You work in a prison!

I have been seeing a trend lately that really worries me.  This trend seems to come from naive people,  mostly new C/Os as well as many case managers.  So what is the trend?  Trust.  Too much trust.

We work in a prison.  The guys aren't here for being upstanding citizens.  Some made some minor mistakes but most have made a life out of crime.  Many are deadly and usually the most deadly are the ones that come across as innocent because they are so great at manipulation.  They manipulate you to get information and even contraband at times.  They seem so sweet but underneath they are rotten to the very core.  It's tough to tell which ones are rotten at times.  You MUST keep your guard up at all times.

What makes this worse is not only are you endangering yourself, but others.  I have seen many C/Os and case managers release personal information to inmates about other C/Os that could easily get them killed, or even their families.  Why?  Why in the world do you find a need to release personal information about other people to dangerous inmates?  Are you trying to be friends with them?  If so, you are working in the wrong place.

You chose to work in a prison.  That means you are choosing a dangerous life, but no need to make it more dangerous for those you work with.  Don't release information you don't need to.  DO NOT put the lives of your co-workers on the line because you are lonely and want to feel liked by these guys.  If you are that desperate, you need to find a new career before you get someone killed.


Our inmates seem dead set that we are all prejudice against what ever they are.  So much so, that they make themselves look like idiots.  Yesterday, we had one inmate tell our officer that he is homophobic and was picking on him simply because that particular inmate is gay.  The funny thing is, so is the officer.  The inmate didn't know that of course, but that officer has been in a relationship with a man for over 20 years!

Another time, one of our LTs was walking the tiers and was accused of being racists against Mexicans.  The funny thing is he IS a Mexican.  He looks it AND has a very common Mexican last name.  Some of these guys are just so used to using prejudice as an excuse that they have no idea how stupid they look.  Not everyone is prejudice.  In fact, most of us aren't and couldn't care less what race or sexual orientation you are.  Get over yourself!

Sporadic crazy

Calvin peeing on Hobbs.

One area of the prison I work in has this one particular inmate that seems totally normal most of the time.  The problem is, when he is crazy, he is really crazy and you never know when his crazy will show up.  He is known for being a drug abuser so all we can figure is that either the drugs caused this, or this caused the drug use.  Either way, it can be interesting.

One day you will be interacting fine with him and the next, his crazy comes out.  You will come in to work and he will be having an issue with someone and call you over.  That's when you realize things are not normal for him.  He will tell you all about how all the other inmates are urinating on him and he needs you to get them to stop.  Next thing you know, he is convinced that you are urinating on him as well and he looses it.  The poor guy is completely convinced that the whole world is peeing on him!  Imagine that... well, maybe don't imagine that as that would be a little too graphic but you know what I mean.

Because this is all in his head, nothing you or anybody else says will convince him that you aren't peeing on him.  So he ends up being sent to seg until he returns to normal then he forgets it ever happened and moves on.  The inmates on the other hand, they have a tougher time forgetting it.


The graveyard shift at our institution is called first shift.  First shift starts just as the inmates are sent to bed and ends just as they are getting ready for breakfast.  There just isn't much to do on first shift.  They may search the day rooms and do random UAs but unless something out of the ordinary kicks off, there isn't much to do.

People can get pretty desperate when bored and COs are no exception.  One particular night, someone brought in Carolina Reapers.  If you haven't heard about Carolina Reapers, you are in for a treat.  They are hotter than hot peppers considered the hottest in the world.  They were created specifically for their heat.  Here is a video of people trying it:

Anyway, so an officer decided to bring some in and see how many other officers he could get to try them.  He not only had all the staff in his unit, but also started gathering them from other areas of the prison including those meant to respond to emergencies.  Problem.  The officers willing to try the pepper had the expected result.  Many were throwing up for hours and some were in such bad pain that they stayed huddled in a ball for hours.  Luckily, no emergency happened.  Can you imagine what would have happened if a fight broke off or there was a medical emergency?  They break off at a moments notice and we could have had the majority of our staff out of commission.  To make matters worse, this particular unit is our max unit where the majority of emergencies come from.

I understand the boredom and all but you really got to think these things through.  Don't risk you job or the lives of others for entertainment.  You have a job to do.  If you can't handle the boredom without doing something stupid, find a new job.

Sleep walking

We had two offenders from the same cell with injuries.  When the offenders were questioned, one said he had a bad dream and woke up to find himself fighting with his cellmate.  He claims he was sleepwalking.  When his cellmate was questioned, he said he woke up to find himself fighting his cellmate and was also sleepwalking.  Really?  You expect us to believe that?  Some of the excuses they come up with are so laughable.  If you are going to lie, at least make it believable.

There is no privacy in prison, even as a Sgt

I was working front desk again and bored out of my mind.  There really isn't much to do when you work front desk other than letting visitors into visitation.  During the time that visitors were beginning to enter, a little old lady asked if she could use the restroom cause she really had to go.  I let her back into the area where the restroom is located and saw that it was in use so I just asked her to wait until whoever was in there was done and then headed back to my post.

A few minutes later a Sgt comes rushing out looking very upset.  I asked him what was going on as he is pacing back and forth with obvious frustration.  He then tells me that he headed up front to use the restroom so he could poop in private.  Just as he settles in, this little old lady begins pounding on the door and asking him how long he is going to take.  Then she asks him if he is almost done.  She continues to knock and bug him until the poor guy gives up and comes out.  He was so livid that it just made it that much better.  I wish I could have captured his face on camera for you.  He won't be living this one down anytime soon!

"You done yet?"

Did he just say fat chicks?

Inmates come in all shapes and sizes.  We have one particular inmate that is just tiny.  I am talking like 4 foot 5 and probably 60-70 lbs.  He is known for his tiny size.  As I was holding the door for mass move yesterday, he walked off the tier with a buddy of his and they were talking.  All I heard from him was, "Fat chicks.  I love fat chicks!  The fatter, the better."  I think my jaw probably hit the floor and I had to contain my laughter as I am picturing this tiny guy with fat chicks.  Wow.  Not exactly what I expected but to each their own I guess.