|Are they baby sitters?|
In New York City, there seems to be a misconception about the job of a corrections officer. I'm a NYC correction officer. My uncle is a NYC police officer who thinks that C.O.'s are paid babysitters. That notion seems to represent the entire philosophy of the N.Y.P.D. It's true that we watch some of the most notorious criminals that this nation has ever produced, and that we sometimes have to be social workers and psychologists, but we are not any less law enforcement than they are. It is just different job assignments.
In most states, we have the same authority as cops and in New York City we make the same salary and have the same requirements for recruits. We have arrest powers on and off duty just like they do. They are better at making arrests because they make more of them. We are better at securing prisoners, and are more security conscious then they are. They have been around more than 100 years, and so have we.
A wise police commissioner in California once said that corrections officers make better police officers than ordinary citizens because they know what the criminal element has on it's mind. And the fact that firearms are not used inside of prison buildings means you have to use your brain first before you use a weapon.