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Old 05-05-2011, 10:58 PM  
KILLER_CLOWN KILLER_CLOWN is offline
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California Prison Academy: Better Than a Harvard Degree

Prison guards can retire at the age of 55 and earn 85% of their final year's salary for the rest of their lives. They also continue to receive medical benefits.

By ALLYSIA FINLEY

Roughly 2,000 students have to decide by Sunday whether to accept a spot at Harvard. Here's some advice: Forget Harvard. If you want to earn big bucks and retire young, you're better off becoming a California prison guard.

The job might not sound glamorous, but a brochure from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations boasts that it "has been called 'the greatest entry-level job in California'—and for good reason. Our officers earn a great salary, and a retirement package you just can't find in private industry. We even pay you to attend our academy." That's right—instead of paying more than $200,000 to attend Harvard, you could earn $3,050 a month at cadet academy.

It gets better.

Training only takes four months, and upon graduating you can look forward to a job with great health, dental and vision benefits and a starting base salary between $45,288 and $65,364. By comparison, Harvard grads can expect to earn $49,897 fresh out of college and $124,759 after 20 years.

As a California prison guard, you can make six figures in overtime and bonuses alone. While Harvard-educated lawyers and consultants often have to work long hours with little recompense besides Chinese take-out, prison guards receive time-and-a-half whenever they work more than 40 hours a week. One sergeant with a base salary of $81,683 collected $114,334 in overtime and $8,648 in bonuses last year, and he's not even the highest paid.

Sure, Harvard grads working in the private sector get bonuses, too, but only if they're good at what they do. Prison guards receive a $1,560 "fitness" bonus just for getting an annual check-up.

Most Harvard grads only get three weeks of vacation each year, even after working for 20 years—and they're often too busy to take a long trip. Prison guards, on the other hand, get seven weeks of vacation, five of them paid. If they're too busy racking up overtime to use their vacation days, they can cash the days in when they retire. There's no cap on how many vacation days they can cash in! Eighty officers last year cashed in over $100,000 at retirement.

The cherry on top is the defined-benefit pension. Unlike most Harvard grads working in the private sector, prison guards don't have to delay retirement if their 401(k)s take a hit. Prison guards can retire at the age of 55 and earn 85% of their final year's salary for the rest of their lives. They also continue to receive medical benefits.

So you may be wondering what it takes to become a prison guard. For one, you have to be a U.S. citizen with a high-school diploma or equivalent. Unfortunately, you can't have any felony convictions, but don't worry, possession of marijuana is only an infraction in California.

There's also a vision test, background investigation, psychological evaluation, physical exam, tuberculosis screening, and a fitness test that measures your grip strength. The hardest part, however, is the written test, which includes word problems like this sample test question: "Building D currently has 189 inmates, with 92 beds unfilled. Building D is currently at what capacity?" If you've somehow forgotten how to add and divide, you can bone up on your basic math with Barron's "Correction Officer Exam" prep book.

The application process may seem like a piece of cake compared to Harvard's, but the correctional officer academy is actually more selective than Harvard. Over 120,000 people apply every year, according to the state Legislative Analyst's Office, but the academy only enrolls about 900. That's an acceptance rate of less than 1%. Harvard's is 6.2%. The job also has a better retention rate than Harvard. Only 1.7% dropped out of the service last year, compared to 2% who left Harvard.

If your parents aren't thrilled about you turning down Harvard to become a prison guard in California, just show them the job brochure. Then explain that in another few years instead of paying off thousands of dollars in college loans you'll be taking cruises together. They'll be speechless.

Ms. Finley is assistant editor of OpinionJournal.com.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...510530398.html
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:09 AM   #2
Bump Bump is offline
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:18 AM   #3
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They may be a few not so good things left off the recruiting poster.

like getting shanked from time to time
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by FishingRod View Post
They may be a few not so good things left off the recruiting poster.

like getting shanked from time to time

Like that doesn't happen at Harvard.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:33 PM   #5
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If you meet and marry a woman in the California prison, you don't have to take her out to dinner very often, either. You can just put $5.00 in her commissary account once a month and she'll be grateful.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:38 PM   #6
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There's probably a lot less (fewer?) feces being thrown at you at Harvard.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:40 PM   #7
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That is really bizarre. Not surprising (given that it's California), but bizarre.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:44 PM   #8
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Anyone that thinks that's such a great deal can go apply with the prison system. I'm sure most are hiring.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
If you meet and marry a woman in the California prison, you don't have to take her out to dinner very often, either. You can just put $5.00 in her commissary account once a month and she'll be grateful.
And most of your weekends are still free to watch football, etc.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:47 PM   #10
2bikemike 2bikemike is offline
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Its not just the prison guards, police and fire fighters get pretty much the same deal.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 2bikemike View Post
Its not just the prison guards, police and fire fighters get pretty much the same deal.
Yup. One of my parents neighbors took an early retirement as a cop on Omaha because the benefits were just too good to turn down.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:55 PM   #12
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Anyone that thinks that's such a great deal can go apply with the prison system. I'm sure most are hiring.
I have known a couple of guys that worked as guards in prisons. They hated it and were miserable and ended up quiting~
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:59 PM   #13
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"Building D currently has 189 inmates, with 92 beds unfilled. Building D is currently at what capacity?"
67%
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:20 PM   #14
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That shit is a terrible job, Everyday you go to work your looking atinsane criminals that at any opportunity want to beat the living shit out of you. Hell, even kill you.

YOu get to look at pure misery every workday of your life. That sounds really fun. Gang fights? your the one that has to get in there to try to stop some of that shit. Who's the guy who has a shiv? you dont know. **** that job. I've got a good friend who's done about 14 years and some of them stories i been told arent nothing nice.
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:34 PM   #15
2bikemike 2bikemike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphius View Post
Yup. One of my parents neighbors took an early retirement as a cop on Omaha because the benefits were just too good to turn down.
Yep a buddy of mine retired with 30 years and is receiving 100% of his pay. He did not work a day over 50. He was able to use unused vacation to buy a couple of years to hit the 30 year mark. Another thing their Overtime counts as a part of their salary so if they work a whole bunch of OT prior to retirement the pad the kitty quite nicely.

Why would anybody keep working if you could draw 85-100% of your pay. I would retire and find a less stressful job.
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