Correctional Officer Josephine Birdene McCallum

Correctional Officer Josephine Birdene McCallum

Michigan Department of Corrections, Michigan

End of Watch Tuesday, March 24, 1987

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Josephine Birdene McCallum

Officer Josephine McCallum was raped, strangled, and beaten to death by an inmate while on duty at the Southern Michigan State Prison. Her body was found at the bottom of a stairwell.

An inmate serving 18 to 40 years for kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, and armed robbery was charged with her murder. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life.

She was survived by her husband and son.

In November 2018, I-94 between Exits 140 and 141 was renamed Correctional Officer Josephine McCallum Memorial Highway.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 4 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Weapon Person
  • Offender Sentenced to life

prisoner custody, sex offender, sex offense

Most Recent Reflection

View all 33 Reflections

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.

All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.

Jennifer Baker
Former Corrections Officer, Jackson, MI

August 5, 2022

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