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The Prison Officer Podcast
32 minutes | Sep 16, 2021
Episode 18 - Correctional Leadership - Leading Change & Crisis
In this episode I talk about Correctional Leadership. The skills I have learned through my career when I had to deal with crisis and change. Two of the most difficult events that leaders face. I also discuss the difference between Tactical Leadership and Strategic Leadership and the expectations staff have of both types of leaders.
48 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
Episode 17 - Being the Chief of Custody - An Interview with Captain Dennis Treadway (Ret.)
In this episode, I sit down with Dennis Treadway, a retired Captain with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Dennis walks us through his career and the tips and leadership lessons he learned along the way.Dennis served as a Captain at USP Leavenworth twice , activating Captain at AUSP Thomson and as the Chief of Custody for a private prison in Leavenworth. He has a varied knowledge of what it takes to be highest ranking Custody officer in a prisons and the struggles that come along with it.
23 minutes | Feb 28, 2021
Episode 16 - 2020 Podcast Review and Correctional Challenges in 2021
The hosting platform for the Prison Officer Podcast is Buzzsprout. First, let me tell you, I love Buzzsprout, they have helped me every step of the way in building and bringing this podcast to you. One of the nice things Buzzsprout was send me my compiled 2020 statistics for the Prison Officer Podcast, I would like to share them with you.From the lasting effects of COVID-19 to private prisons and recruitment I will review some of the biggest challenges facing Corrections in 2021.
8 minutes | Dec 25, 2020
Episode 15 - Merry Christmas Memories from Behind the Fence
It's early Christmas morning here at our house and I just wanted to take a minute and say Merry Christmas. Whether you are lucky enough to have the day off and get to spend it with your family, or if you are working a shift (or two) in one of the prisons, jails, or correctional centers around the world. I just wanted to remind you that what you do is appreciated.I spent many Christmas’s and other holidays working inside, and despite everything, I do have some good memories of those times. Maybe the inmates would try a little harder, or maybe the staff was in a better mood, or maybe everybody was just a little distracted by the decorations, or change in schedules for the holidays. Whatever the reason, holidays tended to be a pretty good day to work in a prison…as good days go anyway.
13 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
Episode 14 - Retirement
Retirement Day. For most of us, this is a once in a lifetime event. The one day most of us inside spend our shifts dreaming about. When we don’t have to walk past those grills. When we don’t have to spend 8 hours trying not to notice the smell of urine. Maybe we can even let our guard down just a little with those around us and enjoy a little less stress in our lives.Well, October 24 was that day. I am now a retiree from the Federal Bureau of Prisons. After 21 years with the BOP and 8 years with the State of Missouri I walked out the front door for the last time. I could have still gone a few more years, but as I have heard many retiree say before, “you know when it is time.”
54 minutes | Oct 22, 2020
Episode 13 - 100 Year Old Prison Officer - Interview with Robert "Bob" Burks
I saw a Facebook post the other day from the Missouri Patriot Guard and the VFW who were honoring a local veteran with a motorcycle ”drive by” to celebrate the milestone of him turning 100 years old on September 9 of this year. Robert “Bob” Burks, served in the US Navy during World War II from 1942 – 1945. He was in college at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack and enlisted for service shortly thereafter. He served as a Pharmacist Mate in the Pacific Theater and was interestingly “loaned” to the United States Marine Corps on the island of Samoa to function as a medic helping treat soldiers involved in the brutal campaign to recover the South Pacific islands taken by the Japanese early in the war. Bob was able to return 25 years ago to be reunited with the people of Samoa and be honored accordingly. You know, I love our veterans and it was great to read Bob‘s story about his heroic service in the Pacific. As I continued to read, at the bottom of the post, almost as an afterthought was written “After his military service, his work included 31 years as a guard at the Federal Medical Facility in Springfield.” I myself worked at the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, MO for 14 years. Thirty-one years as a guard at USMCFP Springfield is an absolutely amazing feat all by itself. I reached out to the organizers to make contact with Mr. Burks and I am extremely happy to tell you that in today’s episode we are going to talk with Mr. Burks and hear about his amazing life and his time as a prison officer.
13 minutes | Oct 11, 2020
Episode 12 - Shift Work
One in five Americans works nontraditional hours, including the many staff working the off shifts in our prisons. Someone has to be there. Although many say they enjoy these off-shifts, it affects them. It affects their families. It affects their mental and physical health. I have worked in Corrections for more than 28 years. Twenty-two of those years included shift work. One of the things I found the most challenging over the years is working midnight shifts. I am okay with evening shift (although my it kills your family time), but midnight shifts kicked my ass.
