Regarding "Inmate hospitalized in scuffle with officers" [News, Feb. 24]: I recently retired from the Nassau County Correctional Facility after 25 years of dedicated service.

Dealing with a recidivist inmate such as Jerome Washington, the inmate involved in the confrontation, is a nightmare for anyone working in any correctional facility. As a member of the sheriff's emergency response team for a number of years, I had hundreds of confrontations with this individual. The financial cost is staggering. There was a time when we were assigned to come to work, gear up and escort him to a separate housing unit for a shower. This earned me four hours of overtime and a $50 activation fee for all of the team members.

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I write so you can imagine how correction officers are put in harm's way, and when we do protect ourselves, people sometimes get seriously hurt -- officers and inmates alike. That said, I do wish him a full recovery and a normal life from this point on.

Corrections officers get paid for what can happen during their tour. The officers in this case should not be viewed as abusive or derelict, but commended for doing a thankless job for which they are held to a high standard of professionalism.

Nicholas Bufinsky, Wantagh