Today I Prayed for You

Poetry by Jacqueline Jackson 

Today I prayed for you because you are on duty and I realize you may…

be at a higher risk of physical harm.

face more confrontations than yesterday.

get stuck with an infected needle during a cell search.

wonder if you will make it home alive tonight.

have feces and urine thrown on you.

wonder “Does anyone care?”

be threatened personally with physical harm.

have no relief from constant noise.

witness a suicide or attempted suicide.

respond to another officer’s call for help.

be the one in the control tower.

find an inmate dead in his cell.

see, hear, smell, and feel that which you do not wish on anyone.

put out a fire that resulted from arson.

be locked in a cell alone with an inmate.

be on a slippery slope.

not have recovered from the incidents of yesterday.

experience equipment failure.

witness a riot.

be involved in a cell extraction that goes bad.

give food and clothes to an inmate convicted of raping and killing a little girl.

be unarmed among those who are armed.

be called on to work over tonight.

see someone else being harmed or threatened.

encounter dead or mutilated bodies.

be short-staffed again today resulting in a more dangerous offender to staff ratio.

need to assist a combative offender who has worked out every day for the last year.

be contemplating suicide.

be in the fight of your life.

have struggled to sleep again last night.

feel numb inside.

feel helpless.

be experiencing depression and anxiety.

find no relief from your mind.

be tempted to compromise.

fall prey to inmate manipulation.

be wondering how you will make it another day.

Today I prayed for you because I realize that your work tends to affect your off-duty time. You are outside of the city of corrections but you may…

be having difficulty relating to your family.

find nothing to laugh about.

be reluctant to socialize or go to public places.

not be able to think of anything positive.

wonder why no one seems to care.

have a hard time getting motivated.

use alcohol or drugs to attempt to cope with traumatic work experiences.

not be motivated to exercise.

wonder why you don’t feel things anymore.

be sad and lonely.

experience extreme fatigue.

have difficulty thinking and remembering things.

be full of pain and fear.

think you are unable to confide in anyone.

be cold or find it difficult to reach out to God.

just sit and stare.

Today I prayed for you because…

I appreciate the continued sacrifice you make on my behalf by doing the job you do.

I know that corrections work costs you and your family.

I want you to know that there is hope in Jesus Christ.

I wanted God to bless you and pour out His favor on your life.

I believe you are worthy of honor.

America needs you to continue to do the job you do.

I hoped you would be aware of God’s presence with you today.

Today I prayed and thanked God that…

You and your crew successfully de-escalated dozens of events without significant

incident using only verbal judo.

An incident in the yard was handled without any serious harm.

No one escaped last night.

Your entire shift remained safe and went home after work.

You found contraband in a cell search.

The last cell extraction went smoothly.

You were able to help a coworker see a solution to a problem.

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