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A Troubled Jail, Divided Staff

 

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Male user commander 277 posts

I know where you are coming from Canusxiii. Most of my career was spent watching Supervisors and Officers have affairs. Then the Supervisor would bail out the Officer so his/her spouse wouldn’t find out. I absolutely did not ever get my honey where I got my money. I met my wife in my home town at a local store. I am a firm believer in being firm, fair and consistent. With everyone. I had Officers that I absolutely had mass respect for. Would do anything for them but, while at work, I was the boss. If they slipped up, they knew we were going to talk. If they screwed up bad, they knew without question, there would be consequences and I would be the one doling out the discipline. I was close friends with three of my Captain’s before I retired. Got my but tore by all three. Didn’t piss me off. If I do something wrong or don’t complete a task that is assigned the way they wanted it completed, give me what I got coming. Ten minutes after my ass tearing, we were all drinking coffee and telling lies. No big deal.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Agreed with you commander.The officer in question refused to take responsibility.Refused to write a maintance slip or write it in her log book.At one point warning me that quote she knew people.
Chits where exchange,officer never check the condition of the keys.Her responsibility .
Incredible it didn’t stop there.Months later she was made the 3rd shift union rep after the regular rep transfer at the request of her new boyfriend who just passed the sgt test.
I always kept calm with the both of them.Eventually they both transfer.Sadly commander,phenom post hits home.My opinion,there is no room for office romance in this line of work.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

I always spoke in the same tone of voice unless they really screwed up bad and another staff members safety was at issue. Then I would blow their wig back. When it is an issue with Officer safety, key control, or health and safety issues, I had zero tolerance for errors. One ass tearing, depending on severity, next time a written reprimand. At my old prison, when an Officer was working a cell block, they would stop at the control center, turn in a metal chit with their first initial and last name on it, the control center officer would give them the chit of the officer presently working that block. The next step, by policy and post orders was to inspect the keys for damage and ensure the you had the proper amount of keys on the ring (numbered chit for total amount of keys on each key ring), then hand the officer you are relieving his/her chit. If a key is found to be bent or broken, they had to write an incident report, call a Supervisor and report immediately. I would send an escort Officer down to retrieve the back up or emergency keys to change out with the key ring with a damaged or broken key. A broken tool, key, equipment report was completed an a copy was attached to the key ring and placed back in the Control Center. I told my Officers at roll call, if you give the officer his/her chit without examining the keys, you take full responsibility for the condition of the keys. If anything is wrong, you are to blame.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Being there commander.Change of shift.While backing the unit officer during count,the Paracentric key to the east side sallyport gate couldn’t turn so the officer couldn’t enter the unit to do her count.Told the officer to check her log book and podium for a maintance slip,on occasion,wear and tear the front of the para keys bend,making it difficult to open gate.Instead of following procedure as I told her before calling for a replacement key,she when ballistic on me apparently the officer she relieve,friends.
Took two hours before Princes realized that the count was being delay…Most of the problems nowadays is basically staff.Firm believer in “Don’t shit where u eat”.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Typically, most of my issues at the prison were dealing with staff. One staff member would get in trouble for something they did and then go tell everyone that they were set up and the brass was trying to get rid of them. When another Officer would bring that to my attention, I would call that Officer into the Office and explain why they got in trouble and then tell them that if their disruptive behavior continued, I would deal with that accordingly. I would then explain the disciplinary grid to them, show it to them and that usually was all it took.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Oops…typo…meant to said administration usually spent to much time away from the officers..Phenom..being there ..two officers arguing over a new female officer,one with a wife and two kids at home.From experienced,I believe in not shitting where u eat…
I respect all my officers even the difficult ones..I don’t had to like you but we had to work together…Job can be challenging at times.Often the most difficult part of the job is not the inmates but the staff..

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Phenom, the Lt. should have been fired and arrested for assault. I was a Lt. my last 12 years. I absolutely wouldn’t have a relationship with anyone other than my wife, who didn’t work in corrections nor would I have allowed her to. I have never had a fleeting thought of assaulting a staff member. Even the dirty ones I walked out. People have to realize that we are all we have. If you can’t get the staff to work together than you have to find out the reasons why and fix them. Simple as that. If you have a few staff members who can’t get onto the team concept, weed them out. If you have a supervisor who won’t or can’t conform to the team concept, weed him/her out. When the shit hits the fan and you are involved in a Critical Incident, you will realize why you have to depend on each other. At the end of the day, you will survive or not survive a Critical Incident in regards to the team concept.

