In Memory of Deputy Warden Roger Joe Hodge, Sr.
Georgia Loses Deputy Warden to COVID19
COVID19 has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans. First responders, law enforcement, corrections, and other occupations were found to have a higher risk of contracting the virus. On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, Georgia officials came forward to brief the public that they had lost yet another law enforcement officer to the pandemic.
Deputy Warden Roger Joe Hodge, Sr., age 48, died from complications from contracting the coronavirus. He likely contracted the virus through the course of his duties at the Calhoun State Prison. Hodge had served his community as a corrections officer for more than 22 years.
“Big Hodge” was born in Camilla, Georgia. He began his civil service with eight years in the US Army and six years with the Army Reserves. In 2015, Hodge received a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Administration and Ethics from the Mid-American Christian University. He began his law enforcement career in 2015 when he started as a correctional officer at the Autry State Prison.
Georgia Department of Corrections
Deputy Warden Hodge worked for the Georgia Department of Corrections. Headquartered in Forsythe, the GDC is responsible for the operation and management of the state corrections facilities in Georgia.
Formed in 1969, the GDC now employs more than 12,500 people. Recently, looking for more space, the headquarters of GDC has taken over the previous location of Tift College. The 43-acre campus provides a more organized structure and has brought more than 400 new jobs to the Forsythe area.
Calhoun State Prison
Deputy Warden Hodge was responsible for the operations of the Calhoun State Prison. A medium-security prison located in Morgan, Georgia, holds approximately 1675 adult males. Inmates are celled with double or triple bunks. They could also be held in one of eight dormitories.
Inmates can receive primary education and counseling services. Employment opportunities include horticulture, barbering, building maintenance, and grounds keeping. The facility works to prepare inmates for release and integration back into society.
The future of many families has changed due to COVID. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have been lost, which means even more friends, family, and loved ones are left to cherish their memories. Deputy Warden Roger Joe Hodge, Sr. leave behind his wife, seven children, grandchildren, and siblings.
Sergeant Barbara Williams from Calhoun State Prison recalls memories of working with “Big Hodge.” “He was like no other Deputy warden or supervisor. He was kind. He was a people person. He pushed me to move forward in the department. Mrs. Hodge, your husband, was a gentle giant. Deputy Warden Hodge will be missed by everyone he came in contact with. We loved him here at Calhoun State Prison.”
The First Responder Benefit Association posted a video to share condolences for the loss of Deputy Warden Hodge. “Deputy Warden Roger Joe Hodge, Sr. of the Department of Corrections. An FRBA Unforgotten Hero who paid the ultimate sacrifice serving and protecting his community. Every year we lose another hero in the First Responder community— a tragedy that continues to wreck all of our hearts here at FRBA. What wrecks our hearts even more, is the thought that they could ever be forgotten.”