Thank a Correctional Officer! - National Commission on Correctional Health Care
shutterstock 2000106464 680x510 1May 3, 2023

Thank a Correctional Officer!

May 7-13 is National Correctional Officers Week.

The NCCHC mission is to improve the quality of health care in jails, prisons, and juvenile confinement facilities. 2023 marks four decades of service for NCCHC, and we are proud to partner with our clients and others who use the NCCHC Standards to guide their correctional health care policies, procedures, and operations. Together, we make a difference by ensuring that constitutionally acceptable health care services are provided for residents under a facility’s custody and care.

While NCCHC’s mission pertains specifically to correctional health care, we recognize that partnerships between health care staff and custody staff are vital to the safe, efficient, and effective operation of correctional facilities. One component cannot work effectively without the other, and it is critical that we take the time to recognize the heroes who protect the residents and staff within correctional facilities, as well as the public, by operating a secure facility.

The week of May 7 – 13, 2023, is National Correctional Officers Week. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan established this week as a testament to the professionalism, dedication, and courage of the hard-working men and women in corrections. In the nearly 40 years since then, the corrections profession has evolved into a complicated and technical profession, with residents having more needs and higher acuity, and the public having higher-than-ever expectations for facilities to be run efficiently, effectively, and safely.

Some have referred to correctional officers as “forgotten” elements of the criminal justice system and law enforcement. This could not be further from the truth. Correctional officers are an indispensable part of the criminal justice system. They exemplify professionalism, integrity, courage, and strength in a complex job that many simply do not understand or appreciate, even from their own law enforcement peers. Correctional officers protect and preserve life and make a positive difference within their communities. They are a critical part of the successful delivery of health care to the residents under their custody and care, and that in and of itself saves lives.

NCCHC would like to extend a sincere “thank you” to correctional officers who serve in our jails, prisons, and juvenile confinement facilities across the United States and its territories. We appreciate your commitment to operating safe, secure facilities, and for your partnership with correctional health care providers. We hope you receive the recognition you deserve from your agency and community. Be safe, be healthy, and thank you for your commitment and dedication.

By Richard A. Forbus, Jr., vice president of program development, NCCHC; corrections captain (retired)

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