Personal Narrative: A Career As A Correctional Officer

1142 Words 5 Pages
When I first started my career at The Department of Corrections (CDCR) in Chino, California, I had no idea that my decision to become a Correctional Officer would be one of the worst career choices of my life. One day, in particular, made this abundantly clear. One single day would challenge my ethical viewpoint, and without a doubt instill that no profession is worth my soul and making the appropriate ethical decision can be a traumatic experience.
It all started when I arrived to work on that summer night in June of 2011, being assigned as a swing shift sick relief officer would place me anywhere in the prison. On that night, my duty would require me to work in the Reception Center (RC), a highly volatile unit in the institution. Everything
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As I headed for the sergeant’s office to obtain the necessary paperwork required for a post-incident assessment is when I received a response from her that I was not quite prepared to understand or accept. There would be no reports; there had been no forced used against the criminal. How could there be no reports filed after what I had witnessed? I observed a man pull and swing an inmate to her knees! How could this clash not be considered the use of force? Questioning this sergeant’s authority is not something that I desired to do. Especially this particular sergeant, this RC sergeant had a reputation for not adhering to the rules, not reporting the use of force and creating the Greenwall in her unit. Standing there for what felt like five minutes, sweat beading on my forehead, finally gathering the strength I need to state my belief: “I witnessed the Use of Force.” Watching as her expression turns from her usual disapproving gaze to an angry, judgmental stare. Then she attacked with fever; with the noisiest, finger pointed verbal assault I had ever experienced from a superior in my life. Fear along with anger began to take over my body, what should I do? I will not stand by and watch this apparent disrespect for the procedures that govern my position. Again I stood there, like a scolded little child, finally fumbled out the words, “I need …show more content…
Demanding to get away from this irate, ear-piercing unstable sergeant was of the utmost importance to me. Her explosion was triggering all my emotions to stir up uncomfortable feelings of anger and betrayal, coupled with tears that were welling up in my eyes. So, waiting for the lieutenant outside of the unit was the best course of action. Stepping outside my thoughts began to race, replaying the events over and over, again and again about the position I was just involuntarily thrown in. Suddenly my reflections turned. A moment of clarity struck me, and I began to question my occupation. How can I dedicate my life to this profession? How could I be the only one that needs to make the honest, proper decision? Finally, after waiting for fifteen minutes, the lieutenant arrived at the housing unit. The second I caught a glimpse of him, I could no longer control the emotion. Tears began to roll down my cheeks; all that feeling was coming out in the form of tears rather than anger. He was a very gentle understanding man, listening to my account of the situation and the insanity of the sergeant’s behavior while walking me around the outside of the institutions to avoid my fellow officers until I regained my composure. When I was ready, the lieutenant afforded me the ability to

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