RICHMOND — This week, the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) commemorates the men and women who serve on the front line of Virginia’s prisons.
Governor Glenn Youngkin has proclaimed May 1 through May 7 to be Correctional Officers’ Week in Virginia, a time to honor those who serve as Correctional Officers in the Commonwealth.
“Our Correctional Officers have served with tremendous courage and dedication in the past year,” said Harold Clarke, Director of the Virginia Department of Corrections. “The Department’s success is a team effort, and Correctional Officers are an important part of our team. They do much more than supervise inmates. They serve as teachers, facilitators and positive role models. They act as change agents for inmates, many of whom come to us with negative attitudes toward public safety personnel.”
In recent years, the VADOC has emphasized communication, learning, and the use of evidence-based practices to advance the concept of healing in its mission of helping people to be better. Correctional Officers have played a vital role in all those areas. The Department has long held one of the lowest recidivism rates in the nation, most recently 22.3 percent, a result of its well-trained staff and acclaimed and accredited programmatic efforts.
“Virginia’s Correctional Officers promote long-lasting public safety, said A. David Robinson, VADOC’s Chief of Corrections Operations. “They have met many different challenges this past year, and they have maintained the highest levels of security in our prison system. They are a vital component of public safety in Virginia and we all owe them a debt of gratitude.”
VADOC will recognize its Correctional Officers this week. The Department is the largest state agency in Virginia and more than half of its employees are Correctional Officers.