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Enforcing Rules


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  • Enforcing Rules

    I have a couple questions about enforcing rules. Since I've been back from BCOT which has been about two weeks, I've been on the range of one of our bad buildings twice, the other times I've always been in the control room of the same two bad buildings. My question is certain stuff I've noticed about the way my range officer does stuff and lets certain stuff slide is a lot different than I'm going to do it on the range. I understand everyone has a different way to run it, for example when we do our 9:00 official count, we are supposed to lock the inmates down 15 min before and after we count until it clears. Well I'm certainally going to do that when I'm on the range, but my range officer doesn't do that and let's them sleep in the room and not standing by there door like they are supposed to. And letting inmates go from side to side on the ranges, I stop them when I can but obviously I don't know all of them yet, but when the range officer comes around he lets them do it. How do you handle that situation, do you just go by the way he's running it or say something b/c I've said something before to them about not having a shirt on in the range which is a big nono in our prison, and he turned around and told him 5 min later he could take it off. It just seems like it's defeating the purpose of enforcing the rules. Any advice on how to handle situations like this b/c I've noticed there are a LOT of officers like that.


  • #2

    When I first started out I to had many situations much like you are having now. Its really a catch 22 in that you are new and you want to run it by the book and the others you are working with want to run it they way they see fit. It sounds to me like the other officer in question is lazy and wants to do his/her 8 and the gate without having to do his/her job. In your situation I would ask you how is the prison run. Overall is it slack all over the way this officer is doing things or do people like to run it by the book for the most part? Do you have a assigned training officer or mentor you can talk to about this situation? Because when you tell a inmate to put on his shirt which is the rule, and then the other officer goes and tells the inmate he can take it off, that other officer is making your job 100 times harder. Is this other officer soft or just lazy? Can you ask in private this officer about the situation without them getting defensive? You are in a hard spot most new COs experience and their is no easy answer to the situation. You are going to have to deal with this officer sooner or later hopefully in a non-confrontational manner if possible. Good luck with it man. Their is no easy answer to it but you have learned a lesson today. Dealing with other staff and bosses is almost worse than dealing with the killers. Sad but true in most institutions. Good Luck.


    • #3
      I deal with the same thing. Some officers will enforce the rules and some let stuff slide. While I do not write up inmates for every minor little infraction I will correct them. It makes it much more difficult when a inmate walks past 2 or 3 officers with his shirt off and when he approaches me I tell him to put it on. Naturally their response is always that "Those officers didn't say anything"

      I believe change will have to come from the top, as long as these officer's supervisors are allowing them to let things slide they will continue to do so.
      Be sure you're right, then go ahead
      Davy Crockett

      Never pick a fight with an old man.
      If he's too old to fight, he'll just kill you

      PM me if you wanna swap patches.


      • #4
        I don't think you have to write an inmate up for every minor infraction - just don't ignore it. Sometimes you have to use your common sense too (i.e., if it's 110 degrees outside, humidity's up and your buildings have nothing but swamp coolers, don't make such a big deal about inmates not wearing their shirts).

        You can learn from everyone out there - sometimes (more often than not) you learn what not to do. I think that when you're new, you follow the rules and regulations - if the officer your with doesn't, it's on him (as long as it's nothing major). But if you take the initiative and correct an inmate, the officer should back you up.

        Hope this helps...................


        • #5
          Enforcing rules

          thanks for the responses, I don't know if I said it or not but I don't write a DR for everything I see them doing. If you did that you would never quit writing them. Overall the prison is run pretty strict, with the exception of some of the officers there which like yall said are slack in there job. I worked with that same guy again tonight and it just seems like he bends over backwards for the inmates. For example, they aren't supposed to smoke in the dorms, which obviously you know they are gonna do it regardless, but that officer will let the inmate go outside the building just to light his ciggarette and take it back in. I've said some stuff to some of them that I see, like don't smoke where I can see you, I know your gonna do it but I don't want to catch you or see you just smoking away in the dayroom. And being the control room officer I can't go out there and actually say anything once they are past the booth, but whenever I tell one of the inmates no or don't smoke in there, they just go ask the range officer if they can get a light and he lets them out, it's just ****ing in the wind. Another example, last night the inmates were watching the falcons game, when 9:00 count rolled around, the officer was like you can't lock them down b/c they might riot on you b/c they are all watching the game and it's best to just tell them to get on line. That's a bunch of bull to me. Correct me if I"m wrong but if they were being locked down everyday during the official counts like they were supposed to, you wouldn't have to even worry about that situation. It's just so frustrating, I want to let my LT know about the situation but then again I don't want to be a snitch, b/c he's not really breaking any huge rules in what he's letting them do but it's enough to cause a problem in the future I think.


