HENDRY COUNTY – Deputy Malqueen Powell is a Clewiston native. She attended the Hendry County school system and graduated from Clewiston High School. She is the proud mother of Janaria, Robert and Willie as well as the grandmother of four beautiful grandchildren.
After the completion of high school, Deputy Powell worked as an accounts receivable clerk for U.S. Sugar. She then took a job at First Federal Bank in Clewiston.
In 1998, Powell was ready for a career change. She had always envisioned herself helping others, perhaps in the field of social work or counseling. She worked at Moore Haven Correctional Facility for approximately six months, and then enrolled at Avon Park Community College Criminal Justice Academy. Still working part-time, Powell completed the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Commission Training and became a Certified Correctional Officer.
For nearly eight years, Powell continued to work as an officer for the prison system at both Moore Haven Correctional Facility and Glades Correctional Institution. When the opportunity to work at the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office opened, Powell brought her knowledge and experience as a Correctional Officer back home.
Leaving the Department of Corrections afforded Powell a salary increase and better benefits. It also gave her the chance to come back to her roots and work among the community she knows and loves. It was a win-win situation.
Today, Deputy Powell works as a Recreational Officer and a Transportation Coordinator. Her daily duties include monitoring the movements and activities of inmates while they are outside for recreation time or performing hygiene routines. She is also in charge of coordinating pickup/extradition arrangements for inmates who have to be transported back to Hendry County and other counties for separate charges. If an inmate has to be transferred to the Department of Corrections, Deputy Powell is in charge of scheduling this event as well.
Not one to be caught sitting around twiddling her thumbs in her small office, Deputy Powell is a busy bee. In the event that she does not need to be monitoring or transporting inmates, she can often be found helping out in other areas of the jail. She will help the booking staff if they are short staffed. She will also assist in various areas for the Lieutenant as needed. Deputy Powell thoroughly enjoys being active and assisting others when she can.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Deputy Powell stated that “I fully enjoy working at the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office. A lot of people don’t necessarily see or understand what takes place behind the walls of the jail. There are times when inmates may come in with problems, and they need somebody to talk to. Sometimes, we work as counselors. Often, the outside world doesn’t see these people as anything other than criminals. But the reality is that they are people who may need a little help getting back on the right path.”
Deputy Powell knows just how often “good people can make bad decisions” in the heat of the moment, during bad situations or even due to peer pressure. For many, it may seem like it is too hard to find a way out, but according to Deputy Powell the reality for most inmates is that there is always a chance to turn around and make better choices.
When Deputy Powell is not working, she enjoys fishing, music and reading. She wants others to remember her motto of “just because you may have made a bad choice, it’s not the end of the road.” There is always someone willing to take the time to listen and help.