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  • Any good websites or books on Prisons or Correction Officers?

    Just wondering if any of my fellow C/O's know of any good books or websites based on correctional officers or prisons?
    “Sweat saves blood, blood saves lives, but brains saves both.” - Erwin Rommel

  • #2
    One of the best I read was "An American Saturday" by Clark Howard. (not the radio guy) It's about San Quenton in the early 70s, but it's still relevant today.
    Extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice. Barry Goldwater

    Comment


    • #3
      "Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing" by Ted Conover is a good read. He is a reporter that wanted to do a story on the NYS CO Academy, but they would not permit it. He decides to actually get the job and go through the academy himself and ends up working the job for a year.

      I really enjoyed the book, just remember that he is a journalist and did it to write a story.

      Comment


      • #4
        good books

        Bill Valintine wrote two books. Gangs and thier tattoos in prison, and The Gang Intellegence manual. Bill was a Sgt. in NSP. If you ask most gang members they will tell you all you want to know. It is in how you ask.
        Got Skill??

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        • #5
          Are all of these book still in print? I appreciate the reply's. I'll definitely be checking these books out. Thanks.
          “Sweat saves blood, blood saves lives, but brains saves both.” - Erwin Rommel

          Comment


          • #6
            good books

            If you are into psycology you might want to read Suburban Gangs by Dan Korem. This book will tell you that gangs are not nation wide, they are world wide. If you are bored, go to ifpinc.com. This will tell you a little about his book. I do not agree with everything that he writes about. I think life is about choice.
            Got Skill??

            Comment


            • #7
              I hate to vehemently disagree with richjorg but the following book synopsis cannot be further from the truth!

              --------------------------------------------------
              "Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing" by Ted Conover is a good read. He is a reporter that wanted to do a story on the NYS CO Academy, but they would not permit it. He decides to actually get the job and go through the academy himself and ends up working the job for a year"
              richjorg
              -----------------------------------------------------

              Please don't waste your money on this trash! Personally, I thought it was a skewed perception of Correction Officers. I have written an online review of Conover's book as well as written him personally telling him so!

              Anyone involved in Corrections can see this idiot reporter portrays Correction Officers in a poor light and often comparing them to the convict element in their custody!

              It's purely fiction! Not to mention insultingly offensive to Correction Officers in New York State and City!

              I would not recommend this book as an accurate depiction of Correction Officers at all! If anyone really THINKS this is a real life account of a Correction Officer's career, life and family then Tinkerbell lives and Pinnochio IS a REAL BOY!



              This slug Conover couldn't garner an interview with New York State Correction. Hmmmmm.........I wonder why? If you ever saw any of his "interviews" on TV he's definitely no Geraldo Rivera when it comes to investigative reporting! This man is FULL OF HIMSELF!

              He had written a previously successful expose' about the "coyotes" pronounced : "kI'ow-tee" the criminal element that smuggles and promises illegal Mexicans safe border passage for a FEE!

              Usually these "coyotes" rob their Mexican counterparts of their life savings. They transport them in trucks packed like sardines. If the coyotes suspect they are being followed by law enforcement they immediately detour off road dumping their unsuspecting clientele in the middle of nowhere expecting them to fend for themselves.

              Still other coyotes tell the unsuspecting illegals to meet them at various points along the Mexican border. These areas are usually located in the dense desert areas in the middle of the night. Here the unsuspecting immigrants are robbed of their passage money some are beaten to death.

              Conover faired well in exposing this subject matter.
              ----------------------------------------------------------
              His overall attempt at portraying a Correction Officers career FAILED MISERABLY in my eyes and in the eyes of many Correction Officers here in New York!

              A Correction Officer's career CANNOT be tidily SUMMED UP within it's FIRST YEAR! IMPOSSIBLE! I wouldn't even say it scratches the surface.

              I can go on and on but I don't want to give this inept correspondent credit for the book because it was his twisted perception of what he THINKS Correction Officers are and how they perform.

              In reality it's far from the TRUTH!


              -----------------------------------------
              Do you want to really READ HONEST ACCOUNT'S of what it's like to be a Correction Officer? Here are some EXCELLENT Books written by REAL Correction Officers :


              1)Behind The Wall : "A Correction Officer's Story" Robert E. Diggs Jr. It's an "E Book" priced at $14.95

              Go To : http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Downs/3548/main.html

              2)"INSIDE RIKER'S" : Stories From the World's Largest Penal Colony
              by Jennifer Wynn

              Publisher: St. Martins Press

              Pub Date: 2000 and 2002

              Format: Hardcover and Trade Paperback ****Excellent Book!

