I recently got to take a look at the prison-industrial complex through the eyes of the corrections officers while exploring a 19th century decommissioned prison that made me feel like I was on the set of The Shawshank Redemption. The cherry on top was that I was on assignment for new client Al Jazeera America, who is absolutely killing it with their coverage of under-reported stories. So glad to be on board with that crew.
I spent two days with COs from around the world and gained some interesting insights. I love prison movies and tv shows as much as the next person, but I never gave much thought to the guards. These are men and women who, for the duration of their work shift, are stuck in a confined space with literally the worst humanity has to offer. Who reads that job description and says “Sign me up!”? One CO admitted to me during a particularly philosophical discussion, that there’s a fine line between the guards and the inmates. He said he thought that defining difference is self-control.
An extended edit can now be found on my website here.