Friday, February 8, 2008

I AM A CORRECTIONAL OFFICER (stories, poems, etc.)


Meeting Thy God
The Corrections Officer stood and faced his God, which must always come to pass. He hoped his shoes were shining, just as brightly as his brass."Step forward now, Corrections Officer. How shall I deal with you? Have you always turned the other check? To my church have you been true?"The Corrections Officer squared his shoulders and said, "No, Lord I guess I ain't, because those of us who carry badges can't always be a Saint.I've had to work most Sundays, and at times my work was rough, and sometimes I've been violent. Because inside the walls are awful tough.But I never took a penny, that wasn't mine to keep, I worked a lot of overtime, when the bills just got too steep.And I never passed a cry for help, though at times I shook with fear, and sometimes, God forgive me, I wept unmanly tears.I know I don't deserve a place among the people here. They never wanted me around except to calm their fears.If you've a place for me here, Lord, it needn't be so grand. I never expected or had too much, but if you don't I will understand."There was silence all around the Throne, where the Saints often trod. As the Corrections Officer waited quietly for the judgment of his God."Step forward now, Corrections Officer, you've borne your burdens well. Come walk a beat on Heaven's streets, you've done your time in Hell."Unknown Author

A Correctional Officers Creed
I walk through the gate of wrought iron,under arbors of razor wire.The clanging shut of all the gates,is the start of my day.Wondering some where deep in my mindif I will walk out the same way.Voices raised in anger, are the first words of my day,garbage flying down from the tiers reign upon my head.Words of hate and ridicule are their daily song.Why you here boss man?What did you do wrong?Not a blessed thingHuman rights are a funny thing,guaranteed to us at birth.But as a guard within these walls,I am sorely hurt,I am spit upon, and cursed out loud.Have urine thrown upon me.All of this is by the ones,the government says should not be free.I guard the lowest of earth's scum,the guilty and the judged.Who have more rights than me.I spend my life as a free man,yet behind these walls of concrete and steelis where I am condemned to be.And all for the simple reason the inmates can not be freed.The bleeding hearts and liberal officials.Value the convict more than me.I am not a police officer,and often held with distaste.I go to work everyday,never a prayer is said.You don't hear the wishes ofplease be safe.No one ever remembers me.As long as no inmate dies,as long as none escapes.Don't admit that they exist.You can safely sleep.I am there when you least care.To serve and to protect.I don't where the badge so bold,or carry a gun at my side.I only have my wits with me,to help me to survive.So when you hear of a corrections officerdon't look upon us with disdain.We are not just security guards.We are the ones that keep this landfrom going totally insane.

A Part Of America Die Today
Somebody killed a Correctional Officer today, And a part of America died. A piece of our country he swore to protect, Will be buried with him at his side. The inmate who killed him will stand up in court, With counsel demanding his rights. While a young widowed mother must work for her kids, And spend many long, lonely nights. The beat that he walked was a battlefield too, Just as if he'd gone off to war. Though the flag of our nation won't fly at half mast, To his name they will add a gold star. Yes, somebody killed a Correctional Officer today, In your hometown or mine. While we slept in comfort behind our locked doors, A Correctional Officer put his life on the line. Now his ghost walks the toughest beat in the nation, And he stands at each new rookie's side. He answered the call, of himself gave his all, And A Part Of American Died. Author Unknown

The Forgotten Cop
We are Correctional Officers, not Guards (who are people that watch school crossings). We work at minimum, medium, and maximum security Correctional Facilities. We are empowered by the State to enforce its Penal Laws, Rules, and Regulations of the Department of Correctional Services. In short we are Policemen. Our beat is totally inhabited by convicted felons who, by definition, are people who tend to break laws, rules, and regulations. We are out numbered by as many as 50 to 1 at various times of our workday and contrary to popular belief, we work without a side arm. In short, our necks are on the line every minute of every day. A Correctional Facility is a very misunderstood environment. The average person has very little knowledge of its workings. Society sends it's criminals to Correctional Facilities and as time passes, each criminal's crime fades from our memory until the collective prison population becomes hordes of bad people being warehoused away from decent society in a place where they can cause no further harm. There is also the notion that prison inmates cease to be a problem when the are incarcerated. Correctional Facilities are full of violence perpetrated by the prison population against the prison population and facility staff. Felonies are committed daily but are rarely reported. They are called "unusual incidents" and rarely result in criminal prosecution. Discipline is handled internally and, as a rule, the public is rarely informed of these crimes. In the course of maintaining order in these facilities, many Officers have endured the humiliation of having urine and feces thrown at them. Uncounted Correctional Officers have been kicked, bitten, stabbed and slashed with home made weapons, taken hostage, murdered and even raped in the line of duty, all while being legally mandated to maintain their Professional Composure and refraining from any retaliation which could be the basis for dismissal from service. In addition to these obvious dangers, Correctional Officers face hidden dangers in the form of AIDS, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C. Courts are now imposing longer sentences and the prison population is increasing far beyond the systems designated capacity. As the public demands more police on the street, governments everywhere are cutting police in prison where violence reins supreme, jeopardizing all those working behind prison walls. Although you will never see us on "911" or "Top Cops" we are Law Enforcement Professionals. We are the "FORGOTTEN COP," hidden from public view, doing a dangerous beat, hoping someday to receive the respect and approval from the public who "WE SILENTLY SERVE." Author Unknown.

