Recently, we lost an amazing member to our staff.  She was a wonderful, inspiring woman and she was so full of strength.  In the beginning, our relationship was so awful and we were pretty terrible at times to each other.  After the assault, we got a lot closer, and we learned we were not really so different from each other.  That is probably why she and I did not have the best start.  We could have random conversations about our weird serial killer fascination, dogs, or make up.  Just weird random little things.  At the same time however, I could also rely on her to give me advice with my situation and what I should do.  Even though she was limited to what she could tell me, since she was a Lieutenant, she was incredibly helpful and supportive.  When I transferred to my new facility, we would talk about all the differences and the policy “interpretations” and how they were very different from what I was used too.  She made a really positive impact on me and my choice to continue my career in corrections.  However, we never really talked about how her demons were chasing her.  And it all happened really fast.  She was just gone, and there was nothing anyone could do.  Suicide is the reason that statistically, correctional officers will not live to see their 59th birthdays.  Correctional officers are also twice as likely than the public or the police officers to commit suicide.  That is insanity.  There are a lot of awful things that happen in prison.  A lot of really awful events and situations that just cannot be unseen.  And it takes a toll on offenders, but on the staff as well.  And once again, NO ONE is talking about these issues or addressing them.  Why?  They probably do not care, or they do not have easily accessible information like most of us do not.  No one may ever read this either, so I guess that is part of the issue.  It is not talked about so no one knows.  Correctional staff have a difficult time going home at night (or morning) and falling asleep when they are still haunted by images from a grisly suicide or assault scene.  Mentally it is a lot, and the men and women who go behind the walls every day are some of the strongest people anyone could ever have the honor to meet.  If they did not do it, there would be no one else left to do the job.

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2 thoughts on “Suicide&Corrections

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