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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Could You Handle Working in a Prison?

July 17, 2012

SJVC Graduate & Correctional Officer Steven Doyle

Working in a prison is not for everyone.


“Adrenaline is running high, tempers are flaring and chaos is all around you and you may question how you will respond,” explains Federal Bureau of Prisons employee Steven Doyle.  However, Doyle is not just a Warehouse Supervisor at FBP – he’s also an SJVC Criminal Justice graduate.  For Doyle, it was no question that he would fall back onto his training.


After 18 months of accelerated training and help from his instructors, Doyle graduated from SJVC with real life experiences and tips that prepared him for what he would face on his soon-to-be new job.


Starting as a Correctional Officer, Doyle worked his way up to being a Warehouse Supervisor and an Affirmative Employment Recruiter at the Federal Bureau of Prisons FCI Mendota.  During his day he supervises a work crew of inmates in the Food Service Warehouse.


Doyle is also in charge of recruiting. He goes to job fairs and gets the opportunity to speak to a variety of students of students about becoming employed with the Bureau of Prisons.


“I have an advantage.  I went through the program so I know how beneficial it’s been for me and my career.   Here in the Bureau of Prisons we are able to use a combination of education and experience to promote within the bureau.”


Doyle believes having a degree along with experience has helped him in his job search and promotions – and for Doyle, valuable education was more than just textbooks.


Doyle enjoyed all of his instructors. Most had law experience, so they taught by sharing real life experiences instead of straight from a textbook. Many often gave simple tips that made a huge difference.


“My instructor Mr. Leach always stressed to us the importance of “command presence”.   He always wanted us to look sharp in are uniforms and be on time.  The reason behind it is that it commands more respect.  Working with inmates is all about respect.”


His advice for Criminal Justice students at SJVC?  


“Pay attention and take your training seriously because not only does it affect you but also your co-workers who may need you.”

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