Letter to the Editor: A reflection on RSW’s pay increase

Editor:

After I stumbled upon the wonderful article about the Rappahannock-Shenandoah Warren Regional Jail and its increase in pay, I reflected on what I have learned thus far in my education. As a current student, I am in the process of learning about crime and the criminal justice system. One main takeaway from my current semester is learning about the prison and jail environment and how tough it can be to be a corrections officer.

It is great to see that RSW has increased the starting pay for correctional officers. Being a corrections officer is not an easy job, as some may believe. Within the walls of jails and prisons lies a whole new environment different from the real world. Inmates are learning to strive in this environment. Their choices are constrained and they may turn to alternative measures to protect themselves once behind bars,  especially if they are perceived as weak.

Correctional officers are putting their lives at risk daily. They risk their lives by walking through those doors, locking themselves inside with multiple offenders, and are unaware of what may happen next. Correctional officers are trained to ensure a safe environment, constantly looking for contraband, and constantly watching offenders. This job can take a toll on individuals and I think that RSW made a wise decision on raising their pay to attract more interest.

Kaitlin Litten, Edinburg

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