Why Corrections?

                                                                                   



 
SHANE J. DOTSON, CJM, MS, CCE   JAIL ADMINISTRATOR
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"I was raised in a law enforcement family and started my career as a detention officer in 1989. I came back to be the jail administrator and I look forward to retiring from this position".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Learn all you can and apply it to your job daily, while being firm, fair, and consistent with the inmates and co-workers".   
                         
 

 
JOSEPH E. DEMPSEY, CJM, MPA   COMMANDER
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...
"
I wanted a career that would continually challenge me and allow me to truly make a difference".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Get into the field of corrections for the right reason. You have to have passion to be successful in this career".   
                         
 

 


 
JOLI RISH SHUMPERT CJM, CCM, CBHC-CO   LIEUTENANT
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"A friend was working as an E-911 operator and urged me to apply as well. While talking through some of the interview questions, the recruiter felt my personality was better suited for the jail. At the time, I thought the idea of working in detention absolutely absurd! But I’m also one that never shies from a challenging opportunity. I began with absolutely no expectations. I now know it to be my ministry".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Give yourself something to work toward—constantly".
                           

 

 
JAMES K. MARTIN, MT   CHAPLAIN
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"Having grown up in a law-enforcement home, watching my mom serve the citizens of my community, created a thirst in me to do the same on the corrections side".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"to PRAY"!
                           

 




 
PENNY PERRY   CHIEF DEPUTY OF CORRECTIONS
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"I was encouraged to do so by a dear friend of mine, who recently passed away. The corrections profession intrigued me. After much discussion about the challenges and opportunities available—and my friend’s support and passion for her profession—I decided to pursue corrections as my career".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Many avenues are available to you in in the field of corrections. This profession gives you the opportunity to make a positive difference in lives of those who work for you, those who walk through our doors at one of the lowest point in their lives, and those within the community".
                           

 


 
ROBERT LESLIE HOOD, CJM   LIEUTENANT
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"I was looking for a job that was not dependent upon the weather. Once I entered the corrections field, I quickly realized this was not a job but a career. I thoroughly enjoyed going to work every day and eventually it became my passion".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Be a sponge. Attend all the training classes you can and listen to those who came before you. The profession continues to change: Be willing to evolve with it".
                           

 


 
SAM L. DAVIS, CJM, MA   MAJOR/JAIL ADMINISTRATOR
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"I was looking for a challenging career opportunity in a field where I could remake myself by doing far afield from what I had done most of my working life. A great opening came and I was ready to capitalize on it".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Corrections affords you the chance to work with people at one of the lowest points in their lives and yet possibly still help them to recognize that they can write a new chapter in their unfinished life".
                           

 


 
LOUIS A. QUINONES, JR., CJM, MSSL, CCE, CPM   DEPUTY CHIEF
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"I was looking for a job with a good salary and benefits to support my family. As time went on, I began to learn more about the field of corrections and the importance of being a public servant. I enjoyed the impact I was making and decided to turn this job into a lifelong career".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Remember, a correctional officer is to provide care, custody, and control. We are not the jury or the judge. Treat everyone with respect. Remember the above because it is half the battle to a successful and safe career".
                           

 




 
JOHN W. JOHNSON, SR., CJM, MBA, CPM   CAPTAIN
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"To be candid, I entered corrections as a stepping stone to become a police officer. However, after interacting with some of the individuals being processed through our criminal justice system, I realized that a lot of these people were experiencing the lowest point of their lives. Yes, some were hardening criminals, but many were good people in tough circumstances who needed help. Call it altruism, but that compelled me to stay so I could offer the referenced help to the extent I could".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be… 
"Correctional work is about people, not punishment. As a correctional professional, you have the unique ability to help people, who are in many cases unable to help themselves. If this concept fits your way of thinking, this career can be very satisfying. Conversely, if you have a desire to participate in preconceived notions that involve forms of institutional oppression, you will not succeed".  
                           

 



 
MICHAEL TOLERICO, CJM, BA, CPM   WARDEN
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"At the age of 24, with no money for college and bouncing between seasonal jobs, I decided to seek a career in public service that would not only provide employment stability for me and my pregnant wife, but would also give me with a sense of accomplishment and pride".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be… 

"Take a tour. As a judge once told me after a tour of our jail, “It’s definitely not as advertised.” Don’t believe the myths about working inside a jail. It really is a challenging, yet rewarding career".
                         
 

 






 
SHAWN LAUGHLIN, CJM , MCJ  DIVISION COMMANDER
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...
"
I settled on the corrections profession while in college. I was fascinated by the prospect of truly making a difference in the criminal justice system. I recognized that the corrections system is the only part of the criminal justice system that can truly effect change upon the citizens that we come into contact with. It amazes me how the corrections profession has grown over the past 21 years. Such a diverse workforce, technology improvements, and better community awareness to our plight have all helped to make our profession a career".   
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Choose to work for an agency that you feel has the ability to help you grow both personally and professionally. Demand the best from your supervisors and give the best you can. Remember there is a fine line between “living to work” and “working to live.” Find the balance that allows you the freedom to experience life outside of this profession and never forget that you can make a difference if you choose to"!   
                         
