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Prison guards generally help to maintain order in prisons while also ensuring that inmates receive the necessities for their rehabilitation and reformation. While their role in the prison is to maintain safety and security in a correctional facility, it is no news that the loved ones of some inmates and others may not think highly of or feel some way about prison guards. This article will discuss “10 Strong Reasons Why Some People May Not Think The Best About Prison Guards”.

Some people may see some prison guards as bullies in uniforms. They may believe that all birds of a feather flock together and there is no such thing as a good prison guard. Although it can be true that some bad actors give decent guards a bad name, it may mainly be because some unfit and corrupt prison guards can be viewed as foxes guarding hen houses. There are some guards who have and do not always act appropriately. Therefore, here are some strong reasons why some people may not think the best about some prison guards:


1.   You may have approached a prison guard without an open mind and have erroneously stereotyped them.


During a visit with an incarcerated loved one, you may have had a negative experience with a few guards and believe that all guards are A-holes. When you have negative thoughts and beliefs about all guards from hearsay or prison documentaries, you may make the wrong assumptions. Although some guards are less caring and abusive, this might not be true for all the prison guards in your loved one’s correctional facility. It is essential to understand that not all guards are abusive towards the inmates, and some may be considered okay or “cool”.


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2.   There are tons of negative media about some prison guards.


It can leave you with different opinions and a lack of trust or respect for a prison guard. There are cases of prison scandals, sexual abuse, and corruption, and it is easy to believe the guards are responsible for much of this, especially from an outsider’s perspective. While there are negative stories, it is also essential to know that having a transparent correctional facility will encourage positive stories amongst the media and the public. The prison stories you've heard from an incarcerated loved one or prison documentaries can affect how you think about prison guards.


3.   Some prison guards have facilitated corruption within the prison.


Some prison guards may put the life of inmates in danger by collecting bribes or neglecting their duties to keep inmates safe from harm. Some of them may be responsible for inflicting mental and/or physical pain on inmates who fail to abide by their made-up rules. Other times in prison, the corruption that involves prison guards may be in the form of sexual abuse, racism, harassment, and abuse of power. Some inmates may interact with corrupt prison guards to get involved in improper practices around the facility.


4.   Some prison guards turn a blind eye to inmate-to-inmate violence and fights, although there are several measures to prevent violence among inmates.


Some guards may condone these violent acts because some of them are connected to crime on and off the clock. The prison guards can sometimes instigate or be a part of prisoner fights. Other times, they may have poor training and/or violate the prison rules and policies. When your incarcerated loved one becomes a victim of a violent activity, a prison guard may claim to have no idea about it and this can instill negative ideas about all prison guards in your mind and put the inmate at risk for continued violence or worse.


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5.   Because no one is all good and no one is all bad, it is not surprising that a prison guard has been caught up in a scandal.


There have been cases of prison guards getting inmates pregnant and other misconduct in correctional facilities. In other cases, some prison guards have been a part of smuggling contraband and drug trafficking in the prison facility. They can even be viewed as helping to facilitate a prison break for an inmate. Strict policies and procedures may be a start to prevent such activities in prison. However, policies and procedures are only as good as who is carrying them out, how, and the positive, negative, and/or end results.


6.   Neglect of inmates, their health and safety, and prison guard job responsibilities are genuine issues.


If you've read or seen the news about inmates living in egregious and unfit prison conditions or dying in prison from alleged neglect, then you may feel some way about prison guards. Some prison guards may not strictly adhere to their job responsibilities and training and seek prompt and adequate medical care for an ill inmate. This can cause some inmates to have inadequate access to some parts of the facility including the infirmary. Sometimes, some prison guards may fail to understand that all inmates may not be faking illness when they request medical attention and care. Suppose a prison guard does not believe that an inmate is genuinely sick and needs medical intervention or even views an inmate as not human. In that case, the consequences can be dire and potentially jeopardize other inmates, prison guards, and staff if the sick inmate dies. This carelessness or lack of regard by some prison guards can cause a prison riot, putting the sick inmate, other inmates and even prison guards and staff in potential danger.


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7.   Some prison guards appear to be narcissists and bullies in uniforms, and you may have had a bad experience during one of your visits.


They may have poor communication skills and be quick to dismiss you or your incarcerated loved one’s needs and concerns. The day-in and day-out stress may take a toll on some prison guards, and you may have noticed them taking out their frustration on the family members or visitors of the inmate. Have you ever had a prison guard be unresponsive to some vital information you asked for and needed during your visiting hours? This can be a strong reason why you may not have the best thoughts about some prison guards.


8.   There are beliefs backed up by facts and myths that some guards do not care about the well-being of inmates.


Some prison guards often have negative stereotypes about inmates. It can be because they share a different background, upbringing, race, or religion. Prison guards are expected to be compassionate and respectful to inmates, which comes with proper training and an internal moral compass. Some guards have inadequate training, and other times when they are overworked or stressed out, they may take out their frustrations on the inmates.


9.   Power can be intoxicating causing some folks to be abusive, egomaniacal, and ruthless.


You may believe that some prison guards are sociopaths, psychopaths, and narcissists while in (or out) of their uniforms. This may be because they may operate with over-inflated egos, look down on other people, or see them as inferior, and they may behave aggressively, recklessly, and ruthlessly toward them. Demonstrating and practicing discernment, self-awareness, empathy, and humility can help guards to balance their job duties with behaving professionally, responsibly, respectfully, and compassionately while staying safe and keeping inmates safe.


10.                You may believe that all guards think that everyone is guilty of a crime, which is false.


It is important to realize that prison guards do not know everything about you or your past and they don’t have access to all information about the inmates. If everyone was transparent about their (undisclosed) personal lives or past, it may make it easier for them to treat each inmate, each other, and others respectfully and fairly as individuals first, as everyone most likely has a questionable or regrettable past that they may not be proud of, including guards.

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Although there are several negative stereotypes attached to prison guards, it is important to note that everyone is not cut out to do what good, properly trained, fair, and respectful guards do daily to try to maintain order and balance in prison facilities. It is possible that some of the good acts attributed to some guards may go unnoticed and unrewarded as prison guards may be discouraged from showing care and compassion to inmates.


Some guards may also experience burnout and frustration to the point where they become hardened and begin being abusive whereas some inmates and their loved ones view them as worse than criminals. Prison guards with proper training who act fair and maintain compassion and respect for inmates, and who do not commit or associate themselves with abuse and corruption can be a good start to remove any strong stereotypes and negative outlooks against them.