A hallowed place: An honor bestowed on the National Correctional officers and employees at the Wreath Laying Ceremony in the Nation's Capital.

Author:Breckenridge, Robert, II
Position:National Correctional Officers and Employees Week

The next time we as corrections professionals are gathered at this hallowed place, let it be to commemorate a year in which no new names were added to these walls. But, let us forever remember the heroes who are memorialized here and continue to honor their legacy of selfless service.

Retired Gen. Mark S. Inch, former director of the Bureau of Prisons, dedicated these words at the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 5, to the 37,000 brave men and women who help manage and operate the 122 federal prisons around the country. Inch is a member of the American Correctional Association (ACA), and was presented with the E.R. Cass Award in 2013, as well as receiving his certification in Military Police Officer basic and advanced courses from the ACA.

The Wreath Laying Ceremony is a yearly tradition that was started in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, which celebrates all who work in corrections. The ceremony began with members of the Special Honor/Color Guard placing a rose on top of an officer's hat, followed by the tolling of a bell. Thirteen roses were placed this year, honoring the corrections professionals who have lost their lives in 2017, along with those from years past.

Inch called for a moment of silence and reflection for, "The men and women who were devoted sons and daughters; caring brothers and sisters; beloved husbands and wives; and faithful fathers and mothers to children they have left behind."

These brave men and women maintain public safety and help make a positive difference in the nation's capital and in the surrounding communities. Inch said, "As corrections professionals, we run into situations that others run away from. But, more notably, we do so knowing the dangerous and impulsive behaviors often demonstrated by many of the individuals in our care."

Corrections professionals have a critical role in public safety. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons not only houses federal inmates around the country, but also serves as the state of corrections system for the District of Columbia. The bureau, along with correctional agencies in the U.S., face challenges in the safety of staff, inmates and the public. They manage dangerous and disruptive inmates...

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