Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm Not A Prison Guard

Ok, since the subject has come up, I'll tackle it.

It's merely semantics and important to nobody but us. But we do consider it important.

We are not prison guards. We are corrections officers.

I don't know exactly when the name changed. I'm sure it was some egghead with a PHD in sociology who came up with the idea. And I'm sure it was about the same time they went from using the terms "prisoner" and "convict" and replaced them with "inmate" and "offender".

He probably got a million dollars for the idea. He's a genius.

There are no convicts in our prison.

Well, there's one...... But I don't think he's going to be around too much longer. He's had multiple strokes and can only use one hand and can barely walk or talk anymore.

But he can still raise hell when he wants to. Just very slowly. Used to be a very dangerous man. I know he has at least one escape attempt on his record. Maybe more. And I know he made it over two fences and out into the parking lot of the prison he was in with five bullets in his body before they caught him and took him down. And he still fought them.

Crazy as a loon. Crazy as riding a bicycle upside down under water. Crazy like Daffy Duck in a straightjacket. The man is just crazy to the bone. Has more assaults on both staff and other inmates than most of our other inmates combined.

An old head convict. And he will die in prison. He knows that and doesn't care.

But he's a nice enough guy if you talk to him and get to know him. He likes me. I don't know why, but he does. It's gotten me out of some trouble in the past.

He still calls us "guards". Because that was what there was when he got locked up. That's how you know he's a convict.

I've digressed, apparently.

We don't call ourselves prison guards anymore. (You thought I got lost, didn't you?) They say that a guard stands outside and makes sure nobody comes in. We stand inside and make sure nobody gets out. Ergo: we are corrections officers.

I suppose that the difference is that we are supposedly correcting their behavior so that they may be returned to society at some later date. Rather than just keeping them inside until they die.

I don't really get to see much correcting happening, but I'm on the low end of the stick for that. The inmates I deal with usually are beyond correcting. Most of them are going to be jerks until they stop breathing. And maybe even a few hours after that.

I'm sure there is some correcting going on somewhere. Alot of inmates get out of prison and I don't see them again. Well, a few, anyway. I do see quite a few of them get out and come back. But now and then we get rid of one that makes it.

I guess that's what we're supposed to be doing.

So we are "Corrections Officers". Or just "C.O." for short. We are not "Prison Guards".

I'm not insulted by the other name. I just don't use it.

Just thought I'd clear that up.


  1. As opposed to the other CO's Corrections Offenders. It's a house full of CO's no matter how you look at it.

  2. I'm the anon from the other day who works for Col. Blake and Major Burns. (If only I could remember my log in stuff.) Anywho.

    I watched Inside American Jails the other day. Here's what I heard: Stop. Quit. Shut your mouth. How many times do I have to tell you to stop? shut your mouth? quit? You need to behave. etc. etc.

    And guess what? I realized that what the cops are doing is exactly what I am doing except I can't use handcuffs or pepper spray. (But oh, if I only could.)

    Just so you know...public schools are simply helping you folks out by getting your future guests ready to ignore you just like they do us, the teachers.