          • #6
            The biggest problem in your situation is that the inmates are pitting you two
            officers against each other. They know the rules better than you do. I would
            tell the I/Ms "You are lucky that the senior cop is here, because when the
            day comes when he is not here and this building is mine, I writing everyone of you up for every little rule you break."


            • #7
              That situation sucks ***. It might be a little uncomfortable, but you gotta talk to your partner about this. At my prison, count time is serious. Inmates are locked up in their cell 15 min. before count and until count is cleared. We don't stress if they are standing. As long as we can see live breathing flesh, its all good. Seems like your partner forgot where he works. Its PRISON. Killers, rapists and thieves live there (Violent M-F'ers). Talk with him in private and try to come to an agreement. Tell him what you want and don't settle for less.

              Don't worry about all that snitch stuff. If he's f*cking up, thats his problem and not your fault. We all are professionals paid to do a serious job. Make sure you communicate with your partner first. If he isn't willing to work with you or come to a reasonable agreement, then take it up the chain of command. That isn't snitching. Its covering your ***. Your *** shouldn't be on the line for a lazy cop's lack of work ethics. If an assault occurs during count and your inmates aren't locked up, guess who's gonna get blamed for not having the inmates locked up? It will be you since your in the control booth. Hope everything works out. I've had a few minor situations like that, and its an uncomfortable feeling.
              BACK THE BADGE


              • #8

                with the officers and get a grip of what everyone wants to do about those infractions. If everyone wants to agree , so do it , so be it. If everyone will not agree , do it as per policy. They cant touch you then.


                • #9
                  break i agree do things per policy and u cant go wrong unless you used the policy against aministration then you better transfer LOL


                  • #10
                    Follow the book:

                    Follow your policies and procedures, document everything. Because someday you will need information about an incident or infraction that you didn't document and it will bite you in the ***. And remember the higher-ups that get their *** chewed on the way up will be the ones chewing your *** out on the way down.
                    - He took an aggressive stance with clenched fists. I then issued a short burst of my chemical agent.


                    • #11

                      1st thing is....they gotta have a book.........

                      sunny day......we have rules
                      cloudy day......we don't have rules
                      every other day,.....we make $hit up as we go along......

                      22 yrs ago, sept 16th 1983, i started where you are workin......

                      i hope things have changed, it was hell on earth then, and nothing has changed from what i hear...!

                      " if you talk in your sleep, don't mention my name....
                      " if you walk in your sleep, forget where you came....


                      • #12

                        Well I'm going to follow my policies and procedures because that's how I've been taught and alot of well respected officers do the same that are there.
                        - He took an aggressive stance with clenched fists. I then issued a short burst of my chemical agent.


                        • #13
                          by you doing your job with common sense will go a long always in a situation where an old timer does things his way,,but you cant let that stop it your way all the time and let the crooks know that.if that officer is scared then he needs to see what an officer with balls does at work.9 out of 10 times the officer letting crooks do what they want is causing you to work harder.hes probably the type of officer that inmates want to work the unit,,thats not good.....i feel a good officer is one who is hated by inmates.jail is not the place to be friendly with inmates,,cause when the riot goes down those inmates will stab you up and take you hostage.

                          ps you can be a good officer and not be hated but respected as an officer who gives them what they need,,nothing more nothing less!!!!and anyone who disrespects you,,,you cant let it go!!!
                          All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing


                          • #14
                            hey, all of us who care have been there. the two most important rules to me are: 1) Count clears. 2) We go home safe at the end of the day. In that order. Why? "'cause if count don't clear we ain't goin' home."
                            I've always found in this biz. that rules are always written to correct something after it goes wrong rather than before & therefore they are there for a reason that I might not recognize. particularly when it comes to security issues. so, when it comes to making a "truck" tow the line know your security rules inside and out and don't let your partner step outside them-even if you have to follow behind him and correct his/her neglegence. As far as other things remember you have discretion. you need to find a style that is comfortable to you. if a fool (inmate) has it coming to him give it to him. if the fool doesn't don't! if a fool is hurt (his fault or not) get him to medical asap. if a fool has a question and you don't know first say "NO" then find out the answer and get it to the fool if he's got it coming. be firm, fair, and consistant. finally, remember fools feed on anger, they love it! if you get angry you stop thinking-they win you lose. ALWAYS WATCH YOUR PARTNERS BACK AND INSIST THAT THEY WATCH YOURS. good luck in there-brother!


                            • #15
                              just follow the rules. Pick and choose your battles and dont let inmates front you off.


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