Go Inside Prison For $43,550 A Year


We’ve all seen those prison reality shows
and perhaps thought to ourselves, man, am I happy I don’t have to deal with that mess
my whole life. Or maybe you’ve seen HBO’s infamous prison
drama Oz, in which case you’re definitely saying to yourself I’m really happy I don’t
have to deal with any of that in my life! But what is a prison guard’s real life actually
like? Today we’re turning once more to a friend
of the show and a working prison guard in the Nevada Department of Corrections in this
episode of The Infographics Show- could you handle being a prison guard? We wanted to get a real take on life working
with America’s most violent offenders, not just list off random stats and numbers, so
we’re getting you the inside scoop on one of America’s most dangerous jobs. Our revisiting expert has been a prison guard
for ten years, and has been through it all- riots, assaults on inmates, assaults on officers,
you name it and he’s seen it by now. Standing at five foot nine and two hundred
pounds of solid muscle, with six years worth of military experience, our expert is no pushover,
but when it’s just you against hundreds of inmates, no amount of training is going to
guarantee your safety in an emergency. So what’s the job really like? Stay tuned and let’s find out! 3. How dangerous is this job? Naturally the first question we asked our
expert is if the job is really as dangerous as we’ve seen on tv, both in reality shows
and in prison dramas. He told us that unequivocally, yes, the job
is extremely dangerous. As a corrections officer you are typically
working with a partner at all times, or have another officer within a few dozen feet of
you if for instance, you’re working the dining facility. Aside from that there’s always a number of
guards that can reach you within a minute of you calling for help, the way that guards
are posted throughout a prison ensures that no guard is alone or out of reach of help
for longer than sixty seconds- if that. On top of that there’s typically a quick reaction
force which can assemble and be anywhere in the prison within fifteen minutes maximum. But even having another guard posted just
a few dozen feet away from you and being in a public facility such as the dining area
can be little protection. Despite what most prison shows have told us,
the majority of assaults against officers occur right out in the open, and the dining
facility is a hotspot for officer assault. That’s typically because prisoners have more
freedom in the dining facility than they would anywhere else, and the hustle and bustle of
hundreds of prisoners can help hide an approaching prisoner looking to do you some harm. Even if help is just a shout away, a prisoner
armed with a shank can do a lot of damage in the three seconds it takes for other guards
to get to you. In March 19th of this year a prisoner in North
Carolina attacked a prison guard with a homemade shank and landed eight stabs with his five-inch
blade along the guard’s neck and head before other guards came to her aid seconds later. Luckily the prisoner’s aim was off, because
just a single stab in the right part of the neck would’ve been almost instantly fatal,
but instead the guard was hospitalized in serious, but stable condition. In 2017 another guard was beaten to death
with a fire extinguisher before nearby guards could respond. In 2015 a guard in a Pennsylvania prison had
his throat slashed open by a homemade shank, this attack also with other guards within
eyesight. Clearly a lot of damage can be done in just
a few seconds with a homemade weapon, but even unarmed prisoners can prove fatally dangerous. In 2018, also in Pennsylvania, an inmate beat
a prison guard to death with his bare hands, throwing the guard to the ground and repeatedly
punching and kicking him in the head. The prisoner in question was already serving
a life sentence for murder. This is why officers have to constantly keep
their head on a swivel, and why you can never afford to let your guard- no pun intended-
down for any reason. And this is part of what makes the job trickier
than expected… 2. Prison politics As our expert tells us, your job as a corrections
officer is to ensure the safety and security of the prisoner population, but also to enforce
the rules of the prison itself. You can go about this one of two ways, and
one of the two will lead you to almost assuredly being beaten or killed by inmates. The first way is the way that most new guards
try at first, and that is they become miniature tyrants. They are quick to call prisoners out on infractions,
quicker to penalize them, and generally act like they are above the prison population. This is because as our expert tells us, the
job is terrifying. Think about it- you’re just a regular civilian
one day, then you get a few week’s, or if you’re lucky as much as a few month’s
worth of training and get thrown into the wrong side of the fence at a maximum security
prison filled up with all sorts of dangerous criminals. In order to mask their fear and to prevent
an attack, new guards often try to act super tough and come down really hard on inmates,
as if by proving they are the bosses will keep dangerous inmates in line and well behaved. In fact, our expert tells us that the opposite
is almost always true. Prisoners very quickly grow to resent a hardass
guard, and many of them are very good at smelling fear and can see right through the tough guy
act. When a new guard starts acting like the cock
of the walk and coming down hard on everyone, prisoners will often move to test the guard. They’ll purposefully try and intimidate the
guard to see if he is really just scared and trying to bluff his way through the job, and
if the inmates figure out that you’re easily intimidated, then you’re in serious trouble. That’s because they’ll then learn to manipulate
you, use you to cover up for their infractions or even force you to do things for them like
sneak in contraband. The last thing you want in prison is to be
a guard that the population knows is a pushover. If though you don’t let on that you’re scared,
