Moore to the Story: Behind the Bars


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) –  It’s clock in time for Officer James Crandall…and let’s just say, it’s a process.

Watching Crandall go through this process might remind you of the last time you took a flight somewhere.

The trip he’s taking is the farthest thing from a vacation.

“Once I get to my post, once I…you know, put on the uniform, this is me. This is officer me. This isn’t civilian me. So at that point, my behavior my mannerisms, everything’s changed,” Crandall said.

News 10 was allowed to go along, to see how this process works. We took a look at Officer Crandall’s stomping grounds.

It’s basically like any other industrial-sized kitchen, except the chefs are inmates and the boss is Crandall.

“I recall once, there was…I believe a cell phone device in the package of peanut butter,” he told us.

Things like that don’t happen often, and that’s because he’s thorough. He’s checking everything, every space, every door, virtually every item.

“I never feel comfortable here. No matter where I’m at, I never try to be comfortable…I don’t want to be comfortable,” Crandall told us.

During the experience, Crandall moved seamlessly in out of men, all convicted felons.

“Obviously, one against 45 is not great odds for anybody,” he said.

News 10 asked him how he gets through it day after day, knowing disaster could strike at any time.

“I just handle myself in a way that I’m in charge of my own safety,” Crandall said.

It had already been a full day’s work, but it was only lunch time. Dinner was next, and that meant a redo of the whole process.

“My biggest passion is being relied on by other people. Being the best I can, and that carries on to my work.,” Crandall said.

“I really don’t even think about it. It’s one way to get past all of it, and as soon as I walk out unless somebody says it, I don’t even realize I work here. Its just…I’m a completely different person,” he said.

It’s a daily dose of danger and a trip he doesn’t hesitate to take.

Every day he makes sure security and safety always get to the proper destination.

So, what happens when things don’t go as planned? In the second part of our series, you’ll see the makings of a riot.

How do officers like James Crandall respond?

That story is coming up Friday on News 10.