Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby simz04 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:04 am

an otter wrote:
simz04 wrote:Its just a game, i really couldnt care less about how accurate the terms used to design stuff are. As long as everyone understands, its fine. In the end its not a reality simulator, its a theme park game with cartoonish graphics.

The thing is there are players who do want more real-world elements added to the simulation, with socially-sensitive subjects aside (one could argue correction facilities in general are a socially-sensitive subject), they're going to want to see minor changes made, like changing "Guard" to "Corrections Officer" and think that change would make a big impact to their own interpretation of the game and the enjoyment they get from it.

If the other side "really couldn't care less" then it doesn't matter if the verbiage changes or not for them, so it should change because there's a net gain to it changing, and not a net loss.

Of course the other half-baked response to game changes beyond "it's a game, not a sim" is usually "maybe as a mod" which may be an easy way to correct the verbiage portion, as that's a minor tweak.


I understand that people who are in the domain could find awkward how they decided to spell things out or how the game mechanics works because they know exactly how things works in the real world. But as much as the game gets inspiration from reality, its still largely based on fiction and its fine like that imo.

Personnally im not interested in hardcore realism, i want game mechanics that works well for the game even if they dont accuratly depict how things are done in real life. ie : Like someone said the time of tunnel digging is over, still i think its a pretty good game mechanic. In PA dead guards are comon, in real life im pretty sure employees would refuse to work if a couple of their friends got killed by a 'legendary' in the same week! And we could keep going on for a while about little things that arent correctly showing the reality of prisons but yet makes total sense in a game like PA.
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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby xander » Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:38 am

an otter wrote:The thing is there are players who do want more real-world elements added to the simulation...

Those people should, perhaps, find a different game to play. I think that IV have been pretty clear that they are specifically *not* trying to portray realistic prisons (one of the reddit threads from last year was pretty enlightening on that matter). People who want a hard-core, realistic simulation (or, really, anything but the cartoony game that we have) might be happier finding a different game to play.

an otter wrote:If the other side "really couldn't care less" then it doesn't matter if the verbiage changes or not for them, so it should change because there's a net gain to it changing, and not a net loss.

False dichotomy. I actually prefer "Guard" over "Corrections Officer"; "Solitary" over "Special Management Unit" (or whatever); and "Canteen" over "Chowhall" (though, personally, I think that "Cafeteria" would be preferable to both, but I chalk that up to IV being British). As far as I understand, Prison Architect is meant to evoke a certain image of prisons as they are seen through the lens of popular culture. Film and television prisons generally have guards, not corrections officers. They have solitary confinement and not special management units (though Orange is the New Black seems to be going for something more realistic, so that is an obvious counter example). But setting Prison Architect in that world, IV remove themselves further from reality and avoid making many of the potentially politically divisive missteps that are easily possible with a game like Prison Architect (I will note that this represents a change in stance---I used to argue vociferously that IV should do *more* to address issues of prisoners rights, race relations, and so on---at this point, I think that would be a poor choice).

an otter wrote:...when you consciously buy a game that attempts to simulate the design, organization and operation of a real-world facility, then get tips from someone who actually operates within that real-world facility...

Again, I don't really think that Prison Architect is meant to model reality to any great extent. It is meant to model depictions from popular culture which, in turn, are muddled pictures of reality.

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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby BigJDub » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:48 am

Without going threw each one because it would take forever and get boring you need to keep something in mind. The names you use for things in your jail does not reflect the names used in every jail or prison. So renaming to make you happy would make others recommend changes in the same way you did.

There are plenty of jails and prisons that allow face to face contacts. I had a family member in a US maximum security prison and I was allowed face to face visits and allowed to hug him.

The prison I live near has a set intake time and its in the middle of the night. Their set release time is in the morning.

You can recreate a sally port using a couple road gates and fences or walls. I think most people do that.

I always love the guard vs correctional officer argument. Not sure why you brought that up considering you're a jailer. In most city's and towns a jailer has no formal training and is an entry level position. IMHO using the term officer suggests you have authority any where you go. In reality once you leave your work site you are the same as any one else. When you think about it the only difference between a correctional officer and a mall security guard is that the people a mall cop watches haven't been convicted of a crime in most cases. They both walk long hallways looking in small rooms for people doing bad things and once in a while get in a fight.
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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby Jailer » Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:04 pm

an otter wrote:I like the idea of modernizing a few of the antiquated labels (prisoner = inmate, guard = officer, etc.)


