RICHMOND — The men and women who serve as correctional officers for the Virginia Department of Corrections play a vital role in the successful reentry of offenders into our communities.
Throughout this week, the Commonwealth will recognize and honor correctional officers in recognition of Correctional Officers’ Week, May 1-7.
“Today’s correctional officer wears many hats,” said Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) Director Harold Clarke. “Our officers are a primary reason Virginia has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the country. They readily implement our mission in its simplest form: they help people to be better.”
Correctional officers’ excellence in promoting the successful reentry of Virginia offenders ultimately promotes the safety of all Virginians. Around 90 percent of offenders in Virginia’s state correctional facilities will one day be released back into the community.
This year, the Department again received recognition for its significant successes, a credit to every correctional officer. Among other things, the VADOC’s restrictive housing reforms were highlighted by the Department of Justice and the Department was praised for its offender education efforts.
Correctional officers have taken a lead role in utilizing evidence-based practices and preparing offenders to reenter their communities. Reentry preparation begins with an offender's first contact with the VADOC, and that first contact is often with a correctional officer.
More information on the VADOC can be found at www.vadoc.virginia.gov.