Poem: A Prison Within

Never think you are alone to deal with the stress of working in corrections – your fellow officers are there to catch you if you fall


Calling all poets! CorrectionsOne’s poetry column highlights some of the inspirational, moving and funny poems authored by our readers.

This poem is by Sergeant Zach Brooks from Green River Correctional Complex, Kentucky Department of Corrections. 

"I have dealt with multiple struggles on the holidays missing time spent with family and friends during my service in the Army and as an officer," writes Zach. "Though I’ve missed this time, I’ve also created a closer bond with the ones I have spent it with in uniform. I’m grateful for this opportunity and wouldn’t change it for anything in the world."

Working in corrections is stressful, but you are not alone. (Photo/Pixabay)
Working in corrections is stressful, but you are not alone. (Photo/Pixabay)

Email your original writing submission for consideration to editor@correctionsone.com.

A Prison Within

I’ve served a few seasons, but not as many as most,

Usually we get the ones who stay a day, then coast. 

This isn’t the job for everyone, and that I understand,

But it’s turned into a life for me, and taught me as a man. 

I’ve seen the blood, I’ve seen the fights, I’ve seen a man lose hope, 

I’ve seen a man lose it all, and use a belt as a rope. 

I’ve been spit on, swung on, and lost my cool a bit,

But we must remain professional, unlike some of those we get. 

Never become complacent, as complacency can kill,

This job is a life that is very raw and real. 

Be aware of your surroundings, and always watch your back,

The worst can happen on any shift, and that we know as a fact. 

Sometimes it can be hard not to take this stuff home,

You isolate yourself and you want to be alone. 

There’s plenty of us here who will always gladly help,

Remember you are not alone or the man with the belt. 

Your mind may be in prison, but you are truly free, 

I know this because it all happened to me. 

You may be lucky and this could not happen at all,

But be there for your family who happens to take this fall. 

I say this all with love, respect and empathy,

Remember we are a team, and it is never just me. 

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