This is Karl Malone. As an ambassador for corrections and law enforcement officers across the country, I will be writing a monthly blog for NIJO, called “The Mailbag”. This blog is dedicated to YOU–our men and women in uniform, corrections officers, law enforcement officers, first responders, and everyone who protects our freedoms every single day.
After the justice system has run its’ course, the appeals and sentences, I know this is when the work really begins. You do not get enough credit for what you do. I know many of our jails are understaffed, many of you are responsible for 20, 50 or even 100 inmates at a time. I would like to send out a special heartfelt thanks to all of you for working graveyards, for working with vicious criminals and doing your job 24/7. Don’t forget that it is also your job to get home to your loved ones every day.
I used to visit Wade Correctional in Cleburne Parish in north Louisiana. I found that certain officers had an aura about them that inmates respected and every inmate that respected an officer said the same thing about the reason why–“Because he/she respects us.” Now you know you have to be firm, but there are also times that it is not what you say to inmates, it is how you say it. Because on the flip side, when officers were not respectful, inmates in Wade did not respect them. And that is how things can escalate, because remember, they have all the time in the world to plot and plan. Be vigilant, eyes open, do not let your guard down, but be respectful. That is the world we live in. Just because people do bad things sometimes it does not make them bad people all the time. As our detention and corrections officers, you are the last line of defense. I want to commend you. I know you don’t get paid enough for what you do in keeping the public safe and providing security and safety for those people who need to be off the street and locked up.
Now I want to direct something to you, our men and women in uniform. Our uniform, and I wore one too, does not make us brave or superhuman. What our uniform does when we put it on is you now have a following–people who learn to respect our actions and how we carry ourselves. Be vigilant and do your job but never mistake the fact that because you wear a uniform, you can do anything you want. Be humble. You are a servant. That is how we have to do it to get thing turned around. If we do that, everybody smiles. I appreciate what you do and I will lend my name to it and I know I am going to have a lot of haters out there, but, haters are haters, and here is how that works — When we are haters we are probably going to find a mate that is a hater. And then we are going to have babies that are haters–and then nobody is going to like anybody. So here is what we do– As men and women in uniform, we make a difference.
I am proud and honored to announce that I will be the keynote speaker at JAILCON18, August 28th to 30th, in New Orleans, Louisiana, my home state. (In case you did not know it, Louisiana is God’s country.) I am honored to be the keynote speaker and I am looking forward to seeing all of you from around the country at the conference. I am honored to speak to you. I am not just coming to JAILCON to speak and leave. I am coming to spend time with all of you, our men and women who put your life on the line every single day. I am excited to be there.
For every one of you out there who thinks you’ve had enough because people do not respect you, I want to say, I beg to differ–because you have my utmost respect. I want to say– hang in there, stay the course. We, the public–we are going to do our part to support you. So if you are having a moment of “I do not want to do this anymore” –just know that there are people in this big world, a big percentage of people, who see you as are our heroes.
Stay safe out there!
Karl “The Mailman” Malone