I am sure that is moddable?
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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby Pruvan » Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:43 pm

Posting for relevance: Kotaku discussion

Should shed a few lights on what Introversion intended/intends the game to be.
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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby blipadouzi » Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:01 pm

Jailer wrote:
an otter wrote:I like the idea of modernizing a few of the antiquated labels (prisoner = inmate, guard = officer, etc.)


I am sure that is moddable?



VERY easy to mod... best choice would be to make an American translation mod.
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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby Chicken_Eggroll » Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:10 pm

MFWIC wrote:
Change "Guard" to "Correction Officer." We are Correction Officers. We are not guards. We go through a Corrections Academy to be able to work in the jail/prison. The word "guard" sounds uneducated. The people you see in uniform at your local mall are guards. We are trained professionals. Many CO's will be offended if you call them a guard.


This is the equivalent of calling a truck driver a "heavy on-road vehicle operator" or "logistics transport specialist"(both are titles I've seen people stick on resumes for more syllables). The primary function of a correctional officer is still guarding prisoners. I understand the premise of your logic, but it's ultimately a self-esteem issue that's outside of the scope of the game, in my opinion.


The primary function of a correctional officer is not simply guarding prisoners. If you think our job is to walk down a hall banging our batons along the bars of cells then you're mistaken. If you think we just watch people in cells all day, you're mistaken. The only time inmates are in their cells are when they sleep, during lockdown, or if they don't feel like participating in rec. The other hours of the day, they're in rec, workers cleaning the unit or in the cookhouse, going on work details outside the facility, getting drug counseling and attending classes in the jail to get their GED or college credits. Modern jails and prisons are no longer a "lock them in and throw away the key" operation. As much as these places are still undesirable to live in, they've advanced considerably much in terms of living conditions and opportunities available to inmates. Supervising all these inmates going to and from, while making sure your unit is orderly certainly isn't as much of a cakewalk as you think being a "guard" is.

AbandonedWolf wrote:Hey,

Just out of curiosity, where you work what do you do with informants or ' at risk ' prisoners? Because currently it's obvious that the game makes it easy for the protective custody people to get killed? Also what do you with ' ex-law enforcement prisoners?

Cheers


Great question. In my facility we have a protective custody wing for "snitches," sex offenders, ex-law enforcement, rape victims, and anyone who is at great risk of being attacked or preyed upon. It's smaller and does have an extra officer. If it's widely known around the jail by inmates that there's an ex-law enforcement guy incarcerated, we'll ship him to another county where the inmates don't know who he is. During passing periods for classes and chapel, we have to make sure that general population doesn't cross paths with PC inmates to prevent any issues. The PC unit always has meal delivered, they never eat in the chowhall. And sometimes this is a problem, because the gen pop inmates make all the meals and they know where the meals are going, so sometimes they'll pack them less food as payback. So the officer in the cookhouse has to supervise them closely to make sure that doesn't happen.


Jailer wrote:It seems to me that you are leaving out a lot of MUST-have changes -
- walls are not called walls, but restrictive ambulatory impediments. Also they come in soothing colours - although you would probably call them colors.
- people look NOTHING like the sprites in the game - they are detailed personalities that are easily distinguished from each other in looks and behaviour/behavior...
- also, you go to work at 7AM in a red car and cannot find that back in the game at all....

TL;DR: this is a game, not your personal life/job IV are trying to recreate.


You know, as a guy who actually works in a jail, I thought I was doing a nice thing by providing some insight as to the real-life operation of these facilities. But then there's people like you who think that I came here to take over the development of the game, demanding changes that must be made. Sure I opened up my post by stating some things were a "must change," but overall they were suggestions that I was hoping would spark some conversation over some aspects that could change and ideas that perhaps could be implemented. This last point isn't directed towards you, but it seems like we've got a few prison experts here who know the policies and procedures of jails/prisons better than I do....

simz04 wrote:In PA dead guards are comon, in real life im pretty sure employees would refuse to work if a couple of their friends got killed by a 'legendary' in the same week!


To be completely honest with you, inmate violence against correction officers is not very common. The reason being that they would be charged with assaulting an officer, adding substantial time to their sentence. The last riot at my jail was over a decade ago, and nobody died. Some inmates took other inmates hostage. It was resolved when my jail's response team stormed the unit we lost control of and took custody of all the inmates involved. Not bad for a bunch of "guards" huh?

BigJDub wrote:Without going threw each one because it would take forever and get boring you need to keep something in mind. The names you use for things in your jail does not reflect the names used in every jail or prison. So renaming to make you happy would make others recommend changes in the same way you did.

There are plenty of jails and prisons that allow face to face contacts. I had a family member in a US maximum security prison and I was allowed face to face visits and allowed to hug him.


