This is an unprecedented time for our nation. For companies like CoreCivic that are part of America's essential infrastructure, this pandemic means our employees can't "shelter at home," and instead must do the opposite.
As the crisis began to escalate, I questioned how our nation's front line employees would manage the stress of a global pandemic while balancing duty of service to others. The answer came swiftly and strongly: America's front line workforce does not diminish in the face of a crisis, it grows stronger.
Front Line Response
As I visit with our employees in the field, I am struck by their dedication and commitment to job one: safety. They are making sure that every staff member and resident receives masks and has access to hand washing and sanitation supplies. They are disinfecting our facilities according to CDC's guidelines. They are providing 24/7 medical care and providing enhanced mental health counseling during this time of uncertainty. While we are focused on providing physical care at this time, we cannot neglect the mental and spiritual needs of those in our care, knowing that approximately 95 percent of incarcerated individuals will one day go home.
Innovation and Collaboration is Key
When social distancing guidelines affected reentry and educational programming options, our team went to work to source more virtual options so that they could stay up to date on their studies. When the suspension of visitation became necessary, our team negotiated with vendors to provide free phone calls so individuals could stay connected to family and friends, which is a critical component to successful reentry.
I have seen CoreCivic employees serve meals to health care workers and first responders, assemble food boxes for their at-risk neighbors, sew masks for first responders, deliver groceries, and so much more in communities all across America. This pandemic has proven that our commitment to service doesn't end at the door, it extends to every community we call home.
Thanking Front Line Workers
Every year, the first full week in May is National Correctional Officers and Employees Week. To all of our officers, nurses, chaplains, teachers, the staff at the FSC and every other CoreCivic employee, I want to say thank you for all you do. The events of the past few months have underscored the critical role of our correctional professionals. We are stronger because of you.
This pandemic has tested our front line workforce in unprecedented ways. But from where I sit, the crisis has not tested their resolve - in fact, it has strengthened it. I am proud to say the resolve of Team CoreCivic is as strong as ever. We are answering the call to serve - keeping our communities safe, and keeping those in our care on track for reentry.
Thank you to every health care worker, first responder, correctional professional, grocer, banker, and all those keeping our country going during COVID-19. We salute you, and we won't forget how you helped lead our nation through this crisis.