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Level 2 vs. Level 5 correctional centers

This is a discussion on Level 2 vs. Level 5 correctional centers within the Ask a CO forums, part of the Public Discussions category; As I had mentioned in the welcoming thread that I am in the application process at a state facility, one ...

  1. #1
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    Level 2 vs. Level 5 correctional centers

    As I had mentioned in the welcoming thread that I am in the application process at a state facility, one being Level 5 (maximum security) and one being Level 2 (medium security). The pay scales would be the same if not similar, unsure of overtime opportunities/obligations, but based on the differences of security levels: what would you list as the advantages and disadvantages of each level of security?

    While I try not to assume anything especially at this stage, I think the Level 2 would provide a better opportunity for of one the main priorities (safety for my fellow COs and other staff) but, I don't know if it allow me to develop at my fullest potential not dealing with the worst of the worst on a consistent basis.

    My main objectives would be 1) Someone that listens 1st, thinks 2nd, and speaks 3rd. 2) Considers it a productive day when staff, myself, and inmates are provided as secure and safe environment as possible. 3) Fair yet stern to the inmates by treating them as humans while sticking to guidelines set forth by my superiors.

    Thanks in advance,

    Todd

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    Re: Level 2 vs. Level 5 correctional centers

    Well, not sure what state you speak of but in Missouri it really doesn't make a difference careerwise. If you start at a level 2 you might be able to promote up there or at a level 5. You will just have to relearn how the institution is run. For instance in Missouri level 2's have free reign of the yard. We call it open yard. Level 5's are in their cells fora longer period of time each day and have less privileges.
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    Re: Level 2 vs. Level 5 correctional centers

    I have worked minimum, medium, & maximum security institutions. In Iowa a C/O is a C/O no matter where they work. Same pay.

    I currently am a shift supervisor at at maximum unit that also houses a medium unit.

    Personally the best experience I had as far as how my work forced me to rise to the top of the heap, and therefore showing the powers that be what I had in me as a supervisor/trainer of staff-----------was working the SHU/AdSeg max unit here at the penitentiary.
    After my stint as a line officer in SHU I was recruited by the Security Director to go for the promotion.

    I was a mediocre minimum officer. I didn't like the security measures there and bucked the system. The institution sucked the air out of me.

    Maximum is much more intense. Your skills need to be sharper and finer honed in order to survive very long.

    I know several high ranking members of the Iowa DOC who started out working minimum and medium levels--------------and went to the top, but only a few of them got to far up the totem pole until they did some maximum time. (if even for a short time).

    Acutally the best way to develop as a Correctional Professional would be to work all levels and work in several job classifications while going thru the system. I was never interested in being that mobile-----or interested in getting out of custody.
    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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    Re: Level 2 vs. Level 5 correctional centers

    I started out in a maximum security prison and worked my way down. Working max gives you the best perspective about how a prison should be run and it also makes you much more aware of your surroundings. My experience is that our better officers have for the most part started out in max.

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    Re: Level 2 vs. Level 5 correctional centers

    I have worked with all classifications of inmates, and I agree with Iowa that max inmates make you pay more attention, and do you job better. My joint just went to a min from a med-max. And I would rather deal with the volital and more violent environment, than the rats and narcs that we now have in our population. There is more respect in the higher security joints for both inmates and staff. I have found that when I write a shot the LT. that comes from a Pen asks what I would like to see happen; but when I am in a min they do not serve the shot and the management says he is just a camper you should let it go.

    I was always told by staff and inmates that it is easier to go up in security levels than it is to go down, and since they lowered our desigination I now know first hand.

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    Re: Level 2 vs. Level 5 correctional centers

    I appreciate all the well thought-out answers to my questions. Both interviews at each facility will be one day apart and I am of the mind-set to accept whichever position is offered 1st and to progress from there. Although I obviously don't have first hand experience, I can definitely see getting my feet wet at a max. facility would help develop me into a more complete CO down the road. Regardless of facility, the primary objective of safety to inmates and especially staff is #1. The worst case scenario for me would be someone from staff getting injured because of something I did or didn't do.

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    Re: Level 2 vs. Level 5 correctional centers

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    I appreciate all the well thought-out answers to my questions. Both interviews at each facility will be one day apart and I am of the mind-set to accept whichever position is offered 1st and to progress from there. Although I obviously don't have first hand experience, I can definitely see getting my feet wet at a max. facility would help develop me into a more complete CO down the road. Regardless of facility, the primary objective of safety to inmates and especially staff is #1. The worst case scenario for me would be someone from staff getting injured because of something I did or didn't do.
    I work at a min/medium, and there are many inmates that have managed to work their way down from death row, super max and all levels in between to end up in our dorms ... we work two officers to 200+ inmates locked in a dorm with a set of keys, a pair of cuffs and a man down alarm. No radio, no cells, and no weapons, except our brains, .... I have only been at it for a little less that three years, but I do know this ..... none of them are there for being nice ...... and no matter where you go, you will see that inmates, are inmates .... and a boring day, is a good day in corrections.
    Remember, it takes 42 muscles to frown, but only 4 muscles to extend your arm and slap the moron upside the head.:hammer:

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    Re: Level 2 vs. Level 5 correctional centers

    Honestly, that sounds like the challenge that I'm looking forward to regardless of facility. Given what can occur during a chaotic day, I can see why a boring day is a good day.

    Obviously following facility policy is what I would follow and it might differ from what I'm about write but, would these be the correct steps in breaking up a non-contraband fight between inmates:

    1)Call for back-up
    2)Verbally tell to stop
    3)If they don't comply, use pepper spray or some sort of chem. agent

    How would that differ if they did have a shank?

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    Re: Level 2 vs. Level 5 correctional centers

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    Honestly, that sounds like the challenge that I'm looking forward to regardless of facility. Given what can occur during a chaotic day, I can see why a boring day is a good day.

    Obviously following facility policy is what I would follow and it might differ from what I'm about write but, would these be the correct steps in breaking up a non-contraband fight between inmates:

    1)Call for back-up
    2)Verbally tell to stop
    3)If they don't comply, use pepper spray or some sort of chem. agent

    How would that differ if they did have a shank?
    well, hopefully you will never have to find out what happens if they have a shank ....

    our procedure, is similar to what you say, with a slight refinement.....

    1)Assess the scene (is it truly a fight, or horseplay)
    2) Identify yourself and order them to stop from a safe distance.
    3) If they don't stop, pull your cord and order a lockdown of the area.
    4) clear uninvolved from the area.
    5) hopefully by this time some back up arrives or the fight stops due to your orders (most cases it will)
    6) talk to your partner or backup and decide how to proceed.

    In our facility only yard officers carry OC, and in most instances are not more than a minute or two away ... I have seen, that a lot of are fights are right in front of the officers .... and usually break up the first time you yell .... most fights you will never know about, until some shows up at the desk bloody. Most times if there is a weapon ... it will get ditched before you know who had it, that could be a new case if they get caught with it.


    of course this is all just my opinion from observation, and limited experience.
    Remember, it takes 42 muscles to frown, but only 4 muscles to extend your arm and slap the moron upside the head.:hammer:

 

 

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