              I've worked Riker's Island for YEARS! Although this book isn't entirely about Correction Officers it also gives the inmates points of view it's FAR BETTER than Conover's trash! I can say this lady did her research exceptionally well!

              3) "Derailed" Author : James Siegel
              Published: Jun 2004 (Paperback)
              Published: Feb 2003 (Hardcover)

              Here's a book from a Prison Teacher's point of view! Another honest read about Correction Offers and Inmates inside the walls of New York States Attica Prison. Attica is where the infamous riots of the 1970's exploded!

              4) "Written, Unwritten Rules Dictate Jail Life" Mike Gallagher
              Journal Staff Writer

              Go To : http://www.abqjournal.com/news/jails...ws01-14-01.htm

              An excellent view of the New Mexico Prison System!


              5)"Life And Times Of A Correctional Officer" Kay Lee

              A Florida Correction Officer's experience in the system!

              Go To :
              An Account
              http://www.prisonactivist.org/piperm...er/009435.html


              Here's the "flip" side of the coin from a convict's point view about the Attica Prison Riot in


              http://www.geocities.com/paideusis/e1n2ll.html

              Here's an account of the Attica Riot in 1972 :

              http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/D...ty/attica.html

              ---------------------------------------------------

              Everybody has forgtten about the murder of Correction Officer Donna Payant in 1981. Most never heard of her. A Correction Officer's lot is not a prolific in the media and news as that of a Police Officer. Officer Payant was murdered by Lemuel Smith a convict at Dannemora State Prison in New York. She was one of only 50 female officers assigned to the facility.

              Here's the story :

              http://www.crimelibrary.com/notoriou...3.html?sect=14

              During this time it was uncommon to see a female Police Officer. A female Correction Officer was virtually a rarity, let alone a female officer working in a male facility. Officer Payant was amongst a handful of female officers, myself included who were "ground breakers" in the field of law enforcement. We were women in "non traditional" fields. Some of the "traditional fields" at this time were : teachers, nurses, secretaries, sales clerks, file clerks, waitresses, airline hostess, etc. Law Enforcement was unchartered territory. Society and male colleagues were unsure of how to interact with us.

              I had experienced this pressure several years earlier while working as a New York City Police Officer. I was an officer several years before New York City had a massive lay off involving every city agency due to a severe fiscal crisis. During my tenure with N.Y.P.D. women were an unusual sight. We were often dismissed as "wannabe's" or gay women trying to be "men." Some male officers felt threatened by our presence and balked we were taking the food off their tables! Officers wives picketed the Precinct Houses complaining they didn't want their husbands partnered with a female officer fearing their otherwise faithful mates would be unfaithful!

              I'm not a feminist but this is how things were at that time. This was before E.E.O. and "sexual harassment" was in vogue which is largely exagerated by officers of both sexes today.

              ---------------------------------------------------

              Two more superb books honestly written but that are out of print are :

              A) "The Hate Factory" W.G. Stone

              An accurate account about the New Mexico Prison riots. It's a truthful account about nepotism amongst the officers which was eradicated as result of the riots and brutality among the inmates and staff. One of THE best portrayals of prison life I've ever read.

              B) "The Turkey Shoot" Malcom Bell

              An accurate informative accounting of the "cover up of the Attic Prison Riot.

              Both books can be found at :

              Ebay under "Books Non Fictional"

              Or

              Alibris Books : http://www.alibris.com/search/search...ches=9&qsort=r

              ----------------------------------------------------

              The Recommendation for Bill Valentin's books are excellent if you'd like I can post books about the technical aspects of Corrections similiar to those of Bill Valentine's.

              I will also post more Correction Officer Sites if you'd like.

              P.S. There is some extremely sensitive material that is for Officer's Only that I will not post online. If you have a particular job related question about :

              Gangs
              Contraband
              Weapons
              Etc.

              Please send me a PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Invisiblecop
                I hate to vehemently disagree with richjorg but the following book synopsis cannot be further from the truth!

                --------------------------------------------------
                "Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing" by Ted Conover is a good read. He is a reporter that wanted to do a story on the NYS CO Academy, but they would not permit it. He decides to actually get the job and go through the academy himself and ends up working the job for a year"
                richjorg
                -----------------------------------------------------
                This was the author's synopsis. It sounds like you know what it is really like so I will defer to your experience.

