Behind the jail walls: Correctional Officer Week

LAUDERDALE CO., Miss. (WTOK) - It takes a lot to make sure everything runs smoothly behind the jail walls, and it takes a unique kind of officer to make it happen.

"They take a lot that most individuals would not come in this facility and do," Major Melissa McCarter, the jail administrator at the Lauderdale County Detention Facility, says.

National Correctional Officers Week honors these men and women, who work every day keeping inmates in line. Here at the Lauderdale County Detention Facility- it's around 300 inmates.

"These correctional officers have to deal with individuals charged with child support all the way up to murder," Sheriff Billy Sollie says. "All the way up to quadruple homicide."

Each shift handles everything from medical calls and bookings to making sure inmates are fed and even risking their lives by stepping in when inmates become violent.

"They're counselors at times, they're a lending ear at times, and at times they're a disciplinary," McCarter says.

"The general public does not understand what goes on on a day to day basis at a detention facility," the sheriff says.

But McCarter says there is one quality these officers need to get through the day-to-day stress.

"To have a good nature about yourself," she says.

Ronald Reagan first created Correctional Officer Week in 1984 to recognize "the contributions of correctional officers to our nation." Correctional Officer Week lasts May 7-13.