Correctional Officer Program

This program was created to honor the people who put their lives on the line in order to provide safety.

Where those we ask to be super-human…
can simply be human.

Correctional Officers put walls between themselves and the danger. While helpful to the work, anyone in these conditions can end up locked out of emotions, positive or negative, intimacy and natural tenderness. We provide the tools to unlock the humanity required to live better. Why?


Officer's Stories

We’ve had the opportunity to interview tens of officers to share their story of their humanity underneath the uniform. Revealing stories of not only how they have helped keep society safe but also how they have helped restore dignity to those who have committed crimes. Here are their stories:

Are you a former or current Correctional Officer?
We want to hear from you. Send us your story.


I will never fully understand why we had to view them as a number instead of a person.

— Chris Bowser, retired Internment Resettlement Specialist


Preview the Corrections Officer Booklet

We have included a special booklet in our Art of Soulmaking Course.

Click here to download the booklet.

Screen Shot 2021-06-05 at 1.46.34 PM

The True Cost of Being a Correctional Officer

59

The life expectancy of a corrections officer. Ref

Depression is a way of life for law enforcement personnel

In fact, more than 1/3 of officers report that someone in their lives has told them they have become more anxious or depressed since they started working in corrections. Fully 28% report often or sometimes feeling down, depressed or hopeless, and 38% have little interest or pleasure in doing things. Ref

Correctional officers generally do not think they are making a positive difference.

Less than half agreed that they positively influence other people’s lives through their work, and the same proportion think prison residents are no better prepared to become law-abiding citizens when they leave prison than they were when they came in. Ref

3x

more likely to consider suicide than the average American.

Prisons are violent workplace

More than half of the officers report that violent incidents are a regular occurrence at the prison where they work. Moreover, 80% report that they have responded to at least one violent incident in the last 6 months, and 10% report being seriously injured while responding to these incidents. In total, 17% of correctional officers report they have been seriously injured on the job, 48% have feared they would be injured, 63% have seen or handled dead bodies at work, and 73% have seen someone seriously hurt or killed while on the job. Ref

1 in 3

have experienced at least one symptom of PTSD

Ten percent of correctional officers have thought about killing themselves.

The rate of suicidal ideation is even higher for retired correctional officers (1 in 7). Of those who say they have thought about suicide, 31% report thinking about it often or sometimes in the past year. However, 73% haven’t told anyone, meaning that many are suffering in silence. Ref

There are serious downstream effects of corrections work

The stress of working in corrections spills over to the families, friends and loved ones: 41% believe they would be a better parent, spouse or partner if they did not work in corrections; 53% report being harsher or less trusting towards friends and family since they took this job and 65% of officers say someone in their lives has told them they judge others more harshly since beginning their career in corrections. Ref

The Why

It may seem that only the people who are incarcerated are in prison, or that the people who are “caught” face difficulties, but what about those people who are so honorable, they willingly go into institutions and put their lives on the line in order to provide safety?

This program recognizes that, in reality, the prison system is made up of relationships. It is understanding that, in a prison, it is not only the prison residents, but the Correctional Officers who experience the realities of incarceration. This program was created to build a systemic freedom and to do this by honoring the noble heart of the Correctional Officer.

We want to do this by being honest, and by admitting that as a culture, we have abandoned the Correctional Officer as well as the prison resident. While they must be strong and stoic on their job, it is our work to help lift their burden. Who ensures the safety of the Correctional Officer, while they are ensuring that we feel safe? Who will pay attention to the burden and the stress that they carry in the name of duty — a duty that goes well beyond what humans are meant to hold alone? This program is our “thank you” to the Correctional Officer. And our apology for what we left them to hold.


Live Updates