Most get the chance to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family, but many men and women spend their day on the job. That includes local law enforcement who make sure everyone has a safe holiday.
The holidays can serve as a painful reminder for inmates about what they are missing beyond the cell walls, and that’s where folks over at the Clay County Sheriff’s Office step in despite having to spend their Thanksgiving on the clock.
Since 1995, Lt. John Catron has served the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, a job that sometimes keeps him away from his family for the holidays, but Catron said it is still important to him to give inmates a taste of Thanksgiving.
“It’s a little different. we treat inmates to a special meal, make it feel a little more homely for them even though they’re here on laws that were broken,” Catron said.
What would normally be a meal consisting of hot dogs or hamburger steak is replaced with turkey, mashed potatoes, even cranberry sauce all cooked by trustee inmates.
Even though this is a time where families come together and give thanks for what they have, Catron said in jail, every year is different.
“Thanksgiving is one of those days of the year where people can put aside their differences and get together and a lot of times that doesn’t work,” Catron said.
With 20 inmates to feed, the cooks had to start preparing the food Wednesday night. Once it was delivered to each cell, the entire place grew silent, showing the impact that one Thanksgiving meal can have.
“Some of them sit back and ponder what they could be doing if they weren’t here. But they also know that the food here is okay, they’re being treated a little bit better here than other places. Some were never going to have a meal, to begin with,” Catron said.
Catron said the food can boost morale inside the Clay County Jail hopefully giving inmates the motivation they need to turn their life around in hopes of never missing another Thanksgiving with their family and friends.