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My Turn-Donelan: Sheriff offers his thanks

  • Franklin County Jail and House of Correction. RECORDER FIle Photo/ANDY CASTILLO

  • DONELAN


Wednesday, May 09, 2018

This week is National Correctional Officers Week. This is a yearly opportunity, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, to recognize the hard work involved in the often difficult field of corrections.

This year, as I have done in the past, I wanted to express my very profound and public thanks and appreciation to our Franklin County corrections officers for their commitment and dedication to an often difficult job.

Over the last several years, we have transformed the Franklin County House of Corrections from a jail that offered treatment into a locked treatment facility. We offer the men, and now women, sentenced to our facility long term, inpatient, co-occurring treatment focused on trauma and addiction. Men and women receive targeted and intensive treatment set on their individual risks and needs.

In addition to treatment, we offer educational opportunities, vocational training and reentry opportunities including classes at the community college, jobs in their hometowns and supports in the community. We continue historic partnerships with local businesses and the Greenfield and Franklin County Regional housing authorities to help with housing and employment for our men and women upon release.

We continue to lead the nation in treatment and re-entry. Proof is the recognition the Sheriff’s Office receives from national publications, The Council of State Governments and a recent visit to our site by a CNN production team highlighting our addiction work.

There are many people to thank for our success to date. I won’t attempt to list them all here, but suffice to say, none of this would be happening without the hard work and support of our corrections officers. They are in the thick of it every day. In the housing units, the transportation unit, community service crews, vocational programs, reentry ... everywhere our sentenced men and women go and the success they have is due to a correctional officer.

As our officers have grown in reputation and stature, their services outside the facility have increased. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is routinely called to assist local police with searches, arrests, transports and housing of arrestees. When we answer these calls for service, it puts a strain on our officers and their ability to complete assigned tasks at the House of Correction. That does not stop them, however, from doing what they are asked to do. Assisting our brothers and sisters in law enforcement has become a proud part of our mission.

The motto of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is “Pride, Integrity and Commitment.” It is clearly displayed on the side of our vehicles as we do our work around the county and the commonwealth. I am proud to be the sheriff of Franklin County because of the way my officers live this motto every day. Please join me this week in saying “thank you” to the uniformed officers of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. They go above and beyond every day and we all appreciate it.

Christopher Donelan is the Franklin County sheriff.