"You can't come in here with an attitude, or you're just not going to make it," Tim Fowler, former corrections officer for cell block seven of the Jackson State Prison, said Sunday.
Fowler served at the facility for twenty six years. And walking through the floors he used to patrol brought back good and bad memories.
"You had to watch your back," Fowler said.
His old stomping grounds are now the Cell Block Seven Museum, open to the public to understand what life is like on the inside.
The prison is one of the main financial hubs for the Jackson area, and the state of Michigan. Cell block seven is closed, but it's only part of the fully operational prison, once considered the largest prison in the world.
Museum manager Jason Porta says the facility has a financial, and emotional impact on the area.
"Most of the people that have been coming through have never been inside, they don't know what it's like. They don't know how intense it is," Porta said.
That impact hasn't left Tim Fowler. After retiring nine years ago, he struggles to talk about the officers he served with.
"I can't even tell you how many things I learned."
The museum lets outsiders in, but they will never feel the impact like those who spent their days on patrol.