These people play one of the most important roles in the American justice system. Today, good correctional officers are hard to come by. With there being such a high demand for correctional officers these days and not enough applicants and qualified persons most prisons are either at or well over capacity. The work these correctional officers are doing is hard, not only physically but mentally as well and the pay they receive is very low in context to the type of work they are doing.
To be a good correctional officer you must possess certain personality traits, and also e in top physical shape to take control of inmates if need be. TO be a great correctional officer an individual must be compassionate, consistent, have patience, have a set of rules and guidelines that every inmate must follow and not be given special privileges, and be held accountable for there actions. To be a successful correctional officer they must go through rigorous training and keep up to date on the training and procedures, safety and new threats.
I feel a correctional officer should not only obey the rules and guidelines inside he prison walls, but be an upstanding citizen on the streets, setting an example. Being able to show compassion for an individual who may not have received that compassion from the rest of society while still holding the role of being a part of authority, a correctional officer is important. It takes a certain type of person to do this job. Someone who can see past the crime committed and still be dedicated to aide in the rehabilitation of this inmate. The people they are working with are often considered social outcasts, criminals and dangers to society.
Because of this some officers may have prejudice thoughts against these inmates, but no matter what the crime was it does not necessarily make them a bad person, it means they made a bad decision but they are more then capable of turning their lives around and making the best of what is left, wherever they may end up in there life. Inmates must be treated as human beings and given fair and equal treatment no matter what. My belief is when you give respect, you get respect and that is crucial not only in the safety of the staff and inmates but also in the flow of he prison.
Consistency is also another key role in a correctional officers job. Consistency goes a long way to ensure a smoother running prison unity. If an officer comes in one days, jokes around with the inmate, gives them special privileges or lets them get away with certain things and then the next day the same correctional officer comes in and expects everything to be followed to the books, do you think the inmates will give this officer respect? No, this type of behavior can cause an uproar within the prison and could turn dangerous for everyone involved.
Remaining consistent is what is needed in a population like a prison. There has to be a balance in order to create a sense of stability. To remain in harmony the officers must act the same everyday they are at work regardless of unit they may be assigned to. When an inmates knows the officers and rules and standards, from the moment they walk into the housing unit there is bound to be less chaos and more structure, which leaves everyone happier. Patience is another necessity for a correctional officer at any prison, as well as anywhere life may take them.
There are so any different people that have many different beliefs and officers have to deal with this on a daily basis and have to take these differences into consideration. Being employed within the prison walls, regardless of position held, means you re entering into a high-pressured job in a fast paced environment with danger possibly lurking at every corner. With a ratio of inmate to staff of 10. 3 to 1 in 2013 on average, the guards must be able to keep their composure at all times on their feet, never letting their guard down.
They should know or be taught before hitting the floor how to act and main calm without anger. Having patience not only means staying calm, but also have an attitude and perseverance to be flexible and calm under all adversity that they may receive on the job. Most inmates are just as suspicious and Leary of officers as much as the officers are of them. Rules and guidelines for the officer to follow are put in place not only for staff safety but also the inmates safety. There are also strict rules and regulation to follow so that no one single person can take it upon themselves to be the judge and jury over another.
A lot of times these type of problems are addressed by staff members not assigned to guard units to hopefully make sure the peace is kept between unit staff and inmates. These rules and guidelines are set in place to form a sense of unity. Rules are meant to lead in the right direction, to the direct officers; conduct and to regulate their actions and behavior towards other inmates, staff, and outside personnel. Not being able to deviate from the written guidelines leave less room for the officer to be indecisive. Correctional officers should always remember that they are there o secure and contain the prisoners, not punish.
When these rules are broken by correctional staff they should be held accountable. All staff are hell to a high standard and are made to be accountable for their actions. As with any business there is a chain of command set in place. There is specific responsibilities all must follow within this chain. Frequent evaluations of correctional officers must be done, along with these evaluations, the officers conduct must be looked over precisely to make sure they are following the code of conduct they swore an oath too.
No matter the action or decision that as made there is always a reason behind it and an officer must give that reason for the action they took in a timely manner and the paperwork should be evaluated to make sure they follow certain rules and guidelines that were put into palace for this reason. If the reasons are not sufficient or if wrong was found to be down then the officer must be held accountable and certain reprimands should be dealt out. Efficient and continuous training provides better understanding of interactions between officers and inmates.
These trainings also furnish options on the variety of ways officers can control their sections. These trainings are also crucial to the safety of all involved. Trainings on gang relations, new “hustles” and the manufacturing of contraband items is important for an officer to know so they are one step ahead of these inmates and so the prison remains a safe environment. Because so many prisons have been built the demand for officers has increased at a very rapid pace. Unqualified people are being thrown into these positions which in return hurts everyone involved. These people don’t last long, particularly with little training provided.
One training that is starting o be implemented across the United States is sociology classes. Sociology classes give a better understanding of the different activities and relationships of people. These classes have already Soon to benefit the guards in tremendous ways. This allows for better communication between not only staff members but also between staff and offenders. These expectations to be a correctional officer are high, complicated and unreasonable when in actuality I believe that all it takes are qualifications that each of us, or most of us, area taught as values and morals as we grow into adulthood.
It does not take a lot of effort to show compassion, put forth patience, remain steadfast and consistent, and follow rules and guidelines. No one is infallible, but even when correctional officers do wrong they must accept the consequences that are to come because of their actions. With the appropriate training individuals can be molded and formed into successful, competent, positive and upstanding correctional officers. All this takes is time and effort both on the prospected officer and the ones training these individuals.
When I approached these people in the field it was proven to me hat these individuals are not only hard, direct and upheld a high standard but are also compassionate, understanding and believe in these inmates. Many of them are no there just because it is a job, which they pay definitely reflects that, but they are there because they truly care about these inmates and believe that they can change they just need that little push, and for someone to not cast them out because Of the decisions they had made in the past. Correctional officers are held to a high standard and are expected to treat everyone the same, no matter their background.
As human beings these would be morals that were instilled into us growing up. Everyone is different, no one is perfect. If you single out these individuals just for the simple fact they are different, whether it is a criminal background, mental disability, physical disability, or different beliefs then you, it can cause chaos but more importantly it can cause a person to shut down and not care anymore, not care in bettering themselves and within such close quarters and the daily stress and struggles these inmates are already under It can cause major up ringing and a dangerous situation for all involved.