For Poetry Friday: A prayer for a correctional officer.

by Chuck Stanley

Correctional officer prayerWhen the CelticLassie read on Daily Kos that former correctional officer ruleoflaw is critically ill, she wanted to send him a message. His story appeared in a diary by SaraR, who is making him a community quilt. SaraR’s community quilts are made with squares, each featuring a special message from commenters. By the time she read about it, SaraR had almost enough quotes to fill the quilt. But the CelticLassie sat at her desk and thought about him for a long time. She finally started writing. She wouldn’t let me see it until she was ready to post it. She insists this is not a poem, that it is a prayer.

Make of it what you will, poem or prayer. Given the events of the past day, with two officers shot by a hidden sniper, it seems fitting. An acquaintance if of hers, from her department, was shot in the face at close range by a deranged man with a .308 caliber deer rifle. Think about the role and responsibilities of any correctional officer. When correctional officers leave for work each day, neither they or their families know if they will walk through the door after their shift, or be carried in a box.

For poetry Friday:   Correctional Officer Prayer


God took some of the world’s finest men and women
And made them into Correctional Officers.

We face danger every day of our lives.
Going into work praying to leave alive,
Praying that things don’t go wrong.

We have family and children waiting for us at home.
An uneasy feeling in your gut.

People don’t realize what we face when we go behind those closed doors.

They are quick to criticize, judge, and talk down about us.
I know how stressful it can be.

The job is hard; you have to be ready to act at any moment.
Inmates can be nasty at times and it is our job to stay strong
And fair.

Sometimes we actually see change in inmates behind bars. Some of them look up to you.

With respect towards the inmates you get respected back.
It takes courage to do what we do.

Thanks to all the Correctional Officers Everywhere!

by C/O CelticLassie (Brandi Nicole Stanley)

You sleep much better at night, because you know that stone walls, razor wire, high fences and correctional officers stand between you and the rapists, murderers, thieves and muggers who are locked up away from society.

What stands between the correctional officer and those inmates?


Have any of our readers ever watched, listened in, or participated in a 10-42 ceremony?  I hope not. I pray you never do. Here is a 10-42 ceremony in Bismarck, North Dakota.  Code 10-8 means “In service” or “On duty.”  Code 10-42 is the sign off for the end of watch.

About Chuck Stanley

Dr. Charlton (Chuck) Stanley is a board certified forensic psychologist, with interests in aviation psychology, peace officer selection and training, ethics and communication skills.
This entry was posted in Crime, Criminal Law, Heroism, Jurisprudence, Law Enforcement, Local Government, Prison and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to For Poetry Friday: A prayer for a correctional officer.

  1. Chuck, It is a prayer, because that is what the Lassie says it is, and I always side with her. 😉

    (Well done, sweetie. XOXO)

  2. Alan Wallisch says:

    She was like chicory flowers. You think they’ll last forever and suddenly they are gone.
    (I got a little better, partial remission. I like to think her applied passion had something to do with that.)

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