To the unsung heroes who work corrections in our nation’s jails and prisons… we call you, “The Thin Silver Line”.
You are never seen by the general public. Your work is not spotlighted by the media, unless you make a mistake. There are no community events for you to interact with law-abiding citizens. You work long hours surrounded by gates, fences, and walls. Holidays? There is no such thing inside those walls. No turkey dinner at Thanksgiving; no decorated tree at Christmas. Your work day is ruled by a tight schedule that accounts for every minute and this tedious routine is what keeps you, and inmates, safe.
You work short-staffed and are vastly outnumbered by the worst people in society. You are surrounded by unspeakable evil. Violent offenders, sexual predators, and criminal street gangs make up just some of the population you are tasked with holding. They are animals. They call you obscene names, threaten you, and assault you. They purposely act ignorant or immature just to make
your job difficult and miserable. They hate you. They would kill you if they had the chance.
As a result, many of you silently suffer from the heavy psychological and emotional tolls the job demands from you. The criminal population you hold is a minority of the total population of people in the world, but yet they make up your majority every day you go to work. Being able to put a face to the murderer, rapist, and child molester slowly eats at your heart and soul. Discussing emotions for mental well-being is highly discouraged because it makes you look “weak”. And you cannot appear weak inside the walls of a jail or prison or else the criminal population will eat you alive.
And yet, you faithfully suit up and go into the lions’ den to prevent that evil from escaping back into society. You stare the evil back in the eye unafraid to stand toe-to-toe with it, between it and the innocence in society. The general population has no idea of the personal sacrifices your make. No one could ever do your job like you and the most advanced piece of technology could never replace you.
Those who work corrections in jails and prisons are often forgotten because the public eye rarely focuses on the unsung heroes who hold inmates. But today, the Thin Silver Line boldly appears and we see the brave men and women who stand between society and the inmates housed in jails and prisons… the men and women who work as jailers, custody/detention officers, and custody specialists. Thank you all for your service. Carry on, knowing we all see you and appreciate you.