woman holding tiny microphone speaking (l) woman holding tiny microphone speaking caption 'Things I will never do after working in a prison' (c) woman speaking into tiny microphone (r)


‘This is a reality for so many people, especially women and children’: Former correctional worker shares things she would never do after working in a prison

'Not paranoid just cautious. If I can prevent something [from] happening to me, I will.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Jul 29, 2022

A former correctional worker has gone viral after sharing some things she would never do after working in a prison.

User Michaela (@michaelakatharina90) says she worked at a Canadian prison for 2.5 years. In that time, she says she’s picked up some safety tips that she now applies in her everyday life after being privy to the criminal cases at her workplace.

Her video listing the tips has over 718,000 views and has inspired a follow-up.

@michaelakatharina90 #stitch with @kaylaobviously Things I will never do after working in Corrections #safety #criminaljustice #corrections #prison ♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz

In the video, she lists several safety tips that she claims she’s learned since working at a correctional facility.

These include things like not having a stick-figure family sticker on your car since people can know if you’re a single woman or have a family, and not revealing too many personal details to a stranger, even if they incorrectly assume details about your life. Other tips include never listening to music while walking at night (“You need to be alert and aware of your surroundings,” she explains), wearing shoes that you feel comfortable running in at night, locking both your home and car doors, taking a photo of the license plate before getting into a cab, not going to unfamiliar areas with someone she hasn’t met, and more.

She also says that, though she does not have children herself, she would not allow them to go to a sleepover or be alone with any adult “until they are old enough to have a conversation with me about grooming and sexual assault.” 

In the comments, users supported these tips, with many agreeing with Michaela’s anti-sleepover stance.

“The last one is 100% the right call and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise,” one user wrote.

“As a victim myself I would 100% stand by the no sleepover rule,” another agreed. “Believe me children can have fun w/o the need to sleep over some1’s house.”

“I went to my first sleepover at 18. Now that I’m older I understand my mom’s reasoning,” a third stated.

Others offered their own safety tips.

“Interact with staff when you’re on a date and make sure that you include your date in that interaction so they remember them,” suggested one user.

“Names on kids bags as well, strangers can easily go up to them use them by their first name so they can act familiar,” another user advised.

Michaela later posted a follow-up with more tips.

@michaelakatharina90 Replying to @julianacheriza Part 2 Things I will never do after working in a prison #corrections #criminaljustice #prisontiktok #prisontok ♬ original sound – Michaela Katharina

These tips included telling friends the details of your plan before you meet with unfamiliar people, never leaving a child with someone you don’t fully know, not putting too many or too revealing photos of your child on social media, and more.

“I used to think my parents are way too strict and didn’t want me to have fun. But as a grown adult, I completely understand why they were protective,” one user commented.

“Never share any information about your private life on social media (current location, school) even if you think you’re just sharing it with friends,” a second added.

“Many people have told me I’m being too cautious,” Michaela wrote in a comment in the initial video. “As long as it isn’t obsessive, it isn’t too cautious. You are protecting and taking care of yourself.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Michaela via TikTok comment for this story.

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*First Published: Jul 29, 2022, 10:22 am CDT