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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Correctional suicides: Doing time takes its toll

Corrections OneDoing time is not just slang used for the inmate population. Correctional officers also do time through hours of confinement, witnessing the worst of humanity, human depravity, and the stress experienced on and off duty.

My research has revealed a significant correlation between stress, wellness, and increased suicide risks for first responders.

The life of the correctional officer can be exciting and scary, but with such polarity in roles comes much stress and anxiety. Correctional officers know the importance of getting along, but never become too friendly. They remain vigilant, yet not appearing paranoid. Correctional officers are essentially locked up with inmates convicted of everything from theft to murder.

One must never underestimate the intentions or ability of an inmate. Having to maintain constant vigilance against attack or ambush, in turn, helps to better understand the stress and anxiety produced from ‘doing time’ with such individuals.

The dangerousness of the job is documented in the deaths and injuries officers sustain each year, as a result of inmate attacks. As if the fear of great bodily injury or death was not enough of a deterrent, literature further suggests that a correctional officer "... will be seriously assaulted at least twice in a 20-year career" (as cited in American Correctional Officer Intelligence Network, 2012).

One can only imagine how stress and anxiety skyrocket after such an attack. Or how self-doubt and fear come into play, thoughts of being hurt again or even killed, and the stress of knowing you have to return to work. Now compound the issue even more: add being understaffed, overworked, underpaid, and all too often, unappreciated by inmates, co-workers, and administrators.

But is officer safety the biggest stressor for correctional officers? According to Dr. Donald Steele, the answer is no. Steele noted that the majority (i.e., 60 percent) of correctional officers he personally treated indicated 'administration' contributed to increased levels of stress (as cited in American Correctional Officer Intelligence Network, 2012). continue reading...


Anonymous said...

I would like know if cdcr thinks passing out anti suicide fliers with your CUT paycheck is really the fix for suicides.We lost two at PBSP in the last month. RIP brothers.

Anonymous said...

Always remember that we are "expendable" and "replaceable" to cdc-r and -ccpoa-. They do not give a slugs ass about us. When they say they do, they lying through their shit covered mouths. That being said, never ever let them win under any terms by committing suicide. The only win we get is retirement. Work out, eat right, find pleasnat things to do, walk away from bills you cannot afford. Lower stress as much as possible. Do whatever is needed to get to the finish line RETIREMENT!!!!

Relavent said...

They don't give a rats ass as long as they are getting bonuses to offset their pay cuts! Nothing else really matters to them at all, if it did they would take care of their employees as well as their employees take care of them. Yeah they will start up some gibberish about team work and not really understand that means everyone being involved, while they remain on the sidelines keeping themselves clean. They seem to forget on a daily basis what CDCR employees do to make them shine! That is why in return we get to work under unsafe conditions made worse, by bad decisions that first takes into consideration how they (upper management) are effected. As long as they are out of harms way is all that really matters. Everyone else is simply a possible scapegoat who must deal with the stresses and other messes conjured up by sorry ass leadership that know not what they do!

Reinstate Sgt Gillet the annuitant that seemed to have been throw under a bus behind an executive's fatal decision!