Work for the prison system?

  1. I live in York, PA. In this area, LPNs are being phased out, yet again. I have been so tempted by the adds for a position with the State Department of Corrections and the county prison. The pay seems attractive and the benefits are great. (Real Question) Have any of you ever worked for a prison? Do you have any input... pro's or con's?

    Any help would be appreciated
    Thanks
    Mike
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   JNHSB
    Mike,I am thinking about becoming a nursing student.I am currently the physical plant mgr. at AZ.State Prison Phoenix West.It is a min.security adult male facility with 400 DUI inmates.We have a medical unit with 2 or 3 nurses, one of which is male.It is a different environment and there are few pblms. on our yard.The nurses seem to have a fairly routine job and not very often stressful.You may look into lower custody facilities first to get a feel of the environment.The higher custody yards will be much more stressful and have higher risks for you.
    There are some privately run facilities such as GEO Group that hire nurses.Go online and there may be a facility near you that you can check out. I would consider a lower custody unit myself as a place to work. Hope this helps a bit.
    Jon
  4. by   diane227
    I worked as a psych nurse in a woman's prison in Idaho for a few months while the other nurse was on leave. I really liked it but you have to be careful. Remember, these people did not get to prison by being on their best behavior. Lots of manipulation and borderline personality disorder. As a male, if your working in a prison for women don't even think about being alone with a female prisoner. Overall it was a very positive experience. So many of the women had such sad stories.

    The medical staff is pretty well protected by the corrections officers. I saw most of my patients in the medical unit but there were times that I had to go to the pods to see someone who was on restriction or in isolation. The corrections officers keep up with what is going on. Not as much violence with females in any case.

    The male prisons are a whole different ball game. As a male you would probably be more successful there. I used to do some volunteer work at a prison for men and it was very frightening at times. You cannot show them that you are afraid of them, they key in on it in a second. These guys were there for life and they had nothing to loose by attacking someone. The death row inmates were a particular problem because they did not care at all what they did to you.

    Over all I found that if I treated the inmates like they were people and not prisoners, they were responsive and respectful toward me. During my volunteer work I had a few guys who watched my back and who would have jumped on anyone that tried to hurt me. When we were there we were usually in a large group in the gym with about 200 inmates at a time. Could be quite dangerous, especially for the female volunteers. Hope this helps. Diane

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