Ok, Prison Guard. Now, just follow me on this one......

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by neothespian, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    I've been fustrated with the state of the arts industry in this country, since it IS my chosen career, and have been considering a possible "compatible career". That is, something that offers the bennies and pay of a decent job with the ability to work on shows without a conflict of the two. That means a salary job with an ASSURED 40 hours a week with a company that is estabilshed with good benefits.

    Impossible I though. The closest I had found was driving a cab, but there were no benefits to speak of and while I could choose where I worked, it was dangerous and difficult at best to quantify what I made when I wanted to buy something like a new motorbike or to lease an apartment. Every other job I looked at were either good paying and requried your entire life given to them, or had good pay but lousy hours.

    Then, the K9 thread came up. Not that I'm looking at that kind of job, but that got me thinking....

    If there is ANY job that is going to be in demand in the US as the economy goes south, it's the legal field. Also, with immigration getting more strict and the "entitled" generation raised on iPods and luxury SUV's goes to the workforce to turn their noses up on good jobs, there is a huge gap of labour. In Arizona, that gap is in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

    So, I decided "Ok, we'll take a look". What I saw was ...well....shocking :shock:

    Pay starts (after academy) at $34,000 a year, has GREAT med and dental benefits, 12 sick days for the first year with 12 days vacation and 10 paid holidays, and...this is the kicker...the academy, which is 9 weeks, counts as 21 credit hours for any Arizona University or college!

    So, with a job I'd get about 2,800 a month, med and dental that I've never had, and the shifts are 8 hours/5 days a week guaranteed (it seems they're very strict on that due to fatiuge. Arizona prisons are known for being stressful joints. Then again, after driving a cab any place else is less stressful). And, the kicker is that with the credits from the academy combined with the degree I already have, I could get an Associates in Criminal Justice right off the bat without stepping one foot on a college campus again!

    Anyone with experience or thoughts? It's a while off (or perhaps not), but I AM returning to Phoenix regardless as soon as possible, since I really can't live up here on what people get paid in this hick town.
  2. neo, its a dangerous job, but one that has to be done, and as you pointed out, there will always be a demand for it.

    To me, a couple of the cons (pun intended) would be danger from being attacked by a prisoner, and I would be willing to bet that there is a lot of backstabbing, prison politics and such between the guards.

  3. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    Well, as far as dangerous environments, after driving a cab for so long and growing up in Belfast up until I was a teenager, dangerous is relative.

    I've thought about this issue, and still thinking. I very well could just stay a cab driver as well. Same level of danger, but I get that flexibility of saying "Eh, I don't want to work tonight" and that nightly cash. The question there is will I actually MAKE money that night or spend half the night dealing with an addict that OD's in the cab or tries to run on the fare and gets hurt.

    All I know is that I want back in Phoenix, even if it means leaving the theater.
  4. My wife, brother and I were invited to spend a day at a low security prison where my niece's father in-law was warden. This place did not have cells, instead the cons lived in dorms. He said "you cannot show any fear or they will tear you apart."
    They could not pay me enough to work there and that was a "nice" prison.
  5. Strangerous

    Strangerous Member

    All i know is, from the people i know who have worked within the prisons, and are now in field of contract security;
    One or more of the following are true:
    A:Fired for taking bribes/drugs
    B:Fired for being a total Jack*donkey*
    C:Mental breakdown lead to their dismissal
    D:Quit due to politics/bull*#@%

    Findings from 12 former SCDC employees.
    I'm sure they were OK before the went in, but they were not the same when they came out.
  6. A girlfriend I had waaaay back in the day had a stepdad who was a CO in Lewisburg, PA. The horror stories!!! One night he came home with all this uber nasty stuff all over him. In his exact (edited) words, it was "burnt n-word", evidently some con got torched in his cell. I'm with nicad, you couldn't pay me enough.
  7. That beats what KY is offering by far. The best paying prison jobs seem to come from the private sector. Turst me I just gradurated with a BS in CJ so Ive been looking. I just put in an application with these guys and there seems to be a lot of openings in Arizonia

  8. squeak_D

    squeak_D Guest

    The prison guard route can be a good thing, but as stated it does have its serious drawbacks. A lot of it would depend on the type of correctional facility you'd be working at too.

    I have an old friend from college who got his associates in criminal justice. He then went to work as a corrections officer here in WV. He could only take two years of it. He took the advice of the guards and showed no fear, yet he was attacked several times, had feces, urine, and other bodily fluids thrown at him through the bars. The straw that broke the camels back for him was a threat to have his family whacked by outside connections from an inmate.

