2 IDOC staff members receive Silver Cross

portraits of recipients side by side

Two Idaho Department of Correction staff members have received the department’s Silver Cross for saving the life of an inmate who attempted suicide.

South Boise Women’s Correctional Center Warden Noel Barlow-Hust presented the award to Cpl. Jennifer Staley and Ofc. Geri Messer at the Board of Correction’s  May 14 meeting at the District 3 Probation and Parole office in Caldwell.

You can see photos of the presentation here.

SBWCC Lt. Jacqueline Todd nominated Staley and Messer for the award. Here is how Todd described the incident in the nomination form.

On September 28, 2013 at 14:20 while Officer Staley was completing checks of restrictive housing, she looked into cell 34 and saw [an offender] hanging from her bunk with a bedsheet tied around her neck.

Officer Staley tried to get [the offender’s] attention by pounding on the door while notifying the facility via her radio for immediate assistance. 

At 14:21 Officer Messer and [a former IDOC staff member] arrived at the Restrictive Housing Unit to assist Officer Staley. As soon as Officer Staley opened the cell door, the three staff entered.

The officers described that [the offender] was hanging with her head hanging forward, her eyes were closed, her face purple, and she appeared to be lifeless. 

Officer Messer placed her arms under [the offender’s] armpits to lift her, while [the former IDOC staff member] lifted [the offender]from the bottom half of her body, at the same time Officer Staley untied the sheet from [the offender’s] neck. Once [the  offender] was released from the sheet, they laid her on her bed.

At 14:22 the medical staff arrived to assess her. Due to the quick actions of Officer Staley, Officer Messer and [the former IDOC staff member], [the offender] is alive and well today.

IDOC's Silver Cross is awarded to correctional professionals who display prompt or alert action resulting in a life being saved or the prevention of serious injury to others and for demonstrating exceptional care for other individuals.

Story published: 06/03/2015
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