26 minutes | Aug 31, 2020
Episode 11 - Working a Restrictive Housing Unit
In this episode, I am going to cover what I believe are the basics of working Restrictive Housing. Restrictive Housing is the newest catch-phrase that refers to “lock-down.” Some places call it Segregation, the Hole, or the SHU (Special Housing Unit). Whatever it is called where you work, it is the lock-down housing unit for those inmates who either refuse to follow the rules of the open yard, or those inmates who have “checked-in” from fear or the debts they have accumulated. Many of these basics are also relevant to mental health and high security units.So what does it take to work Segregation?Leave a comment on Facebook and let us know what you think are the basics of working Seg.If you enjoy the Prison Officer Podcast, remember to share these episodes with your friends, family and co-workers.Visit www.theprisonofficer.com
9 minutes | Aug 4, 2020
Episode 10 - Staying Strong in Today's Toxic Stress
The last few months have changed the way all of us see the world around us. The COVID-19 Pandemic, the quarantine, the masks, the death of George Floyd, the anti-police backlash that followed, the riots, the looting, it’s a lot of stress on everyone. So, this episode I want to talk about this unprecedented level of toxic stress we are all living in. How we can be resilient and take care of each other as we make it through these challenges.
17 minutes | Jul 20, 2020
Episode 9 - Inquiring Minds Want to Know
In this episode, I am going to answer several of the questions this podcast has generated since it started. In just less than 3 months, this podcast has grown to over 1300 downloads, and hundreds of Facebook likes. But, it has also generated a lot of questions such as:What made you want to start a podcast about prison? What positive things did you do outside of prison to stay healthy?Are you going to have a show dedicated to the women who work in Corrections?Are you going to interview inmates on this show? People are curious about where this is podcast headed and why I started it, so let's see if I can find an answer for some of theses inquiring minds.
29 minutes | Jun 25, 2020
Episode 8 - Growing Up with a Correctional Officer - Interview with Dr. Jaclyn Brandhorst
In this episode, I have invited Dr. Jaclyn Brandhorst as a guest. She has been researching stress, employee assistance programs, and PTSD in a correctional setting. She has been impacted herself by correctional stress, because she grew up with it. I know, because she is my daughter.After you listen to this episode, if you would like to contact Jaclyn, and share your stories and help Jaclyn with her research, feel free to reach out to email@example.com
16 minutes | Jun 12, 2020
Episode 7 - The Golden Rules of Being a Rookie
In this episode, I want to talk to the rookies and the soon to be rookies out there. You applied for the job, you’ve been through the academy, and now you are working a housing unit as a Correctional Officer. You look around and see a lot of other officers who seem comfortable in what they do, but how do you become a good Correctional Officer? Start by being a good rookie. I’m going to share what I feel are the four golden rules that will take you from being a rookie, to being a solid correctional officer
12 minutes | May 21, 2020
Episode 6 - Staff Manipulation
In this episode, I want to talk about a taboo subject in Corrections. Something that happens to everyone who works in Corrections in one form or another, yet it is rarely admitted or discussed openly. Manipulation. Staff manipulation comes in two forms, one is when inmates “get over” on the rules. The other is when a staff member is corrupted by inmates to do the unthinkable.In this podcast we talk about why inmates manipulate us, how they manipulate us and how to stop them
8 minutes | May 9, 2020
Episode 5 - Correctional Leadership - Mistakes
One of the things I have learned working in prison is just how much leadership matters. Whether it is the way you lead your team, your housing unit or just an inmate work detail. Leadership matters. What I was thinking about this week is how we as leaders handle our mistakes. This is the first of many episodes where I will focus on Correctional Leadership.
24 minutes | Apr 28, 2020
Episode 4 - Family Stress and Correctional Work - Interview with Kathryn Cantrell
This episode I sit down and talk with a very special person who knows a lot about living with a Correctional Officer and the stress they bring home. My wife of more than 28 years, Kathryn. Kathryn and I will talk about how corrections changed our social life, our children's life and our marriage.
7 minutes | Apr 9, 2020
Episode 3 - Mental and Physical Preparedness
An article came out this week on ESPN about UFC fighter Anthony Smith. A UFC heavyweight, he is probably one of the most in shape people you could meet. That’s why his comments about fighting an intruder in his house are enlightening. Smith described the fight as “terrifying” and “one of the toughest fights he has ever had.” I will argue that it was not one of the toughest fights he has ever had, it was one of the toughest fight he was not mentally prepared for. He has been in many fights. What he had never experienced was “being attacked” by another human being.
22 minutes | Apr 1, 2020
Episode 2 - How I became a Prison Officer
My personal journey in Corrections, and how it rewarded me, and changed me. From the ancient walls of Missouri State Penitentiary to the craziness of working a mental health ward at the Federal Medical Center at Springfield, MO.
7 minutes | Mar 30, 2020
Episode 1 - Introduction
A quick introduction about what to expect from the Prison Officer Podcast and a look into how I started in Corrections...almost by accident.
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