AMU Corrections In Public Safety Matters Law Enforcement Podcast Public Safety

Podcast: Working in a Prison During COVID

Podcast featuring Leischen Kranick, Managing Editor, Edge and
Jason Whiteheadalumnus, Intelligence Studies

What has it been like working in corrections during the COVID-19 pandemic? In this episode, hear from AMU alumnus Jason Whitehead, who has been a correctional officer for 15 years, about his experience working in a correctional facility. Learn how he manages stress, tips on maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and recommendations to effectively interact with inmates. Also learn why he earned a Master’s degree in Intelligence Studies and why he recommends anyone interested in a career in the criminal justice system pursue a degree other than criminal justice.

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Leischen Kranick: Welcome to the podcast. I’m your host Leischen Kranick. Today, we’re going to be talking about what it’s been like to be working in the correctional system during these challenging times. Today, my guest is Jason Whitehead. He’s served as a correctional officer since 2005. He’s also an alumni of American Military University, graduating with a Master’s degree in Intelligence Studies with a concentration in Criminal Intelligence. In addition, he’s an adjunct professor in criminal justice at Morrisville State College. Hi Jason, welcome to the podcast.

Jason Whitehead: Good morning.

Leischen Kranick: So I’m really excited to talk to you about your experience working in corrections. And it’s my understanding you’ve been in this field for about 15 years. I wanted to just start off by talking about what it’s been like this last year? You have been working during the COVID pandemic, and I’m just curious to hear what’s it been like for you this last year?

Jason Whitehead: This last year has been rough, I guess both personally and professionally. I guess we’ll start way back at the very beginning, back in March. Obviously, I guess really nobody knew what was going on. At the prison, it almost felt like the end of the world. It was almost apocalyptic. And we were just doing, I guess, the best we could with information coming along and trying to apply it and stay safe.

I understood in taking this job that we’re essential workers, regardless of the weather or pandemics. I’d already been through the swine flu. I had gotten that and that was awful. So this wasn’t anything new to any of us, but I guess the way it was going about it was. Probably for the first, I would say month, month and a half, just like basic stuff like face masks, we weren’t allowed to wear them because they were not part of our uniform. So you’re being advised to wear a face mask, but you’re told by your employer that you can’t, because it doesn’t comply with uniform standards.

My wife, she’s a nurse. She’s wearing face masks and goggles, and we weren’t allowed to do that at that time. It probably took six weeks for us to actually get face masks. We had a few outbreaks at a few different prisons because it was so new and we didn’t really know how to handle it, it just actually ran through the prison system like wildfire. Luckily, where I work, we didn’t get ours actually until the fall, this past December and January, is when we got our big rush, so to speak. And I think it was more staff that brought it in because we didn’t have visits at the time.

Leischen Kranick: So that’s pretty recent. So just a few months ago was when you actually saw a lot of COVID cases within your prison?

Jason Whitehead: Yeah, it was weird because I would have expected at the beginning just like anyone else. Visits were very different. We were down to a third of the visit room. So typically got 200, 300 people in there. Now we were down to like 40 or 50.

And there was no contact, no touching allowed. The small embrace and kiss at the beginning and the end weren’t allowed, obviously. And that was adhered to very strictly. Actually inmates got disciplinary actions against them if they violated that because there was a concern about it coming into the prison system.

Leischen Kranick: Were there restrictions for you as an officer in terms of how you were monitored or what kind of parameters you had to abide by?

Jason Whitehead: No. No. We were advised wear face masks, wash your hands, do this, do that. But as anyone can imagine, social distancing in a prison is not going to happen. It doesn’t work. So we did the best we could. Even with other staff, we did the best we could. There was no ability really to social distance.

We have screening questions. As we enter, they take our temperature, ask the questions that everybody gets asked, traveling out of the country, blah, blah, blah. But no, there was no real restrictions on us per se.

Leischen Kranick: So what were you hearing from prisoners? Were you hearing fear that they were afraid of getting this virus, that they wanted more protections? Or what was kind of the murmurings you were hearing among inmates?

Jason Whitehead: The guys had that had done time, it wasn’t a thing to them. Again, because if they’ve done any serious amount of time, they had already been through the swine flu. Believe it or not, the inmates were actually probably better off than we were. I guess if you really look at it, they were already isolated from society. So it was either going to be staff or the visitors bringing it in, because we had already stopped taking new inmates from county jails.

And some of them took it serious, most really didn’t. So I guess it really just depended on the inmate. The younger inmates and the low-level inmates were really hoping they were going to get released because of the pandemic.

