Quarterly Rotation of COs Creates Adjustments

Prison Life

Aug 04

Saturday, April 28th, 2012 |

I have written about the quarterly rotation of COs. It takes a couple of months to get used to the idiosyncrasies of each CO. There are a lot of weird personalities. For example, the recreation CO argued with the inmate photographer during visitation. He could have waited until there were not families around the visitation room. I’m sure he didn’t think that anyone noticed, but they did. This same CO is driving an inmate, who works in rec, crazy with stupid stuff.

Opie was the evening CO when I first got here. He rotated out of the camp last quarter, and he is on the day shift this quarter.  There is not another CO who causes as much grief as this guy does. This is the only CO who the inmates have given a nickname. The biggest bone of contention now is his insistence of calling lockdown census at 9 am and 1 pm every day.  I think this guy is a control freak, and he goes overboard in his enforcement of the “rules”. He wants us to know that he can interrupt our day anytime he wants. He’s also constantly going through lockers and searching for cell phones throughout the whole compound. We just shake our heads now.

The fill-in relief food service COs seem to change most often. The food service CO, who I like a lot, was working in the afternoon last quarter, and is working mornings now through the end of the year. The guy who was working mornings is now on the afternoons, so they just switched. All this means is that we are used to these two COs and we can adapt. The fill-in COs seem to be a weird bunch, and you just don’t know what to expect if you happen to work for one of them.

There’s a new CO here that was transferred from a standalone camp to Butner. He was amazed at the controls at the Butner camp. He even stated that we were really in a “low” without the fence. This is true. There is no one here that poses a risk to society, or they wouldn’t be in the camp in the first place.

As an example, the unit doors are locked for a half hour before each meal, a half hour before each count, and during the night. I’m not sure how much this really matters if there is no fence and someone can walk off at any time anyway. Also, since they locked the doors before each meal, there is a mad rush by the guys to get into the chow line. This causes chow line back-ups.

Some COs will let the line go down each time until the next unit is released. They should have a policy where the chow line opens at a set time and closes at a set time, and abide by that schedule. Just let guys be responsible to show up at chow or not. Their current practices treat grown adults as children. The entire process is counter-productive.

I’m not saying there are a bunch of out-of-control COs. Most of the COs are respectful and professional. There are always a few that create tension