Loading

51°F

52°F

52°F

49°F

52°F

49°F

44°F

54°F

52°F
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
Farmers worry good corn crop could mean low pricesSubmitted: 09/14/2014

EAU CLAIRE - Agricultural officials are projecting an 11 percent increase in the size of Wisconsin's corn harvest this year. That has farmers worried that prices will drop too low for them to make a profit.

State projections call for corn yields of 162 bushels per acre. That's up 16 bushels per acre from last year.

+ Read More
Walker promises more tax cuts in second termSubmitted: 09/14/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker's promises for a second term include cutting property and income taxes for individuals and requiring drug tests for those seeking unemployment and food stamp benefits.

He also wants to freeze tuition at both technical colleges and the University of Wisconsin System.

+ Read More
Wisconsin grape harvest starting slowlySubmitted: 09/14/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin vineyards are beginning to gather their grapes, and growers say they've seen better harvests.

Most say the picking is behind schedule by 10 days to two weeks. They also expect to get less fruit than last year because the hard winter, a cool summer and lots of rain hurt growing conditions.

+ Read More
Explosion levels home; owner unhurt in drivewaySubmitted: 09/13/2014

Play Video

GENOA - An early-morning explosion has leveled a Genoa-area home, spraying debris onto a highway and damaging a former fish market.

The owner is a fisherman who was in the driveway when the house blew up Friday morning.

Roger Beck says he thought his vehicle battery had blown up. Then he looked up and saw it was his kitchen.

The 76-year-old says he tried to douse the flames with the bucket, and as he was walking away the rest of the two-story home exploded. Firefighters arrived to find the house flattened and on fire.

+ Read More
Kids learn about Northwoods animals Submitted: 09/13/2014

Play Video

MANITOWISH WATERS - Some parents take their kids on a nature walk to learn more about Northwoods animals, but some kids in Manitowish Waters learned about Northwoods creatures in a fun format.

North Lakeland Discovery Center held its first Northwoods Wildlife Fest Saturday. They want kids and parents to have a better understanding of Northwoods animals.

Leaders for the event set up stations such as be a bat biologist to help kids understand what species they are.

+ Read More
Hundreds walk to prevent more suicides, get rid of stigmas associated with mental illnessSubmitted: 09/13/2014

Play Video

WAUSAU - A suicide prevention group in Marathon County wants to get rid of the stigma that's often associated with mental illness. The group thinks that could bring down the number of suicides that happen in north central Wisconsin.

Prevent Suicide-Marathon County is a group with a very simple goal. Its members want to teach the community about mental illness and stop suicides. One way they do that is through their "Out of the Darkness" walk.

+ Read More
Thousands enjoy finger licking good time in MerrillSubmitted: 09/13/2014

Play Video

MERRILL - You could find a finger licking good time in Merrill Saturday.

The Merrill Chamber of Commerce held its second annual Rib Fest outside of the Merrill Area Recreational Center. Leaders for the event say they started this to bring in motorcyclists who attend the Tomahawk Fall Ride.

"To pull some of that business into Merrill. A lot of them were staying here or riding through anyhow and make it a stop along their way," said Merrill Chamber of Commerce CEO Debbe Kinsey. "That's how it started. Now we're in year two and it was another successful year."

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here