During Spring Break I was able to shadow a close family friend who works in the Human Resources department of the Rochester Federal Medical Center. It is a federal level prison that was formerly a mental health facility. I was unable to bring in any kind of recording equipment including my cell phone. Holly Sanford was gracious enough to let me take a photo of her before we were in the building so that I at least had one of her.
Prior to my entry of the prison I was asked to fill out forms so that a background check could be done on me. Once I was cleared I still had to get through the security check which was also the only entrance to the facility. It was very similar to what you might see at the airport with metal detectors and trays to put your metallic objects through. I was eventually signed in by an officer and had my wrist stamped to show that I was a visitor. All attire at the prison was to be professional and I was also warned not to wear any kind of khaki as that’s what the inmates wear.
I was finally escorted to the Human Resources department where I met up with Holly. First we did a little catching up since it’s been awhile since we’ve seen each other. After that she introduced me to everyone around the office. I even got to meet the head of the Human Resources department who told me “Just call me Dawn”.
Holly told me that the majority of her job was dealing with the hiring process, taking care of employee and staff awards and interviews. Other than that she said it was a lot of checking emails and just helping out people with whatever knowledge they have. She ran me through some procedures that they have to follow like if two inmates are fighting not to intervene and just to call for help. On the other hand, if an inmate is fighting with a staff member you are to assist the staff member and call for help.
I was able to sit in on a training class for a few minutes while they were on break and listen to Dawn discuss with them all of the benefits that the facility offers its employees. Most of these I’ve actually been able to witness most of my life since my mother works at the prison. They offer some of the best medical coverage since the prison is also part medical facility.
At the end of my job shadow I said goodbye to all of the employees in the Human Resources department and Dawn said that she hopes to see me actually look into getting hired there. Hopefully this opportunity and my mom’s good reputation help me in acquiring a job there in the future.