Editorial: Inside look into life of a Correction Officer at the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office



The morning routine may look similar to that of many people, but for Lieutenant Krystal Bradham of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, what follows is anything but. Her daughter often watches as she prepares for work each day, engaged by the slow transition from “mom” to Correction Officer. It starts with her uniform, adorned with her name, badge, rank and her designation as a member of the Sheriff’s Response Team. Then come the boots, seasoned with the wear and tear of challenges overcome on days past. Her transformation to dutiful public servant is complete as she affixes her duty belt and equipment. But to her daughter, she is still “mom”.

Though each officer has a different routine each morning, they started a career in corrections for vastly different reasons. For Officer Kevin Botelho, who was looking for a job that allowed him to provide more for his family than his previous work as a barber, he found not only employment, but a career.

“Working here was never something I had ever thought about,” said Kevin. “Being a barber, I learned how to have a conversation with random strangers, one after another. It’s definitely helped me in what I do now.”

Checking his uniform in the mirror, Kevin sees someone who helps people every day. Although his self-image has evolved, he still carries his past as a barber with him every day. Kevin explained, “I never want to forget where I came from”.

For some, the decision to work as a Correction Officer is personal and comes from a desire to effect change. Officer Jennifer Cabral made her career change to corrections at 42 years old. “I worked in hospitality for 15 years. I never had an interest in criminal justice but I knew I wanted to help people”. New recruits may not expect corrections to be meaningful work, but often discover its value throughout their career.

“I still clock in and clock out but it’s the in-between where I get to make a difference” said Jennifer. “I helped people in my job before, but not like this. Not in the way I can now.” When asked if it was hard to transition from her job in hospitality to Corrections, Jennifer answered, “The people are different and the problems are different, but I’m still helping people”.

Corrections is an inherently diverse field of work. Officers have different backgrounds, life stories, and motivations for choosing this career path. Some bring with them a college degree, others bring with them something that can be just as relevant and useful: life experience.

“I was 28 when I became an officer”, said Kevin. He went on to explain that his experiences helped make him into a better officer. “I think this is a good job for honest people. Honesty earns respect.”

When Krystal was asked what kind of person makes a good officer, she said, “Being mentally tough. My hardest days were always mentally challenging, not physically challenging.”

Coming home to her husband and daughter each day helps to keep Krystal’s perspective clear and reinvigorates her resolve. Though her daughter may not know the vital role she has played in Krystal’s career, it’s undeniable to Krystal.

Upon her return home each day, she is greeted by her daughter’s outstretched arms and excited calls to “mommy”. It is then that the days’ events just seem to fade away as Krystal is reminded that she can step out of her role as an officer, but her uniform as a mother is always there. Her daughter doesn’t see an officer, a jailor or a public servant. To her, she’s just mom.

Often times, what the Officers do each day to serve the public goes unseen and overlooked. Simply stated, Correction Officers are people who want to serve, make a difference, and change people’s lives. Because Corrections, is about people.

Captain Samuel Rapoza, NCCS, CCS, CCHP 

Recruitment and Staff Development

Bristol County Sheriff’s Office

1 Comment

  1. Thank you

    March 6, 2024 at 4:18 pm

    This is one of the toughest jobs.

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