Most players, at some point, on some character, have been taken to prison. This brings them into direct interaction with the members of the San Andreas Department of Corrections (SADOC). The faction itself came early 2011, but was a 'job' in the system before a faction. Players could get the job from those who had the command (/makeguard) and they were managed by the LSPD's Prison Liason Unit. Now, the faction has grown to have a steady member base, with opportunities for roleplay within from medical with the Correctional Medical Services (CMS) to their own tactical unit, Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT). The jurisdiction for the SADOC actually extends past the facility itself - covering a radius of 2000 feet outside of it.
The faction itself interacts with players on a constant, each prisoner and Correctional Officer (the term "guard" is not correct) providing a unique role in the way that the prison works. There are various prison gangs and rivalries (the exact number constantly changes), and the Department of Corrections even has its own division to investigate. They also deal with Parole, which is a process within itself. In total, there are eight units that members can join. Leadership for the faction is ran mainly by four people: John Winnfield, Giovanni Poldilotta, Galen Hawkins, and Katie Clark. The leadership under them consists of various Command Team Members, under two ranks. The faction leader himself wrote a guide detailing as much that isn't taboo about the topic of corruption.
San Andreas Correctional Facility, otherwise known as SACF, has not always been in place. Prior to the move to Bone County in 2012, the prison was actually in the middle of Los Santos. Just North West of Alhambra is the old Los Santos Prison, also known as LSP or 'Old LSP'. It had multiple versions, the first of which had the old LVPD interior with only six cells and one desk for a CO. The yard was always the same semi-enclosed area that's part of the San Andreas map. The very first LSP update gave it a cellblock that isn't much different from the current SACF cellblocks. Later updates brought along isolation cells, more items to the yard (weights, basketball court, weights, seating). Other items still exist in the current SACF, such as laundry room, gym, processing room. The first isolation cells were very small and inmates were only put in for 10 or so minutes. After an extensive revamp plan by LS-RP's mapping team with input and direct work from the faction leader at that time, Abbruzi, SACF was conceived in late 2012. The new prison addressed practically all issues LSP had, including overpopulation; inmate capacity was increased by 500%, an entirely new open Yard was created with several design elements that encouraged freedom of roleplay. With this update came the prison's new location near Fort Carson with new exteriors, and a sophisticated script that allowed all instances of SACF to be controlled via in-game commands (all cells, doors, gates, alarms and many more). Later updates to SACF added a fully functional prison shop, a scripted isolation system automatic release, and several upgrades to the exterior to increase the level of security.
Recruitment process starts with, just as any other legal faction, an application on the Department of Corrections Forum. Once the application is complete, applicants complete an interview and physical exam. The academy is conducted, and examination after. Once complete, members graduate and receive their invite to the faction.
We did sit down for a bit of Q&A with Winnfield:
Q: When and why did you first join the DOC?
Answer: October 2011. I was looking for a different legal faction experience, different in relation to simple police stuff. I joined LSRP not long before I joined DOC. I knew it was going to be different because I did not hear about a correctional faction of any kind on SAMP back then. I know they exist in other communities of course, now, but it was a really big deal back then.
Q: What is your favorite change that has happened with the DOC since you first took over?
Answer: It's really impossible to pick one in specific, in my opinion every major upgrade to the faction since then can be my "favorite", because we achieved all of them with great teamwork, with visible results. It would be quite a list if I had to tell you about every single upgrade, however I would like to note that the ideas themselves were a lot of times older ones that we just turned into stuff we can use. Which is also very good, since the original creators of these ideas are not in the faction anymore. Therefore I like to believe we make them proud, or made them proud, to be more specific, since all of those ideas got implemented. To put the "great teamwork" thing into perspective, a lot of times we grabbed a concept or an idea at the start of the week and were able to fully implement it by the end of the week, with all of us working on it and refining it.
Q: Are there any major plans you have for 2015 with the faction?
Answer: Future updates to the script of LS-RP have a great deal of things for us in store too, and a lot of those are features that we needed for quite a long time. We accomplished so many things in the later half of 2014 that the "calendar" for updates is quite small now. However, even at this very moment we're working on something that is quite major, so you never know.
Q: Overall, what do you believe is the best opportunity that members have?
Answer: SACF is a roleplay environment that is basically its own animal, most things that people roleplay normally everywhere else are simply not applicable in there. So basically, it can be an entirely different experience than anywhere else. We very heavily focus on roleplaying the characters themselves, but anyone could say that, obviously. However, the smaller environment means that interactions are going to happen one way or another, with inmates and prison staff, too. This also means that the drastically different RP atmosphere is able to offer a different perspective to things. I personally think that immersing oneself in that is very enjoyable roleplay. However, being in DOC is not only that. Most people have a lack of insight in regards to what we actually roleplay. I can't blame anyone for that, after all it's a prison, by definition it's supposed to keep things and people separated. But we do have a full range of units that offer other types of roleplay too.