Paula Roe is a Deputy Jailer at the Scott County Detention Center. She has worked in Scott County full-time for eight years. Roe always knew that she wanted to go into a field where she could help people while also enforcing the law. This passion for justice started when one of her friends was murdered after just having a baby three days prior. She wanted to help families and children never have to experience something like that again. She thought she wanted to work in the police force, but after a short time at the Fayette County Detention Center, she found a passion for guiding people back onto the right path. She then began working at the Scott County Detention Center where she has been teaching Moral Recognition Therapy (MRT) classes for the inmates. These classes are meant to help inmates learn about themselves and how to think critically. It is a 12-step program for encouraging inmates to want to turn their lives around by thinking positively and reducing their chances of returning to jail. Roe spends a lot of time developing these classes to give the inmates resources they need to succeed and to keep themselves out of trouble once they get out.
Roe says she loves what she does at the jail. Knowing that she makes a difference by encouraging and growing the inmates into productive citizens makes her job so much better. She says that her favorite part of the job is seeing inmates out in the world doing well for themselves, and when they thank her for treating them like individuals and being a role model for them. “There has to be a line where you do your job well, but still coach them and encourage them to be better for themselves and for their families,” she says, “It’s all about showing them that they are capable; they are smart.” She always makes sure they know that she is there for them once they get out to work with them on finding jobs and resources that can help them stay out of jail.
This year, Roe hopes to bring more classes to the jail including a parenting class and domestic violence classes. She believes these classes are important for men and women to take to show them what life can be like once they do get out. “It is important to have something in the jail to let them know it can be better on the outside,” she says. Her hopes for the future of her inmates are that they will take care of their children to keep them out of jail and to develop these classes so that inmates will have all the knowledge and resources necessary to just be good people in the world.