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A former prison officer writes about prison.entertainment

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Malone — An Air Force veteran who spent more than 20 years in the New York State Department of Corrections and Regional Supervision, wrote a memoir about his experiences in two New York state prisons.

Originally from Malone, Paul F. Harrington Sr. now lives in Newburgh, Orange County. He graduated from Malone’s Franklin Academy in 1989 and served in the New York State Department of Corrections and Regional Supervision after enlisting in the United States Air Force. He spent his 20-plus years with his DOCCS and his memoir focuses on his month-to-month experiences within the state prison system.

Harrington returned to Franklin County in early August for county fair week, working as a disc jockey at the fairgrounds.

While in the Air Force, Mr. Harrington served at Plattsburgh Air Force Base from 1989 to 1993.

Harrington said he then took the civil service exam for state corrections, was hired in 1994, and attended an academy in Albany.

“There were so many people in that job at the time that I thought it would be pretty good to have a good civil service job after being discharged from the military,” Harrington said.

After spending 23 years as a corrections officer between Fishkill Correctional Facility in Dutchess County and Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Westchester County, Mr. Harrington suffered multiple injuries in a career that required eight surgeries, leading to a 2018 Retired last year due to disability.

“There’s this idea that when you walk into a prison and the gate slams behind you, the cops switch on. They’re trying to get back to their wives and families. Walk before that gate closes.” “They go in there with their hands tied behind their backs and they are punished if something happens and they are punished and harmed if they don’t react to the situation.” .”

After retiring, he wrote a memoir, Justice or Not, published June 30 by Austin Macauley Publishers.

“As my career progressed, the Bureau got worse and worse, policy changed, administrators changed,” Harrington said. “I’m talking about the department as a whole, but more specifically when I talk about management and policy, I’m talking about Fishkill.”

Using multiple documents preserved over the course of his career, he compiled a book about the state’s outdated prison system and the rampant violence, drugs, and mismanagement that hamper daily operations.

“When I got out there, I had so many experiences there that I decided I wanted to share them. “I didn’t want to share it with the cops,” Harrington said. I wanted to oppose

According to Harrington, the actions taken by prison officers were routinely sidelined.

“From what I’ve observed, everyone acted within training, but it was the quarterback from the authorities on Monday morning. A split-second decision had to be made.” Sitting in an air-conditioned office in the It’s a huge facility and riots can break out at any time.”

Harrington said Fishkill is a multiple security level facility, with special housing units for top security prisoners. Sing Sing is a top security facility.

“The point of my book is to get people to understand what’s going on there and why the staff are leaving that job at an alarming rate that they can’t keep up with the staff. “You have to fill yourself with all these issues and we’re just human — sooner or later we’ll come to a point where we implode. Stuff, stuck with these traumatic and emotional issues you’re dealing with.”

Harrington said he began writing the book in the summer of 2017 and took three years to complete.

“If I had to write the book today, I wouldn’t be in the same emotional state that I was going through and dealing with, and what my family was dealing with at the time,” Harrington said. “I think it gave me hope that someone would listen to the problems there.”

He said dealing with unions and administrations of correctional officers is often a political situation where not everyone is treated equally.

“It was a political world and it shouldn’t have been. Not everyone was equal, not everyone was on the same level,” Harrington said. “For my part, I just want people to know what is going on. Whether in the families of the officers themselves, these guys are quitting their jobs and even walking out of the academy.”

Harrington said his book specifically deals with workplace violence between officers and employees. He said violence in state prisons was not only between inmates and guards, but also between guards themselves. added.

“The biggest problem for me is workplace violence and reforming it,” he said. “There are a lot of hard-working and decent officers out there, but there’s a bad egg or two in every basket. It’s a shame to have to deal with some of those types of officers.”

Harrington pointed to the lack of a DOCCS directive on nepotism as an issue that leads to unfair treatment of corrections officers.

He said the department needs to make major changes before it can improve the working environment.

I don’t think it will get any better. It will require some major reforms and changes,” Harrington said. “It’s a game of politics out there and who knows who. Some of these policies are enforced on selected individuals and not others. They are all there We need to create a level playing field for people with disabilities and we need to do more, but it’s a broken system. I am going down.”

He started his disc jockey business, DJ Paulie H Entertainment, last year. Working in a music-focused business can help with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, she says, based on her experience as a prison officer.

“It’s all work related. Music gives me an outlet. It puts me in an environment where people are positive, fun, having a good time, listening to music and dancing,” Harrington said. I was. “I play music and participate in participation. I’m doing socializing, so I decided to give it a try. I’ve invested a lot and am very busy.”

Harrington said he spoke with Franklin County Fair board members about the entertainment offering and made its debut at last year’s fair. “They hired me last year and hired me to come back again this year.”

Harrington’s memoir is available from Walmart, eBay, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. It was also released internationally in Europe and the United Arab Emirates.

Harrington’s hometown of Malone has three state prisons. Bear Hill Prison, Franklin Prison, Upstate Correctional Facility. Other North Country state prisons include Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, Adirondack Correctional Facility in Essex County, Altona Correctional Facility in Clinton County, Governorur Correctional Facility and Riverview Correctional Facility in St. Lawrence County, and Cape Vincent Correctional Facility in Jefferson County. There is

“Once you retire, you’ll have a lot to talk about. Some men just want to forget. A man like me who had to go through that trauma will always be with you,” Harrington said. is writing this book to shine a light on these situations, to spread the word, to propose change one day, to reach out to Albany, and to do whatever we can to make it happen. We don’t have unions, we need more responsibility at the top.”

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