For some people, each day at work could be their last.
No matter which side of the bars you’re on, prison is most likely not a place you want to end up. Conditions are hard all around, both for prisoners and employees, and whether you are dealing with some of the worst members of society or living among them, you’re bound to see some unpleasant things.
Even mental health experts and social workers who go into prisons with the hope of rehabilitating prisoners in order to welcome them back into society are often left desperately stressed out, even ostracized by other prison workers for trying to help inmates.
One prison guard anonymously documented stories from his life on the inside, and his stories are both shocking, graphic, yet very real as to how hard prison can be for prisoners and workers alike. Sometimes, they even have to work together to survive the day.
These are his stories.
First Day as a Prison Guard
“Ok this story is not as awesome as the rest. But I figured it is worth a start. First day in a prison I get assigned to an open bay dorm which houses 60+ inmates. In an open bay, it is just the officer in a big room with bunks lined up along the walls. I was handed the keys by my sergeant and they pointed to the dorm. When I walked in the officer I was relieving immediately got up and left dorm. I am alone in a dorm with over 60+ convicted murder’s, child rapist, wife beaters, you name it there was at least one of them in there. I had no idea what key went where. The key ring had over 20 different keys on it. After about 15 minutes trying to figure out which key opened the officer station, an inmate approached me. At this time I was 19 years old and 160 lbs. This inmate towered over me like I was a child in a sumo match. The inmate bends down and looks at my hand full of keys. He then tells me exactly which key goes where. Each key has a number assigned to it and this inmate knew where every key went from memory. He was 100% right. At this moment I realized that if the inmates wanted to take over they could with ease. None of them gave me a problem knowing I was fresh meat.”
Always yell count time.
“This would seem like a no brainer. Every prison and jail has multiple set count times to make sure all inmates are accounted for. I normally worked confinement but this day I worked over time and got placed in a normal open population dorm. There was two inmates to a cell and about 60 cells in the dorm. The doors would be opened in the mornings for inmates to come out and walk about. Then secured at night. It was the second count of the night and majority of inmates were sleeping. I was running late on counting my dorm so I rushed to each area of my dorm. I forgot to yell count time but didn’t think of it since all were sleeping anyways. After I walk past two cells I get to the third and peered in. I stopped and couldn’t look away like it was a train wreck. There before me were two old men. One was holding his ankles in the air with his back on the bed with no pants on. The other inmate had his face buried between the others legs. At first I thought I was watching a sexual act occur which is a violation of prison directives. But no it was much much worse. When the inmate with his head buried leaned back, I realized that he was actually shaving the other inmates butt hole. I hollered at them to stop and they just looked at me like how dare I bother them. I just turned finished count and didn’t report it. Still haunts me and I tell officers to always yell count time.”