I guess, going back to staff, this whole thing has started well over a year now and I have never been tested. They didn’t test staff regularly.

Leischen Kranick: You mentioned that your wife was a nurse, so she’s obviously working and probably highly susceptible in terms of being exposed to COVID. Can you just talk about some of your personal concerns there? Like were you worried about you possibly giving it to her and bringing it home essentially?

Jason Whitehead: Yeah. Okay. I was saying that I’ve never been tested. There was no mandatory testing for staff. So they would contact trace people, but you still didn’t really know because they didn’t tell us like who gave it to you because of HIPPA laws, or how you really got it. Other than the fact that you’ve had significant exposure, you’re going to go home for 14 days. But that would obviously shut the whole house down so she couldn’t go to work and vice versa. She actually works at a testing site. So one of the screenings is, have you been exposed? They had to end up putting a, I would say a disclaimer and asterix into it, that other than medical staff, have you ever been exposed?

And I guess if that makes sense because every day I was essentially exposed because of her occupation. She was actually in the tent, swabbing people. So she was very concerned because we’ve got three kids. Our youngest he’s got heart complications. We didn’t know what it was going to be like. We were basing things off of my swine flu that I got back in ’09 and that was just godawful. Again, not to over-dramaticize things, but death was an option at that point back in ’09. Like if Jesus came down and said, “I’m taking you now,” I was a 100% okay with it. I was that sick.

I think I ended up getting it back in January. I was on vacation already. And at that point in time, I’m just like, “Well, I lost my sense of taste, lost my smell. I’ll just quarantine in my room. I’ve already got the next 20 days off.” So I never confirmed whether I did it or not because there was no need for the test at that point, I guess, in my head.

Leischen Kranick: So Jason, I was hoping you could talk a little bit about staffing concerns during COVID. Did you see a major increase in officers who were sick and unable to work thus creating a staffing shortage?

Jason Whitehead: Our staff from the midnight shift, they would get stuck. Well, we would call it “stuck,” but it’s just mandatory overtime. Every second or third day they were being told they’re not going home and they’re staying and working days. So we call them suicide doubles. Trying to go from midnight to day shift is rough. From days to afternoons wasn’t so bad.

On average at our facility, you might get “stuck” twice a year because a lot of people sign up for overtime. A lot of people do doubles, swap shifts. It’s not really a big deal at our facility.

But even the day shift guys, myself included, we were getting stuck probably once a month. And that was nothing compared to the midnight guys. That is unusual for us. It was unprecedented for us, to be that short-staffed. We never got to the point where they were canceling vacations or we were going to do 12-hour shifts, though, that plan was in place, it still is in place if something were to happen. But at our facility, most of us ended up getting the vaccine and I think we’re in a good place now. So I don’t see that as an issue at this point.

Leischen Kranick: So it sounds like this last year, as I expected, was extremely stressful, more so for those like yourself working in corrections, I think it was a stressful year for everyone, but especially for essential workers. And you’ve written some really interesting articles and we’ve talked about stress management and just how to cope with working in a really stressful field. And I was wondering, taking into account what you just went through this year or last year and into this year, can you just talk about stress and what that is like? And what you do to mitigate that stress in your life and what you see other officers doing and just recommendations in general for correctional officers to cope with the amount of stress that they’re under?

Jason Whitehead: I guess myself personally, now that the weather’s breaking, I’ve been actually going outside with the kids more often, I still try not to let things bother me. Once I punch out, that’s it for the day. Newer staff, I try to instill into them the same aspect, but it’s still hard. You can’t forget what just happened in the last eight hours. You just have to figure out how to compartmentalize it and put it away.

Fortunately for us, the state did provide mental health services anonymously if you wanted to call. The union provided some, I guess, counselors you could speak to if you want it to just decompress. Other options were made available to us.

But I’ve seen some guys in the last year pull out weights from the basement that have been down there for 15, 20 years. And now some of these guys are in fantastic shape. Just something just to burn energy, get your mind away from things. I’ve seen guys take up new hobbies that haven’t been done in years.

I didn’t like go into the stores, so Amazon and the UPS guys became my best friend. And I ended up ordering straight razors and I started learning how to shave with a straight razor just because it was something new, a skill you can learn and it was just something different to learn, just take your mind off of things.

Leischen Kranick: I was a little scared when you mentioned the straight razor, but I’m glad to know it was about shaving.

