This article was composed based on information provided to us. We will not reveal the source nor will we reveal the State to which the source worked. We are doing this for the protection of the individual legally as well as from those within the department who may not agree with this article. War on Corruption takes no responsibility for the information provided, we are merely sharing what was provided to us.
In many ways correctional institutions are contraversial. Rather it be in how offenders are treated, the quality of life, or the occasional violence, these locations have, upon many occasions, sparked outrage. We often hear about how life is for those imprisoned within these institutions, but we rarely hear about those who are (or were) employed. We recently got a bit of insight into how this agency works, the behind the scenes if you will, into the life of the employees. For protective reasons, we have omitted the specific agency’s location as well as the former employee, the reasons will become abundantly clear throughout the article.
Life away from work
When working, it is expected to uphold the policies and guidelines of your employer. Failing to do so is usually met with some form of consequence, even termination of employment. However, this field is slightly different. For those who are employed, the policies appear to apply 24/7. Rather you are at home, at work, even on vacation you find yourself constantly having to “look over your shoulder.” One example that we were given, in regards to this, is Facebook. While it isn’t new for companies to speak to employees regarding posts, for this agency, your posts could be met with harsh consequences including termination.
Speaking ill of the agency is also forbidden. For example, if our contact were actively working for the “Department of Corrections,” they could be met with termination simply for speaking to us, it is to our best guest that whistleblower laws are completely obsolete for these employees. The agency is very “image” focused. Every expectation, on or off duty, that is held toward their employees, is primarily to ensure that this agency maintains a good public image.
Admittedly, from what we have seen, the average correctional officer does make good pay. So why mention this? Well, this is also a punishment that can be utilized against them. As it was explained to us, it is not unheard of for the Department to withold paychecks, forcing employees to go without for “X” amount of time, or until the next pay period. The typical solution for the employees, to which suffer this virtually inhumane form of control, is to go into debt with loans. Because the department can opt out of paying their employees at any given cycle, this means that they are forced to find alternative ways to make ends meet; for some, this means sneaking contraband into the facility for the offenders. Common reasons for this is even more bothersome: you get sick and your supervisor doesn’t approve the time off, you simply miss to many days, and so fourth. Regardless of the reasons why, it does leave questions into the legality of this consequence.
Keeping with the trend of loss pay, we go into another questionable act: Removing your pay. According to our insider, another “dirty” move that is often enacted is the deduction of your payroll from your bank account. According to the individual, this comes in a bit of a process, we will simplify it:
- Payroll is issued and deposited into your checking account.
- Employee uses money to pay bills, etc.
- Up to a week later, the account can suddenly go into a negative standing with the bank due to your check being withdrawn by the department.
Upon asking for the reasons why, we were informed that it is usually classified as an “overpayment.” With this, the insider informed us that they are actually salary based with the addition to getting overtime. This has left many questions regarding this action.
Staffing and Retaliation
The agency is always in a status of “hiring.” Given what we have composed thus far, I can’t fathom why. Nationally, the Department is critically understaffed, often only having one officer for each unit. Each unit could have 300+ offenders versing this one officer. “So why are they always hiring,” a question we had to ask.
“There are many reasons as to why the department is constantly hiring. If an officer angers the wrong person, usually a higher ranking individual, retaliation for this is not uncommon practice. But, aside from that, the field really isn’t for everybody, it really does require a specific personality type in order to truly thrive in such a negative environment,” was the response we got.
We inquired into the retaliation claim. The response, in essence, spoke of payroll (covered above,) frivilous write-ups, being treated in such a way that one is forced to resign, and so fourth. We inquired as to how common this occurs. According to our insider, this was very common practice. The department had a sort of shield in that the policies practically forbade employees from being able to publically speak out against the department, thus leaving them at their mercy.
Another concern that was brought up was regarding how “inmates” are treated. While some officers make a valiant effort, most treat them as though they were the “scum of the earth.” It was upon this note that the insider stated, “we have all made mistakes, we have all done s**t that wasn’t exactly legal. These people simply got caught. It is, to my core belief, that I treated all of them with respect so long as they returned that respect. When they failed to do so, I would attempt to calm the situation which usually meant actually speaking to the offender.”
There is much more we could go into. To do that, however, would require a novelette. While we have much more information, we will leave it to this for this article. For now, we can make a rather damning conclusion as to how these individuals are treated. Furthermore, we can even conclude that the State demands control of the personal lives of its employees, a disturbing concept at best. If requested, we may compose a secondary article into this subject. For now, we will simply leave it with this.