"OFFICER shopping" and the vital importance of confidence are both covered in a new podcast that looks at life in Bathurst Correctional Centre, among other NSW prisons.
Officer Sarah Smith, who has been in the job for just one year, says a recruit needs trust and belief.
"If you are not very confident, I don't really know if you would make it very far," she tells crime author and former journalist Michael Duffy in Behind The Walls.
"[It's about] Backing yourself as well as your other custodial officers. Not taking any crap, not letting people step all over you.
"I think that it all comes back to confidence: being confident in yourself, confident in your team and confident in the job that you're doing."
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Behind The Walls is a six-part series that has been produced by Corrective Services NSW and the NSW Department of Justice.
In the first episode, Mr Duffy travelled to a number of Central West prisons, including Bathurst.
Ms Smith also explains, on the podcast, about "officer shopping".
"I'll ask you one thing, don't get the answer I like, no worries, I'll come back in five minutes and I'll ask the other officer at the window," she says.
"I got the same answer; all right, I'll wait for another officer to come to the window."
Bathurst Correctional Centre governor Faith Slatcher explains how television shows set in prisons irritate her.
"I very rarely turn those shows on," she says. "I watch half an episode and just turn it off.
"The staff [on the shows] seem to be very unprofessional, which I find really frustrating because it's such a terrible portrayal of what we do and how we act.
"And not only that, the inmates either seem to be innocent or evil, and that's wrong too. They portray both sides of the equation really inaccurately."
Ms Smith also tells Mr Duffy that the good news stories that come out of prisons do not get the coverage they deserve.
"You don't hear about the inmate who got out two years ago who has been in and out of jail all of his life and he hasn't come back in to custody because he's been rehabilitated," she says.
And Ms Slatcher says prison officers have the chance to change someone for the better.
"If I can, I want to make a difference in that person's life so they can get out and be a better person than when they came in or at least a more law-abiding citizen."
Behind The Walls is available on podcast apps.
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