Two sisters from Rosebud Reservation serve the troubled with compassion

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN TV)- Two sisters work with people others may choose to avoid, serving with compassion and understanding, that is nothing less than inspiring.
That's because life has not always been easy for these sisters. But perhaps that perspective is what makes them so effective.
We feature their story in this week's "Along the Way."

Sisters Sam Decory and Peri Decory Dillon. Sam is a correctional officer at the Pennington County Jail and Peri is an addiction counselor at the Care Campus.

Sam DeCory is a correctional officer at the Pennington County Jail.

"I mean yes, they did wrong. They made mistakes. They're here in jail. They have to pay the consequences for whatever action they did," says Sam DeCory.

She's the only Native American female Correctional Officer in Pennington County. She works with inmates both men and women, making sure they're safe, answering questions, and preventing bad behavior.
But there is something she will not do: be judgmental.

"Because you don't know what they're going through. You don't know what traumas they went through. That's why they are the way they are," says Sam DeCory.

Her sister, Peri DeCory Dillon, is an addiction counselor.

"It's a unhealthy coping skill and it is a self harming behavior," Peri DeCory Dillon says.

Sam and Peri's perspectives are parallel.

"I don't judge anybody that comes from a hard background or childhood because there's a lot that goes into it, and it comes out in different behaviors and so to understand where they're coming from and to educate them on other coping skills," Peri says.

The DeCory sisters both work on Kansas City Street, one at the Care Campus, one at the Pennington County Jail. But their journey to serving the people of Pennington County, all began on the Rosebud Reservation.

"It's pretty cool. I mean it's just like when we were going to school together growing up, you know. The only thing, we're not in the same room, we're across the street from one another," Sam says.

They grew up on the Rosebud Reservation in a community called Two Strike, with a lot of family. And if you ask if these 2 sisters are close: well here's the answer.

"Yeah. Yes. Yes. Very close," the sisters say together, alternating answers, in agreement.

Over time Peri became an addictions counselor on the reservation ultimately ending up at the Care Campus.
Sam worked as a correctional officer on the reservation, and hoped to do the same in Pennington County.

"I started off here as a booking tech because I couldn't pass the physical agility test," Sam explains.

Sam worked hard to get in shape and shed weight...with the encouragement and support of her sister Peri, she made it.

"Ya know Native Americans and law enforcement sometimes they can bump heads, even on the reservation, and so I wanted to, I guess bridge that gap," Sam says.

They stick together these sisters, always supporting, always encouraging each other.

"I was a teen mother and Sam was still supportive of me when I felt like everybody wasn't ya know," Peri says, as an example of how they support each other.

Their own experiences lead to a recurring theme in how they see and treat people.

"You know. I believe you're always one decision away from sitting next to somebody you judge," Peri explains.

"What drives me? It's my kids and for myself to show my family and friends, and my people back home that a girl from the reservation can make it off the reservation," says Sam.

Peri has also been in the National Guard for 10 years.
Sam is planning to join the Guard as well.

If you've met someone cool "Along the Way" please call or e-mail us to let us know.