I'm just introducing some new vocabulary here from real experience, I don't expect everything I say to be put into the game.

Some facilities have contact visits. Some don't. My doesn't. But the game doesn't have to be my facility. The game has contact visits, so I was introducing the suggestion of no-contact visits.

BigJDub wrote:I always love the guard vs correctional officer argument. Not sure why you brought that up considering you're a jailer. In most city's and towns a jailer has no formal training and is an entry level position. IMHO using the term officer suggests you have authority any where you go. In reality once you leave your work site you are the same as any one else. When you think about it the only difference between a correctional officer and a mall security guard is that the people a mall cop watches haven't been convicted of a crime in most cases. They both walk long hallways looking in small rooms for people doing bad things and once in a while get in a fight.


No formal training huh? That's interesting seeing as how we have an academy for recruit officers to learn use of force, supervision of inmates, suicide prevention, restraint training, strip search procedures, cell search procedures, de-escalation techniques, civil liability, court testimony, ethics, disciplinary procedures, hazmat procedures, gang identification, fire procedures and emergency air-pack use, cell extractions, hostage situations, key control, radio communication, report writing, drug identification, pepper spray, baton, and firearm training, inmate's legal rights, and inmate transports outside of facility. That's what I can think of right now. Not bad for a bunch of "guards?"

And so you know, outside of work I see people who used to be incarcerated all the time. Some times they approach me, and they're usually respectful and tell me about how they're doing in life now. And they're respectful to me because I was respectful to them when they were in jail. Sure they're criminals but they're still human and are given human rights. When you go to your mall or absolutely anywhere, chances are highly likely that you're walking among ex-cons who've served their time.
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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby snarst » Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:53 pm

I also have a few questions for you Eggrole (mmm egg roles.....) Ahem* ,sorry about that.

Have you ever worked in a private prison, if so what was that like compared to a state run facility? I've heard that some tend to cut costs in questionable areas such as only giving 1 in 4 guards a radio.

I'm not asking you to name names or anything but how much contraband that gets into the prison is brought in by guards? Things such as cellphones are a big commodity in prison and I hear getting them from prison staff is the main way they get in.
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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby an otter » Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:10 pm

Chicken_Eggroll wrote:You know, as a guy who actually works in a jail, I thought I was doing a nice thing by providing some insight as to the real-life operation of these facilities. But then there's people like you who think that I came here to take over the development of the game, demanding changes that must be made.

You're recommending tweaks and shedding insights on a game that some here know and enjoy well enough that they get defensive when they're made. I wouldn't take it too personally. Nobody likes to be told what they know and understand is wrong and could change. Your insights are appreciated, even if reception is taken skeptically.

Chicken_Eggroll wrote:The PC unit always has meal delivered, they never eat in the chowhall. And sometimes this is a problem, because the gen pop inmates make all the meals and they know where the meals are going, so sometimes they'll pack them less food as payback. So the officer in the cookhouse has to supervise them closely to make sure that doesn't happen.

Inmate workers tampering with meals meant for other inmates would be an interesting element to the game.
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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby xander » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:32 pm

Chicken_Eggroll wrote:You know, as a guy who actually works in a jail, I thought I was doing a nice thing by providing some insight as to the real-life operation of these facilities.

I don't think that people are being hostile because of your suggestions. I think that they are being hostile because of your tone. You didn't make suggestions in your original post; you made demands (the game "must" change this, and "must" use that terminology). That, and you posted in a lot of red.

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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby 5hifty » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:53 pm

Chicken_Eggroll wrote:Supervising all these inmates going to and from, while making sure your unit is orderly certainly isn't as much of a cakewalk as you think being a "guard" is.


Supervise and guard are basically synonyms.... FYI I'm more then happy to continue to call the guards, guards. I don't want to have to call the janitors sanitation management authories, the gardeners landscape and horticulture caretakers or the psychologist whatever they call them selves. When I was a roady, I use to put sound and stage technician on my resume. Didn't make me any less of a roady.

xander wrote: I think that they are being hostile because of your tone.


Trust this guy. He knows all about this.
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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby blacksythe » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:37 pm

After reading through the posts
Meals on wheels i think is in the works anyway so that should solve some problems with "special Management" prisoners intergrating with GP

Name changing seems trivial and "guard" (for just one example) seems to represent what the wider community see correctional officers as "prison guard"

As for time spent in solitary or lock down

1 year is 5 days in prison architect
73 days is equivalent to 1 day in prison architect

Now for the real interesting bit
18.25 days (or near enough 20 days) is equivalent to you setting your game to have 6 hours punishment in solitary

Isnt Maths fun

As for religion - prison architect prisoners should worship their creator who in all is might brought them into existence.

