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

EAGLE RIVER - In the next couple weeks, Governor Scott Walker will release Wisconsin's budget for the next two years. Rep. Rob Swearingen (R) - Rhinelander and Sen. Tom Tiffany (R) - Hazelhurst thought it would be a perfect time to host listening sessions in a number of Northwoods communities. 

One of the sessions was at the Eagle River library Monday. Some people brought up the poor road conditions in the area. Tiffany says that transportation funding is one of the things he will be looking at closely in the upcoming budget. 

+ Read More

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Neal McCoy doesn't take days off.  The 58-year-old country music star is in the middle of a months-long multi-state tour, which is something he's done for nearly 30 years.

But it's McCoy's daily tradition that started one year ago that's rejuvenated the patriotic front man more than any concert does.

"I haven't slept in for quite a while now," McCoy laughed.  "I know, I'm leading this crusade, if you will."

+ Read More

MEDFORD - Mikayla Kelz grew up around politics. 

"When I was little my dad was actually a politician - just a local one, a district attorney," said Kelz. 

Seeing her dad work got Kelz interested in politics too.

"I remember going on the campaign trail with him and that just kind of sparked my interest," said Kelz.

+ Read More

TOMAHAWK - Sunday's Packers loss hit fans hard. But it also affected stores who support those dedicated fans. 

Robert Augustine has owned Augie's Collectibles in Tomahawk for 29 years. 

Before Sunday's loss, Augustine was hopeful the team would make it to the Super Bowl. 

He placed an order to have 16 new types of Packers gear added to his store, but canceled it. 

"When the Packers are winning, everybody's pumped up excited for Packers parties," said Augustine.  

"If they won everybody would have wanted the championship stuff because they want things new, but unfortunately we'll have to wait until next year for that."

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - The YMCA of the Northwoods teamed up with LIVESTRONG to create a fitness program that supports
cancer survivors and patients. The 12-week program focuses on rebuilding strength and stamina.
YMCA Wellness Director, Stephanie Ruckeim says it offers so much more than just physical strength.
"It's about trying to increase that muscle mass, increase their flexibility, their endurance and also work
on their self-esteem and self-confidence," says Ruckeim.

+ Read More

WITTENBERG - An expansion of the Ho-Chunk casino in northern Wisconsin could draw $37-million a year away from other tribes that own casinos in Wisconsin.

The Stockbridge-Munsee Band commissioned the economic impact study.

+ Read More

MADISON - While two Wisconsin state agencies have scrubbed references to climate change from their web sites, the Division of Emergency Management has released new information on global warming and its effects on the state.

Wisconsin emergency management officials, in an online post, describe how climate change could generate flooding, drought and forest fires.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here