In Memory of Corrections Officer Onochie Sunday Ikedionwu
Georgia Corrections Officer Dies from COVID19
The Georgia Department of Corrections released a statement to residents that it had lost a local corrections officer to COVID19. On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, Corrections Officer Onochie Sunday Ikedionwu passed away due to complications of the coronavirus. Officer Ikedionwu was a servant to his community. He was 64 years old. Ikedionwu was receiving treatment at Dodge County Hospital.
Many friends called Officer Ikedionwu “Chief.” Chief felt the call of duty, and despite the risk to his health in the current pandemic, he continued to serve the public. The Dodge State Prison has had 73 cases of COVID19 among staff and inmates. Officer Ikedionwu was the first officer at Dodge Prison to die from the virus.
At the start of the pandemic, society found the hard way that certain occupations carried a greater risk of contracting the virus. Law enforcement and first responders across the country continued to serve and protect residents, despite the danger to their own lives and families. The number of corrections officers lost across the US in 2020 has been unprecedented. Corrections facilities spread the virus like a wildfire, as there are problems with social distancing in these environments. Many communities where these facilities were located suffered significant loss. The virus spread from the prisons into the surrounding neighborhoods as employees at the facility became exposed, bringing the virus home to their own families.
Officer Ikedionwu was in a higher-risk age group. He also knew the importance of his job when it comes to keeping people and communities safe. He faced the danger and continued to perform his duties.
Georgia Department of Corrections
The Georgia Department of Corrections is the state agency responsible for managing prisons and other corrections facilities in the state. Recently, the department headquarters was moved to the former campus of Tift College in Forsyth. The current agency was formed in 1969. The department manages 35 prisons and employs more than 12,500 residents.
Dodge State Prison
Officer Ikedionwu’s most recent assignment was at the Dodge State Prison. Dodge State Prison is located in Chester, Georgia. It is a medium-security facility that can house about 1230 adult males. The general population is housed in dormitories.
The prison encourages education and job training. Some of the inmates are permitted to work off the grounds. Offenders can receive a GED, educational and vocational training, counseling, family therapy, substance abuse treatment, and sex offender treatment. A variety of vocational skills are taught to the inmates to help in their rehabilitation to society.
Corrections Officer Onochie Sunday Ikedionwu leaves behind his wife, two daughters, and siblings. State officials, local law enforcement, residents, family, and friends will come together to help celebrate the life lived by Officer Ikedionwu. It will take the support of all those around them to help the Ikedionwu family through their time of grief.
The National Fraternal Order of Police posted the announcement of the loss of Officer Ikedionwu on their Twitter page. “Blessed Are the Peacemakers. Corrections Officer Onochie Ikedionwu. Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia. EOW: Wednesday, August 26, 2020. #EnoughIsEnough #OfficerDown #EOW #ThinBlueLine #COVID19 #BeatTheVirus.”