Following up on my previous post. There were a lot of manly corrections officers who made me feel safe in the prison environment. Some of them were women! LOL! The officers treated me with respect. The folks with military background always called me "Ma'am". I never liked it until I heard it from these guys ( and girls ). There were numerous instances when the officer assigned to my hearing room stepped between me and an angry prisoner. Once a prisoner protested my guilty finding with some pretty aggressive language. The officer with me immediately stood up, facing the prisoner, with his back to me. This officer was very young, slender build. Later on he worked out and filled out quite nicely. It didn't matter that he was relatively small and young looking. His attitude firmly demonstrated that he would do his job and protect me.
Some prisoners felt compelled to behave in a "manly" way toward officers, confrontational, and uncooperative. The behavior was exaggerated by the fact that staff was so completely in control of their lives. Many prisoners did not feel this same compulsion toward female staff. One guy I was scheduled to see for Disobeying a Direct Order had built quite a reputation for himself for arguing with staff, always demanding to see policy before he complied with orders. He got into a lot of trouble. One of the guys who worked in my area told me the guy was a real jerk. So he came in and started explaining that he the officer's order violated policy. I explained to him that the disciplinary policy required that prisoners comply with orders first, then if they questioned the order, they could engage the officer in conversation, or they could file grievances. I explained the paramilitary basis for corrections. He said no one had ever explained that to him before. After the hearing, I talked to Sgt. K., a female officer, and the unit manager Ms. D. They told me they could usually get compliance from this prisoner, but sometimes it took a little discussion. Sgt. K. was a solid looking woman, not fat, but definitely not a delicate flower type. Ms. D. was just plain chubby. So am I. We probably reminded him of the grandmother who was the only person who was ever nice to him. So a chubby, blonde female could get this guy to do anything we wanted.