128th Corrections Academy Graduation is Largest Class Ever

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Friday, March 15, 2019

It was a packed room as family, friends and supporters showed up to witness the graduation of the 128th Corrections Academy at the downtown Jackson County Courthouse on Friday. The class was the largest ever to go through the academy, with 24 recruits completing 152 hours of training over a three week period to become newly minted Department of Corrections officers and staff. 

Officials from Jackson County spoke to the graduates and offered encouragement and welcome to the new Jackson County associates. 1st District At-Large Legislator Jalen Anderson and 2nd District Legislator Ron Finley were also in attendance. Director of Corrections Diana Turner told the class, “It’s hopefully the most rewarding job, the best job that you’ve ever had and ever will have…We want each and every one of you to make a career with the Department of Corrections.”

Theresa Galvin, 6th District Jackson County Legislator and 2019 Legislative Chair, reminded the class that “First, the inmates are people too. Some have done very bad things. Others have made very bad choices, while some are actually innocent…and are awaiting trial. Some suffer from drug addiction or mental illness, while others have been in the wrong place at the wrong time or just acted in desperation. However, every single one of them is somebody’s child, maybe somebody’s parent or sibling. There’s somebody out there that loves them…so remember that. They are people.” 

Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. told the group “This is a difficult job that you do. And we ecognize how difficult it is. For you to be here today, 24 strong, that says a lot. This is the biggest class that I’ve had the opportunity to speak in front of, and it just tells me that things are going in the right direction…Training hours are definitely increased, and I think that is going to add to your safety and security as you go about your daily jobs.”

Jackson County Sheriff Darryl Forté, who recently took over administrative responsibilities at the Detention Center, was the last to address the graduates. Forté encouraged the new associates and their families to stay strong. “Oftentimes when we start a new job, especially a stressful job like this, you’re going to want to quit some days. Don’t quit, just recognize what you’ve gone through to get this far…Family members, please encourage them.” The Sheriff noted that a positive attitude can help lift the performance of the entire staff and reduce tension in the workplace, asking the class to remember ten words: “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

The graduates received Certificates of Completion and shook the hands of Jackson County’s officials before posing for pictures and enjoying cake with friends and family. Jackson County is proud of the 128th Corrections Academy and grateful for their service today and for years to come.

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