Insane Things Prison Officers Have To Do While Training

By Aaron Love 10 months ago

Move To Law Enforcement Academies

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Pretty much all of the law enforcement academies require each of their recruits to move to live on the grounds of the academy throughout the period of their training. This means that they are often housed with fellow future correctional officers and potentially some they'll end up working with in the future. It can be important to garner friendships within the training period for prisoner officers (which we'll get on to later). I wonder how stressful the training really is for them, I mean, it's quite a tough job really!

They Learn With Police Officers

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Not only do correctional officers have to move to law enforcement academies in order to complete their training alongside other prison workers, they're also going to train alongside a whole range of other law enforcement officers at the same time. This is because they all need to learn, pretty much, the same things as one another; they'll probably also come across officers of the law like the cops and sheriff's deputies. I wonder if they have little groups within the academy like you would when you were back at high school!

Develop A Sense Of Loyalty

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Its important that prison officers, as well as all of the other law enforcement officers that train together at the academy, gain a sense of team loyalty whilst they're working. Although it may be hard to begin putting your trust in people that you might not even be working with, its the way they can do so that sets them on the right path for their future job. Being able to develop this sense of loyalty and the ability to work as part of a team is one of the most essential parts of ensuring officers remain safe from violence in the workplace.

How To Correctly De-Escalate Violence

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Being able to de-escalate violence within a prison facility is one of the most important things that an officer can be taught as it could be the difference between the life and death of an officer in the work place. This can be done in a few different ways, one of which is by being taught to be empathetic towards their inmates, they have to understand that prisoners obviously don't want to be there, but that as humans themselves they have experiences and stories to tell, and they'd respect you more in those situations.

Go Through Thorough Fitness Training

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Not only are they put through the tests when it comes to mental training and physical training, they are also made to go through some pretty heavy fitness training in order to make sure they're extremely fit before they step foot within a prison institute. They have to display some positive advancements in upper body strengths through common military exercises like ladder climbs. This is also done to increase their chances of safety however as strength and fitness can be crucial when it comes to any form of violence.

Learn Restraint Techniques

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Physically restraining inmates is another thing that can be the matter of life and death for a correctional officer! The restraint techniques that an officer is taught during training are important in ensuring their safety and they can also be used as a way to maintain order within the facility. They are even more important when it comes to any form of emergency situation like riots or escapes as it can help them regain full control. It should be noted though, that they should only restrain an inmate when they're displaying aggressive behaviours.

Learn How To Locate Contraband

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Although rules and regulations will change depending on the facility that an officer works at, all prison officers will have to be taught about locating any form of contraband an inmate might be hiding. This is all done in order to try and keep the facility safe. There are a few ways that they might be taught to do so: it can be simply searching cells, or they might (if given reason to suspect something) use devices like metal detectors, or they can bring in the dogs to see if they can find anything like weapons or drugs within a cell.

How To Search Inmates

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Not only are the inmates' cells checked for contraband by prison officers, they may also be searched themselves. The most common form of human searches conducted by police officers are simple visual observations, although they may pat the inmates down if they see something suspicious. Although it seems simple, they have to understand the rules and regulations of the prison in order to make sure they're allowed to search the inmates as they please. Despite them being in prison, they're still allowed their human rights!

How To Control Riots

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Although they aren't particularly common, prison officers have to be ready to deal with prison riots at all times, all with the goal of restoring order and peace (as much as they can) to the facility. It might seem very stressful, but officers have to follow step-by-step procedures and work as part of a team (which we've already discussed) to ensure that the officer efforts are cohesive and working to their optimum. They are also taught to not go too overboard with their aggression, unless they're under threat themselves.

They Have To Know How To Drive

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Okay, so they aren't necessarily put through a driving test when they begin training to work for the prison system (although it is useful!) those who are tasked with driving and navigating prisoner transports are often at risk of outside attacks, especially when the inmates within the vehicle are of high risk. The vehicles they drive actually have some additional features and they are also made to learn how to drive in a defensive manner. Essentially, they have to keep any eye out for potential dangers and anticipate any hassles.

