Massachusetts Cop Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there. I am seriously thinking about taking the DOC exam in March. I was hoping that someone could give me a run down on the typical function and activities for their shift. I want to know everything and anything I can to assist in my decision with the exam.

Any and all assistance will be greatly appreciated. I look forward to getting some good responses. :idea:
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,417 Posts
JYANIS - I am NOT A CO, Let Me be Candid About That Right Up Front.
But Like You, I Am Planning on Taking The Exam in April.
And I, Like You, (I Assume) Have An Abundance of Questions About The Job.
Being a Corrections Officer Does Leave A Lot to Wonder.
I'm Sure I Have The Same Questions You Do.
But There Is No Wonder To Why That Is.

We All Have Interactions With Police Officers. Whether Its Something as Innocuous As Asking For Directions, or Getting A Speeding Ticket.
Whether It's Calling 911 To Get An Unwanted from your Home or Property,
or Being Cuffed and Thrown in the Clink for Being Drunk & Disorderly.
There's "COPS", "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol", "Americas Most Wanted", "Truly Amazing Police Videos", etc, etc..

But There's Never, (Except for a few stories on Discovery) Ever, Any Shows On What Its Like To Be A Corrections Officer.
They Truly Are the "Forgotten" Cops.
And I'm Sure Its Due to The Simple Fact; We Citizens Like It That Way.
We Don't Want To Be Reminded Of The Scumbags These Guys and Gals Look After for 8/16 Hours a Day.
Murderers, Child Molesters, Rapists, and every Other Category of Scumbag You Can Envision…
We Watch the Story on the News, and Say "Thank God That POS IS Locked Up", and then We Forget About It.

I Think Its An Admirable Profession, as I do About Most Public Servants.
But They Do It Solo. They Don't Have a Glock on their Hip. They Have Their Wits and Each Other. Imagine Walking a Tier With a 100 to 1 Ratio of Cons to Staff. That's a Disquieting Thought for Those of Us Inexperienced in the Ways Of the Profession. And I Wish There Was More Written (In a Positive Light) About The Profession and More Television Programs That Highlight What The Job Is Really Like. Showcase The Kind Of People That Lay It On The Line For Us Every Day, But Do It Unarmed and Behind Bars…That Takes Guts.

I've Had Some Excellent PM's From CO's Offering Advice and Answering Questions I've Posed to Them. Do A Search and PM Some Of The Guys Who Are Currently in the DOC. They're Great Guys, They Took The Time to Answer A Lot Of My Questions, I'm Sure They'll Do The Same For You.

The Best Piece Of Advice I've Received So Far…

"You just need to acclimate to the climate and realize that the job is the least important 8 hrs of your day…."
That Statement Speaks Volumes…

I Wish You Excellent Luck On the Exam Pal… :thumbup:
Kozmo.


BTW - Those Of You In The DOC, Keep The Posts Coming.
We Can Benefit Greatly From Your Experiences in the Selection Process.
I was Told Privately, That In 1 Class, They Went Through 1,000 Candidates to Get An Academy Class of 100.
So to Those Of You Taking The Test,
Don't Expect a Cakewalk to the Academy.
[-X
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Kosmo says it best...those of you in Corrections and Probation/Parole deserve praise. I have the utmost respect for what you. You are understaffed, overworked, and probably underpaid. Moreover, unlike everybody else in public safety, you are CONSTANTLY exposed to the criminal element. Thant undoubtedly takes a certain kind of individual.
 

·
Subscribing Member
Joined
·
1,322 Posts
Although I am not a CO I had strongly considered it not too long ago and I might reconsider it when I'm done w/school. I highly recommend reading the following books that were written by CO's, and talk to any current and former CO's about the job as much as you can.

6-5: A Different Shade of Blue by Steven Herberts (about MCI Bridgewater IPS)

Screw: the truth about Walpole State Prison by the guard who lived it by Michael McLaughlin

Newjack: guarding Sing Sing by Ted Conover
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
THE FORGOTTEN COP


What would the average citizen say if it were proposed that Police Officers be assigned to a neighborhood which was inhabited by no one but criminals and those Officers would be unarmed, patrol on foot and be heavily out numbered? I wager that the overwhelming public response would be that the Officers would have to be crazy to accept such an assignment. However as you read this, such a scenario is being played out in all areas of the country.

We are Correctional Officers. Not Guards (who are people that watch school crossings). We work at minimum, medium, and maximum security Correctional Facilities. We are empowered by the State to enforce its Penal Laws, rules, and regulations of the Department of Correctional Services. In short we are Policemen. Our beat is totally inhabited by convicted felons who, by definition, are people who tend to break laws, rules, and regulations. We are out numbered by as many as 50 to 1 at various times of our work day and contrary to popular belief, we work without a side arm. In short, our necks are on the line every minute of every day.

A Correctional Facility is a very misunderstood environment. The average person has very little knowledge of it's workings. Society sends it's criminals to Correctional Facilities and as time passes, each criminals crime fades from our memory until the collective prison population becomes hordes of bad people being warehoused away from decent society in a place where they can cause no further harm. There is also the notion that prison inmates cease to be a problem when the are incarcerated.

