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Working at Federal Bureau of Prisons — Reviews by Employees

Learn what employees have to say about Federal Bureau of Prisons pay, work/life balance, care potential, job security, and much more by reading our anonymous employee reviews.

Reviews of Jobs at Federal Bureau of Prisons

4.0Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth3
Location3
Co-Workers4
Work Environment4

From Oklahoma — 04/14/2010

Retired from Bureau. It had its good times and its bad. Usually it depended on administration at the time. But I got paid more than fair, had lots of experiences and retired young. I did a job that benefited my country. But the Bureau has a serious case of "promoting ignorance or incompetenceor good brown nosers." Often people who become supervisory become jerks but I understand from others I know that it happens that way in their places of employment. But again, good pay and benefits - plus job security - all the way to an early retirement.
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3.5Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect1
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth5
Location5
Co-Workers1
Work Environment1

From Texas — 02/16/2010

worked for the BOP for a number of year before going to another federal agency. This is not a place for the weak of heart. You wont find issues with the inmate, it is the staff creating havoc because they thrive on drama. Lot of backstabbing, hatarade drinking people. Pay is excellant, and retirement in 20 years is good but be warned most everyone that retires is dead within 5 years. Crooked management, and of course the good old boy system is alive and well. If you dont kiss A@@ and you are not part of the in crowd you will be labeled as difficult to get along with and will find yourself being investigated based on bogus allegations from staff and inmates. Inmates have more rights than staff and if they make a complaint the warden believed the inmate. You will have to be strong and be prepared to fight with your mind, not physically. Other than that the BOP served its purpose it provided a good paycheck.
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4.6Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth5
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From Florece Co — 11/03/2009

I haved worked for the BOP for 19 years and I would not change a thing. I have a College degree in Criminal Justice. The benefits are good as well as the pay. I feel most supervisers are well educated and have had the training to supervise the line staff. When hired you cannot expect your day to day to be a bed of roses, it's a prison. That is why we get paid the Law Enforcment Pay. Considering that it is a prison, I feel pretty safe because the BOP has a excellent emergency staff response. As far as Glyenco, it is what you make of it. If you want to party and not take the training serious, that is your fault. When training is complete, a rookie will most likely be trained by a seasoned officer. With this job, one has to experience things for themselves to understand inmate games. Not everything can be taught in a classroom. Most times your best defense is being able to communicate with inmates, that takes time and experience. Promotions are fairly easy to get, especially if you are willing to move. I will retire in 6 years, and I do not regret joining the BOP.
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3.1Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect2
Benefits3
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth3
Location1
Co-Workers4
Work Environment3

From Beaumont, TX — 09/21/2008

I work at the LOW at Beaumont. Its not bad here at the low, but the Pen next door is a terrrible place to work. Ive only done this job for two and a half years, so Im not going to pretend to know everything.
The two biggest benefits are the pay, which is good. The job security is top-notch. After two to five years you can do almost anything and not get fired. Its crazy.
The biggest downside to the job is this. The BOP, at this moment in time, has severly limited promotions. You pretty much have to transfer somewhere, at which point you get stuck there. So, when you combine the factors of no promotions, no link between work performance and pay, and rock-solid job security, you've got a recipe for below-average co-workers. I work shift work, and I was relieved five to ten minutes late every night for the last three months. Because the staff member relieving me had been in for nine years, the supervisor didnt so anything.
The retirement plan is good, if you factor in the personal contribution plan. The healthcare plan is terrible. You have to pay extra for a union supported dental or vision plan.
My father was career BOP who did twenty years in, and when he described the BOP he experienced during the eighties and nineties its like a whole different world. Basically, from what I can gather, during the "war on drugs" The federal government flooded the bureau with money. These were the good times. But then later, came Bush. All the money went to the "war on terror" and homeland security.
This is by far not the worst job I have ever had, and its a fine jumping on point for a career in the federal government. Just dont get stuck....like me.
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4.4Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth5
Location5
Co-Workers4
Work Environment3

From Phoenix, Arizona — 08/04/2008

I recently retired from the Bureau of Prisons. I was employed there for 20 years in four different positions. I have only a high school education with a few college classes, and I could have never gotten such good pay and benefits anywhere else. I came in every day and did the best job I possibly could, and I was always rewarded for it, not always monetarily because there were always budget restrictions that affected our pay, but that was beyond the BOP's control. All employees in Federal prisons are covered under law enforcement retirement, and that is a great benefit to be able to retire at the age of 50. It is a very stressful environment, but the administration did a good job in making our jobs a little less so by recognizing our performance with promotions and occasional monetary awards. The only negative thing I have to say is that the institutions are severely understaffed, and this sometimes makes working there dangerous. Again, this is due to budget restraints that they have little control over. The promotional opportunities are great, especially if you are willing to relocate, but there are always opportunities within each institution for those who do not want to move. Overall, I'm glad I stuck with it for 20 years and am now enjoying my early retirement.
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4.3Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect4
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth5
Location4
Co-Workers4
Work Environment5

From Somewhere, USA — 04/14/2007

I have worked for the BOP since 1999 and worked in the FL Dept. of Corrections prior to then. Although the BOP has its share of weaker employees (from line staff to management), not unlike ANY correctional facility, it clearly has very dedicated and motivated employees, from rank and file to executive staff. Within the BOP I have worked at a medical center, a high profile penitentiary, and medium (FCI), low (FSL), and camp (FPC) facilities. My family is grateful for what we receive. I believe success in the BOP necessitates a perspective that one is engaging in an honorable profession of public service, not one of self absorption. To those who claim it "absolutely stinks", I question their work ethic. Most disgruntled employees I run across are inherently lazy, unmotivated to effect positive change, and live by the credos of "8 to the gate" and "How can I earn the greatest amount of pay for LEAST amount of work." Federal correctional work requires vigilance, a commitment toward adherence to policy, and a dedication to ensure for public safety and the well-being of their fellow staff members. I am saddened by the comments of a few bitter employees who appear disenchanted by the challenges which the BOP offers. To them I say, "Don't like it? Quit before you get fired, and secure your best as a shift manager at a 7-Eleven in Nowheresville, U.S.A." To those men and women considering a career with the BOP, I welcome you with open arms, and promise that I will continue to do my job as I expect the same of you.
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3.8Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth4
Location4
Co-Workers3
Work Environment1

From Coleman, FL — 06/10/2006

Yea it sucks to work in a U.S. Pen,, but if you get over your probation you have to bring contraband to get fired from a federal job. Senior staff don't talk to rookies because we don't know if their working of O.I.G. (investigations). So who cares if you can't get the day off on schedule that's why you have to call in sick, the Admin's don't care because they are usually home after 4pm anyway. Yea this Pen sucks and we are under staffed but we have a union, look at Homeland security they send you where they need you and you have nothing to say due to no union. At least you do your 18 month's and transfer where you want to, remember there is no rehabilitation in prison there's re-circulation once they get out, inmates think they can beat they system again and come right back to do another 10 to 20 years. Money is great after a couple of years in the system, while this location is not all that and the work environment really does suck..but you have to remember is you can not stop anything in prison you just have to control it in your housing unit, and turn the cheek or else your public enemy number one, And then you will have a rough eight hours in front of you. And it's up to you to brown nose your supervisor's it depends if you could sleep at night after you do, remember the supervisor's won't respect you if you do brown nose they just categorize you right above the inmates that snitch on the other inmates. And if your a rookie there this book you need to buy called "Games inmates play".
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