Church of Chris Seems appropriate
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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby BigJDub » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:26 pm

Chicken_Eggroll wrote:
BigJDub wrote:I always love the guard vs correctional officer argument. Not sure why you brought that up considering you're a jailer. In MOST city's and towns a jailer has no formal training and is an entry level position. IMHO using the term officer suggests you have authority any where you go. In reality once you leave your work site you are the same as any one else. When you think about it the only difference between a correctional officer and a mall security guard is that the people a mall cop watches haven't been convicted of a crime in most cases. They both walk long hallways looking in small rooms for people doing bad things and once in a while get in a fight.


No formal training huh? That's interesting seeing as how we have an academy for recruit officers to learn use of force, supervision of inmates, suicide prevention, restraint training, strip search procedures, cell search procedures, de-escalation techniques, civil liability, court testimony, ethics, disciplinary procedures, hazmat procedures, gang identification, fire procedures and emergency air-pack use, cell extractions, hostage situations, key control, radio communication, report writing, drug identification, pepper spray, baton, and firearm training, inmate's legal rights, and inmate transports outside of facility. That's what I can think of right now. Not bad for a bunch of "guards?"


Maybe they should add reading comprehension to that list. "Most" does not mean yours.

Chicken_Eggroll wrote:And so you know, outside of work I see people who used to be incarcerated all the time. Some times they approach me, and they're usually respectful and tell me about how they're doing in life now. And they're respectful to me because I was respectful to them when they were in jail. Sure they're criminals but they're still human and are given human rights. When you go to your mall or absolutely anywhere, chances are highly likely that you're walking among ex-cons who've served their time.


Thank you for proving my point. A mall security guard deals with the same people you do.
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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby Utopia » Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:52 am

Can we try to keep this discussion respectful and avoid tossing (barely veiled) insults around? Thanks.

I really like a lot of your suggestions for in game mechanics, such as the chapel, separate inmate vehicles, meal delivery, bunk beds, group cells, medical and health stuff, and PREA complaints. The topic of names is a little iffy - perhaps this could best be left for a mod, especially the less obvious names, such as "Central Control," "Administrative Segregation", etc.

Just a friendly suggestion for next time: Try to frame your suggestions as suggestions instead of demands (e.g. Introversion "could" instead of "must) and perhaps instead of using a different color to emphasize your points, perhaps italics or bold would work better. I think at least a few of the complaints are just about the tone and formatting of your post. Regardless, I'm glad you made these valuable suggestions and I hope that IV takes them into consideration!
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Re: Advice From an Actual Correction Officer

Postby Chicken_Eggroll » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:51 pm

snarst wrote:I also have a few questions for you Eggrole (mmm egg roles.....) Ahem* ,sorry about that.

Have you ever worked in a private prison, if so what was that like compared to a state run facility? I've heard that some tend to cut costs in questionable areas such as only giving 1 in 4 guards a radio.

I'm not asking you to name names or anything but how much contraband that gets into the prison is brought in by guards? Things such as cellphones are a big commodity in prison and I hear getting them from prison staff is the main way they get in.


I haven't worked at a privately run facility so I really can't offer any insight into how they operate or if they sacrifice safety for money.

COs bringing in contraband for inmates isn't unheard of but it is relatively rare, because depending on what they bring in, they could face criminal charges in addition to being fired. Our lunch boxes go through an xray machine when we go into the secure perimeter but officers themselves aren't searched. The internal affairs unit has investigated officers before if there was suspicion of them bringing in contraband.

However something that is accurate in PA is the fact that contraband can be thrown over the perimeter walls. Usually what they do is take drugs or a cell phone and stuff them into a dead pigeon and throw that over the wall, because birds do sometimes get stuck in the barbed wire fencing and die, and some people don't think twice about seeing a dead bird. Some prisons have an officer dedicated to a perimeter check, looking for thrown items.

xander wrote:
Chicken_Eggroll wrote:You know, as a guy who actually works in a jail, I thought I was doing a nice thing by providing some insight as to the real-life operation of these facilities.

I don't think that people are being hostile because of your suggestions. I think that they are being hostile because of your tone. You didn't make suggestions in your original post; you made demands (the game "must" change this, and "must" use that terminology). That, and you posted in a lot of red.

xander


I edited my opening in my original post to sound more friendly, and I added a smiley face at the end to remove any notion of being hostile.

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