Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

A Behind the Scenes Look at Being a JailerSubmitted: 04/10/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


RHINELANDER - Last month's inmate attack on a corrections officer in Marathon County raised concerns about safety in our county jails. But it also made us curious about the responsibility of looking after inmates.

Jailers don't do their jobs out in the open like patrol officers. The average person might not know what the job entails unless they know a jailer, or spend a lot of time in jail.

Imagine having a job where nobody but your coworkers are happy to see you.

"Nobody really wants to have contact with you. You have inmates who aren't happy to be here, clearly," says Sandra Ladu-Ives, Acting Oneida County Jail Administrator.

Learning not to take it personally is one of the first lessons for a corrections officer.

"There can be a lot of days where morale gets low because of the activities of inmates," says Ladu-Ives.

These Oneida County jailers say keeping inmates in line is just the beginning of their responsibilities. An officer with the county was recently awarded "Jailer of the Year" for stopping three suicides in as many months. They say you can't accomplish that without building a rapport with inmates.

"We have to have a rapport. You can still remain professional and not get too personal, but at the same time have empathy, have some compassion, and be alert to what's going on," says Daniel Huettl, an Oneida County Corrections Officer.

"There's a lot of people coming in here who are at the lowest point of their life. You have to really be keen to their needs," says Ladu-Ives.

Watching out for an inmate's well-being and treating them with dignity, while keeping vigilant every minute for your own safety, can be a fine line to walk. It's something Marathon County was reminded of last month. One of their officers is still in a coma from an attack.

"You can be standing there talking to somebody one minute and the next minute they hear something that you said or maybe that they didn't want to hear. And that can make someone flip a switch," says Ladu-Ives.

"I teach my officers, my trainees, not to be hyper-vigilant. We don't want them jumping around like a cat on a hot tin roof, but we want them to be relaxed but alert," says Huettl.

It's a big task. With a capacity of 209 inmates, there could be as few as six officers on duty. But balancing watching out for, and keeping safe from inmates is something these officers believe in.

"It's a profession. And it's something that you really have to believe in and really have to have a heart for," says Ladu-Ives.

"I think I can speak for everybody here: we try to send people back out into the community in better condition than we found them," says Huettl.



Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

TOWN OF HANSEN - Investigators want to know what caused a fire at a sawmill in Wood County Monday night.

The Wood County dispatch center received phone calls at about 8:50 P.M. Monday night that the Felty Amish Sawmill was on fire in the town of Hansen.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee mother whose car was stolen with her infant strapped in the back seat says she held onto the vehicle for as long as she could as the carjackers drove away.

The woman was dragged down the street in Milwaukee Monday and eventually lost her grip. But what happened next was unexpected. The car stopped about a block away. And, one of the two carjackers got out, removed the 1-month-old baby, still in his car seat, and left him at the curb.

Surveillance video from a nearby house shows the mother running to retrieve her baby, who wasn't hurt.

Police are looking for the carjackers and the vehicle.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Road crews went back to work Monday in Rhinelander. One of the bumpiest roads in town got a little smoother Monday afternoon. 

Crews worked to repave the corner of Oneida and Lincoln Streets by the Holiday gas station.

+ Read More

ASHLAND - A volunteer survey of loons in Wisconsin shows the population is strong.

The Wisconsin Loon Population Survey estimates the number of loons at 4,350, an increase of about 9 percent from 2010. The chick population is estimated at 834, an increase of nearly 38 percent.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Lakeland Union High School will accept a section of the "T-Bird Country" bridge.

The bridge will be replaced and taken down. 

Bob Metropulos wanted to save the bridge, so he went to the company that owns it and asked to buy it.

+ Read More

Play Video

LINCOLN COUNTY - A Tomahawk man accused of sending explicit emails to a 15-year-old girl appeared in court Monday.

Joshua Dewitt is charged with multiple counts, including soliciting a child for prostitution and child enticement.
The investigation started last November, when a mother accused the 29-year-old of sending inappropriate emails to her teenage daughter.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - As a kid, you probably didn't look forward to eating spinach. Maybe you still don't.

But some students are learning how to take locally grown produce and turn it into tasty snacks, including smoothies.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here