NATIONAL CORRECTIONAL OFFICER/EMPLOYEE WEEK STARTS MAY 2
"Corrections professionals are key members of the Commonwealth's public safety team. These law enforcement professionals play a vital role in the State's criminal justice system. They put their lives on the line everyday providing safety and security in the prison system," said DOC Commissioner Harold W. Clarke. "In addition, they play a key role in the Department's commitment to inmate reentry, preparing inmates for a successful transition from prison to community living."
As Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction and President of the American Correctional Association, Commissioner Clarke issued the following proclamation:
A Proclamation: National Correctional Officers and Employees Week
May 2-8, 2010
The corrections profession is one of the most challenging professions one can pursue. It is also one of the most noble. Correctional staff help keep our citizens and our communities safe - not simply by securing jails and prisons and the offenders confined there. Correctional officers and employees serve admirably in facilities all across the country as counselors, teachers, chaplains, health care professionals, support staff, custody officers, supervisors, wardens and directors. They are among the most capable, committed, patient and persistent public servants in our nation.
Few truly understand the difficulties and challenge these corrections professionals face daily, often at great personal risk. They are given those who engaged in dangerous and addictive behaviors, along with the responsibility to reform and rehabilitate. They are given society's illiterate and unskilled, and the task to educate. They are given those who lack medical care, or who are in poor health, and must help make them well. They are given the mentally ill, and the responsibility to diagnose, treat and protect.
The men and women entrusted to our custody have many wants-either because they failed to find what they needed, or refused to accept what was offered, in their homes, schools, or communities. Offenders need training, guidance, support and, in many cases, they are searching for spiritual direction. Correctional officers and employees are in a position to offer offenders a better example, and a new path. These staff do so with limited resources, and often with little awareness or acknowledgement from those outside of the field of corrections. Yet, correctional employees continue to rise to the challenge time and time again.
As the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction and on behalf of the American Correctional Association, I salute all those who currently serve in the corrections profession, those who have served and those who have been injured and lost in pursuit of this most honorable profession. As president of the ACA, I proclaim the first week of May as National Correctional Officers and Employees Week and encourage all ACA members, our chapter and affiliate organizations, correctional leaders and the citizens we serve to recognize and give thanks to the many dedicated individuals serving in the corrections profession.