10 more things I wish I knew before becoming a CO

Here's another 10 things our readers wish they knew before becoming a corrections officer


By C1 Staff

You can never be too well-informed before making the leap into a career path – and this is especially pertinent to those who want to work in a law enforcement career like corrections.

Here’s another 10 things our readers wish they knew before becoming a corrections officer; use the information wisely!

Photo Adam J. W.C./Wiki Commons

1. Been in this business for going on 13 years, seen it all. It's hard not being cynical when you deal with society's worst. Think long and hard before committing to this profession. – davejr528

2. I really wish there was a program for my friends and family to understand the nature of the beast, the abuse taken daily, the mind games played by these guys, the feeling of always being on high alert, the politics of admin and supervisors, the feeling that its 1,100 people against you and a few brethren you trust, and some you will come to find you cannot trust. I wish they could understand that despite all of this, I will come to work loving my job for years to come. – MIZZxHELLFIREx2012

3. I wish I would have known how many Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter dinners would be eaten out of a Styrofoam plate in a dark gun tower or mental health ward. – hubbard703

4. Good administrators or bad administrators, it does not matter when it comes to day to day operations. The line officers get the work done despite them. I had thought more appreciative, understanding administrators and commanders would make the job better. Not so. It’s the officers in the units and on the line everyday who do. They will make or break the facility. I will take five bad commanders for just one good officer every time. – razberry21

5. This job sticks with you long after you have left the jail for the day. You have less tolerance for people in everyday life and I always seem to be on my guard in a large gathering. I have to watch how I act around friends and loved ones and not carry my job home with me. – omtrott0

6. I learned that you have to have thick skin. Not to let things that are said that normally would lead to fights outside the wall get to me. Personally, I have had inmates tell me that when I see you on the streets ... blah, blah, blah. In reality, I have run into former inmates both when I was with my family and alone. I noticed that the same inmates that were going to beat my tail tend to walk the other way. – PaLockdownDog

7. I didn't realize that I would give up my friends. Didn't know that it would affect my family. Didn't know that I would put in so many hours. Was never told that my attitude would change from being happy-go-lucky to callous. I saved every good report so that someday I could write a book. Didn't know that I would be so scarred as to never be able to open the file cabinet to write that book. I never want to relive them moments again. – Oscar11

8. In my thirty one years in law enforcement, seventeen years of those working in a detention center, the biggest changes I noticed are the terrible physical toll the job takes on your body. Stomach issues, insomnia, physical issues (neck, back and knees), are gradual changes that can occur with a lengthy career. – southernman142

9. The one thing that is the difference between a compliant and a non-compliant prisoner is one second. – Aussie_astro

10. I am really glad of two things: 1) My commute has always been at least an hour (time to get into the right frame of mind going to work and time to decompress after work) and 2) My wife and I met after I was already on the job about 5 years. I seriously don't know if my marriage would have survived this long if my wife knew what I used to be like  -- RWeeks

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