and are just being a hard ass, then prisoners will very quickly grow to deeply resent you. Yes, prisoners may be in prison and it is
your job to enforce the rules, but you have to be smart about it, says our expert. Most of the guys- and gals in a woman’s prison-
are doing very long stretches of time, some are doing life sentences and know they’ll
never get out. To these long timers the threat of adding
on additional time for assaulting a guard is meaningless, and well worth it if it gets
rid of a particularly troublesome guard. Most inmates are doing long stretches, says
our expert, and want to be able to enjoy the tiny few comforts they may have in prison. Maybe that means that technically they’re
in violation of some minor rules, and that’s when you have to ask yourself if enforcing
the rule is really worth the trouble you may be brewing for yourself or other guards. Our expert tells us that in all honesty it’s
better to let the warden or a supervisor do a walk-through of the site and discover the
minor infractions for him or herself, and then force you to correct them. The inmates will see that and will shift their
ire to the supervisor or warden, instead of you. Sure, you may get chewed out by your superiors,
but better an occasional chewing out than constantly having to worry about getting shanked. Of course not enforcing the rules can also
be dangerous, because once more it may encourage prisoners to take advantage of you. They may think that you’re too scared to confront
them over their infractions, or maybe they assume that you’re just completely lackadaisical
about the job- which will only encourage them to commit further, and more serious infractions. Prisoners who don’t respect you will very
quickly make it clear, and even worse, may move to take advantage of you, manipulate
you, or intimidate you into helping them do or get away with various things. Our expert tells us that inmates are very
good about psychologically deconstructing each new guard and figuring out what they
can get away with and just how much of it they can get away with. 1. Are drugs/alcohol/illegal contraband really
that rampant? One of the things that prison shows teach
us is that contraband is basically everywhere in prison, but is that really the case and
if so, just how in the world do drugs flow into the most secure facilities in the world? Our expert tells us that yes, drugs are pretty
easy to find and get in prison, so easy in fact that in 2016 an inmate in California
actually died from an overdose of methamphetamine. The problem is hardly an American one, with
prisoners in England telling The Economist that drugs were easier to get in jail than
soap was. But how is that possible? Our expert tells us that the majority of illegal
contraband comes in by prison staff themselves. Drug seeking inmates offer an incredibly lucrative
opportunity for prison staff, as they are typically desperate enough to pay any amount
to get their fix. Other times prison staff will link up with
gangs or even drug cartels on the outside in order to ensure a steady flow into the
prison, with the staff member getting a nice cut of the profits for their part in the ploy. Inmates inside will trade various goods and
services for drugs, but often prisoners will have family members or contacts on the outside
pay cash for the drugs being brought in. Some gangs or drug cartels though will actually
use drug sales inside prisons to buy one of the most powerful currencies that exists in
a maximum security prison- influence. Influence buys you allies, and can turn those
allies on your enemies. It can ensure special favors from other prisoners,
such as targeted assassinations of jailed snitches, or just buy protection. Influence is just as important for prisoners
serving long sentences as food and water. Other times though prisoners don’t need staff
members in on the trade, and find very ingenious ways to get their contraband inside the walls
of a maximum security prison. Drugs are often snuck in by visiting family
members or friends, who wrap them up in plastic and stick them inside an orifice. For men this is typically the anus, but for
women it can even include vaginal insertion. The visitor will then move to the bathroom,
remove the packet, and covertly hand it off during their visit. One prisoner had his sister buy him heroin
which she then sewed into the hem of a towel, and yet other prisoners simply get their drugs
in the mail. While packages are always inspected, with
the high volume of mail traffic most letters never are, so if you have an outside source
that sends drugs inconspicuously inside a letter there’s a good chance of getting it
through. One prison in england was flooded with drugs
after allowing inmates to receive christmas cards. Modern technology also makes sneaking drugs
into prisons even easier than ever, with inmates using snuck-in cell phones to coordinate packages
of drugs which are then hurled over the outer fencing or even flown in via drone. In these cases the drone typically flies high
above the prison to avoid being seen and then simply releases the drug package to fall to
the earth. Drugs that are simply lobbed over the outer
fences can come packaged inside tennis balls or even dead pigeons. When it comes to getting high, there’s no
shortage of ingenuity. With an average salary of $43,550 dollars
and full health benefits, being a correctional officer is not going to make you rich, but
certainly can be a comfortable job. Yet with a workplace injury rate that is second
only to police officers, it is also a very dangerous job. You have to constantly be vigilant and on
guard against the hundreds of inmates all around you, knowing that if anything goes
down you’re outnumbered at least four to one. And with a lot of prisons in America having
a staff shortage of 25% or more, you might end up a lot more lonely on the job then you
had bargained for. Do you think you have what it takes to be
a corrections officer? Tell us in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other video
What Did Alcatraz’s Most Dangerous Prisoners Do? Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.

