Grew up… working in Oswald State Penitentiary as a correctional officer. Leo has been around this prison since he was a young kid. He knows how the system works.
Living… under the supervision of Governor James Devlin. Leo, who has political ambitions, has to watch his every move if he wants a career in politics. As the warden of Oz, it’s a very short step to Commissioner of Prisons, and after that, maybe even to the Governor’s Office.
Profession… warden of Oswald State Penitentiary, or “Oz.” Leo prefers to enforce rather than heal. He sees prisons as places where punishment is dished out, where criminals get what they deserve. This is exemplified by his views on prison rape. Leo believes that “rape has a leveling effect.” It is only another aspect of punishment, to his way of thinking, rather than something to be prevented.
Interests… his political career. Leo has to watch his step when it comes to his role in Oz. He finds himself obeying controversial decisions made by the ultra-conservative Governor Devlin even though, as warden, he knows some of them to be wrong for the prison.
Relationship Status... married, to Mary, with a daughter named Ardeth. It’s important to at least appear to be a solid family man if you’re going to run for office.
Challenge… maintaining order in the veritable powder keg of Oz. When prisoners act out, Leo believes in dishing out harsher punishments: longer sentences in “the hole,” weeklong “lockdowns” and restrictions on television and entertainment. But harsher treatment may not be the answer to the prisoners’ problems, and in practical terms it may lead to more acting out rather than less.
Personality… cynical, conservative, and old-fashioned. Leo believes that every prisoner reaps what he sows. In Leo’s eyes, crime is not a structural, societal problem; some people just make bad choices. As he once said about an uneducated prisoner: “A hundred-fifty years ago, it was against the law for a slave to learn to read but some did, you know why? Because they had a thirst for it. Now, the reverse is also true. You cannot force someone to learn how to read.” Similarly, Leo feels that the prisoners at Oz are there because they decided to be criminals, and thus aren’t deserving of sympathy. Whether the inmates “rehabilitate” or not is their responsibility, not the warden’s.
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