The Jackson County Department of Corrections has a new Master Corrections Officer in Jason Hayes. Hayes was presented with the honor during the December 4, 2017, Legislative meeting.
Hayes is a 21-year veteran of the department he has worked as a corrections officer, inmate services coordinator, worked in transportation and the population control office. “So he has expertise in practically every area of the jail,” said Diana Turner, Acting Director of Corrections. “There is not a thing in the jail that he doesn’t know how to do.”
The Master Corrections Officer program is certified through the American Jail Association. To earn the designation an officer must have at least three years of experience and pass a test with an 80 percent.
Hayes said that as a youngster he thought it would be cool to be a police officer and thought of corrections as a stepping stone. He joined the department after working as a ranger in the county’s Parks + Rec Department. “My mother told me to get a job with great benefits and that’s what I did and just never left. I decided not to become a police officer after a while.”
“I enjoy working with people and truly, I asked the lord many years ago why I’m still here and what I should do, he told me to stay here and I understand why,” he said. “We adopted our son who was born to the granddaughter of an ex-coworker, so it came about that I have my son because I work here. I met my wife because she worked at TMC, I was always transporting inmates to TMC, and so I met my wife while working at the jail. That’s why I am here, I give it to the good lord for me being here.”
“The senior staff is like family, I’ve worked with some of these people 15 or 20 years and they are some of my best friends,” he said. “I have been in it for 21 years and have seen a lot of family come and go.”
Hayes said the he really appreciates the honor, “I firmly believe that if someone comes up and shakes your hand and says hey you did a good job it helps going to work and seeing negative after negative after negative. I would like to see a lot more of that with my fellow officers. I find myself going up to other officers and shaking their hands and saying thanks for showing up and doing the job and hanging in there.”