                The one thing that you forgot to quote of mine was this - "just remember that he is a journalist and did it to write a story." That was the disclaimer that the story is slanted to the view of a liberal reporter.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Invisiblecop - Thanks so much for the highly detailed post. I appreciate the information. Look forward to checking out these webpages and books.
                  “Sweat saves blood, blood saves lives, but brains saves both.” - Erwin Rommel

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If any one interested afew books on Prisons in Aussie one by Jim Armstrong on the history of Pentridge he was a Governor there and worked it it for many many years,will give you an insight into our Aussie nicks

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      New Jack

                      First of all, I don't disagree that Invisiblecops reading suggestions for good CO books are excellent choices, however,
                      Regarding the comments on Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing, some of that information is incorrect. He actually asked NYS Department of Corrections if he could follow the CO's at Sing Sing on the job for a year and write a book about it, but NYS laughed in his face, knowing what some outcomes would be if the public knew of some of the things that went on. (The uninformed public that is)
                      So he actually put in for the academy and worked at Sing Sing for two years, all the while writing this book. At the press release, all of the Sing Sing staff was horrified, as they did not know of his plan to write about his experience as a CO.
                      Although the author may be full of himself, there are plenty of things that go on in a prison that are absolutely true which are mentioned in his book. On another note, you have to realize that this man did not ever aspire to do this type of work, he only wanted to write about it. This is where he gets his views, as a first year CO, with no long term experience. That would tend to give someone, such as himself, a one-sided view of being a CO. All that aside, I've spoken to some CO's who found the book to be quite enjoyable, and considering the prison (Sing Sing), there could have been books that read a lot worse than this one.
                      Last edited by rollerzonly61; 01-12-2005, 07:45 PM.
                      "He who lives without Discipline Dies without Honor"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        rollerzonly61

                        Where did I state that Conover never asked for an interview? Obviously you're reading what you want into my criticism of Conover!


                        Can you imagine the mega liabilty suit New York State Corrections would leave themselves open to letting this jack *** "follow" a Correction Officer around for a year? Geez! Do you think Corrections is a bed of roses? Do you realize how many alarms and incidents we respond to in an 8 hour tour of duty? Can you imagine Conover running behind an Officer responding to an alarm when there's been a stabbing or a hostage situation? You can't be serious! I'll bet you a dollar to a doughnut Conover won't tell you how many times he hid somewhere when those alarms rang! Of course not! He's the big bad reporter on a mission but he'll tell you what the real Correction Officers did wrong all because he "played" at being an Officer for less than 1 year!

                        I've worked in the prison system for many years as well as having been a Police Officer. I've seen both sides of these careers.

                        This mutt Conover was only interested in publishing material that would be an expose' of sorts so he could fatten his wallet! Is it little wonder why he was refused an interview?

                        This jerk is an "investigative journalist" he's by no means a "Geraldo Rivera" he much like a TABLOID Reporter who tries to capitalize on sensationalizing a story! You notice he's written nothing since "New Jack." His wallet is probably bursting from all the cash he's made from the liberals who purchased his erroneous "account."

                        I took a personal affront to this book because he had likened Correction Officers to the convicts in their charge. He stated outright Correction Officers are of minimal eduction, have misdemeanor backgrounds are fond of bringing in contraband for profit, we've a superiority complex, the list is endless. You don't need a mensa I.Q. to see through this idiot's B.S.

                        Corrections is very different ball game from Police work but it is nonetheless stressful and dangerous. You are outnumbered at any given time. Corrections has long been the Bastard Child of Law Enforcement. Society wants the garbage off the streets and out of sight. Only when the crap hits the fan are we thought about. Instances in which there's an uprising, murder, a bad seed amongst us, that's when the media, public and idiots like Conover jump on the chance to call Correction Officer's uneducated, uncouth, claiming we're under trained when nothing but the exact opposite is true! When it comes to security and crowd control Correction Officers EXCEL! I can't tell you how many prisoners during my tenure that I recieved from the Police where I've found WEAPONS secreted on these characters! Yet P.D. claimed they SEARCHED THEM! P.D. has a Hell of a time here in New York City "holding on to their prisoners!" Check the number of prisoner escapes from N.Y.P.D. Last year and in years past it's shameful! The RNC had the N.Y.P.D. present but guess who was it riot gear? You guessed it! Correction Officers! There were far more Correction Officers on duty during the RNC than N.Y.P.D.

                        Why am I ranting? Because I'm tired of all the bad press and bad mouthing by idiotic writers who capitalize on something they know nothing about! This also goes for the public at large who "parrot" these obnoxious untruths.

