MCO: Gratitude amid Adversity

Corrections officers come from many different backgrounds and walks of life. But certain virtues – respect, humility, gratitude – unite them all.

In this video, Michigan Corrections Officer Jorge Miller talks about his gratefulness for the direction and values instilled in him by his parents, who passed away when he was a teenager.

These are some of the same values Michigan Corrections Organization is lifting up as part of Move Forward, MCO’s campaign to elevate corrections and forensic officers in the criminal justice system and celebrate MCO’s 50 years of advocacy. MCO is changing the narrative on corrections work by drawing attention to the diverse and professional work expected of the modern-day corrections officer.

Despite the adversity he faced, Officer Miller made good choices. Now, he’s a corrections officer setting an example for inmates and others.

“(When my mom died,) I told her that I was going to make something of myself and be someone someday, for her,” CO Miller said.

The day he graduated from the Michigan Department of Corrections Training Academy in the David Bergh class was a proud day for Miller. He said his primary focus in his new career is to custody and security. Beyond that, he hopes to guide inmates to prepare for release and reintegration into society.

Many Michigan corrections officers share a sense of thankfulness for their parents, mentors, coworkers, and others who encouraged them to make good choices and do the right thing even when it was a challenge.

CO Miller told MCO he’s fortunate he made good choices despite the loss of his parents. He credits a strong support system of family and friends.

“I’m very grateful and blessed,” he said.

Family friend Steve Reiger said Miller will make an excellent corrections officer.

“I think that in the future, the people of Michigan are going to have a lot more to see from Jorge Miller,” Reiger said.

There are many admirable Michigan corrections officers who are setting good examples for other staff, inmates, and their community. Do you or one of your coworkers have an inspirational story? MCO wants to hear from you and lift up your stories. This is how we start to change the narrative on corrections work. Email MCO Communications Director Anita Lloyd at

Michigan Corrections Organization/SEIU represents more than 6,500 corrections and forensic officers working at state prisons and at the Center for Forensic Psychiatry.