Jason Whitehead: Straight razors were the only thing I can think of where I can shave and not have to go to the store to get replacement blades. I ended up ordering the stones, the strop and I just kept it up. And luckily, I’ve only nicked myself once. But for the last year I’ve never bought another replacement blade. So it’s just one of those things where I took, okay, let me take some risk out of my life, learn something new, and I guess maybe a better for the environment, I guess.

Leischen Kranick: Nice. So when we’re talking about generally stress management and finding outlets and ways to get stress off your shoulders, do you find that it’s a topic that other correctional officers are talking about or does it remain this stigmatized topic that everyone just is stoic about and pretends isn’t there?

Jason Whitehead: No, it’s still stigmatized. People don’t really talk to each other about it. People are afraid of looking weak, less masculine, I don’t know what term we really to use, to I guess there are other staff members because let’s be honest, it is a hyper-masculine field. You don’t want to be the weak one.

So how else do you go about it? You don’t talk to staff members about the issues that you’re having regardless of what those issues are. You try to leave your issues from home at home. But whatever you’ve got going on in your life from the prison that you take away from the prison, you just don’t talk about it. It’s, I don’t want to say an unwritten rule, but you just don’t talk about it.

You really, I don’t want to say you’re on your own, but you are unless you’ve got one or two staff members. The thing I try to keep to myself is friends that are not in corrections. I’ve got great guys I work with, probably, and this is going to sound awful, maybe a dozen that I would really hang out with outside of prison because I don’t want to talk about prison when I’m not at prison. I’m not getting paid to talk about it. So I’m not going to talk about it.

Leischen Kranick: Well, and that’s probably part of your effort to compartmentalize too. It’s like when you’re at work, you’re at work. When you’re at home, you’re at home, and just making sure that you’re separating those two in your mind, I would guess?

Jason Whitehead: A lot of people have, I guess, what you see on TV, “Orange Is the New Black” or “Oz” or whatever show is in your head. And it’s not like that. When people ask or I tried to explain my day like, “How was your day?” I can’t really say, “Well, I saw the spoon go through somebody’s face,” Or you’ve cut down an inmate that was hanging, or you went through human feces looking for drugs. People don’t understand that. It’s hard to tell people that.

So to try to tell all your friends, “Oh yeah, you watched a guy get stabbed with pencils today,” it’s hard. And a lot of them look at you and we find it, I guess, we find it funny. And I don’t think that’s a natural human reaction to find that funny. When you see one of your coworkers, and I chuckle, gagging as they’re going through excrement looking for drugs or whatever out of an inmate, you will laugh at that and that’s not normal.

So it’s hard to talk to your friends to destress with that. Even my wife, she’ll ask “How was your day?” “Ah was great, fantastic” though I may have had stuff go on and she’ll let me vent, but I don’t think she really still understands it. We’ve been together 20 years and really I don’t tell her much. Like I said, she’ll let me vent, but it probably goes in one ear and out the other. It’s just hard to relate to people that are not in corrections.

Leischen Kranick: And I like how you said earlier at the same time how important it is to have people outside of corrections to bring that normalcy almost back into your life and allow you to step away from the field.

And you’ve written some really great articles, which I’ll link to on our website. And I think one of my favorites from you was one where you talked very candidly about what it was like for you to first start in corrections and what surprised you. For our listeners who are considering a career in corrections, what kind of advice do you have for them? How do you prepare them for this field?

Jason Whitehead: I guess my advice, what I tell my students is, like the things I say, that’s only a very small percentage of times that that happens. So probably 95% of your day, you’re bored out of your mind. There’s not much going on. Things are regimented purposely. Things are on time, purposely. That 5% of the time is when you really make your money.

So the stories, like that wasn’t everything in an eight-hour shift. That’d be the worst day ever. But when I first got in, I am first-generation corrections, I had not a clue of what I was getting into. The academy was, the academy, it’s fun, getting sprayed in the face and CS gas and pushups and marching. That’s just what it is.

But when you actually go to your first prison, there’s nothing in the world that can, I guess, prepare you for that. So I rolled up to a maximum security prison and I looked at a 40-foot wall with posts and guys with guns. I had never seen a gun until I got into the academy. So I didn’t know what to expect.

And I was thinking, “Oh really what am I doing with my life?” The benefits are great. Retirement’s fantastic. Health insurance is awesome. But what am I doing to get it? And I accepted it, without realizing everything.