                        "I've spoken to some CO's who found the book to be quite enjoyable, and considering the prison (Sing Sing), there could have been books that read a lot worse than this one."rollerzonly61
                        The majority of New York City and State Correction Officers would not have found this book entertaining or amusing in the least! In fact those that have read it had the very same reaction as I did. Moreover,New York City and State Correction Officers have Peace Officer Status 24X7 and Police Powers on duty unlike Correction Officers in other states who do not have this authority. Conover does not expound upon this fact at all.

                        I've nearly 30 years invested in Law Enforcement. Much of of my career was spent in Corrections assigned to Rikers Island. I hand first hand experience with the State Prison System via our Departments Transportation Division. Take it from me Conover knows ZIP about this job! All he did was play "dress up" for a year and step off with his "idea" of what "he thinks" a Correction Officer is!

                        P.S. rollerzonly61 I see you're in the Police Academy. If it's in Philly you better fasten your seatbelt! Abdul Jamal Mumia's trial concerning the MURDER of Philidelphia Police Officer Faulkner is a HOTLY DEBATED ISSUE! Philly Cops have been long under under fire for numerous brutality and corruption charges. When you've walked a mile in those shoes and some wise *** reporter writes about you or your Department please come back and let us hear your sentiments.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "This was the author's synopsis. It sounds like you know what it is really like so I will defer to your experience.

                          The one thing that you forgot to quote of mine was this - "just remember that he is a journalist and did it to write a story." That was the disclaimer that the story is slanted to the view of a liberal reporter." richjorg
                          I wasn't meaning to citicize you personally it's just as I stated that this book couldn't be farther from the truth. Conover is the Michael Moore of Corrections! Biased, slanted and filled with lies and misnomers. Each time I see somebody really bougt this idiot's story it angers me because all he did was play at being an Officer! His views are limited and skewed. His experience was extremely limited. Taking this into account this was merely a novel not a true account of what it's like to be a Bona Fide Correction Officer in New York.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            [QUOTE]Originally posted by Invisiblecop
                            [B]rollerzonly61

                            Where did I state that Conover never asked for an interview? Obviously you're reading what you want into my criticism of Conover!


                            Can you imagine the mega liabilty suit New York State Corrections would leave themselves open to letting this jack *** "follow" a Correction Officer around for a year? Geez! Do you think Corrections is a bed of roses? Do you realize how many alarms and incidents we respond to in an 8 hour tour of duty? Can you imagine Conover running behind an Officer responding to an alarm when there's been a stabbing or a hostage situation? You can't be serious! I'll bet you a dollar to a doughnut Conover won't tell you how many times he hid somewhere when those alarms rang! Of course not! He's the big bad reporter on a mission but he'll tell you what the real Correction Officers did wrong all because he "played" at being an Officer for less than 1 year!

                            I was never going against what your opinions were, in fact I agree with everything you said. I just wanted to clear up how he was able to write the book by getting a C.O. job. Also, I stated that he was only a C.O. for a year or two, which shows clearly that he really didn't have a grasp of the job and he was in it for the wrong reasons anyway. I am full aware that NYS DOC would never let a reporter inside, I would have made the same decision regarding a reporter.
                            Also, I am not siding with Conover, but I read the book and thought it was pretty decent. Again, I am not a C.O. and I don't claim to have tons of knowledge on prison life. I know that the average C.O. lives to be about 59 years old and that they can become institutionalized (if you will) over time. They have very difficult jobs and I respect what they do. Police deal with prisoners for a day or two tops and that is dangerous enough, let alone seeing them 24 hours a day and knowing that they have access to you.
                            As far as the academy in Philadelphia, I am well aware of the Mumia situation and the way I see it, and a few others, "he doesn't belong in a 6x10 cell, he belongs 6 ft. closer to hell". The Philadelphia Police make difficult decisions every day and with the exception of a few cases, I back all of their decisions. I have respect for police officers everywhere, and I know it is not the easiest job in the world. Until I am there, I have no right to say what should or should not take place in an arrest, or incident, or anything for that matter. On another note, I am trying to become a part of the NYPD, so I will soon be leaving Philly if all goes well.
                            So the comment was nothing against you at all, I was just offering a little insight on the book. I can see how it could offend you being that you were or are a N.Y. C.O. again I am not claiming any outside or inside knowledge about how it works in N.Y. So hopefully, you did not take it personally. Sorry for the lengthy speech.
                            "He who lives without Discipline Dies without Honor"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Invisiblecop
                              Conover is the Michael Moore of Corrections!
                              That does it for me! I am gonna go burn that book now!!!

                              Also, thanks for your insight. I am in the hiring process with the CA DOC (CDC).

                              Comment

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