Prison is a horrifying place. It is brimming with society's worse. And the people who work and patrol those prisons are living in fear on the daily. Now not everyone is pure evil but plenty are, and those who keep us safe from these people lay their loves down, probably with not enough pay. Imagine spending day in and day out with murderers and lunatics? No thanks.
Redditor u/codywinters327 wanted the security workers of prisons and jails to disclose... Correction officers of Reddit, have you ever met an inmate that was actually a very nice person but did absolutely horrifying crimes? If so what's there story?
Now evil is too much...
Former CO here. I had two guys in my unit that strangled their newborns when they wouldn't stop crying. One of them was drinking and trying to watch a hockey game. His daughter wouldn't stop crying, he got annoyed, walked over and just choked her until she stopped. The other guy's story was somewhat similar, but I cant remember the details. They were both porters in that housing unit.
They were doing a lot of time, can't remember exactly how much they were given. One guy was already at year 16. Probably two of the nicest guys I met while on the job. They didn't come off as crazy degenerates and seemed like genuinely nice guys. I used to stand in the day room and have some interesting convos with them and their little crew they called the "trailer trash circle" or something to that effect. elvalko
Where did life go wrong?
I tutored in juvie. One of the boys had murdered 3 people for a gang initiation and when asked, had absolutely no remorse for it. He was a very nice, polite, and intelligent kid though who would draw me little pictures and always tried extra hard on his creative writing assignments. Had a very good sense of humor too and often made everyone in the room laugh and smile. I honestly had trouble reminding myself that he was a cold blooded murderer. Gimmemyspoon
My dad worked as a doctor in a prison for a short time, came back with lots of stories of the inmates. He said he talked to one guy who was always friendly and chill, found out the guy had a life sentence and asked the guy why he was in prison. The guy said he had a bad lawyer. My dad looked up his information later on and it turned out he had murdered his own daughter. So yea, never judge a book by its cover. jasta85
Such a delight?
Not a CO but worked in a psych ward, in this case the guy went to prison and was eventually stepped down to our psych ward. He had stabbed his dad multiple times and killed him. He was with us for around a year so I saw him 5-6 times a week, anywhere from 8-14 hours each shift. He was so kind and polite. You would never think he had done anything remotely shocking. When his relationship with his dad would come up he would talk so calmly and normally, no real hatred or anger... yet he murdered him. If there were ever fights on the ward he would look out for staff and other patients. I won't lie, he was a delight. MsVanjee
Love & Marriage?
RN here, I've taken care of a fair amount of detained prisoners that have been admitted to the hospital. I usually ask them what got em locked up cause I'm nosy.
I had one super pleasant middle aged guy tell me his story. Apparently he and his wife were going through or had gone through an ugly split. They were already separated when someone broke into his house with a weapon intending to hurt him. He wound up killing the guy in self defense (I assume he had a gun or something), but not before he found out his wife had arranged it.... she hired a hit man to come kill him. But, instead of going to the police after, he went to his wife's place and killed her outright.
Super friendly guy though. No idea how much of that was true but that's definitely the craziest story I've heard from an inmate. AwfulK
Two stories in one, I worked as a CO for a private prison in TN before I moved with my fiancé to VA, one of our units had a guy who was always generally nice and respectful, he was the stand up comic of the group in that unit. He would speak with any new young guys that came in, led the prayer group for guys on Sundays in the dayroom etc etc. My last day in the state before I moved, his name was on the news, turns out he was in jail for vehicular manslaugter while driving under the influence of meth, needless to say I was quite shocked by the crime because he didn't seem to be that guy.
The other story comes from when I was a student in community college, I got the chance to do interviews on death row in TN, most death row inmates were the most respectful and honest men I've ever met. We wouldn't speak about their cases due to legal reasons that could cause problems with their appeals but we would ask a questions about their lives and families. One of the guys was a phenomenal artist, you could give him a picture of something and he would draw it out with pencils, it would look exactly like the picture you had given him. People still look at me in shock when I tell them that death row was the most calm and chilled time I've ever spent in a corrections environment, I even felt the safest working with these gentlemen in their unit because they policed their own behavior. TimberWolf1942
It's a cast of characters...
Former CO, current Probation/Parole Officer who still works overtime as a CO. At the end of the day, all the inmates and offenders I've dealt with are still people. I've seen a group of hardcore gangbangers crack up laughing at another guy farting. I've listened to a convicted murderer have very passionate opinions about television and George R.R. Martin books. I've only met one or two inmates who were the kind of shark-eyed sociopath that movies make it seem like prisons are full of. Inmates are tough and ruthless, but an overwhelming majority just want to do their time. The_GreenKnight
Need a tissue?
