MICHIGAN CITY – The Indiana State Prison staff held a weeklong celebration in honor of National Correctional Professionals Week from May 5 to 10. 

On May 6, staff gathered for a flag raising ceremony in front of the facility with Dr. Heather Verdon singing the National Anthem, followed by Warden Neal reading the Proclamation dedicating Corrections Week. Following the flag raising, staff who could be released from their post were treated to a walk along the National Lakeshore at Lake Michigan.

“The 2019 National Corrections Week was the best yet for the Indiana State Prison," Neal said. "We strive hard each and every year to do better than the previous year! Our Employee Appreciation & Planning Committee (EAPC) does an outstanding job of coming up with and carrying out special events to show our staff that we truly care and appreciate the job they do each and every day, many times without much fanfare or appreciation."

On May 8 was a General Assembly to honor staff for their achievements. A free breakfast was served by the Employee Appreciation Committee for all staff in attendance. At the conclusion of the Assembly, staff competed in an Office Olympics to add some fun and comraderie to the week. The Office Olympics consisted of 9 four member teams participating in a timed obstacle course/race. This included: spinning of a staff member in a chair for 30 seconds, carrying paperclips in a spoon to fill a dish, throwing paper balls into a trash can until 5 baskets were achieved and the final round included pushing a staff person through an obstacle course. This event brought 9 teams of 4 members together for a team building experience with many rounds of laughter.

On May 9 and 10, a free meal was provided to all staff on all four brackets. On May 9, Warden Neal and the EAPC funded an Italian Beef meal including chips and cookies for all employees, which was very well received. On May 10, the St. Joseph Club of Michigan City donated a polish sausage meal with sauerkraut, green beans, mashed potatoes & gravy and a dinner role for all staff at ISP.

"This year, out of the blue, we were also blessed by the St. Joe Club of Michigan City, Indiana, contacted ISP and wanted to give back by providing a traditional meal to the entire staff," Neal said. "We were shocked and very appreciative of this wonderful gesture of good will!"

To top the week off, a Police Memorial was held at Elston Middle School by La Porte County Law Enforcement for Fallen Officers. Maj. Jason Nowatzke presented all of the Fallen Officers for ISP during the ceremony.

"Corrections Week is one week of the year that we truly set aside to say 'Thank You' to all of our wonderful and dedicated staff for the jobs they do every day!" Neal said. "I am very proud and thankful for the amazing men, women, and friends that work for the IDOC and the Indiana State Prison!”

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