I was reminded today that this week is Correctional Workers Week. There are so many people that drive our correctional systems including administrators and educators, that I wanted to share the post from the National Institute of Corrections.
This coincides with National Teacher Appreciation Week!
Thank you to all those who are making an impact on adult education behind and beyond our prison walls.
On behalf of the National Institute of Corrections, I wish to express my sincere admiration and gratitude to each of you who answer the call each day to staff our nation’s correctional systems. You play an invaluable role in keeping our country safe and ensuring that the places where we work, play, and live are continually protected. This week, we salute you during Correctional Workers’ Week 2023. We celebrate the broad spectrum of professionals like you who work in prisons and jails, supervise individuals in the community, and otherwise facilitate successful reentry.
Because your jobs are often unseen, it might be easy to believe that your contributions also go unnoticed. But nothing could be further from the truth. Over time, collectively, the role of correctional staff has grown from supervising individuals to also helping them navigate the courts and other facets of the criminal justice system. Correctional staff help change the behavior of justice-involved individuals, model prosocial skills, plan and supervise programs, facilitate rehabilitation and intervention, and apply evidence-based practices while maintaining safety and security in everything they do. The roles and responsibilities of jail and prison staff and those working in the community only seem to expand.
My team and I at the National Institute of Corrections are well aware of the incredible breadth of your responsibilities, and we seek to support you in your humanistic endeavor. Over the years, we’ve created collections of resources to help correctional staff improve their skills, enable more efficient operations, and manage trauma as a means of addressing this ongoing shift. We have tools to address staff wellness, workplace diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, mortality for both staff and those they supervise, and much more. Most recently, NIC released guidelines for peer support program professionals and post-conviction victim service providers, two professional groups that face the effects of trauma head on.
As you continue to meet the changing demands of your profession, we promise to do our part to support you, whether through training or other assistance. On behalf of NIC, I thank you for choosing corrections each day. Your resilience, bravery, and professionalism have not gone unnoticed.
Alix M. McLearen, Ph.D.
National Institute of Corrections