Have you worked in a jail, prison, or correctional facility?
I have been offered a seemingly fantastic job, as a kitchen manager. I have been waiting on such an opportunity to put my license to work.
However, I have NEVER been inside a jail! I am concerned. Even while telling myself, 'the state' will take all precautions, I can't imagine what the workday will be like. Will I be at the mercy of the inmates? Will I be off limits to them? Will I be escorted in and out of the building?
I must decide by early January.
surely you could/should pose those concerns to your prospective employer?
I have and will continue to do so.
But I have been around the block before............prospective employers, like salesmen, tell you what they think you wish to hear.
I would like personal first hand experience from the voices of reality and experience.
For three years I conducted psychological evaluations for juvenile offenders in a correctional facility. I also visited two other adult male clients in county jail. It might be different for the correctional facility you are applying to, but kitchen staff just doesn't really interact with the inmates. Everyone has to go through security entering and leaving the building.
If you and/or your kitchen staff are in contact with inmates during mealtimes, there will be plenty of guards around.
Jails are weirder than juvenile correctional facilities, but I wouldn't be worried about your safety...that said there is the occasional inmate uprising. But then again there is also the occasional workplace shooting....so there's risk everywhere.
I'd say congratulations on your new job and if you hate the atmosphere then you can resign!
I've worked with juvenile delinquents. It posed quite a few risks.
A kitchen worker is not a front line worker so will command a bit more respect than a guard or social worker type from inmates.
I've not heard of maintenance staff or kitchen staff being in danger but there will be guys that are looking for sexual encounters so that is worth thinking about and asking about.
It's not your average job.
"If in doubt, leave it out" - it seems like you are already worrying before you have even started...
I hope to offer you a very different perspective on working inside a jail from first hand knowledge as a former inmate. I am very open about my story because it has been the most life changing experience I have every had and have been GREATFUL to have. I was incarcarated for 33 days in a woman's correctional institute for NSF checks. My situation was one of careless errors and bad judgement. I went to prison although I had more than adequate funds to pay all fines and never serve a day. Anyhow, you would be really suprised at what you will find behind prison walls. I found that most woman serving were like children all suffering from a missing piece of their life that began very early on. It reminding me of church camp ironically. I am 4'11', blonde, petite, and not your average inmate by any means. However, I was "taken care" of by the other inmates immediately. I found much needed compassion from several of the prison workers and guards. At the end of a typical 23 hours of confinment which was our typical day, the two other inmates in my cell and I would say our prayers and thank god for the small blessings . The only time we were allowed out of our cells was for meals. The only thing you had to look forward to was that perhaps someone in the kitchen staff would be so kind as to make coffee or have fresh milk. Working in a prison and being someone's "blessing" may be your calling. I feel like you would be very suprised at the treatment and respect you will receive from the inmates if you treat them with just a grain of humanity. (its your biggest lost being prisoned) If you embrace your opportuntiy, you may gain a very valuable, new perspecitve on the prison system and the unforunate circumstances that bring the inmates there. No, I have not worked in a prison but I recommend that you explore the possiblity. You may find it to be life changing.
I have no personal experience as a jail or prison guard, other than sitting by a lock-up at an overseas U.S. military base to keep an eye on a soldier who killed a local national (that was 1986, he eventually did 20 years at Leavenworth).
I would recommend that you seek other employment. My only true friend at my current place of work was employed as a prison guard when he was 19 and was threatened with rape by a prisoner.
Others may have other opinions, but you may walk away tainted somewhat by the work environment if you take the job. There are some positive experiences mentioned on this Answer Board, but personally, I would do some other type of work if possible. I've had some of the lousiest jobs on the planet (infantryman, for example), and would probably choose janitor at a high school over working in a jail-house or prison.
Google the phrase "jail documentary" or "prison documentary" for horror stories.
I worked for several years installing and administering inmate phone systems, which included regular visits to county jails and state prisons. Anytime that I was in the presence of inmates there was always a guard close by, if not right next to me. For the most part the inmates ignored me as I completed my work, and I never felt threatened. The oddest part about working in one of these facilities is the fact that, like the inmates themselves, you are not free to come and go as you please. You must always wait for a guard to let you in or out, and sometimes there can be a significant delay depending on how busy they are and what is happening at the time. You should also expect to be searched on the way in or out (purses, bags, toolboxes, etc., not usually a frisking). As long as you would be comfortable with these minor inconveniences, you shouldn't have any problems.
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