 
Male user Squeeze 135 posts

Sorry to hear that Phenom. It will take a long time possibly years for staff to recover from that. All the policies in the world won’t help those types of issues. It takes some time to build trust among the staff then an incident like that happens and all goes to crap at once. I hope everyone there can get together,work out the issues and begin healing so they can earn that trust again. I’m not saying any touchy huggy stuff but a couple of forced cell moves wouldn’t hurt.

 
Male user PHENOM 1 post

We just had a situation where a LT. slugged a SGT. for comments made to a co-worker whom the LT. has a relationship with. Then you have staff choosing sides and Management putting out policies to deal with future events like this. Grandpa said it best “You dont $#!^ where you eat and you dont %@ where you work”.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Trouble is when administration doesn’t back the staff.My opinion,staff usually spent to much time away from the line officers…they get clueless after awhile,no idea was going on in the jail…good administrator in my opinion works with the officers,not against them……..be safe.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

I can’t help but wonder what they would talk about at home. The Supervisor and the employee. I have also seen first hand when the employee (especially female) gets mad at her co-workers and then her man (supervisor) takes it out on them for making his girl mad. Talk about ethics violations. But, it happens all the time.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

You’re right Commander. It’s like watching Peyton Place, everyone gets involved goofing around at work. The next thing you have a supervisor dating a new subordinate…the subordinate and supervisor start dating, etc…next thing they have a fight and the supervisor gets nailed for sexual harassment. Just like we have said in these forums, do your job, mind your own business, be professional, stay safe then go home and forget you work at a prison or jail.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

I believe your right Squeeze. It is systematic and has a lot to do with the negativity of working in a prison or jail. It is paramount that the Warden walks throughout the institution and talks to staff. By himself. Then have the DWO and Major do the same. After the riot in 1993, the CO’s at LUC were tighter than a family. The Inmates feared us and the administration supported us. It ran so smoothly that the dirty officers stuck out like a sore thumb. It went on that way for a few years. Officers, and other staff will start rumors for fun and then they get out of control. Before long, people are at each others throats. Then you have Officers having affairs with other Officers wives/husbands and wow, it gets bad. I never believed in gettin’ my honey where I go my money. Just didn’t do it. I married the greatest lady, cook friend and companion in the world, why would I want to screw that up. I always told my officers to come to work, do their job and go home. It kills the Inmates when they can’t find a way to get under your skin. They lose the game and they are sore losers.

 
Male user Squeeze 135 posts

Having worked in several institutions over the past 30yrs my experience is similar with all of them. I believe the condition is systemic to most facilities not due to the nature of the work but the nature of human beings. It has not appeared to me as to be as widespred as it seems but we as humans tend to focus on these circumstances due to the negativity. No one like negativity but we seem to dwell on them if we don’t collect ourselves and get over it and not take most of it personally. Each one of us has SOME anoying personality faults( yes listen to me now:-)). We need to get over it or wallow in it. The command staff has some affect on the condition but line staff themselves can have the most positive affect. Try not to take everything personally and don’t say anything that is deliberately aimed at a co-worker to disrepect them for only that reason.Be constructive and appropriate. We are the best to stem the tide. I work in a local hospital part time for the last 23 years and they have the same issues. HooooRahh for Corrections officers!!

 
Isr DT Instructor 108 posts

There seems to be a general them that a lot of correctional staff are stuck in high school and can’t get over the fact that the universe doesn’t revolve around them. I see a lot of that here, but I keep my circle of trust tight and don’t get involved in the drama. Gotta agree it’s always us against them.

 
Male user dominic.perry 4 posts

I agree with commander, you have to mention something in roll call, maybe not say their name, but we have to confront the folks who begin the gossip about other folks no matter how we feel about the person they’re talking about. Inmates love it when we are not on the same page. The thing inmates hate most is a unified front from us. It’s really us against them. We have to keep talking in roll call how we need to show how we uphold the law, high standards, and just be professional. We have to remind folks we catch saying something regarding gossip, that they have to keep their opinons to themselves. Gossip can hurt morale, it does no good at all. If you want things better, stop the chatter, More important, we can’t give in no matter how we feel. It’s us against them.

