COURAGE in the prison compound

Just Out Of Graduate School, I took a job as a correctional officer in an all-male, medium security prison in Miami, Florida. As a shy and rather insecure woman in my 20s, I realized I needed to feel safer—and quickly. I knew the only really effective way to do this was to pray for a better understanding of the strong spiritual resources that God gives us for meeting dangerous-looking situations.

Prison work kept me always on the alert. It was an intense and rarified environment. One day in the prison cafeteria, an inmate became belligerent. As was routine, I wrote up the incident. The inmate's punishment was removal from the general prison population and placement in a solitary cell for one month. He also lost an opportunity for early parole.

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