Ode to the Third Shift: Under A Watchful Eye

"If they're in here, they made a mistake," Marathon County Corrections Officer Rick Hoberman said. "There just doin' their time."

The Marathon County Jail halls remain quiet in the dead of night where officers make rounds to check on sleeping inmates.

"There's less inmate contact on the night shift," Marathon County Lt. Sheila Westocott said. "There's more contact with with people being arrested ... on drugs and alcohol."

As officers do their checks, Hoberman watches.

"After 9 o'clock, things start to quiet down," Hoberman said.

From 6 p.m., to 6 a.m., he works from his office, or what he and every officer knows as his "pad."

"This is the first spot for the public to come up to visit or bound out a detainee," Hoberman said.

Hoberman is also in charge of releasing inmates when their time in jail is finished.

"Some are still mad that they got arrested. Some are happy to get out," Hoberman said. "They're smiling and running out of here."

While officers mostly patrol the cells, Hoberman interacts with inmates the most, since he sees those with daily approved temporary releases to work.

"A lot of them are repeat offenders," Hoberman said. "There's quite a few who are repeat offenders."

Third shift is also routine for officers like Wescott and Marathon County Corrections Officer Jim Cosicio.

"It's a completely different routine from nights to days," Westcott said.

"We make sure they're (inmates) OK," Cosicio said. "We make sure they're not hurting themselves."

Westcott said about 8 to 13 inmates are booked on an average third shift, which may be low key compared to the day shift.

However, Hoberman said there's less cooperation at night.

"He came around with his fore arm, hit me in the head. I fell back and hit my head on a commode and knocked me out for a couple minutes," Hoberman said.

No matter why they've been booked, or how long they're staying, Hoberman said they're human too.

"I treat basically everybody how I would like to be treated," Hoberman said.

Which means they need to abide by the law like everyone else, but until they do, Hoberman will continue his 19-year routine.

He'll work the third shift, and wait to release the next inmate either temporary or for good.

"I just tell them to take it easy," Hoberman said. "Stay out of trouble."


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