Now, I guess, would I change things? No, no. It’s been a good career. I can’t complain about it a whole lot. But whatever you think it is, it’s not. Get that out of your head. And when you get there, take it day-by-day because there’s nothing else in the world that’s going to prepare you for this. And if you think you’re going to go there and be a cop, like a cop on the street, that’s not going to happen. So just don’t think that way.

I guess another bit of advice which I spoke of before is, back to your stress, I guess, don’t bring it home to your loved ones. There were some, I guess, behaviors instilled into me, which I have let go of now. My wife had noticed I’d always walk on the right side of the house because in the academy you walked on the right side of the hallway. Weird things like that, which I say weird, but if you were any military or paramilitary, you’re just ingrained with certain things.

After working at this prison for a while, she had noticed I’d become a complete jerk. And she told me. And it was just one of those things where you need to change or this is done. So I wasn’t willing to let that happen. So I ended up having to learn how to let things go. That is what I would stress to everybody coming in, is you don’t know what to expect. Don’t think you know what to expect. And when you get it, you got to let it go.

Leischen Kranick: And just to be open-minded, I like that approach that even though you are being trained and prepared maybe through the academy in some ways that you just really don’t know what you’ll face.

Jason Whitehead: The academy is more of a CYA to, I guess, liability. Yeah, they do teach you how to shoot a firearm. They actually teach you how to do the paperwork. But that doesn’t mean anything until you get to a prison. There’s no inmates in the academy that you have to deal with.

My first two, three weeks, I can’t quite remember now, I tailed an officer on each shift. So days, afternoons, midnights, I was with somebody. My first day on my own, I’ve got shiny boots, creases in my uniform. I’m 22 years old. The inmates know it. And my first half hour, some guy tells me he’s going to kill me. That’s not normal. So what do you do?

Leischen Kranick: Yeah, and I’m curious just to hear what do you do? What have your strategies in terms of, I don’t want to say relationship building with inmates, but just learning how to communicate with them. Has that evolved throughout your career how you approach interacting with inmates?

Jason Whitehead: Absolutely. I guess at the very beginning, you tried to be the tough guy. You’re very standoffish. I would say rude, unnecessarily. Yeah, as you get further into it, you learn how to deal with it. Just because someone calls you fat, what do you care? You know what I mean? What do you care? How does that affect you? Is it disrespectful? Yeah, you can write the guy up, or you can say, “Yeah, guess what? You’re going to clean the bathrooms tonight.” So little things like that, it’s hard to explain.

But the more time you get in, I don’t want to say the more respect you get from the inmates, because there is some of that and it’s very reciprocated. They can definitely tell who’s new, aside from the uniform, who’s new and who’s not. Who’s more respected and who isn’t, who they can go to with issues and who they can’t go to with issues.

Little things that we, I guess, take for granted like soap or shampoo or M&Ms or whatever, they don’t get regularly. And what they do get typically is knockoff brands or whatever.

So if a guy’s having a rough day and he’s asking, is there any way I can get deodorant? I’m not going to do anything unethical by stealing from another inmate or whatever, but I can make call to the commissary and see if he can go to commissary and buy deodorant.

Or if he wants to talk to you or he had a death in the family, is it going to kill you to call clergy and explain, “You’ve got an inmate who says he’s got a death in the family. Can he come see you?” As opposed to him writing a note, taking a day or two, you know what I mean? Because everybody has issues in their life, but we take, I guess for granted. The little things that you and I would think are little are not little to them.

Leischen Kranick: And we’re back. Today, I’m talking with Jason Whitehead about working in the correctional field. So Jason, one thing I wanted to bring up and I noted it in my intro was that you’re a graduate of American Military University, and you earned a degree in Intelligence Studies with a concentration in Criminal Intelligence. I’m curious, why did you decide to pursue Intelligence Studies instead of say Criminal Justice?

Jason Whitehead: So I advise criminal justice students if you really want to get into criminal justice, don’t get a criminal justice degree. And I say that because of this. You’re going to learn what the agency wants in the academy. So if you know you want to be State Police, go get an accounting degree and learn like forensic accounting. Learn how to speak Spanish or Arabic. Get a degree in cultural studies.

Because when you go through the academy, they’re going to teach you penal law. They’re going to teach a correctional law. They’re going to teach you how to write reports. So you knowing it prior to getting there doesn’t give you an advantage because you still got to go to the academy. Does it help maybe in promotions? Yeah, it might, but also a forensic accounting degree would do the same thing. And it’s a skill, aside from law enforcement, you can do your own taxes. You can do taxes for your friends and loved ones and whatever.

