CORRECTIONAL OFFICER JOB DESCRIPTION

 

Prison violence has a way of erupting when least expected.  Things may seem at ease one minute and hell can break loose the next. Seasoned Correctional Officers understand this and are trained in preparing for the unexpected since their life depends on it. Many offenders tend to release their frustrations out on prison staff. With little or nothing to lose, violent offenders may take weeks planning a deadly assault on an officer who only has seconds to react.

INFECTIOUS DISEASES

The most common threat Correctional Officers face is violent offenders armed with sharp-edged weapons and inmates who toss urine, blood or feces on them. This can be deadly due to the fact that 25,000 U.S. offenders are HIV positive and 40% of America’s prison population is infected with hepatitis C.
Today's prisoners are more treacherous, more aggressive and a far greater threat to Correctional Officers working in prison. Officers employed at maximum security prisons face triple the amount of danger as those working in minimum security facilities. 33.5% of all assaults in prisons consist of offenders brutally assaulting staff.

WHEN NEGOTIATIONS FAIL

When officers are confronted by hostile inmates, they are required to remain calm. Some states require that Correctional Officers learn tactics of neutralizing offender aggression with negotiation. When negotiations fail, officers must rely on their defensive skills and apply physical force.
Let’s take for example, a hostile offender armed with a weapon who refuses to submit to hand restraints. An officer’s safety comes first so the officer is required to avoid contact with the offender and immediately seek safety. The officer then reports the incident by radio and requests back up. Ranking officers, as well as back up arrive at the scene armed with shields, body armor, batons and pepper-spray or guns that discharge rubber bullets..

Ranking officers then request medical staff as well as retrieve video camera equipment to record the incident.
As soon as medical staff are present and video cameras are documenting the incedent, officers then order the armed offender to drop the weapon and submit to hand restraints. If the offender refuses the officers command, then the use of justifiable force is the only remaining option. Before proceeding with force, officers must describe the situation in front of the recording camera for evidence and as a protective measure against law suits. Officers proceed by carefully approaching the offender with shields and warn the inmate that if he does not submit to the restraints a pepper-spray canister or rubber bullets will be fired at them. (Some states such as Texas use pepper spray while others such as California utilize rubber bullets).

Since most pepper sprays are refined to 5.3 million shu and can cause similar pain to that of being burned by a blue-hot torch, most offenders quickly drop to the floor and give up.
Once the offender is subdued and hand cuffed, the inmate is then escorted to the unit’s medical infirmary where the inmate’s blood pressure is checked as well as any potential injuries. After the medical evaluation the prisoner is processed into the unit’s pre hearing detention building and housed in a solitary cell where the offender awaits a disciplinary court hearing conducted by prison administrative officers and staff.

OUT-NUMBERED STAFF
Correctional Officers in most maximum security prisons must deal with these situations at least 3 times a day.
It is common for most prisons to employ 200 officers for every 2,500 inmates. Officers are always out numbered and some have paid the ultimate price as a result of staff shortages. Evidence of this may be proved with one of many horrific examples.

FALLEN OFFICER

On December 17, 2002, TDCJ Correctional Officer Danny Nagle was brutally stabbed to death by an offender at the McConnell Unit near Beeville, Tx. The weapon used to take Nagle’s life was made of a metal rod removed from a typewriter sold to inmates in the unit commissary. Shortly after Nagles death, staff employee Rhonda Osborne was raped and murdered by an sex offender serving time for rape at the J.B. Connally Unit.


Texas isn’t the only state with a high staff assault rate. California leads second in the nation. In June of 2008, two gang members using a crude shank stabbed correctional officer Jose Rivera to death at the United States Penitentiary in Atwater, California. Armed with only a radio, Rivera was alone patrolling about 100 offenders at the time of the brutal attack. Examples such as these are the reason Correctional Officers must continue intense training.

 

RELATED LINKS

 

How to Survive Prison

Nothing can be more difficult for an inmate than walking into the prison for the first time.

 

 

Prison Fire

Prisoner Arsonists and Prison Fire Outbreaks

 

 

Alcohol In Prison

The demand of alcohol behind the walls is so great that inmates are willing to pay big.

 

 

Extortion in Prison

Every year, hundreds of incarcerated inmates are extorted by violent prison gangs.............