National Correctional Officers and Employees Week May 4-10, 2014

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“Historically, correctional officers have been viewed as "guards," occupying isolated and misunderstood positions in prisons and jails. In recent years, the duties of these officers have become increasingly complex and demanding. They are called upon to fill, simultaneously, custodial, supervisory and counseling roles. The professionalism, dedication and courage exhibited by these officers throughout the performance of these demanding and often conflicting roles deserve our utmost respect. The important work of correctional officers often does not receive the recognition from the public it deserves. It is appropriate that we honor the many contributions and accomplishments of these men and women who are a vital component of the field of corrections.”

--President Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5187, May 5, 1984

History of National Correctional Officers Week

Did you know that the first week in May is National Correctional Officers Week? The week was designated by President Ronald Reagan under Proclamation 5187 enacted on May 5, 1984. It is designed to provide correctional employees, particularly direct contact line staff, the respect and recognition that they deserve. National Correctional Officers Week is observed annually during the first full week of May.

As part of the National Correctional Officers Week proclamation, President Reagan suggested that the week be celebrated through ceremonies and activities that provide recognition to correctional professionals for the valuable public service that they provide.

In 1996, the name of the week was officially modified by Congress, becoming National Correctional Officers and Employees Week to include other vital members of correctional staff.

How National Correctional Officers and Employees Week is Observed

Although very little is mentioned about this proclamation outside of the correctional field, employers and organizations within the field may hold events to recognize correctional staff. These events may include memorials to lost officers; training events; award ceremonies; and special meals, including pot lucks, catered events, and grill-outs.

Professional associations, collective bargaining units (unions), employers, and other related correctional organizations may send out press releases or make speeches to provide public recognition to correctional staff. Such press releases and public announcements also help to raise public awareness of the important duties that correctional employees are tasked with.

National Correctional Officers and Employees Week is an ideal time to recognize and celebrate correctional professionals for their devotion, bravery, and ongoing commitment to being the change that they would like to see in the world.

Join our Facebook Event for National Correctional Officers and Employees Week to discuss this special week and to give kudos to correctional professionals who have performed their correctional duties in an extraordinary manner.

Is National Correctional Officers and Employees Week celebrated by your agency?
How are employees recognized?
What suggestions would you have to improve the observance of National Correctional Officers and Employees Week?

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