Quote from Jaila
Just one thing to add....the one term I know the officers where I work don't like (and I mean even a little) is guard, or jailer. At least here that is the case. They prefer C.O. or Deputy, or Officer. Just a heads up so you don't offend on accident.
Ha. Typical. If you ask a guy who happens to be a jailer in a county jail what he does for a living he'll say "I work for the sheriff's office." The quetioner usually then will ask something like "Oh, really, you're a deputy. That's cool." The jailer may then reply "Yeah, it gets pretty dirty sometimes." The questioner will then ask something like "Hey, were you at that wreck at ______ the other night?" Jailer, "Nah, I didn't make that one." Questioner, "Well, how about that shooting down at _______; what was that like?" Jailer, "I heard it was pretty bad. I wasn't there." Questioner, "What area do you usually work?" Jailer, "Ah, um, well, right now I'm a deputy that's assigned to the jail." Questioner, "Oh, I didn't know that deputies had to work in the jail." Jailer, "Well, yes, there are deputies in the jail to watch over the inmates." Questioner, "Oh, so you're a guard?" Conversation then ends awkwardly for jailer and questioner. 90% of them want to be street cops and try to play the part. We don't pretend to be jailers though.
If it's someone at a state prison you're talking to it's more like "Hey, man I heard you were a police officer now. Where you working?" CO, "Tucker SuperMax." Other person, "I thought that was a jail." CO, "It's a prison." Other person, "So you're a prison guard?" CO, "I'm a corrections officer." Other person, "So you're not a cop then?" CO, "Well, I am to the inmates, and I am allowed to carry a gun outside." Conversation then ends awkwardly for both parties.