After working in corrections for nine years with CoreCivic, Assistant Resident Supervisor Felicia Priester made the move to Dallas Transitional Center, a Residential Reentry Center in Texas. She says that interacting with residents and seeing them succeed as they work to reenter their communities is her favorite part of the job.
What is a typical day like for you?
I come in for the morning shift, and I’m always greeted by the residents. Not a day goes by where I don’t receive a warm welcome. In the morning, we have a lot of residents coming in or signing out for work. For those who remain, we provide recreational time. We have 279 residents, and I know about 80 to 90 percent of them by name. The individuals whose names I have not yet learned I make a point to show respect and address them as “sir.” I believe when you show respect, you receive respect in return.
Is there anything you'd like people to know about working in corrections?
Don’t be so quick to judge. Everyone’s circumstances are different. It’s important to see these residents as human beings who are learning from their mistakes. You can’t put them all in the same category. Not all of our residents will change, but many do. By giving them the right tools, many do make positive changes through hard work and discipline.
How does your job support CoreCivic's reentry mission?
Being firm, fair and consistent. The residents respect a positive attitude, and see the energy you give. It’s important to have patience. Some of these individuals have served 15 or 20 years in a secure facility. They aren't used to having little freedom, and my job is to help ease them into the next steps. It's important to be patient in the reentry process. Everyone will make progress with time.