Law Enforcement Specialties >> Corrections, Probation & Parole >> Advise Needed

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Advise Needed

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Posted over 3 years ago

 

I just started working at a local jail just over a month ago.  This jail that I work at houses local, state, and federal inmates.....my issue is that I do not feel that I "fit in" with the other jailers.  With what I have learned in class (I am still in college), I am an "idealist and service style" person and try to see the good in people and believe that all people are innocent until proven guilty, and the others I work with are "enforcers and watchman style" people who have little tolerance and take matters into their own hands, and don't seem to see the good in poeple.  With all that has happened for the past month I have come up with a few reasons (listed below)  to feel that I do not "fit in" and they (my co-workers) have voiced their opinions to me about how I handle several times.....



1. I perfer to use the terms "out of the book" and treat the inmates with respect - as we are advised to.  By doing this I refer to the inmates

    by their first name instead of their last name... I feel that the inmates are people and should be treated as such.

2. I do not like to use the term "inmate" - I use the term "resident" and refer to the "jailers" as "staff;" while calling the "jail" a "facility" - the 

    people I work with feels that this takes something away from them and gives the inmates/residents too much respect

3. I was informed that I work too hard and make the other staff "look bad" since they have been their in terms of years compared to my 

    month and they have not gone out of their way to help me learn beyond the basics and I have had to essentially teach myself.

4. I prefer to avoid violence and use it as a last resort.  I have talked to the inmates/residents several times in the month I have worked at

    the jail/facility in order to avoid violence and de-escalate the situation - while the people I work with seem to enjoy physical altercations 

    with the inmates/residents

 


With starting any new job I was nervous, and I still am nervous.  I am trying by best at work, but with jsut facing criticism its depressing and frustrating.  I cant talk to my fiance or family in law enforcement because they don't seem to understand.  I need some advice from other people about how I should handle my situation without losing the passion that I have recently gained. Thank you.

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Caveat:  I'm not a LEO or CO, but I've learned a few things from the folks here:


Don't expect to fit in right away - it can take several months or even a couple years.  Remember, the level of trust placed in you by your agency, its chief, and your fellow COs is very, very high:  you watch their back and they watch yours.  This trust takes a long time to cultivate.


I would say that you are extremely idealistic.  The inmates at the jail have done something to deserve being there (i.e. they have committed a crime and/or several crimes) and most likely had prior criminal records before their current visit.  Treating them like people is fine, but they're not there to enjoy themselves - they break the rules, the consequences should be swift and severe.


Referring to your fellow COs as merely "staff" and the inmates as "residents" would irk me, because it would seem like you're trying to lower yourself/us to their level, and elevate the inmates beyond where they are.  This may well be a bone of contention.  You are now the gatekeeper, one of the people that protects society from the people that prey on it.  That puts you in a position above the inmates by definition.


Remember that you signed up to work in the jail, and as such, you have an environment that expects a lot of conformity:  you adapt to them in a lot of ways; they don't adapt to you nearly as much.  As such, you'll need to grow a much thicker skin, if you haven't already.


This should get you started.  I'm going to leave the other points for everyone else to weigh in on if they wish, but this is a fair amount for you to take in at one bite.


Also, I see you haven't posted an intro telling us about yourself.  Please do so here:  http://policelink.monster.com/discussions/130-introductions/topics.  It's like saying hello when you walk into someone's house:  very much appreciated.

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Aaaaand the OP disappears into the land of Anonymous.  Hopefully s/he learns and grows to enjoy the profession.

Andrea_and_i_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Speaking for experience in a corrections setting, doing everything by the book and being nice all the time usually leads to being manipulated and controlled by the "residents" as the OP called them. The "residents" are typically in there for a reason and they are always looking to get as much as they can get from the officers who work there. Hope that the OP wasn't already swallowed up by the job and emerges as a good and knowledgable officer.

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Sorry to see the OP go anonymous, i think he was getting good advice.  On the off chance that he is still looking here, you will find that most of your "residents' will maintain they are either innocent or misunderstood, when to get there they had to either be found or pled guilty to some serious crime.  i believe that they will try and take advantage of your nature to try and manipulate you, your 'residents' have nothing better to do all day long than try and manipulate the "staff".

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

coryzebell says ...



Speaking for experience in a corrections setting, doing everything by the book and being nice all the time usually leads to being manipulated and controlled by the "residents" as the OP called them. The "residents" are typically in there for a reason and they are always looking to get as much as they can get from the officers who work there. Hope that the OP wasn't already swallowed up by the job and emerges as a good and knowledgable officer.



Surely you don't mean inmates and cons LIE to COs and LEOs!  They're always truthful and innocent! 

Img00074_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

How much dope have you brought in to those good hearted residents?


The above comments are soley those of the poster and in no way reflect the position of the Department of Corrections.

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Rated +1 | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Went right for the jugular, didn'tchya?


Th_detective_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

11-23-10, 2031hrs, EST


Locked, hit & run OP.


Retleo (Moderator #8)


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