Dave Woodhouse has had a unique career combining many years of foundational experience as a frontline Officer with the Correctional Service of Canada and completing his career in the Canadian Justice System as a Police Officer with the Toronto Police Service.
West Yard is a culmination of sixteen years of writing about his experiences within Canada’s Prison system. As he mentions in his book “once you are out, it’s wise not to return”. Revisiting a career filled with incredible levels of stress, violence and corruption took its’ toll on the writer. He had to relive the traumas that he suffered over and over through the writing and editing of his book West Yard.
Throughout his career in Corrections Dave Woodhouse was Correctional Officer 1 or CX1, the lowest ranking officer in the service, and there was a reason for that static rank which is explained within West Yard. His time on the Inside spanned two decades.
As the prison riot team leader, he writes in detail about many of his experiences on the Inside that exposed him to life-threatening situations, be they prison riots or assaults by inmates or other staff members. The devastating and insidious effect of repeated exposure to workplace stress in a brutally hostile and violent work environment is well documented in West Yard.
During his time with Corrections the author was a certified firearms instructor, coach officer, emergency response team leader, emergency response team instructor, chemical agent instructor, self-contained breathing apparatus instructor, distraction device instructor, use of force instructor, tear gas gun instructor, coordinator of the ceremonial unit and a Staff instructor at the Regional Correctional Staff College in Kingston teaching both new correctional officer recruits and experienced staff members.
As a police officer with the Toronto Police Service, he was a front-line patrol officer working in 42 Division. He was a detective constable, coach officer, member of the Public Order Unit and an eCOPS instructor.
The authors’ front-line experience in the Correctional Service of Canada speaks of a startling comparison in subcultures between the inmates, the officers, and the guards. This is truly an unpresented and disturbing look into the events behind the walls and fences of Canadas’ prisons. He writes of a deliberately hidden world that the Correctional Service of Canada concealed from the Canadian public throughout his entire time with them.