I was a CO and have moved on, which says it all really. It wasn't awful, but it had its moments. Lots of little things add up. Long hours, too many mandates, got tired of waiting on criminals and having to handle them with kid gloves. Honestly, I am pretty antisocial so it is amazing that I lasted as long as I did and actually ran my units well the majority of the time.
For an introvert like me, it gets exhausting being in a unit with 60+ detainees with constant movement back and forth, medical in, medical out, trays in, trays out, and all the little interactions like that. The phone always ringing for a hundred different things. Constantly being watched on camera by Lieutenants, Captains, Central Control and so on. Having my breaks shortened due to running various errands like paperwork or supplies for the unit. The environment can be pretty unpleasant all around. So much shit talk gets thrown your way for every minor thing, and it seems like the inmates can do mostly whatever they want.
The atmosphere with the other COs wasn't always ideal either. Some of them were just as bad as the inmates, or all around really hostile and negative. Hard to be happy in a prison on either side of the bars. The pay could have been a little bit better too. I just didn't want to work more than 8 hours a day anymore. Once in awhile is okay. But it could get pretty extreme, and the standard 12s we did were already bad enough.
The work life balance sucked. If I was younger and didn't know any better or had an empty bank account, I probably would still be at it. But I have had lots of jobs and I have a good life most of the time, house, cars, etc. I just don't need the hassle anymore. So it wasn't a good fit for this stage of my life (mid 30s).
Sometimes the other COs and even the detainees could make me laugh, and there surely were good days where things clicked and it wasn't so intense and miserable.
Long hours man . . . With all that other stuff becomes unbearable. So no more corrections work for me, thank you!