Hudson County Corrections
What a day! It started with a buzz of my 4 o'clock alarm which is never fun. Then it was off to the Princeton Junction train station. My train rolled into Newark around 6:20am, then it was an Uber to the Hudson Country Jail. After we drove around, looking for the entrance. My driver said, "I've never been in jail...can't believe, I'm trying to figure a way to get in." Followed by, "I can't believe I just said that. What on earth is a girl like you doing here?" Well, well, well, let me tell you.....
My driver waved me farewell as he dropped me off at the visitor parking lot and wished me good luck. I walked up the road to the entrance of the jail. There's always that moment when walking up to the gate. There's a moment of silence, a sense of awe and a sense of this is really happening.
I met Surg Duda at the security entrance. He said, "you must be my trainee". I smiled and said, "you bet." He talked me through the entrance rules and walked me through the security entrance. Buzzz opens the first door, waiting patiently as the heavy steal door slams shut. Buzzzzz opens the next door, the second holding area. Again, waiting for the door behind us to slam shut. Buzzzzzz Surg opens the door and says, "okay you're in, stay to your right, whatever you do always walk to the right." "The inmates walk on the left." "You will see the inmates walking the halls, it's an open system." Each facility is completely different and has its own vibe. I walked next to Surge while we wandered through the jail. The sound of each buzzing alarm almost made me feel like I was in the secret service making my way through the pentagon. (Not like I would really know what that would be like but there were so many doors), each one you pushed a button, looked at the camera and waited patiently for the BUZZZZZ. Finally we got into our class room. No yoga, just lecture and protocol. From 7am-11am we went over slides, videos and celebrated with a final exam. It seems daunting and it was...but I have to say, out of ALL the training's I have taken throughout the past year, this was one of the best and most informative forms of preparation I have taken. Let's be honest, nothing can really prepare you to walk though a jail or the doors of a prison. But they inform you on what to expect and how to avoid certain situation and how to sense if something is about to happen. I was thankful to have taken the class and received 100% on my exam.
So its FINALLY official! After 7 long months, I am finally able to work in Hudson County Corrections Facility.
May 20, 2016