6 correctional officer personality types

How many of these personality types do you recognize?


During my time in corrections, I’ve discovered numerous personality types within the ranks of custody staff. Here are just a few of my discoveries.

The Fish

This officer still has academy food in his/her digestive tract. The fish is very eager to show off his/her newly acquired skills. The good fish will be quiet and listen to their partners and supervisors and absorb all the information being taught to them. They will also ask questions to make sure they’re doing the right thing. The bad fish will quickly become the next personality type.

The Know It All

He/she has been there, done that. They worked mall security for a day or watched a lot of prison documentaries and now know every aspect of the job. Some of these officers can recite departmental policy verbatim. This is officer can be annoying or downright scary to work with. Sometimes you can fix a “Know It All” if you have the chance to correct them before they promote.

The Pointer

This type can combine with any of the other types. This officer may talk a lot of bull but when things go sideways this officer will quickly do the “Insert Prison/Facility Name” salute and say they had nothing to do with it.

The Pitbull

This is the go getter. Inmates’ sphincters clench when this officer does his/her daily cell searches with a large garbage bag because they know this officer will have a Santa bag full of contraband when he/she is finished. This officer is usually first to the incident scene and volunteers to process evidence, escort suspects, process the crime scene, etc. This officer is also not afraid to get dirty and will respond quickly to threats. If you have the Pitbull for a partner all you need to do is help them stay cool when the inmates try to push their buttons. Remind them they don’t have to get mad to do the job. Keep them from biting and you’ll have a loyal partner.

The Truck

This is the “senior” cop. They have weekends off on dayshift. They can usually be found with feet up on their desk and wearing sunglasses (so no one notices they’re napping). This officer is the last one to every incident and has trouble putting on protective gloves in hopes that one of the other officers will take over. This officer hasn’t written a report in 10+ years (and possibly not since the academy). Their patches are faded and their boots haven’t seen shoe polish since they were new. This officer will likely retire when the overtime runs out. If you have the Truck for a partner, it’s going to be a long shift because you’re going to be doing everything. Then you’ll hear the Truck talking about how rough their day was on their way to the parking lot.

The Pendulum

This is the officer (or supervisor) that can’t make a decision. They constantly sway back and forth on what to do. If you find yourself working for a Pendulum, it can motivate you to transfer or promote as quickly as possible.

As I said before, these are just a few of the types I’ve discovered over the years. Please share some of yours.

Recommended for you

Copyright © 2021 Corrections1. All rights reserved.