 
           




 
ROBERT SCHLEGEL, CJM , CCT  CAPTAIN
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"through the mentorship of two individuals whom I admire and are close friends: retired Pembroke Pines Chief Martin Rahinsky and Grand Rapids Chief David Rahinsky. When I was 23, Martin asked me if I was interested in applying for the position of deputy sheriff at the Broward Sheriff’s Office. I am grateful to Martin for this one question that sparked my passion for corrections and changed my life forever".  
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"to always do the right thing no matter the challenge. Never compromise your moral code, maintain the highest level of ethics, grow and learn from your mistakes. I promise you will have a rewarding and fulfilling career knowing that you performed your responsibili-ties with the highest level of integrity and honor. “Stay Gold.”  
                         
 
           



 
EDDIE LANCE, CJM,  CAPTAIN/JAIL ADMINISTRATOR (RETIRED)
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"I was in charge of the design team for the new public safety facility, which included a new jail. My sheriff asked me to lead the transition team as we were going from a linear, indirect supervision jail to a podular direct supervision jail. As I learned more about jail operations, I was intrigued and when the sheriff asked me if I would be interested in being the jail administrator, I enthusiastically said “yes!”
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Never let anyone tell you that what you are doing is not important. It is a truly honorable profession. Always remember to be professional, serve with pride and integrity, and always adhere to the American Jail Association Code of Ethics for Jail Officers".
                         
 
           


 
RONALDO D. MYERS CJM, CCT  DIRECTOR OF CORRECTIONS
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"To be honest, my intention was be a police officer; however, like so many people I took the first job I could get after I finished college which happened to be correctional work. I found I enjoyed the work, and people".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Do not take things too personal. Corrections is an underappreciated field. No matter what you do in corrections, you are only as good as your last mistake. You can do a one million things correctly, but one miscue is remem-bered a life time. Do not take it personally".
                         
 
      


 
WAYNE DICKY CJM, CCE  JAIL ADMINISTRATOR
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"My father was a peace officer and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I still remember that feeling of joy and excitement the day I was hired and issued my uniforms. I started with the goal of having a career as a deputy, but after three years on patrol, I returned to corrections and never looked back". 
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Be proud to serve as a detention officer and work hard to have a role that has a positive impact on your community".
                         
 
      




 
Kimberly Moule CJM,   CAPTAIN OF CUSTODY
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"I was challenged by a sheriff’s office employee to take the exam, and I have been here ever since. Once I began, it was clear to me that this was where I was meant to be. I consider myself to be very fortunate to have found a career that has provided me with opportunities to make a difference in my community and in the lives of others. This is not a glamorous career; however, it has been far more rewarding than I could ever have imagined". 
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Hard work and dedication reap rewards that are unimaginable. Challenge yourself, examine your motivation, and commit yourself to being a lifelong learner. The world of corrections is ever-changing and will allow you to not only grow professionally, but also to change the lives of others".
                         
 
      


 
CAVIN HARLEY, CJM   CAPTAIN
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"As a 21-year-old living in my parents’ house, I needed a job that offered stability and security (no pun intended). My initial thought was that I would not be working in the jail very long; however, I saw a lot of opportunity for advancement in the criminal justice profession. So here I am 23 years later!"
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Always remember that corrections can be a thank-less job, and you may feel at times that you are being ignored for the job you do every day, but we are the “heroes behind the walls”!
                         
 
      




 
JAMEY KESSINGER, CJM   ASSISTANT JAIL SUPERINTENDENT
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"when I left the Army in 1986, the corrections field was hiring. I decided to make corrections my career when I was about three years into my service with my current employer, the McLean County Detention Facility. I discovered that I was effective in my position as a correctional officer".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"to meet as many people from our field as you can. There are a lot of great people in corrections and you’d do well to know as many of them as possible. I can’t explain how many issues I have addressed by making a phone call or sending an e-mail to friends and acquaintances in the field. If you can possibly make it, a great place to do this is at national conferences".
                         
 
      
                         





 
ANGELIQUE P. LOCHRIE, CJM   OPERATIONS LIEUTENANT
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"because I have an uncle who works in the State prison system. He told me about the career and I thought it might be something I could do. Once I became certified, I found that I fit into the paramili-ary structure perfectly due to the organization of the procedures and chain of command. My strong suit is being organized, which became very helpful in acquiring the position I have today".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"to never quit. This job can be long hours, boring, mundane, and tiresome. You may miss time with your family and friends, but it is worth it in the end. If you truly care about people and want to make a difference, it is up to you on how you accomplish your goals. I have spent years in a profession I love, and I wouldn’t trade this career for anything. You can make a positive change in someone’s life if you take the time to try. I have, and I must say it is worth it. I have learned so much about life after 21 years in corrections, and have met some of the greatest people ever. You will too if you stick to it and don’t give up"!
                         