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Reader Comments

  1. LegitCharge

    If I was a prison guard, when the prisoners tried to PvP I would just team with all of them and we would all be friends. Then everybody would want to stay in jail and guards and prisoners will live in peace. The end.

  2. RavenFNM

    I live in Pennsylvania and it’s not dangerous unless u live in philly, I personally live in a suburban area so I’m pretty safe and have never
    Witnessed a serious crime if any at all.

  3. Nospam Spamisham

    The death penalty is a strong deterrent to violence against prison guards.

    You see, an incident of violence will lockdown the prison for days, even weeks and cause it to be searched top to bottom. While this is going on, the all important trade in drugs, ceases.

    Prisons are rung by gangs and everything revolves around the drug trade. A trouble maker who interferes with business….well, there is only one penalty. And often his own gang will carry out the sentence.

    Everyone knows this. Often, prison guards will simply, lose the offenders paperwork to be transferred…….overnight, you understand.

  4. Isaiah Sanchez

    I found this so informative I literally got hired yesterday for Massachusetts department of corrections for a corrections officer.

  5. Nicholas Houzenga

    I knew a guy online years ago. He was or maybe still is a prison guard in what he called a Max 5 Prison. One day while he was at his job, someone attacked him with a knife. The criminal did not survive. My friend had trained in several disaplines of self defense.

  6. Hermann Fegelein

    The guys in New York have it the worst. They have to deal with supervillains and once even the big guy himself, Thanos. Yeah, he was actually arrested once.

  7. Brian Welch

    My cousin who worked in a prison for many years said the job wasn't as dangerous as one would think, because several inmates would protect her, plus the Prisoners would make their own drugs

  8. Nikolai Lang

    I deal with psych patients, I had some pull knives on me and some had assaulted me. I will not get shanked or jumped by inmates so that is a no for me for being a prison guard.

  9. RetroBear

    My mom was a correction officer, she quit because she didn’t like the pay nor the extreme commitment it required (she was in the female ward)

  10. Troy Evitt

    Too easy on those fuckpuppets that attack staff. Need to suspend Constitutional Rights on the first institutional violence and start using 3rdworld techniques like car batteries, jumper cables and scumbags' toes.

  11. zinca marian

    You must be a clique Psychopath to enjoy your pay slip as a reward by torturing psychologically or/and physically someone else and especially when that one is in position of victim caged without rights.

  12. Darth_Syphelus SBM

    I’ve been an Officer in a prison for 18 years and am making around $93,000 after mandatory overtime. Most Inmates are just like you and me just more muscular lol. It’s the 25% of them that are willing to do things most humans wouldn’t to each other. The rest grew up “ghetto” and just don’t see through a middle class lenses.

  13. Hugh Cipher

    You know at least 1 PG&E Electrician dies every year working on high powered elevated cables. Police & Prison gaurds do "scary" work but there are many jobs that are actually more dangerous

  14. DARKHITEKT

    I was a prison officer for 5 years, and you never get used to being locked in a room with up to 40 other men who could turn on you at any moment. It doesn't matter how big you are or how well you can fight, if they want to hurt you, you're going to get hurt. I've seen a single man tear a steel cell door off its hinges with his bare hands. I've seen a single man fight off a squad of 5 armored officers and throw them out of his cell.

  15. BB_19

    And why does the inmate who killed the guard with his bare hands in Pennsylvania look like the guard himself and not like the inmate? You use fancy animations with different skin colors in every case to be more inclusive but you won't use the real skin color of the person who killed the guard because it doesn't play well with ur agenda I assume? Plus almost all inmates are white for some reason in this video. Well played.

  16. Nathan M

    Why are you talkin to a so-called "expert" about prisoner Behavior instead of talking to prisoners? So is it because you're pushing propaganda?

  17. Mimi 83

    If you're a guard you'd better hope you don't make your partner angry. The inmates try to jump you and your partner might take their time coming to "help" you. Or you get a "every man for themself" partner that will leave you in there bc they don't pay him enough to be a hero.

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