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ACA honors awardees.

At the General Session I, several ACA awards were given including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Award, which was presented to Victoria A. Faux, a student and volunteer with Parents Anonymous of New Jersey. Through her volunteer work, Faux helps distressed parents and teenagers resolve difficulties in their lives. Born in Sierra Leone, raised in England and now living in the U.S., Faux has gained an understanding of cultural differences and the need to embrace them. Faux is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in psychology from Vermont College. For the past four years, she has worked as a health services administrative assistant for the New Jersey Department of Corrections. "I feel very honored to receive this great award," Faux said. She acknowledged that her supervisor is the one who gave her the push she needed to apply for the scholarship. And for this, she said, she is very grateful. "I'm really elated. And on behalf of my family and my daughter who is here with me today I want to say thank you very much for giving me this prestigious award."

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Next, the Medal of Valor Award was presented to Lionel Barley, senior storekeeper at Lansing Correctional Facility in Johnson County, Kan., for his heroic efforts in saving the life of a co-worker during an assault. On July 30, 2007, Barley realized that Pam Bonner was being attacked by an inmate. He burst through the barricaded door and entered the office where the attack was taking place. Once inside, Barley was able to kick the weapon out of the inmate's hand and pull him off Bonner by wrestling him to the floor. Although Barley sustained stab wounds, he was able to contain the inmate while others carried the victim to safety. "I thank you all for the opportunity to be here for this award. It is a memory I will forever cherish," Barley said. He told attendees he was most grateful that Bonner is back to work now full time with little alteration to her work style. "She showed more bravery than I think I could muster after an attack like that I don't know if I could have come back," Barley said. "She is a pillar of strength and a great example for all in the corrections industry."

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ACA's Community Service Award was presented to the North American Association for Wardens and Superintendents and the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation for their Make a Smile charitable campaign. After Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast region, the two organizations joined forces to initiate the project, which grew out of corrections professionals' desire to help those living in the affected areas. Three neighborhood parks were refurbished and three $40,000 playgrounds were constructed. Volunteers provided equipment, material, and much hard work to build or rebuild playgrounds in New Orleans and Bogalusa, La., and Moss Point, Miss.

Art Leonardo, executive director of NAAWS, accepting the award. "I receive this award on behalf of a cast of thousands," Leonardo said. He recognized everyone who helped out by volunteering, donating money or supporting the efforts. He also thanked ACA for getting the word out to members about the project and the adult and juvenile corrections directors in Louisiana and Mississippi for their support. Leonardo pointed out that about $30,000 was collected from inmates who donated the little that they had. "We wanted a place for kids to go and play and forget about what was happening around them." He noted that several entities came together to make the project possible including adult and juvenile corrections, probation and parole, law enforcement, and sheriff's offices. Finally, Leonardo said that a permanent foundation has been established so that "come hell or high water, we'll be there to help again."

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The Golden Eagle Award, which is given to agencies who have achieved 100 percent ACA accreditation, was presented to the Colorado Department of Corrections. Ari Zavaras, director of the Colorado DOC, accepted the award. "This is a tremendous honor for the Colorado DOC," Zavaras said. He noted that achieving accreditation was a long journey that began about 16 years ago and which the department referred to as a marathon. "It is a tremendous asset for any agency that participates. To reach this goal is unbelievable," Zavaras said of Colorado, which is the 15th jurisdiction in the U.S. to achieve this honor. He thanked the 65,000 employees in the department as well as many who have been involved in the process but are now retired. "I congratulate this department and give everyone who has been part of this for a number of years a mile-high salute. It's a job well done."

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At the General Session II Luncheon, Lettie Prell, director of research for the Iowa Department of Corrections, accepted the Peter P. Lejins Research Award. Prell's 20-plus-year career with the Iowa DOC has had a direct impact on the state's correctional institutions. Her recent contributions include documentation of the prevalence of mental illness among Iowa offenders. She also does analysis of Iowa's female offender population and their needs, as well as the state's sex offender population and the factors contributing it its growth. Upon accepting the award, Prell encouraged other state DOCs to allot money toward research.

The Exemplary Offender Program award was presented to the Indiana Department of Correction's CLIFF Therapeutic Community. CLIFF--which stands for clean lifestyle is freedom forever--uses cognitive-behavioral change methods, the matrix model and other best practices to reduce offender substance abuse and criminal behavior. Since the program's inception in 2005, more than 1,350 offenders have completed it. The recidivism rate of program participants is 14.3 percent. Accepting the award on behalf of the Indiana DOC was Dan Ronay, director of staff development and training.

The final ACA award presented at the luncheon, the Outstanding Journalism Award, went to the Bogalusa Daily News. The paper provides fair and balanced news about the Rayburn Correctional Center in Angie, La. Stories during the past year included nods to the facility's award-winning K-9 teams, a community service project that helped build a playground for children affected by Hurricane Katrina and a program that reunites children with their incarcerated children. Accepting on behalf of the paper's editor, John Walker, was Jeff Travis, chief of operations at Rayburn. He credited the paper's successful coverage of Rayburn to the relationship between the paper and the facility, as well as the paper's commitment to the facility's mission of public safety.

This year only graduate students entered the Poster Session Contest. First place went to Amanda Johnson from the University of Central Missouri for "Restorative Justice, Victim-Offender Mediation, and Social Control Theory." Second place was awarded to Jennifer Iannao from the University of Central Missouri for "The Effects of a Fatherless Home on Juvenile Crime Rates." Thanks to the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents and the Ohio Wardens and Superintendents Association for their generous sponsorship of the event.
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Title Annotation:2009 Winter Conference Jan 9-14, 2009; American Correctional Association
Author:Clayton, Susan L.; Gormsen, Lia
Publication:Corrections Today
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2009
Words:1163
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