Learn Prisons Emergency Operations

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Although all facilities holding inmates will follow some emergency operations, it will very much depend on where in the US (or the world) you are that certain things will take place. Its extremely important that all officers are prepared to react and respond to emergency situations so they can help deal with any crisis' as well as ensuring their own and other inmates safety at the same time. In terms of the prison system, in emergency scenarios there is a level of command that has to be followed and each officer needs to be aware as to what it is they need to do and where they need to be for the plan to work.

Basic First Aid And CPR

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As with all places of work (and everywhere basically) medical emergencies can appear at anytime and completely out of the blue. And due to the isolated nature of prison facilities, correctional officers are made to be equipped with basic first aid skills in order to be able to offer immediate assistance in times of need from inmates until they can get some professional help. CPR is incredibly important as issues like heart attacks require instant help and it could be the difference in an inmate losing their life or surviving.

Firearms Training

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Obviously, when it comes to learning how to work within a prison institute, correctional officers need to learn how to use a whole range of firearms. This is necessary even if they aren't always going to be made to carry them during their job. Usually when it comes to officers who are regularly in close contact with inmates, they avoid using firearms, just in case the inmates were able to get their hands on one (that would be a recipe for disaster). They have to complete firearms efficiency tests each year after as well!

Training On The Job

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A lot of the training that correctional officers go through during their training actually occurs whilst they're on the job! It can be extremely difficult for trainees to get a full sense of the job within an academy so following the training, they go through a period of probation which can last upwards of two years if they need it. They are personally watched over by more senior officers to ensure they conduct themselves properly and they are NEVER put within high-risk facilities during their probational periods.

How To Help People Rehabilitate

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Not all of the training that correctional officers go through is based on how they can be physically ready for the job, they also have to learn how to help rehabilitate the inmates too. They have to be made aware of and come to terms with how to work with inmates that need assistance with their rehabilitation of their substance abuse or their lack of skills when it comes to education. It can be quite a difficult bit of training to complete as most of it is done on the job, with a whole range of people from various backgrounds.

Learn The Legal Side

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This is quite an obvious thing that an officer will have to learn, but prior to any role within an actual correctional facility they have to be completely understanding of all the different laws that they have to abide by within the work place. And unsurprisingly, as with all laws, this can be quite a long, confusing and arduous journey for an officer to go through. They MUST know what they can and can't say or do to any of the inmates and they also have to learn about how they have to treat inmates to stay on the right side of the law.

How To Work With Juveniles

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In the case of some correctional officers they will be assigned to work at juvenile facilities that follow different rules and different regulations to that of a traditional facility. These places are solely focused on rehabilitating juvenile offenders in order to try and stop them from making mistakes, like the ones that put them there in the first place, again. Officers put in these facilities have to go through some additional training into the psychology of juveniles and how to assist them with their various problems.

How To Work With Death Row Convicts

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In comparison to the way that juvenile officers have to treat their inmates, death row officers have to be specifically trained to avoid any issues they may come across from their inmates. You have to realise that, although death row convicts are obviously very dangerous people, they are still human and they're being incarcerated, knowing that at some point they will be taken to their deaths. This can cause them to be extremely violent, they can be distant and in many cases they can be suicidal, which can be emotional to the guards.

Keeping Emotions At Bay

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Although it can be quite a difficult thing to do, prison officers are taught to try and keep their emotions at bay during their training. It can be very challenging for them as they can be placed in to emotional situations with depressed inmates or they might feel uneasy when around inmates who might have committed some terrible crimes. It must be hard to keep your calm sometimes right? Keeping emotionally secure is important in order for the officer to always make sure they're making the correct decisions in the workplace.

Attend Communication Classes

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Prison officers don't always need to turn to physical confrontation when it comes to de-escalating situations within prison facilities. Part of their initial training is to learn how to interact with inmates on a daily basis; they don't want to come across as too cold and make enemies, but nor do they want to come across too light on the inmates either. Building a relationship with the inmates they're around is important however, as it can help settle conflicts in the future, whilst also making the daily work slightly easier.

