News Story
Posted by Transylvania County on May 2, 2022


Correctional officers are responsible for managing those who have been brought into custody by law enforcement. There are jobs that require these skills for those who are incarcerated and awaiting trial, and there are corrections officers that are responsible for managing convicted criminals who are serving time.  National Correctional Officers Week is recognized in the first full week of May and will next be celebrated from Sunday, May 1st to Saturday May 7th, 2022.

Like many tough jobs, a Detention Officer rarely gets singled out for recognition for doing the tough job of maintaining security for those in confinement. But since the Reagan years, a move to change that has resulted in an annual observance that pays tribute to these workers.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan announced the first week in May as National Correctional Officers Week. The President may have been motivated by a variety of things, but the fact that Detention Officers and corrections officers have one of the highest rates of occupational injuries and sickness may have something to do with the proclamation.

The National Criminal Justice Reference System (NCJRS) notes that the injury and illness rate is only one factor affecting this type of employment; prisons and jails are often notoriously short-staffed, with vacancy rates hitting 45% or better according to an NCJRS study.

President Reagan, in his announcement that the first week in May should be observed in this fashion, notes, “Historically, correctional officers have been viewed as ‘guards,’ occupying isolated and misunderstood positions in prisons and jails,” adding that in the years leading up to the proclamation that the job grows more complicated and demanding.  “The important work of correctional Officers often does not receive the recognition from the public it deserves,” said Reagan.

We agree with President Reagan.  We here at the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office are extremely grateful for the unsung heroes of law enforcement – our Detention Officers.  Thank you to each one for all you do!

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