Ex CO here. Had a man who shot and killed one state trooper and shot another in the groin. He sat as a sniper in the woods and shot the troopers through the windows of the barracks. It was premeditated and he nearly got away with it. He was on FBI most wanted list for a good 2 months. The Marshall's caught him as he was getting ready to take off on a hangglider. Anyway, he was the most mild mannered inmate I had met.
Always reading, never turned down his hour for REC, always finished his plate, etc. Anyway I was doing an escort with another officer to take him to visitation. He was to wear double locked shackles and cuffs when not in his cell, even in the showers. I was holding his arm and assisting him so he wouldnt trip and I felt his bicep flex and he just stopped walking and looked at me. I realized at that moment that he could overpower me without much effort, shackles or not. Turns out he just had to sneeze... My point is that whether someone is mild mannered or more primitive has no effect on human capabilities. Cold blooded killer. For a more accurate picture I am a 5'8 125 pound female. jcal4106
Corrections nurse here. Never interacted with this inmate, I just see him out on the yard as I come in to work. He collects bread crusts and I always see him feeding the birds, and the birds trust him and fly straight to his hand to eat. He looks like a nice enough guy from a distance, and birds only land on the hands of Disney princesses, right? Well one day I caught him in a moment: A particularly fat pigeon landed on his hand and bent down to eat. He closed his fist on the pigeon's head and flicked his wrist to snap its neck. Its body was still flailing as he calmly put it into his pocket and then put out his hand again to feed more birds. I was told he was going to cook and eat it, which made me feel a little better, but still.
And that's what comes to my mind every time an inmate is nice to me. youshouldwanttoknow
Saw them on Dateline!
Not a CO, but I did work in a prison. Lots of inmates were seemingly decent people. One guy in particular was a hitman. He and his story were well-known at the time. When I met him, I had no idea who he was and wondered what he could have done to land in prison. When I found out who he was, I read one of the books about him. That guy was pretty brutal.
Mr. Jones & Me...
I used to be a CO at both the state and federal level. There's a lot of experiences, but one that stuck out to me was when I was a new employee working at the state prison (medium security). There was this guy- an older gentleman, who was very clean and kept his cell spotless. He was polite and never said anything vulgar to me (I'm female, so I've heard it all). One day I was looking over his paperwork, and in the "time to serve" column, it had 999999999- which meant that he had a life sentence (but was eligible for parole). I was curious so I asked my co-worker what the man was in for. My co-worker looked at me and said, "Oh, Mr. Jones? He's in here for a crime of passion. He came home from work and found his wife was in bed with another man, so he killed the guy." thisisnotacat
Obligatory "not a correction officer," but I had a similar job. One of the nicest, most polite, likable inmates that I worked with was serving time for assaulting an off-duty police officer. The officer was in the hospital for months and had/has serious brain damage to where he will never recover and live his normal life again.
If I didn't know the back story and just met this inmate on the street, I would've thought he'd be someone I'd be friends with. He was kind, calm, and funny and liked by all the staff and never would've been pegged as someone who would commit such a crime. However, shockingly enough, he was never sorry about his actions or said he regretted what happened or anything. Maybe his likable personality was just a ruse, but it worked. EightyHM
I Hate Drano!
I was on the other side of the bars, but I'll say this ... most inmates are genuinely really nice people.
When I was in jail, I met a great guy. He poured liquid drano on his neighbors but when he wasn't a complete psychopath? He volunteered at a soup kitchen and played piano at the community centre. Super friendly, charming, funny, good cook. The guy was a model citizen, except of course for the trying to kill people with house cleaners thing. niagaraphotos
No knives please....
