have so many worthless co’s (new and old) on top of abuse of sick, DC, and rtw. If they are legit they earned it usually the hard way.

One that blew me away recently was propping the booth doors open all shift long (with whole ranges standing in the bullpen at times) because it was so so so hard for the booth officer to hit the switch to open them each time the range officer stepped into the booth.

Laziness and complacency at its finest.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Agree with you Tanker83. The biggest problem is you can’t get the Officers who abuse sick leave to stop abusing it. You would be surprised how many more people would be at work if they stopped. That and Officers going on Doctor’s care stress. WOW what a joke. That place is stressful but, no where near what it was when I started. That is just a free ride to work the system. I do believe a small percentage of them are legit but the larger percentage are just weak individuals to begin with and need weeded out.

 
Male user Tanker83 7 posts

They just rehired all 3 a couple weeks ago. Only thing different is they are now on 2nd shift on a last chance agreement.

I fear the simple act of doing range checks is going to get worse in a week when 9 more people are bidding off 3rd (probably because they are tired of being froze all the time for over a year now) leaving a short 3rd shift that much shorter if not empty.

Rumor has it they are going to force some of the least senior co’s to 3rd to cover the gap. I suppose it that of going 5-10 deep freezing a night.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Not long ago, 3 Officers from my old prison were fired. They failed to make required range checks and look into each cell. One range check every half hour is required. They did not come close. An Inmate hung himself and was dead. You can’t push that issue enough. There are 80 cells in each block. The Officer walks 4 ranges in two blocks (called rover) on 3rd shift. They can relieve the guy in the booth if they get tired. Takes about 5 to 8 minutes to do the minimum. Complaceny kills. 6 months from now, someone will do this again. They don’t learn. They honestly don’t think it will happen to them. The Inmate dying is not a good thing, no matter how big an asshole he was. It is his family that you have to worry about. Half of them never had anything to do with the dead Inmate but, now they will take everything you have because of your negligence.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

I being in this business over 7 years now and training is a constant thing with me.Biggest fear with me is complacency.I transfer from a big prison over a year ago to a small one 700 inmates.Is not as crazy but I know that if I led my guard down.We haved newbies on third shift,most of them are good but…..
One good thing for me since I transfer.I gotten back in training again,weight down…I believe you gotta set the example to the new guys,not be afraid to get dirty.You are going to learn by making mistakes.Better to admit you down’t know than to lie about it,getting yourself hurt or another officer when the crap hit the fan.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Jamestown, again you are correct. As soon as OJT starts, start re-enforcing the need to follow policy but, also use common sense. The need to make required range checks is absolute. You have to drill into their heads about seeing a living, breating, Inmate. In my career, too many Inmates have committed suicide and were not found right away. I realize it only takes a few minutes to complete a successful hanging but, if your’e not completing rounds per your State or Counties policies, you hang out a bunch of employees to dry. No fun going to court. They pick and dig at everything you have ever done. So getting that through to a new Officer is of utmost importance.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

The time to train new officers is when they are out of corrections school and into OJT with an experienced FTO. I have told many new COs that to be really good in corrections takes at least a year if not more. They need to be self-confident. They need to be aware of all the areas of the jail or facility, how to get into a unit and how to get out of a unit if needed. The hardest part for a new officer is learning to supervise inmates. The real test of new officers is when they run their own housing unit or floor. If they can handle a unit or floor by themselves without creating a major incident due to their actions, handle themselves in a professional manner and be a supervisor of the unit then they are starting to be a good officer. The CO who calls the Sgt every five minutes because he/she can’t make a decision is going to develop into a problem later on. I know some new officers who wouldn’t call a Sgt if the jail was on fire. I also told new officers that they need to learn to expect the unexpected, to pre-plan for incidents on their unit and what they should do first.

 
Sgm Sergeant Major 53 posts

I have to agree with GRIM. If the on-call Officers are “dumped” (for lack of a better word) into a situation that requires a CO that has been on duty for years, it’s just asking for trouble. We take our new Officers (which are on probation for a year) and use them as Relief Officers. They don’t just get “dumped” into a position where they may wind up in a bad situation. I bring them onto my wing (Suicides, Mentally and Criminally Insane, and ones with Medical Issues) and show them how to deal with the different types. For me teaching a new Officer is a guarantee that they will have at least a better chance at survival. I guess that’s the old Sergeant Major in me coming out. Better to sweat in training than to bleed in combat. I want a well trained CO to have my back when the Crap hits the fan. We do however have those * full-time career CO’s in the business who are apathetic, out-of-shape and poorly trained* that have all the seniority. I keep waiting for one of them to get the absolute crap beat out of them. I’m just glad they are mostly on another shift.

 
Female user readyset 5 posts

I was hoping that you would reply. Thank you CO
GRIM

 
Oldpics 229 COGrim 25 posts

This sounds like a real time bomb waiting to go off. There are already too many full-time career CO’s in the business who are apathetic, out-of-shape and poorly trained. The last thing we need in the mix are temps who are just there for a paycheck. This is plain and simple a cost-cutting measure that is endangering lives. It will not likely change unless someone with some sense comes into power or someone gets killed.

 
Female user readyset 5 posts

Our department hires new officers as “on-call, at-will”. This allows them to save overtime when there is a vacancy and take their sweet time filling openings. Our union has somehow joined hands with this practice.

It is common for two “on-call” employees to work together in a unit when both regular scheduled officers are off because of vacation or sick leave. This is because the staffing is so lean already. If something goes wrong they can just dump the on-call employee or both of them and who is to know the difference. In this economy it is pretty easy to hire on some more on-calls.

Really safe to have two new officers IN CHARGE of a full living unit. Or perhaps one new officer in charge of the entire recreation building.

It doesn’t matter what kind of safety measure are adopted or made policy. New personnel need to be paired with experienced because of obvious reasons. It takes time to learn to implement what you learn in training.

This practice is department wide at all security levels. We are headed for big problems. We lost a wonderful officer early this year,(murdered by an inmate) for other major safety reasons, unrelated to the on-call officer issue but this is a powder keg issue.

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