So I got my two-year and my four-year from criminal justice degrees. And one of my professors when I was leaving Morrisville said, “Well, when you decided to go for your Master’s, do it in something else, don’t get a criminal justice Master’s degree.” And I asked why, and he explained to me those very things. So I’ve always liked, I guess, gang intelligence. And that’s the reason why I went into intelligence studies, criminal intelligence, is to learn that.

I liked learning how CIA operated back in the 80s during the Cold War. It was more, I guess, for my own benefit because academia is always, I guess, been an outlet for me. And that was, I guess, my stress relief just to fill my mind with other things other than the daily grind.

Leischen Kranick: I was just going to say I think that’s really sound advice to give people who are interested in going into criminal justice, in general, whether they’re pursuing corrections or law enforcement or whatnot is to really focus on something that’s not criminal justice. And I personally think the intelligence studies focus is fascinating like you said because you really are learning almost a different skillset and different mentality, but it can really relate to what you’re doing.

Can you talk a little bit about maybe how you’ve applied some of those skills and some of what you learned in your intelligence studies degree to what you actually do in the correctional facility? It’s my understanding that corrections is almost overlooked as part of the criminal justice system in terms of investigations. A lot of, like you said, gang activity happens in prisons. There’s a lot of information in there that could really aid in criminal justice investigations. So can you just talk a little bit about how you’ve applied that in your job?

Jason Whitehead: Yeah, I guess to give a little history. The first World Trade Center back in ’94, the attacks then, were actually planned inside the New York State Correctional facility. So we obviously didn’t have any ability at the time, I guess, really to stop it because there’s no benefit to my degree. I don’t get paid more. It does really nothing other than help the agency. It benefits me personally, but there’s no incentive to do it. I did it on my own.

But with that said, you try to find bits of information that can lead to things on the outside. And as you said, we are overlooked. I guess, to drive home, one thing I never really thought of until I studied this is that you don’t want to be, I guess, the cop or the CO or whatever to clear the way for someone else. And when I say that, we’ll just gang A, they give you information really on gang B. You take gang B out of the situation. Now, you’ve cleared the way for gang A to run their game.

So you have to look at information vet the information and realize what is the ultimate goal of this guy giving you the information? Is he doing it, I guess, out of the kindness of his heart, or is he doing it because he wants to make money?

So one of the first questions you should ask someone when they’re giving you, I guess, a snitch note, a CI, whatever you want to call them is, what is the motivation for this? And then you’d have to really decide for yourself whether he’s being truthful on that. So I guess your day-to-day activity reflects this as well.

I worked in the law library and one of my tasks was, I have to notarize paperwork for inmates. And that’s no big deal. That didn’t bother me one bit. But one of the things to notarize in something, and I think we’ve all had something notarized is that you ask them, is this true to the best of your knowledge? What am I notarizing and is it honest? And that actually was something, I don’t want to say difficult to grasp at, but what came into my head is, I’m taking the word of someone who’s been convicted.

And I ended up actually reaching out back to an ethics professor and relaying, I guess my concern is, how can I trust this guy, who’s saying that what’s on this piece of paper is honest? And he even goes, “Well, even liars can be honest.” So because this guy gives you this information, doesn’t mean he’s lying. You just have to look at the motivation behind it.

Leischen Kranick: I think that’s really interesting. It’s taking it to another level where you’re applying those critical thinking skills that hopefully you’ve learned through your degree and through a lot of your studies that it’s not just taking information at face value. It’s looking for other information that could apply or really investigating, like you said, the motivations behind those actions.

So, I think that’s an interesting approach to working in corrections too. I don’t know if it gives you any added satisfaction to almost have like an investigative approach to your day-to-day that it’s not just, okay, I checked the box and I do my duties or whatever. It’s like what more is there to this situation than what you’re seeing at face value essentially.

Jason Whitehead: Yeah, because you might just stumble upon something. And as silly as this sounds, I was working at a max prison. I guess just haphazardly, I guess, forgive the expression “breaking balls” with an inmate. I go, “Hey, you got any drugs on you?” And he goes, “Actually yeah, I do.” And he hands me black tar heroin. So you just might happen to stumble upon something without realizing it. With that said, he was actually just a mule for another gang. He wanted to be caught. So he was 100% okay with giving me black tar heroin. Now, how the hell do you get black tar heroin into a prison? That led into other things.