Spent a few years as a C.O., the interesting thing is that the more violent a crime was, the more polite the accused seemed to be. Had a guy who stabbed his GF over 20 times and he was ridiculously polite and kind to the staff. The real pains in the butt types were the inmates that were there for some petty stuff. ziggyzoo
My best friend was a Corrections officer, he is now in investigation, but he had a guy in his block who was convicted of murdering a college girl who lived in his apartment complex. He said the guy seemed like a nice guy and didn't seem too weird until you were around him a lot. Once around him he realized this dude was a complete piece of work (Psychopath and/or Sociopath). He would be nice to officers and it would work up to being creepy nice. If ignored for to long he would even hint at telling him and other officers where the girls head is located. Yes, he dismembered the girl and so far they have only found half of her body parts. It's been well over 5+ years. berrien88
Work in a local jail and had a 70+ year old man in a segregated unit (based on crime, medical status, and other factors). Talked with him on numerous occasions and is/was a very respectful man to everyone. He was very well known and liked in the local community, was a local barber for years. Well the crime in question turned out to be first degree murder. Apparently he found out his wife was cheating on him and spending his money on drugs and other things and keeping it for herself with the plan of leaving him penniless for someone else. Dude caught wind of it and followed her out to a gas station and put one in her head point blank. Showed no remorse and openly admitted to doing it to anyone who asked. Was a really nice guy though.... oif2010vet
Never a dull moment.
Worked as a CO. Two guys stand out. One was a very affable Russian guy who was always cracking jokes and all smiles all day. First or second week into the job I had to oversee him doing laundry for one-on-one for a few minutes. We were on good terms and cracking some jokes back and forth. He gets serious all of a sudden and asks, very politely, if I would be willing to do him a favor and bring in cigarettes for him. Even as a young dumb guard I realized immediately that he had been manipulating the shit out of me. Turned him down, and sure enough he cold shouldered me from then on. Looked him up and he stabbed his wife 19 times and killed her. Absolute sociopath.
Another guy was #2 in the Aryan Brotherhood in my unit, stars on his shoulders and everything. He was absolutely comical. Would frequently be playing practical joked on the guards, mooning us on tier checks. One of the guards was a half-black guy with blue eyes who our Aryan friend frequently would grant honorary membership into the AB due to his blue eyes and compliment him on being "caramel macchiato." Just a riot. His story is that he was in for something, and while in prison got initiated into the AB. Got assigned a hit on another inmate and followed through by doing his best to cut off a guy's head in the prison yard. Great dude though. Always loved working his unit. Never a dull moment. NeonRedHerring
Former Prison Counselor here. - I had met a guy (same age as me ~24) who got into a terrible accident involving a drunk driver and, to make a long story short, got addicted to heroin.
He seemed like a nice guy. Small-town, good family, his parents owned a local restaurant, but when the pain-relief medical script ran out, he pursued other means to get his relief.
So how'd he get caught? Well, this was his third or fourth conviction. I don't remember his exact criminal history but it was something along the lines of, assault and battery, selling prostitutes, false imprisonment, grand larceny, and other charges.
It totally shook me because this was a guy, who on his personality alone, seemed like he would've been the type of guy I'd be friends with had it not been a prison setting. RealGrills
Just say NO to drugs...
Former CO, had a kid who killed his dad in a Xanax fueled drug haze. Kind wanted money to go to Colorado for his 21st birthday, dad wouldn't give it to him so he stole it. Dad finds out and confronts the kid, poop hits the fan and he shoots his dad, steals his dads fan and bolts. Takes another 5k out of the bank and is picked up a week later in Sterling Colorado.
Got to know him in his pre trial detention/sentencing. I was was only 5-6 years older than him and kept thinking to myself, if I knew this kid in college we would have had similar interests, other than the whole, cold blooded killer thing.
We had another kid who killed his mom and grandma because the lamp in the living room told him to. He was a model inmate until he'd go 2-3 days of refusing his medicine. He did that twice until we got it court ordered, he either takes his pills or we held him down and the nurse injected it. Sasquatch7862
I've got two years in Law Enforcement as a CO in Canada so my experiences are still only few in number compared to what other people might have on here. I remember the first time I ever saw this inmate, I audibly exclaimed "holy s**t" at the sight of him. 6'4, 290lbs bald with tattoos covering every area of his body. Face, head, neck, hands, lips were blacked out, this dude looked mean.
In my head before I started working at the Jail, all inmates were going to look like some variation of this guy. I was pleasantly surprised when the majority of them were below average Joe's. This inmate lived in segregation and had limited contact with other offenders. He was in on terrorism and forcible confinement. I treat every individual fairly and respectfully and this guy was treated no differently. He had great manners and spoke to all officers with respect.
About year later, my girlfriend and I went to the public library in our city to look at cook books and makeout between the racks. It was my first time going to the library and it was quite a shock. Low an behold I saw this man who was incarcerated for terrorism sitting at a table, minding his own business, reading the manga series, Naruto. Everyone's got to have hobby I guess. He didn't recognize me and even if he did he probably would have just given me a nod and gone about his business. RealBurley