Learn About Admitting And Releasing Inmates

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This comes under officers learning the specific regulations and rules of a particular facility and usually happens on the job; this is because different places might choose to do certain thing differently to others. It's extremely important that all documents are 100% accurate and secure to make sure no mistakes can be made at all. The last thing that an officer wants to find themselves doing is completing paperwork incorrectly and accidentally sending a serial criminal back out in to the world do they!

Role-Playing Exercises

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One of the best ways for prison officers to begin their training within is through role-playing exercises. These can be done pretty much anytime during their training at the academies and usually happens on multiple occasions to see how the officers will react at different points and to see if they get better following their advancement in lessons. Essentially, they can practice all the skills they're learning in an area that isn't going to cause them too much harm, whilst it can all be simulated to represent different scenarios.

Prisoner Training

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As the prison system in the US has become more about the rehabilitation of prisoners, trying to help them turn their lives around in recent years, prison officers are now being trained in how to teach inmates too! This training is completed to make them, somewhat, educators and helping equip the officers with traits that are desirable in school teachers. They could be teaching anything from physical skills to simply learning English. I suppose it would give you a real sense of belief if you managed to help turn someone's life around.

Mental Health Training

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Not only are prison officers taught to protect their own mental health, they're also taught to quickly recognise signs that an inmate is also suffering from mental health issues too! Obviously, given that inmates are incarcerated from their friends and family it can be common that inmates can become depressed and begin to mentally struggle. De-escalation isn't always focused on ending any form of violent problems, it can also be calming down an inmate that might be going through some form of mental breakdown.

Report Writing Techniques

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Another technique that prison officers are taught as part of their training in regards to the inner ongoings of a prison is writing any reports. Reports are essential as it helps prisons maintain an accurate record of each inmate as well as ensuring they follow all of the legal necessities. Besides this, records are important to inmates that are hoping to be released early, as positive reports are great for showing that they have behaved in prison. They have to be perfectly written too, with an effective form of communication. It's like they're back at school.

Self-Defence Training

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I suppose the self-defence techniques can come as part of de-escalating violence, but I felt as thought this was worth its own discussion. Its very important that all officers are able to know how to defend themselves, particularly when it comes to being thrust into dangerous environments. They'll all go through group training where they discover the best ways to defend themselves whilst under attack, this includes striking without causing too much harm as well as grappling or blocking any attacks that are coming their way.

Cultural Awareness Training

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Whilst working within a prison environment, an officer is going to come across a boatload of people from a boatload of different national and a boatload of cultural backgrounds. They are all taught to understand the language they must use around certain people in order to avoid making or using stereotypes in regards to a specific inmate. They also have to take in to account any form of religious needs a prisoner might need, like being able to pray or eating specific foods! It's all done to try and make a somewhat inclusive environment for everyone.

Stress Management

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It probably doesn't come as any surprise to you that working as a prison officer can actually be one of the most stressful jobs out there, so during their initial training they are taught a few different techniques to keep themselves calm. If their stress levels increase too much, it can lead to a higher chance of errors, which is obviously something they'd want to avoid. It's important that they maintain a healthy lifestyle with good sleep and a positive diet whilst also ensuring they don't work themselves in to the ground.

How To Deal With Inmate Deaths

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Just as I mentioned that medical emergencies can occur quite frequently within prisons, that means that officers have to get used to seeing and dealing with the death of inmates. Even though they are keeping these inmates locked away, personal relationships can from which can potentially lead to some grief and confusion. They can't allow emotions to take them over either and they must be able to continue working quite quickly following a death. They are also trained to look after their fellow officers and other inmates too!

How To Impose Sanctions

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Sanctions are important within prisons as they can be used in order to help maintain order and enforce the discipline within the facility. Its important that officers understand exactly how these sanctions can be given as well as what it is they are allowed to sanction inmates for. Not only this, but each facility may enforce these rules differently and for different things. The hope is that these sanctions will help force the inmates stick to the rules and deter them from choosing to cause problems again.