FCC Forrest City-Low Staff

by Seth Ferranti

I have been accustomed to lazy staff in the Bureau of Prisons, but the staff here at FCC Forrest City Low takes the cake. In a way it is good but it is also bad because if you are trying to do something positive during your incarceration they will make you battle for it. Because for real the staff here is trying to do as little work as possible and if you make work for them that will make them mad. When staff gets mad at a prisoner all types of things can happen because they have the power and the prisoner, whether right or wrong, is basically helpless in any type of confrontation or disagreement with a staff member. If the BOP were a real corporation in corporate world America I believe they would have the worst and least motivated staff in comparison to any other workforce. That is just my personal opinion though. 

In some ways having staff who do not want or do not care to do their job is good from a prisoner’s point of view because prisoners can get away with stuff and staff will not find out because they simply don’t care. They are just trying to do their eight hours and get their paycheck. They are not trying to do any unnecessary or strenuous work or go above the call of duty in any such way. But if a prisoner is trying to get staff to do something or process something it can be bad because staff does all the paperwork that makes any type of process here start so if they are lazy and don’t like to work that can be bad for a prisoner who is trying to transfer or file administrative remedies or something of that nature. If you press them about or file paperwork on them or go above their head in an attempt to get them to do their job it can backfire terribly as that immediate staff member can make a prisoner’s life hell with random shakedowns, vindictive shots and just general harassment and most times they will get a way with it because there is no way that a prisoner’s word will be believed above a staff members. So when a prisoner gets themselves in this position they are basically hit. It is a fine line a prisoner needs to learn to walk in dealing with staff. It’s a game that they have to attempt to play knowing that 9 times out of 10 they will lose. 

The staff in the BOP is so under qualified I don’t think they could get a job anywhere else. I believe they love their government job and all the benefits they get along with it. Basically after their first year, in which they are on probation and can get fired, they are set for life because the union protects them and they can’t lose their job just because their boss doesn’t like them or their work habits. In a prison like FCC Forrest City there is really no accountability at all. In theory the warden is the boss but from being here I can tell you that the staff does not give a fuck what the warden says. I hear them say it all the time. They will tell prisoners “I don’t care if the warden says you can do that or if he tells me to let you do that I won’t do it.” That is staff’s general attitude and the warden is more like a figurehead. 

Besides being lazy the staff is inconsistent and it depends on who is working as to what you are allowed to do. The rules change as every new guard takes control of the shift and their unit. If the government is really concerned about corrections and what is going on in here they need to have a serious investigation and overhaul their whole policy because this system is corrupt, inept and lazy from top to bottom. It’s really a shame because they call it a correctional facility but they are trying to correct anyone in any type of way at all. There are no programs in place to give prisoners the tools they need to survive in the outside world. The system is set up for recidivism not rehabilitation, but I guess that is just how it is.

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