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A tradition of excellence
By Ann Coppola, News Reporter
Published: 05/05/2007

Onpoint On May 5, 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first ever National Correctional Officers Week. Since then, the first week in May has been marked by celebrations to recognize the vital public service of correctional personnel. In 1996, the U.S. Senate officially changed the name of the week to National Correctional Officers and Employees Week. Here is the text of President Reagan’s original proclamation.

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
May 5, 1984

Correctional officers have the difficult and often dangerous assignment of ensuring the custody, safety and well-being of the over 600,000 inmates in our Nation's prisons and jails. Their position is essential to the day-to-day operations of these institutions; without them it would be impossible to achieve the foremost institutional goals of security and control.

Historically, correctional officers have been viewed as "guards," occupying isolated and misunderstood positions in prisons and jails. In recent years, the duties of these officers have become increasingly complex and demanding. They are called upon to fill, simultaneously, custodial, supervisory and counseling roles. The professionalism, dedication and courage exhibited by these officers throughout the performance of these demanding and often conflicting roles deserve our utmost respect. The important work of correctional Officers often does not receive the recognition from the public it deserves. It is appropriate that we honor the many contributions and accomplishments of these men and women who are a vital component of the field of corrections.

In recognition of the contributions of correctional officers to our Nation, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 132, has designated the week beginning May 6, 1984, as "National Correctional Officers Week," and authorized and requested the President to issue an appropriate proclamation.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning May 6, 1984, as National Correctional Officers Week. I call upon officials of State and local governments and the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.

-RONALD REAGAN


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