Artwork for podcast Under Reserve
Episode 14: CO John B. Williams (Ret.)
Episode 1528th November 2022 • Under Reserve • Dan Coles
00:00:00 01:09:04

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John Williams worked for the Correctional Service of Canada for over 30 years. His service included time at the notorious BC Penitentiary and the Kent Institution - both maximum security prisons.

In 2020 John wrote Life on the Inside: One Correctional Officer's Story where he provides readers with a frank look at the highs and lows of working a federal corrections officer. His account of a career spent walking the "high fives" is at times graphic, but it's not sensational. John makes it clear that maximum security prisons are not a place where you'd want to spend any time as an inmate, but he doesn't describe these institutions as terrible places to work.

The work was taxing, and the threat of violence was always present - but like so many men and women who serve in uniform John found strength and sense of community with his colleagues.

Show Notes:

  • 4:20 – Discharged from the Navy. No what do I do?
  • 6:20 – The jail in New Westminster was hiring
  • 10:00 – BC Pen housed the worst of the worst
  • 16:00 – Advice from an old con
  • 18:00 – Shawshank Redemption
  • 22:50 – Why do stabbings happen in prison?
  • 25:25 – Gangs in prison
  • 29:33 – Prostitution in prison
  • 34:15 – Drug dogs
  • 40:40 – Sexual pressure on inmates leads to suicide
  • 44:50 – Female correctional officers
  • 49:40 – What’s the hole?
  • 52:40 – Protective custody
  • 56:15 – Guards ever get star struck?

If you enjoyed our conversation, and want to read the book, you can find it here.

Under Reserve thanks John for his time, and his service.




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