CHICAGO (CBS) — North Suburban Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran is taking on some very different duties this week and getting another taste of life inside county jail.

In 2008, Sheriff Mark Curran spent seven days in Lake County Jail as a detainee to get an idea of what life was like for inmates.

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This week, after several weeks of field officer training, he’s working as a corrections officer in Lake County Jail.

“You gotta be on your “A” game all the time. Officer safety issues are a must,” he says.

Curran is working the day shift until Thursday, managing a jail pod comprised of 60 detainees.

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He said, “Ultimately, there’s a lot in terms of psychological warfare that takes place in terms of the inmates trying to get away with more than the rules provide for.”

The sheriff says he had to put a detainee on lockdown for defying him. Normally, inmates are allowed to roam the 60-unit pod, unless they have misbehave and have those privileges taken away.

There are about 700 people behind bars in the Lake County Jail. Another 200 are on a work-release program and about 100 are on electronic monitoring.

There are also about 225 correctional officers and Sheriff Curran said his office is in the process of hiring more.

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According to Sheriff Curran, being a corrections officer is a tough job, and one that protects the larger society.