Ever worry about your family's safety?

Posted

I am considering applying for a correctional nursing job (RN), and one of my biggest worries is endangering my family by having prisoners exploit me by threatening my family. For example: "sneak in these drugs or my gang will go visit your pretty daughter/wife." Has anybody experienced this? Do I worry too much? Watch too much HBO? Do the prisoners know your last name?

Thanks,

asmith1913

6 Posts

My friend use to work in a correctional facility for over a year. She said nothing like that ever happened, and she doubt it will! They paid her pretty good, she had to work with limited resources, and the older nurses were mean. This was at her facility, you go through alot of security, but its for your safety. Im just giving you a possible picture of what to expect.

Im currently applying to the same facility she use to work at and hope I get the job.

I have family that works in several facilities through out CA & FL and they said although it can be possible, so far its never happened.

military spouse

Has 20 years experience. 576 Posts

I've heard it happens in some of the Baltimore prisons, but I've worked in two prisons (not in Baltimore) and never heard of it.

work&play

362 Posts

The only people you'll probably have a problem with: the other nurses. I find that the inmates are mostly respectful. The people you work with are a big problem.

I once had a doctor ask me to clean his desk... what?

crn16

21 Posts

I have never had this happen and if it did I would report it immediately. They will most likely know your last name. Most correctional facilities identify all employees by first initial and last name. I would be more concerned about when they are released. If you do get the job I suggest changing your address with the nursing board to the address of your employer since our addresses with the board are public record.

ImThatGuy, BSN, RN

2,139 Posts

I had to work briefly as a jailer before moving onto a police officer.

Here are my thoughts.

Don't keep pictures of your family around. Don't carry a wallet with you into the population. Make sure your telephone number is unlisted.

Train your family to understand threats. If you're at Walmart and see someone who's been releasted steer clear of them, and train the family to understand that when you say "Let's make a left right here" they do it and do it then without asking questions. The person isn't obviously a threat, but trust me you don't want to associate with them.

Don't talk about family. Don't talk about home.

Also, watch yourself around the other staff. A lot of them will develop relations, of all varieties, with inmates. Staff members share information with inmates as well. Trustees are not trustworthy. They're inmates and are there for a reason.

Remain professional and show respect for the inmates and staff. Inmates constantly want staff members to do favors for them, get things, contact people, pass notes, etc. Just tell them you can't and walk away. Never apologize. Follow the rules always.

Keep a copy of every report you ever write regarding an inmate encounter, and I'm not talking about health releated reports. I have a file cabinet full of reports I've written dealing as far back as the jail to current arrests and traffic tickets.

Invest in home security which is irrelevant of working in a correctional facility. Get some weapons if you don't already have them, and become proficient in their use as well as safe. It's good fun for the entire family to go out to the range.

Become a sheep dog. If you don't know what that is then do a search on it. Inmates are wolves. Most others are sheep.

tbrd450

Specializes in I have watched actors portray nurses. 154 Posts

I had to work briefly as a jailer before moving onto a police officer.

Here are my thoughts.

Don't keep pictures of your family around. Don't carry a wallet with you into the population. Make sure your telephone number is unlisted.

Train your family to understand threats. If you're at Walmart and see someone who's been releasted steer clear of them, and train the family to understand that when you say "Let's make a left right here" they do it and do it then without asking questions. The person isn't obviously a threat, but trust me you don't want to associate with them.

Don't talk about family. Don't talk about home.

Also, watch yourself around the other staff. A lot of them will develop relations, of all varieties, with inmates. Staff members share information with inmates as well. Trustees are not trustworthy. They're inmates and are there for a reason.

Remain professional and show respect for the inmates and staff. Inmates constantly want staff members to do favors for them, get things, contact people, pass notes, etc. Just tell them you can't and walk away. Never apologize. Follow the rules always.

Keep a copy of every report you ever write regarding an inmate encounter, and I'm not talking about health releated reports. I have a file cabinet full of reports I've written dealing as far back as the jail to current arrests and traffic tickets.

Invest in home security which is irrelevant of working in a correctional facility. Get some weapons if you don't already have them, and become proficient in their use as well as safe. It's good fun for the entire family to go out to the range.

Become a sheep dog. If you don't know what that is then do a search on it. Inmates are wolves. Most others are sheep.

Let me just offer a word or two of caution on questing to become the "sheep dog." While it is the ever-appealing hero complex that often serves as impetus toward one's sheep dog path (a violent path on the "right side" of all things clear and unambiguous, all things black and white, so to speak), it is also a path that appeals to, and draws in, more people than it should. The truth is that if you really want the job a lot, you probably shouldn't have it.

Society is complex and diverse. It is Racially and culturally diverse. There are "isms" around every corner - ageism, racism, etc. Typical human interaction and all associated social dynamics are so complicated, multi-layered, and diverse that to exercise true protection and defense of the "sheep" is much more about being inherently decent, culturally diverse and intellectually enlightened, than it is about raw dedication to pursuing opportunity to deliver violent "protection." It is more about basic respect and understanding of people and human nature than it is about willingness to tase a person. It is more about talking - real police work - than it is about car chases, rubber bullets, cell extractions and strip searches. It is about tolerance for, and understanding of, differences in people.

And, the fact of the matter is that everybody out there is capable of violence - it is basic human nature. Therefore, in the over-simplified "sheep - sheep dog - wolf" understanding of society, everyone is capable of all three. That is not theory, that has been proven throughout history.

95% of this nation's inmates are incarcerated for non-violent offenses. Some of the biggest "sheep" that ever grazed the planet found themselves behind bars at one time. No, I'm sorry, but I must disagree in concluding that "inmates are wolves." All of them? Eveywhere? ... isn't that painting with a broad brush? Of course some are, just as some police officers, correctional officers, priests and teachers are.

Everybody deserves decent medical service, and protection from the wolves, including inmates. Everybody deserves the fundamental respect of human dignity, especially those without a voice, those caged and stripped of most legal rights -- inmates.

ImThatGuy, BSN, RN

2,139 Posts

I disagree entirely, but whatever.

I wanted to add that being a sheep dog isn't about going out and taking on offenders. It's about being prepared and able to take care of yourself and your family more than anything. When I'm off I'm not worried about the other guy. That's his problem.

x_coastie

90 Posts

Thanks to all that replied. You had some great info, just what I was looking for.