There appears to be a trend on television and the movies where the cops are portrayed to have criminal minds in order to learn present themselves as capable nemesis of the criminals. In fact you might even go as far as saying that many of today’s correctional officers are working and learning how to deal with the criminal minds by seeking a job within the jails or prisons and use them as training grounds for the criminal psyche that is overwhelmingly present there.
It is true that being a correctional officer often leads to other opportunities in the criminal justice system as many seek employment with police agencies and as well as other federal bureaus that specialize in dealing with the criminality of human behaviors. This kind of experience seems to add layers of knowledge and experience into the prisoner’s mind or character and bolsters their ability to manage their behaviors.
One of the most distinct characteristic of a correctional officer turned cop is the fact that all criminals are considered the “enemy.” It is the mentality that is fostered or nurtured inside a jail or prison and never leaves their awareness levels. Treating someone as the enemy calls for certain characteristics or personality changes and working as a correctional officer can in fact bring those attributes to life.
Learning and leaning into the criminal minds allows better situational awareness and assessment skills. Since the culture allows or requires certain types of behaviors condoned or accepted as a norm the adjustments can range from heavy use of profanity to tattoos and hiding your background with secrets that won’t reveal who you really are. It’s a strategy that allows you to show no weaknesses and gives the enemy no leverage in manipulating you into a compromise.
The main focus of this training ground mentality is to become a skilled cop with the ability to create and understand the mindset of the criminal. In some cases, the lines get blurred and the behavior mimics those of the criminal they are investigating or tracking while trying to solve a case. In fact some get so good as prison officers or cops that they understood the mindset, movements, motives and behavior to become proactive in their mannerism of supervision or problem solving.
At the same time they learn to be mystic about their own behaviors with their supervisors and co-workers as they become somewhat rogue in their thinking patterns and often decide solo whether or not some kind of corrective action is needed in certain situations. These blurred lines of thinking can get a correctional officer or police officer in trouble quickly if they don’t stray away from the rules too far.
So as it exists, jails and prisons are great training grounds for human and criminal behaviors while honing in on your own characteristics to deal with the criminal mind. Knowing how to improve your own psyche is a strong element of surviving and should be done with caution as you are tempted to try things that may be out of your span of control or authority.
Thus we can surmise that learning the criminal mindset will improve your communication skills, problem solving techniques and other manifestations of the criminal elements. You may learn how to act changing your facial tics or speech, mannerisms or dress when not in uniform, or even ink yourself to understand the role and behaviors more deeply as you delve into the type of behaviors that reflects a criminal lifestyle but with an open interpretation for doing it on purpose and learning how to deal with prisoners, criminals and other deviants.
This conversion of behaviors is with high risk as it may lead you down a self-destructive path or make you better at reading the criminal’s mind. The way you take responsibility for yourself and your actions determine the risks you take when making this transformation on or off duty. It could in fact become a beast within yourself that may be hard to manage if let loose.
In other words, if you don’t manage your own behaviors it might bite you in the butt and blow up in your face creating both moral and legal consequences for such conduct or misconduct. The line is based on your risk taking behaviors and your willingness to cross the line.