Correctional Facilities are full of violence perpetrated by the prison population against the prison population and facility staff. Felonies are committed daily but are rarely reported. They are called "unusual incidents" and rarely result in criminal prosecution. Discipline is handled internally and, as a rule, the public is rarely informed of these crimes. In the course of maintaining order in these facilities, many Officers have endured the humiliation of having urine and feces thrown at them. Uncounted Correctional Officers have been kicked, bitten, stabbed and slashed with home made weapons, taken hostage, murdered and even raped in the line of duty, all while being legally mandated to maintain their Professional Composure and refraining from any retaliation which could be the basis for dismissal from service.

In addition to these obvious dangers,Correctional Officers face hidden dangers in the form of AIDS, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C. Courts are now imposing longer sentences and the prison population is increasing far beyond the systems designated capacity. As the public demands more police on the street, governments everywhere are cutting police in prison where violence reigns supreme, jeopardizing all those working behind prison walls.

Although you will never see us on "911" or "Top Cops" we are Law Enforcement Professionals. We are the "FORGOTTEN COP," hidden from public view, doing a dangerous beat, hoping someday to receive the respect and approval from the public who "WE SILENTLY SERVE."

Donald E. Premo, Jr.
New York State Corrections Officer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess my main question is this...

If a situation arrises and it is time to throw down, is there enough backup within a reasonable distance to assist?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Jyanis, most of the time, not all though, you'll have the first wave of response (about 4-6 CO's most times) within one minute. About 4 more will trickle in a minute or two later then that. That's a "CODE 1" response. As we all know, a minute is a long time when you're involved in hand-to-hand combat.

A "CODE 2" response, only authorized by the Captain at the request of the incident site commander, will be an additional 8-12 CO's. A "CODE 3" is get the wounded and evacuate the area and go into "Disorder Management".

However, this depends greatly on when, where and even what prison your at when this assault takes place. Current levels of staffing will also greatly effect the number of responders.

Of course you'll need to activate your body alarm during your assault before any response is even started.

As I said, every prison set up, design and security level is different so what prison your at, the time of day and the location will effect response. Hope I answered your question on response's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I am a Correctional Officer and work up at SBCC the Super-Max prison up in Shirley and have been on the job for 6.5yrs and its been a very eye-opening experience. I'm very fortunate to be a pretty big guy and believe me I go to the gym 6 days a week to stay in shape. These guys we watch over are nothing but scum of the earth. It's a very forgotten about job when you talk amongst the law enforcement community. I do my job the best of my ability and I've learned to think real fast in some hairy situations. I work 3x11 and the staff I work with I'll go to F*ckin war with!!! We've had 3 MAJOR RIOTS since the prison opened in 1998 and I expect something to happen real soon due to the lack of staff etc. so you can already say we've been to war. I'm just hoping for the 78th RTT to come so I can get out before I've got 10yrs in because I'll be 1/2 way to retirement. Let me give you some advice if I could. Take the test it's a good paying job with good benefits. No matter where you end up you'll meet alot of good people and believe me we get paid to watch each other backs in there because nobody else will. Reading some of the books mentioned in the one of the above posts will give you some insight about the job. Anytime anyone has any questions just PM myself or BOSSMAN and we'll be glad to answer anything to the best of my knowledge. This job will open your eyes to the scum that everyone has to deal with in L. E. Prison just happens to be where they end up. I don't want praise or a pat on the back but every now and then I'll take a thank you and a nice cold one!! :t: Everyone please post on and get home to your family safe!!!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,417 Posts
IrishScrew, Bossman, SGT_GRUNT_USMC, GateKeeper, Barbrady, Screw, Jasper, ADGO911, JIMBO, & ejk55

(And If I've Forgotten Anyone, I apologize) - You Guys Are A-O-K in my book...
We Ask the Questions and you guys jump in and do a great job at clarifying things for us, thanks....
:thumbup:

Unless you personally know someone on the job, Its Hard for a civilian to learn the intricacies of the profession...
Koz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Kozmo glad I'm glad I could help with answering some of your questions. The only view the public gets on our jobs is what they see on T.V. and/or read in the NEWSPAPER (and we all know what a friend to the LEC the media is). The public thinks we're nothing but a bunch of hairy knuckle dragging thugs who beat on "POOR INNOCENT INMATES" and we all know that to be completely false. In my daily routine I do what ever I have to do to go home to my family safe at the end of the day as does anyone in the LEC. To all my brothers/sisters have a safe day and post on! P.S. GOD BLESS THE IRISH!!! :t:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I also want to that you guys for answering all of the question we pose to you. Be safe and take care of each other!!
 
G

·
All of the above posts are true. Keep this in mind though if considering a career in the DOC. The job is what YOU make it. I have seen guys who want to come in with hopes of "helping" inmates and in some way making a difference. Irish Screw, I think you know who I am talking about. We had one guy like that and he quit in less than one year. I have also seen guys who want to be the toughest damn CO in the jail and be a crime fighter. Those guys have long careers. If you want good pay and benefits and work with some top notch people this is a great place to start. You need to be able to effectively communicate with anybody and just be yourself. The rules are very clear in jail but your personality and HOW you get things done make a huge difference. Time goes by very fast if you do not stand out from the rest. Do your 8 hours and go home to your family. If you can do that you will have a good career.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top