(STL.News) – Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed May 4-10 as Correctional Officers and Correctional Employees Week in North Carolina, to recognize the important public service provided by employees in the state’s prison system.
“Correctional officers, medical staff, programs staff, case managers and maintenance crews work tirelessly in our prisons, in challenging and often dangerous situations,” said Gov. Cooper. “To protect our communities, these state employees provide security, programs and care, while preparing people to reenter their communities.”
“Our correctional officers and correctional employees play an important role in North Carolina’s criminal justice community,” said Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks. “These law enforcement professionals have always been crucial to our public safety mission, now they have become crucial to our public health mission as well.”
More than 16,000 correctional officers and employees in the state prison system supervise almost 35,000 offenders in more than 50 facilities. These employees this spring have also faced the added challenges posed by COVID-19, which has brought swiftly changing procedures inside prisons to help ensure the wellbeing of staff and of those being held in state custody.
“I’ve been in many prisons throughout the country, and without a doubt our correctional staff are some of the finest men and women in the field anywhere,” said Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee. “To me, they are heroes.”