Correctional Officers Farewell
We all know it can happen, When we put our Colors on. It only takes an instant, Then one of us is gone. Day to day we walk our beat, In God we put our faith. 'Cause we're the law inside the wall, We keep the Public safe. You've done the job that few can do, Your shift is at an end. Farewell my Brother, Rest in peace, On you we could depend.
Correctional Officers Prayer 1

Lord, I ask for courage... Courage to face and conquer my own fears. Courage to take me where others will not go I ask for strength... Strength of body to protect others Strength of spirit to lead others. I ask for dedication... Dedication to my job, to do it well. Dedication to my community, to keep it safe. Give me, Lord, concern for all those who trust me and compassion for those who need me. And please, Lord, through it all... be at my side.

Correctional Officers Prayer 2
Lord, when it's time to go inside, That Place of steel and stone. I pray that you will keep me safe, So I won't walk alone. Help me to do my duty, Please watch me on my rounds. Amongst those perilous places, And slamming steel door sounds. God, keep my fellow Officers Well and free from harm. Let them know I'll be there too, Whenever there's alarm. Above all when I walk my beat, No matter where I roam. Let me go back whence I came, To family and home.
I walk the Walls Of Stone
Correction Officers walk daily on walls of cold, gray stone.They sit in dark, dank towers for hours all alone.On the prison grounds, they walk amongst the inmate's naked hateAnd out in public being shunned is their one common fate.Disliked by society, ridiculed by the press,Working in a world where all those living inside are a mess.It's full of Psychos, Sickos and Sociopaths.So the Officers train with guns, batons and how to "kick ass".No one wants to know them or give them the time of day.No one will forgive or forget them when some murderer gets away.They're told they're at the bottom of the law enforcement barrelAnd at the top of the budget cuts when their Legislators quarrel.No one wants them, but everyone needs them around.No one else wants to walk those walls or the beat they pound.The public cries they're stupid, evil, violent and cruel.Despite all this, the Officers accept this daily duel.All they have is each other when they lose one of their own.Only their feelings of being a family can breach those walls of stone.They can't let their feelings show while they're on the job,So they gather after hours to ease their hurt, trying hard not to sob.Then the next day dawns and they start over again.Walking on those walls of stone, concealing their pain.They can't take it out on the inmates, even those to blame.They continue to act professionally in the midst of an insane game.With all this on their minds and weighing heavily on their hearts,I think it most amazing they continue to act their parts.How do I know all of this? Well, I have a secret of my own.For nineteen years, I also walked along those walls of stone.Daniel Ettinger

When God Made Correctional Officers

When the Lord was creating CORRECTION OFFICERS, he was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one". And the Lord said, "Have you read the specs on this order?" A CORRECTION OFFICER must always bear in mind that rehabilitation is based on self-respect. In the event of rebellious actions or disparaging remarks towards them by inmates they must always maintain a quite firm demeanor. A CORRECTIONAL OFFICER has to be able to tolerate the ignorance of some, without losing hope. A CORRECTIONAL OFFICER must also be prepared to cover a life-threatening situation, canvass the institution for witnesses, and testify the next day. A CORRECTIONAL OFFICER has to be in top physical condition at all times, running on black coffee and half-eaten meals when it is necessary. A CORRECTIONAL OFFICER has to have six pairs of hands. The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands... no way!" "It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord, "it's the three pairs of eyes an Officer has to have." "Is that on the standard model?" asked the angel. The Lord nodded and said, "One pair that sees through a bulge in a pocket before the Officer asks, "May I see what's in there, sir?" (When the Officer already knows and wishes he'd taken that accounting job.) "the second pair, here in the side of his head for his fellow Officers safety and the third pair of eyes here in front that can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say, "You'll be all right, when the Officer knows it isn't so." "Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow." "I can't," said the Lord, "I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound inmate out of a rebellious intention without incident and feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck." The angel circled the model of the CORRECTIONAL OFFICER very slowly, "Can it think?" the angel asked. The Lord said "Can it think! A CORRECTIONAL OFFICER can recite departmental rules in its sleep; detain, investigate, search, and arrest a gang member on a tier in less time than it takes five learned judges to debate the legality of a traffic stop... and still it keeps its sense of humor. "This CORRECTIONAL OFFICER also has phenomenal personal control. A CORRECTIONAL OFFICER can deal with crime scenes painted in hell, professionally watch over a child abuser not allowing emotions to stand in the way of helping a inmate better himself, comfort a fellow Officers family with a loss, and then read in the daily paper how the department and its Officers are not sensitive to the rights of criminals. Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the CORRECTION OFFICER. "There's a leak," the angel pronounced. "I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model!" the angel exclaimed. "That's not a leak," said the Lord, "it's a tear" "What's the tear from?" asked the angel. "It's for bottled-up emotions, for fallen comrades, for commitment to that tattered piece of cloth called the American flag, and for lady justice." "You're a genius," said the angel. The Lord looked somber and said "I didn't put that tear there."

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