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The Police News
Invisible shackles: Addressing the mental wellness crisis among correctional officers
Massachusetts Department of Corrections

Corrections officers are the lifeblood of our American jail and prison systems. Unfortunately, for many COs, mental wellness has hit a breaking point.

For example, in 2016, Massachusetts Department of Corrections data identified a higher-than-usual trend in suicide among staff. In the previous five years, 20 COs had died by suicide.

When seeking answers from local sociologists, the department realized that the corrections system largely focused on data and statistics related to incarcerated people. Therefore, CO mental wellbeing and officers’ personal experiences were being overlooked.