Are arrogant people attracted to jobs in prison? I’ve certainly known some who were not arrogant. I think of a chaplain who was paid by the prison system. He went as far as he could in helping the guys. By the way he talked to them, he affirmed for them that they were good human beings.

When I went into the prison, I was usually surrounded by a bunch of guys in the hallway as we waited for the guard to open our classroom. We were all laughing and joking around. A certain high ranking prison official would pass us by, and I could see the scowl on her face. This official did everything she could to slowly move me out the door. That’s not arrogance, but it’s something.

It seemed to me that when Harper became Prime Minister, this arrogance got worse. Of course I can’t prove it. It was like “We can do anything we want. The government will back us up.” Witness the Ashley Smith case where prison personnel went way outside the rules.

This is a correctional institution?

  1. Joanne says:

    Not sure about the term arrogant but I truly believe there are four types of people who are attracted to working in a prison environment. There are the do-the-right-thing law and order types, who rarely question the methods as long as it feels like it is bringing the results. There are those who just want a job that is close by, pays well, and does not require them to spend half their life in school. There are those who genuinely want to help out and believe they can make a difference in people’s lives. Finally, there are those who seem to cope in this world through the use of power and control over others. These people are turly fearful but they hide their fear by thoroughly controlling everything around them to the extent possible. Those are the most dangerous people in prison. They are found on both sides (staff and prisoners) and they justify their behaviour by believing they stand for victims, including themselves. Unfortunately, I believe there are power-and-control types at all levels of staffing, which makes for an anti-rehabilitation atmosphere.

    And yes, I totally agree–and so do many others I have spoken with–that the Harper Conservatives have made things a lot worse in prisons by encouraging an attitude of punishment.

  2. In my experience, this arrogance among CSC staff is to cover the fact that they haven’t a clue about what they are doing, for anything other than the half of their job which involves keeping people in cells, and, if they did understand their responsibility for the other half, they know they are incapable and unwilling to do it.

  3. Keri B. says:

    From personal experience, I can say that prison officials are just the same here in the U.S.

  4. The Annual Report 2012-13 of the Office of the Congressional Investigator has just come in the mail. This is late for a government Annual Report, but this one usually is delayed by having to wait for and then publish responses from CSC. For the first time in many years, though, there do not seem to be any CSC responses. This is, no doubt, due to CSC assuming, firstly, that no one who counts cares about this stuff, and secondly, they do plenty enough lying in their own Report.
    I’ve only just begun reading it, but here are some tidbits from the Investigator’s introduction:
    “As penitentiaries become more crowded, they also become more dangerous and unpredictable places for both staff and offenders. Inmate assaults with injuries and the rate of violent institutional incidents increased again last year. Inmate complaints and institutional charges remain high, as do the number of segregation placements and use of force interventions where a mental health concerns is identified….the rate at which offenders are granted parole continues to set new historic lows. The trend lines are clear – a greater percentage of offenders are spending longer and more of their sentence behind bars in increasingly volatile and hardening conditions of confinement…Cost-saving and revenue generating measures announced in FY 2012-13 will mean charging more for inmate telephone calls (!), an increase in room and board deductions, elimination of incentive pay for work in prison industries, cancellation of inmate social events (which help bridge the gap between prison and the outside world) and the closing of or reduced access to some inmate libraries.”
    This is what you would expect from the Harper government, of course, and, in particular, in a department run by Vic Toews. Future riots, and the deaths that result, should have their names on them.

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