Leischen Kranick: Yeah, and I’m sure there’s a lot of that going on. And I think it also applies when we were talking earlier about applying emotional intelligence and relationship building with inmates. Like you can tell if an inmate that you know is acting differently or doing something different than they normally do, or talking to people that they don’t normally talk to. Just what’s going on that is being covert or whatnot?

Jason Whitehead: Right. I guess the benefit to us, I guess in state prison, as opposed to county prison is, you deal with them for a very long time. County, you’re 365 or less. You get to state prison you’re dealing with guys for years. And depending on what they did, like you might legitimately be doing a career with them because they’re doing 20-something to life and you actually just may develop the relationship whether you want it or not of being with a certain inmate for 10, 15 years. And all of a sudden, you notice little habits that changed in this person, and you might just approach them and say, “Hey, what’s going on?” You know what I mean? It’s just, I guess the benefit to us is, we do have time to develop relationships with inmates.

Leischen Kranick: Right. For better or worse. Right? So we’re coming to the top of our hour here, but I wanted to just ask you about a current event and get your take on this briefly. So I’m sure you know that President Biden signed an executive order that essentially terminates federal private prison contracts. And could you just talk about the issue with private prisons in the nation’s correctional system?

Jason Whitehead: Yeah, I’m not a big fan, I’ll put it politely, of private prisons. I think it’s actually really good that he stopped that. New York State, we don’t invest in the private prisons anymore. The comptroller stopped any investments with private prisons.

I guess ultimately, if you put the two side-by-side, I’m a peace officer of the State of New York. Typically, a private prison, and no disrespect to private security, but they’re, I guess, I kind of equate them to mall cops. They don’t have any real jurisdictional authority. So God forbid, if a guy gets out, they don’t typically have the ability to go chase them, whereas we do.

But I guess the larger actually to that with me is, prisons, let’s be honest, they’re a necessary evil. A private prison where you need people and that makes people a commodity. Without people or crime or politicians that make laws that put people in prison for crime, they wouldn’t be there.

So you might have, I guess, politician A and the lobbyists from private prison who make laws that help fill that prison up that are, I guess, unjust to certain people, I guess. And it was put politely. And the budgets for them, if you start to run out of money, you might not necessarily cut from staff, but you can cut from programs. You don’t want to certainly cut from security first, if that makes sense.

When I try to explain this to students, and I’ve never worked at a private prison, so I don’t know per se, but it costs money to keep lights on. And if you’re running a tight budget, you might not run recreation at night where you have to have the lights on. So you might not run rec and pay the bill to keep the lights on. So you’re taken from the inmates.

And I guess any little curve ball or anything that adds tension to their life, adds tension to my life. Whereas I guess state-backed is, we’re running programs regardless. We’re running rec regardless of money. I don’t want to say money’s unlimited, but we’re going to run them.

I also explain, especially since people are a commodity, these corporations get paid by how many inmates that they have. Could you imagine police being paid by how many people they arrest and convict?

Leischen Kranick: Yeah, I think that’s really interesting and important distinction. And people in the public probably have no idea that there are privately run prisons. Hopefully, they do because it’s been in the news more, but like you said, they’re financially incentivized to put people in prison and that’s, to me, exactly counter to what we’re trying to do when we talk about rehabilitation and preparing people to reenter society. It’s the opposite incentive in private prisons is how I understand it.

Well, thanks for that information, Jason. I think it’ll be really interesting to see how this pans out now that this executive order is in place and essentially private prisons will be either ended or changed in some way. So as we reached the end here of our time together, I just wanted to ask if there were any other thoughts that you had, anything else that you wanted to tell our listeners?

Jason Whitehead: I think we kind of hit everything. But I’m trying not to scare people away from corrections. It really is a good job. And even if you wanted to use it as a stepping stone to get into police or some other form within corrections because we do have our own investigative units, don’t be afraid. Just don’t come in with any preconceived notions of what you think it is or what do you think you’re going to change or anything because, I guess really, it’s not going to be what you think it is, but it is rather fulfilling rewarding if you go into it, I guess trying to be genuine.

Leischen Kranick: And I think that’s some really great advice. So Jason, I just want to thank you so much for joining me today and sharing your expertise and talking about some of these really important issues that a lot of people don’t have insight into. So thank you for your time here. I really appreciate it.

Jason Whitehead: Thank you.

Leischen Kranick: And thank you to our listeners for joining us as well. Be well and stay safe.

Leischen Kranick is a Managing Editor at AMU Edge. She has 15 years of experience writing articles and producing podcasts on topics relevant to law enforcement, fire services, emergency management, private security, and national security.

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