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

WISCONSIN - MADISON, Wis. (AP) -  A new report from the American Society of Civil Engineers says Wisconsin will have $7 billion in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure needs in the next 20 years.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports the state is already facing water problems, such as the pollution of nearly one-third of private wells in Kewaunee County and the possible contamination of nearly 2,000 La Crosse County wells.



+ Read More

NORTHWOODS - People often reflect on what they can do to help the environment on Earth Day. 

There were several Earth Day-related events going on in the Northwoods on Saturday.

+ Read More

Play Video

CRANDON - You might not think of a three-legged dog as being very lucky.  But Jay Schaefer knows he and Max the dog are fortunate for a group of Forest County kids.

"God planned it out so there would be Max," Schaefer said. "The timing was really sweet, really cool."

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Sometimes it only takes a few minutes to decide on a hairstyle, but to get that hairstyle up and ready to go in time for prom pictures can take hours. 

+ Read More

CRANDON - Dogs, wolf-dog hybrids, and horses seized in Forest County in March remain in the care of the ASPCA.

The animal welfare organization says it's keeping them in a sheltered environment.

The ASPCA and Forest County sheriff's deputies seized dozens of animals from the Crandon property of Patty Kirker on March 17.

Kirker is now charged with 156 criminal counts related to animal mistreatment.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Two years ago, Gov. Scott Walker moved to cut 18 positions from the DNR's scientific research staff.

Last December, the DNR removed language about human causes of climate change from its website.

A state group, which will launch Saturday, calls moves like those a "threat" to science.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander National Guard Armory hosted its first multi- county Veterans Benefit on Friday.

The expo provided information to help veterans with hearing loss, homelessness, senior living, heating assistance, and filing for VA pensions, among other issues.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here