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<i>Prison Diaries</i> Two: Corrections Officers

In part two of the series Prison diaries, correctional officers at Polk Youth Institution tell their stories about working in the penal system. They present a mixed picture of their work, their relationship with the prisoners and of the satisfaction they get from the job. Some guards talk about the importance of appearance and attitude; to wear the uniform with pride and without fear. Some of the guards feel the prison is too luxurious; that there are too many amenities for the inmates: "they eat well, are clothed and overall get better treatment inside then outside." For others, it was a shock to see so many young, black faces behind bars. Being confined for eight hours takes its toll on some of the staff as well. Some say it is a dangerous job: "us versus them." Few of the guards last more than 3 years. Many leave sooner. The job is something they find hard to shake at the end of the day.

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