 
      



 
AMANDA (MANDY) LAMBERT, CJM   DIRECTOR OF SUPPORT SERVICES
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...

"I actually had no intention of working in the field of corrections. At the age of 15, I knew I wanted to be a police officer and follow in my dad’s footsteps. At the age of 19, I was recruited by the then-superintendent of the local jail while attending college. Back in the mid-1980s, you only had to be 19 years old to work in a jail and 21 to be a police officer. Within one year of working in corrections, I never thought about police work again. I knew that corrections would be my career"! 
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"You have to be able to talk to people while wearing many different hats. If you don’t like that concept, the field of corrections is probably not a good option for you".
                         
 
      
                         
 

DON BIRD, CJM   JAIL ADMINISTRATOR (Retired)
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...
"I was tired of working seasonal resort jobs with nothing to show for it. The new county jail had just opened and was advertising for detention officers. When i became the Jail Administrator and hooked up with AJA, I began to seriously consider this career as a profession. Through AJA I have been able to make my job a profession and to professionalize my officer's jobs as well".
    
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Do not mistake compassion for weakness".   
                         
 
                                                                 

CINDY  MALM    JAIL STANDARDS COORDINATOR/INSPECTOR
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because...
"I enjoy working with people and love the constant learning that happens in jails".    
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Remember that the people you care for are human beings
".  
                       


 




 

MITCH LUCAS, CJM   ASSISTANT SHERIFF
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because…
"..of the people I met at the Charleston County Detention Center. When I went to Charleston County as the PIO, I was impressed by the way the jail staff stayed so motivated and dedicated, even though no one outside the jail ever saw how hard they worked or how good they were at their jobs. I told the sheriff that if I ever had the opportunity, I would like to work at the jail. My opportunity came in 2005. It was the best job I ever had, and I am still just as impressed with the jail professionals".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering a career in jails, it would be…
"
Understand the importance of your work. You will be a public servant in a criti-cal role, and no matter how good you are at your work, the public will probably never have the opportunity to thank you. That lack of acknowledgment does not diminish your value or importance in keeping the community safe".
                             




 
MIKE B. VITIELLO, CJM   LT. COLONEL/JAIL SUPERINTENDENT   
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because…
"Initially, I accepted a job in corrections to relocate to Maine. Working as a corrections officer, I found that I enjoyed the job because of the challenges and the opportunity to do a variety of things each and every day. I have remained in corrections for 22 years for the same reasons".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Your ability to listen and relate to people is going to be your greatest asset".

                         
 

 
MARSHA TRAVIS, CJM, CCM   ADMINISTRATOR
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because…
"..corrections found me. I completed an internship at the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office for my undergraduate degree and didn’t quite know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I applied for a full-time position to pay the bills and was hired. After several years, I discovered that I had no desire to do anything else".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"..try everything. You will learn so much even doing the “grunt” jobs that will make you well rounded in later years. Always be willing to take the challenging assignment and look for the way to make things better. Leave every-thing better than when you found it".
                               

 

 
ELIAS A. DIGGINS, CJM, CCE   CHIEF
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because…
"my dad was incarcerated from time to time while I was growing up, which made me became very interested in the criminal justice system. When I was in college I saw a posting that the Denver Sheriff Department (DSD) was hiring, so I thought I would give it a shot".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"do it because you love serving others. If you cannot understand that, then this is not the field for you".
                                 

 
 




 
JAMIE LYNN CLAYTON   CHIEF DEPUTY CORRECTIONS
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because…
"I was promoted to Correctional Officer from Dispatcher II in August 1991. I enjoy the daily challenges and rewards of corrections and have a passion for my job. I often tell people that I have the best job in the world. There are never two days the same".

If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"Remember that not all offenders are “bad” people. Many of them are everyday people who have made mistakes. Often times we forget how easy it is to have incarceration affect our families or those we love. Treat offenders with respect until their behavior is no longer deserving [of that respect]. Don’t use incarceration as an avenue to demean someone. I know the question says one piece of advice, but I have one more: don’t miss oppor-tunities that come along during your career. You only get one shot at a special project or special assignment. Be willing to face a challenge and take opportunities. It can be the beginning of the rest of your career".

                              
 


 
DARWIN LONG   FACILITY ADMINISTRATOR
I decided to enter the field of corrections and make it my career because…
"I’m the Facility Administrator for the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Corrections in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. This is actually my second time on the Board. Previously, I was appointed to a one-year term".
If there is one piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone considering corrections as a career, it would be…
"to remember your family and take time for them. This career seems to have an invisible rope that tows you into the correction world and the next thing you know, your kids are grown up".