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Correctional Staff Take Care of Others – And Each Other

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 4:09pm
Author: 
Jerry Higgins, Communications Officer

Whenever there are individuals or groups that need assistance, few rise to the occasion better than correctional officers. There are countless stories about their fundraising efforts to support Special Olympics of North Carolina, disaster victims or to show their love and concern during the holidays.

They’re also quick to respond to helping each other during times of stress or need. Even during times where an officer doesn’t directly ask for assistance, word spreads throughout the facility and the other officers pool their resources to provide help.

Recently at Wake Correctional Center, word spread that a new correctional officer -- a single mother – would have difficulty providing a Thanksgiving meal for her family. The facility’s Staff Appreciation Committee, a group of employees led by Administrative Officer Angela Blackmon, heard the rumors and put the word out for employees to donate food for the CO. 

On Tuesday, the CO was presented food for a Thanksgiving meal.

“We take care of our own,” said Wake CC Food Services Supervisor Charlotte McSwain, who helped coordinate the collection effort with fellow CO Derrick McClamb. “We spend more time here sometimes than with our own families. She didn’t ask for it, but she was very grateful. She works overtime and is the first one who will stay over if she’s needed. This is what families do.”

Wake CC Superintendent Anthony Perry said the committee, which has been around for two years, has raised funds for correctional officers in financial need as well.

“Earlier this year, we had a long-time employee have financial difficulties as her husband was laid off of work,” Perry said. “We collected money and presented it to her. We hear about people in need and they’re scared to say they need help. We work together and spread the love where it’s needed.”

Wake CC isn’t unique in its caring of fellow correctional officers in need. It, like other state prisons, celebrate Nurse’s Week and show appreciation to staff with cookouts and fundraisers. These acts of kindness and caring bring a huge smile to Director of Prisons Kenneth Lassiter.

“This reinforces what we say about correctional officers,” Lassiter said. “Not only did staff at Wake go above and beyond the call of duty, they had the wherewithal to take care of new staff. This act of kindness can spark others to do the same. Families take care of each other, especially in the hard times.”

While the Wake CC staff will continue to help each other, they will continue to reach out to the community to assist where needed. They’re currently searching out opportunities to provide Christmas gifts to needy families.

“This is part of the bond we have,” McClamb said. “This is something I wanted to do and feel it’s a way of giving back.”

 

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