    I myself looked into corrections as well. I'll never forget what made me change my mind on it. I had a friend pull some strings to get me in for an interview, and turned out I knew the guy doing the interview. Thankfully he and I could talk on the level of friends. His words to me...., "Man, dont take this the wrong way, but you are way too pretty to work as a corrections officer, and the sisters would be all over you". THAT DID IT FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!! I walked out of that place sayin "I ain't gonna be no love muffin for some guy named bubba"! It was funny because my wife had said the same thing to me before I even went in for the interview :lol: She said, "You've been called pretty boy all your life, and you're trying to be a corrections officer., you tell me what's wrong with this picture".
  9. Dreamthief

    Dreamthief Senior Member Member

    I am currently a DOC employee and I want to let you know it's life and death, you work A LOT of overtime, and the politics of this type of job SUCK. 9 times out of 10 you're looking over your shoulder trying to figure out what the other officers are going to do to you just as often as when you look over the other one concerning the inmates. Case in point, a Captain "set up" several officers with bogus, and at the very least, questionable "vulnerability tests" that resulted in write-ups for those officers. the reason? merely to show how he's keeping his officers in check. The Captain's response? he was just doing his job...yeah whatever.

    There's also a lot of strip searching, MRSA, Hepititis of all variations, and other diseases of which you are not told which inmates (which are the same ones throwing blood, fecal matter, and spitting and biting) have those (blood borne) diseases...well until after you get bitten, or have a pathogen contact incident...and that still depends on your department's policy. Inmate rights take precedent over safety and security most times, and this gets people hurt. I could go on and on...
  10. If you get the job, do two things: 1) Carry around a pocket container of Purel if allowed, and 2) Get a stab vest (such as by Second Chance). Plan for WHEN you meet a PO'd prisoner with a shank, not IF.
  11. Dreamthief

    Dreamthief Senior Member Member

    Most facilities will not allow stab vests. I know the federal prisons don't even allow you to carry a lot of the stuff you can carry in state facilities. I know I couldn't wear one. the dollar store has little spray hand sanitizer bottles you can refil with the bulk stuff at sams. works really nice...especially when you put it in a pouch on your duty belt.

    On another note I left the DOC today. finally got a job that is 9-5 M-F. I was tired of working 2-midnight, Thr, fri, sat sun.
  12. minidriver

    minidriver Member

    Off topic a bit,,, but you could move(Iknow, PIA) to Branson and work for several shows at once. Live on the lake,,, fairly low cost of living, lower crime. Branson is a perfect area for a scooter! Locals are rather friendly and helpful, if a bit conservative. Just a few miles north is the home of Bass Pro.
  13. Dreamthief

    Dreamthief Senior Member Member

    yeah that is a good area with a HUGE performing arts culture.
  14. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Member


    Numerous LEO's started out in corrections. Since your in theater I assume you can act enough to get by until your off probation. If you look at this as a stepping stone, and act like its not you can come out way ahead.

    First you'll have your Associates degree in Criminal Justice, which opens the door to most law enforcement jobs. Second you get "job related" experience, which counts in getting hired. Lastly since you drove a cab, and are involved in theater you should have the people skills to deal with inmates and not get hurt.

    On the con side the hours can be bad, rotating shifts and or incompatible with your girlfriend's. Politics suck in any law enforcement or corrections environment, and the best you can do is stay out of it and not "stand out" or be a threat to your co-workers or supervisors. In other words keep your head down and profile low. Good luck with the decision, I would apply and see where it goes. You can always turn the offer down.

    Take Care and Stay Safe.
  15. Dreamthief

    Dreamthief Senior Member Member

    and don't let the inmates find out you're in theater...
  16. More important, dont turn your back to any of them.
  17. Dreamthief

    Dreamthief Senior Member Member

    heck yeah, for more than one reason...
  18. Aint that the truth!!!! :shock:
  19. uncle jerky

    uncle jerky Well-Known Member

    Try it(prison guard)..you might like it.
  20. I have been in jail twice, once many years ago for parking tickets, and once many years ago for dui.

    I do know a couple of people who have spent some time in.

    My 19 yr old stepsons natural father has been in for about the last 18 years. I hear some of the things that happen to him and stuff he does.

    I went to a prison once with a (ahem) girlfriend to visit her brother. That was a crappy day.

    And I have read a lot of news stories about prisons, and have a general ideal of what goes on in them.

    Enough that I would not want to be on either side of the cell door personally ;)

    But if neo decided to go for it, I wish him luck