Our Department is an innovative leader in providing public safety and much needed services to individuals within our custody in safe and secure settings. This could not be accomplished without dedicated and hardworking staff. While our appreciation is endless, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight our exemplary correction officers and other corrections and community supervision employees throughout New York State, as we celebrate May 2 - 8, 2021, as National Correctional Officers and Employees Week.
Our correction officers and employees continually rise to meet every challenge presented to them and fulfill an important, but often unseen, public service. Many of our co-workers begin their work shifts not knowing what the day might bring or if their shift will be extended. Despite all the uncertainties, they continually show up, have each other’s backs, and play an integral role in ensuring each facility, bureau and office runs as it should, in a safe, secure and efficient manner. The ongoing global pandemic has presented another novel challenge resulting in a great deal of change within our Department; however, it has also served to highlight the adaptability, courage and perseverance of our staff, who have continued to fulfill their roles throughout the adversity of the past year.
While the Department’s gratitude for the essential service provided by our co-workers transcends the timeframe of this week-long celebration, this gratitude would be incomplete if some time was not also dedicated to promoting your well-being. The field of corrections and community supervision, especially for those who work on the front lines, as our correction and parole officers do, is often taxing and stressful. Therefore, it is important that staff address stress in a healthy manner and utilize resources available whenever such resources are needed.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available statewide with representatives at each correctional facility and in regional offices. This confidential program is free for all employees and can assist employees and their families in addressing a number of challenges. To find an EAP Coordinator at a specific facility, please visit https://goer.ny.gov/find-eap-coordinator. There are also a variety of free or low-cost applications geared toward wellness and well-being, including the Headspace Mobile App designed to promote mindfulness, as well as the Blue Life Coach Mobile App, which offers a toolkit designed to promote well-being for law enforcement. For anyone who experiences a personal crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is confidential and is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255,) as well as the Crisis Text Line: text “HOME” to 741741.
Again, I would like to extend my appreciation to each and every correction officer and employee within our Department for their commitment and dedication to fulfilling their role. I encourage you all to take time to evaluate your personal wellness, to look into the resources provided above, and to explore additional resources/opportunities that might fit into your own lifestyle. Thank you for your diligence day after day to ensure the safety of all individuals within our system, as well as that of the general public.