Careers as prison guards and correctional officers are more important than ever as the American prison system continues to overflow. There have been many changes since the nation's earliest days of mass incarceration. One of the most prominent and important changes involves the treatment and care of those behind bars.
Correctional officers are under more scrutiny than ever when it comes to their responsibility to preserve the rights of prisoners. Incarcerated individuals are aware of this scrutiny. That means a benign incident between an officer and a prisoner might be blown out of proportion and threaten the career of the officer.
While a professional license defense is not needed in such situations, the correctional officer still needs to defend his or her reputation and career. A lawyer can be a source of advocacy and protection during such a situation. However, if guards and other personnel adhere to the following ethical guidelines, it will go far in protecting them from negative allegations.
- Avoid forming personal and/or inappropriate relationships with inmates. This obviously includes sexual relationships, but it is also wise to refrain from developing personal friendships with prisoners.
- Avoid falling into the prison guard subculture of hate and moral superiority. Prisons and jails are full of violence and threats. Focusing on your duties and obligations instead of your personal feelings can keep you out of trouble.
- Avoid providing inmates with any form of contraband. Keep in mind that incarceration is a form of punishment. Do not provide inmates with cigarettes, alcohol or any other type of contraband.
If someone accuses you of ethical misconduct, an attorney experienced in professional license defense can put his or her legal skills to work for you.