 
Female user roses81731 1 post

It must be a pandemic, the prison I work at has all the same issues. Staff openly defend inmates who are, and i quote, “close to me,” or “like my son.” They protect them. The contraband flows like it were legal. Write ups are thrown out, disappeared, or crossed out on the inmate cards. And the white shirts themselves add to the problem by playing mind games, coercing, gossiping, and manipulating staff and inmates. Either way you turn, you are bound to be stepping on someone’s toes.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

Being there! Administration more concern with the inmates than the staff.Is a shame when you gotta worry about the administrators,supervisors,and some of your co-workers before you get to what you are their for,The Inmates…Being there.it leaves a bad taste in your mouth…..Be Safe.

 
Remle riflepg irish assassin 286 posts

Sadly I currently find myself in the same situation Mick mentioned. The current administration here is all about “rehabilitation” and less about “correction”. Inmates complaints get handled over staff ones, morale in in the proverbial shitter, staff writing up each other over the most trival crap, overtime runs rampant, and staff are just generally disgruntled towards each other. It’s a very sad state of affairs but our warden is due to retire so hopefully that means change will be coming.

Morale and staff unity really does flow from the top down. If line staff doesn’t get supported by supervisors and admin staff it sets off a chain reaction that is hard to reverse. On the other hand we all know least one line staff that are just negative no matter what. They thrive on the ability to spread lies/rumors, or just making other people as miserable as them. Now we all have bad days but some people like to make it a constant thing.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Rumors and Gossip, the downfall of many facilities and we are exposed to them all the time. I finally learned that when you get an email from the supervisor or Warden it’s not gossip or a rumor.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Agree with DT, Mick and Jamestown. You have to know how to respect yourself before you can respect others. An assessment audit should be completed and starting at the top, remove or relocate some people. The division is what inmates feed off of. Supervisors making security rounds need to stop and get a feel for the pulse of the Institution, when they see morale going south, they need to act immediately. But, it is also on the staff member to say “I will not play this game.” When you see an officer talking about other officers to an Inmate, make sure everyone knows at roll call the next day. I don’t mean it by telling everyone who did it. Just ask the shift Commander if you could make an announcement. I had to trouble putting issues out like that. When brought to light, sometimes they work out for the better. I know some would say that is fronting someone off. Well, when you start bending an inmates ear to disrespect others who wear the badge, you need to be put on front street in view of everyone.

 
Isr DT Instructor 108 posts

You have to put aside your differences and do the job that you are paid for. There are just not enough days in our lives to allow someone to get injuried over something petty. Sounds like people need to grow up there.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

When a facility has morale issues you can see that right away. Wardens, Deputy Chiefs, Superintendents that sit the offices like it is the Emerald Palace make subordinates feel like trash. I always said that a supervisor who comes down to the “lower echelon” of a regular CO shakes his or her hand and thanks them for being there goes a huge way to improve morale. Unfortunately organizations that appear to be above reproach, management that doesn’t listen, leaders who love to brag to the media about their “personal accomplishments” in the running of the facility all contribute to poor morale. If you as a CO work at such a facility the best thing to do is like Mick says, do you your job 110 percent, watch what you say to supervisors and upper level management and lastly document any kind of verbal abuse. Stay safe.

 
Riot helmet Mick 307 posts

Navarro it sound to me like the problem is lack of leadership from the very Top down. For years we had a crap morale situation because of our Warden. He and his cronies ran the Prison more for the dirtbird than the staff. But ever since our new warden arrived a few years ago morale has shot through the roof. He worked his way up from the Floor and knows what crap goes on and won’t tolerate it. But if you do your job he will have your back 110%. So unless your facility gets a clean sweep of Management I fear that nothing will change.

 
Dream car BridgeportCO 63 posts

Good for you for knowing what is more important, I hope above all else that your facility can put responsibility and safety above pride before someone gets hurt, or worse. I work with a couple of people who I don’t feel should be there but when it comes down to it we ARE a family and I will be the first to help if they are in trouble. Talking trash to an inmate about another officer just blows my mind!

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