Sometimes certain inmates have a hard time separating reality from the fiction in their heads. One of the things that make me a good officer is my ability to smile and to listen. I somehow manage to put aside the fact that these men have killed, raped and sold drugs and treat them like human beings. It takes a lot of effort. Truthfully, I feel very phony. Even though I am a big phony, there are inmates that don’t seem to know it. Perhaps they have had so few positive experiences with woman.
When I work in the same unit for a long period of time, I really get to know my inmates. They talk to me. I listen. They respect me. Because of this, I don’t usually have a lot of problems. My biggest problem is when inmates forget that I am an officer.
I was working in a place for a long period of time. There was an inmate in there that was pretty chatty. It was slow at first. Just a “Hi” or a “How are you?” However, over the next couple of weeks he got more and more aggressive. He was hovering at my office door, asking more and more personal questions. I reported everything. The counselor called him in for a chat. He stopped or a few days. The case manager called him in for a chat. He stopped for a few days. Several lieutenants called him down for chats. He slowed down a little. But he started right up again. Even other inmates told him to stop. It didn’t matter what I said or what I did, in his own words he “was never going to give up. He always gets what he wants.”
I stopped going by his cell. I would only allow his to speak to me with other present. It was frustrating him and I knew. He started trying to get me to come to him. He said he wanted to give me some information. He suggested there would be problems in my unit and he needed to talk to me. I didn’t believe him.
I could tell he was getting more and more desperate. I wasn’t sure what he would do. I had documented everything he did. I had told many other officers. I knew that something was going to happen. Then one day everything finally gave. He kept begging me to come to his cell. I could see his cell from my office. Every time I got too close I could see him in there. He would pull his shorts up and try to expose himself to me. But I wouldn’t go close enough. Later that evening I was standing outside my office speaking to some other inmates. The whole area was full of inmates. I looked up and there he was; pants around his ankles, personal business in his hand, just going at it. Seriously.
I walked next door and returned with other officers. When I came back the inmate was hiding in the shower. The officer I had brought with me, a male officer, got him from the shower, made him get dressed and took him away.
When they got him to the lieutenants’ office, he told the lieutenant that he had to do it. It was my fault. I wouldn’t come to his cell so he could do it there.
In The Line Of Duty
8. Harold P. Stites, Senior Officer
Killed at USP Alcatraz, May 2, 1946
9. William A. Miller, Correctional Officer
Killed at USP Alcatraz, May 3, 1946
10. William W. Latimer, Correctional Officer
Killed at National Training School, September 11, 1960