Corbett Proclaims Corrections Employee Week

Gov. Tom Corbett (Commonwealth Media Services)

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett has proclaimed May 6-12 as Corrections Employee Week in Pennsylvania to recognize the important role these employees play in protecting public safety.

“We have great respect for corrections employees,” Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said. “They work each day, often facing challenging and dangerous situations, to ensure public safety and to provide offenders with meaningful opportunities to change their criminal ways of thinking.”

Pennsylvania has observed Corrections Employee Week every year since 1986.

“This proclamation honors all Pennsylvanians who work in the field of corrections, including county, state and federal facilities – all of whom have excellent reputations as leaders in this field,” Wetzel said.

According to the proclamation, there are more than 30,000 individuals employed in the field of corrections across Pennsylvania. The state Department of Corrections has 16,000 employees.

Editor’s Note: The text of the governor’s proclamation follows:

Corrections Employee Week – May 6-12

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania’s correctional system is the oldest in the nation, evolving from the establishment of Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Jail in 1773 and the Eastern Penitentiary in 1829; and

WHEREAS, the “Pennsylvania System,” as it became known, was the leading influence in the development of penology throughout the 19th Century and the forerunner of modern corrections; and

WHEREAS, today, Pennsylvania faces new and difficult challenges in corrections.  With 26 state correctional institutions, one motivational boot camp, a training academy, 14 community corrections centers and 39 contract facilities, 63 county prisons and jails and 15 federal facilities and offices, our correctional facilities house more than 100,000 inmates; and

WHEREAS, the secure and safe operation and management of those facilities on a daily basis rests in the hands of more than 30,000 trained, skilled and dedicated corrections professionals.  They are administrators, corrections officers, counselors, treatment specialists, educators, clerical support staff, business administrators and purchasing agents, personnel and labor relations specialists, clergy, medical professionals, food service specialists, computer technicians, planners and research analysts and skilled craftspeople upon whose skills, efficiency and professionalism the functions of the Pennsylvania correctional system depends; and

WHEREAS, although each of these dedicated professionals work in a different field and specialize in a specific area, all are committed to a common goal:  the secure, safe and humane operation of our commonwealth’s correctional facilities.

THEREFORE, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim, May 6-12, 2012, as CORRECTIONS EMPLOYEE WEEK in Pennsylvania.  I encourage all Pennsylvanians to recognize the vital role these dedicated professionals play in ensuring the effective operation of our correctional system in the interest of public safety.

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