#WeApplaud: Let’s Not Forget the Brave Community Supervision and Correctional Officers

By APPA Community posted 2020-04-17 05:13 PM



A campaign is underway across the globe to highlight correctional staff who work in both the prisons and the community during the coronavirus pandemic. Messages of support are being sent to jurisdictions across the world in an effort to boost the morale of those who work within our prisons and pretrial/probation/parole systems and to give recognition for their dedication, commitment and professionalism as this crisis starts to penetrate into all aspects of society.

Reports are coming in on a regular basis that the Covid-19 virus has entered prisons in countries across every world region. It takes little imagination to think of how a contagious disease can affect populations within confined spaces such as prison. With the usual considerations around security and maintaining order and regular contact with individuals in custody and in the community, it is the noble efforts of these staff members who ensure the smooth running of such facilities and who care for those under their supervision.

The campaign is being supported by NGOs and associations that work together in the sector to improve standards and quality of care, and share knowledge among the network, including the American Probation and Parole Association, American Correctional Association, African Correctional Services Association, Correctional Leaders Association, Confederation of European Probation, European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services, International Corrections and Prisons Association, Penal Reform International, United Nations Department of Peace Operations, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

Commenting on the campaign, Executive Director of the American Probation and Parole Association Veronica Cunningham said, “It is an absolute honor to participate in the #WeApplaud campaign to give recognition to and voice support for our colleagues across the globe in community corrections specifically and in the field of corrections in general.”

“As a former community corrections practitioner, having served in various capacities in pretrial, probation and parole agencies, I am keenly aware of the challenges prior to COVID-19, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus; and now dedicated men and women in this field are being asked to keep our communities safe while functioning within measures that are obstructing their work. The COVID-19 crisis is creating new concerns, and who knows the true impact of the virus both individually and collectively? Individuals are anxious not only about their physical and mental health and the health of their loved ones but also about the economy, childcare, and their jobs. I feel that praising these brave individuals who are making a tremendous sacrifice is my obligation. And along with the entire board of directors, led by the president, Tim Hardy, I want the corrections community to know they are appreciated. We’re offering our hope and support during this difficult time.”

For many in the public, the justice system is something that is only characterized by television shows and movies, or through news reports that often focus on the negative aspects of jails, prisons, and community supervision. But the reality of daily life in working with incarcerated people and those who have been released back into society can be much different than what is depicted. These brave men and women are paramount in keeping our societies safe; they are an integral part of our justice system and conduct their duties with tremendous pride and professionalism.

Staff working on both sides of the prison gates are the forgotten front-line workers that keep our communities safer while helping individuals during reentry. Many other front-line personnel, police officers, paramedics, are recognized for their amazing contribution and for very good reason; while the correctional and community supervision officers are often forgotten. APPA, along with partner organizations, recognizes their commitment and acknowledges their contributions during this unprecedented time.

“The goal is that through this campaign the public also gives some consideration and gratitude to the brave and dedicated men and women of corrections – their demanding work to enhance public safety often goes unnoticed. We applaud them today and forevermore.”

For more information, visit https://icpa.org/weapplaud-lets-not-forget-our-brave-correctional-officers/.

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APPA logo American Probation and Parole Association
Media Contact: Aaron Burch
Communications Specialist

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About APPA:  As the voice of the community corrections industry, the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) serves as the field’s leading professional membership association. Our work is supported by thousands of passionate members throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as other countries actively involved in strengthening community corrections work. APPA has members at all levels of government and the private sector, including: Community corrections professionals, service providers, libraries and educators, research students, volunteers, concerned citizens, corporations, public policy advocates, and others with an interest in criminal and juvenile justice.