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"Best in the business": shine in the wake of hurricanes.

It bears repeating what Hurricane Katrina did to the Gulf Coast of the United States last year. On Aug. 29, the hurricane's 145 mph sustained winds and 28-foot storm surge brought death and destruction to parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The storm killed more than 1,000 people and forced more than 1 million residents to evacuate the region. Hundreds of thousands were left homeless.


In Mississippi, most of the buildings along the coast in Biloxi and Gulfport were damaged or destroyed. Huge casino barges and small fishing vessels alike littered the shore. Entire neighborhoods were wiped out, and many roads and bridges were impassable or completely washed away. In New Orleans, several levees broke open or collapsed, and water from Lake Pontchartrain and area canals flooded most of the city. In some areas, the water was 20 feet deep, stranding residents on rooftops.

The day before the storm, correctional staff in Mississippi evacuated 531 inmates near the coast and sent them to other facilities that were out of harm's way. In Louisiana, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPSC) evacuated more then 900 inmates before Katrina hit. The subsequent flooding, such as that seen in New Orleans, forced the

evacuation of 7,350 more inmates from various parishes of Louisiana. On top of that, DPSC staff provided security and food to emergency shelters and assisted the National Guard with law enforcement duties.

Correctional Workers Spearhead Massive Relief Effort

Correctional staff in Mississippi and Louisiana acted heroically in the face of widespread disaster. But with much of the region's population left without food, water and electricity, and with more than 1 million evacuees, they were stretched far beyond their means. Almost immediately, volunteers from corrections departments around the country poured into the region, bringing food, water, emergency supplies and any other help they could offer. Many assisted with specific professional duties such as security and law enforcement. Others pitched in wherever disaster relief was needed by managing food banks, distributing clothes, transporting supplies and easing victims' suffering any way they could. Relief volunteers also provided basic health care, counseling services and assistance with reuniting family members.

Volunteers from the New York City Department of Correction brought truckloads of supplies from warehouses on Rikers Island. Over a 46-day period, 130 New York City correctional officers went to work at seven Louisiana correctional facilities. In New Orleans, they helped set up a makeshift jail and courthouse in a Greyhound bus terminal. Some volunteers stayed for the entire 46 days.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections sent 37 volunteers to Louisiana, including correctional officers and psychological staff. They worked 12-hour shifts for two weeks in 100-degree heat. For the first few days, there was no electricity. They lived in temporary dormitory-style quarters in a training building. Volunteers relieved the Louisiana employees, which allowed them some time to tend to their own pressing needs. Psychological staff helped counsel employees and inmates, many of whom were still trying to contact family members.

Mike Bobella, a psychological services specialist from Pennsylvania and a volunteer, said that the conditions were extremely stressful. "During the hurricane, the prison had to maintain security," he said. "Officers continued to work in the towers with 160 mph winds whipping all around them ... Many employees experienced great trauma, either while on the job or while off duty." Bobella met a mental health employee who had 16 people living in her house with no water and no electricity. She had to have a path cut with a chainsaw to get out of her house to get to work.


On the trip back to Pennsylvania, the volunteers' emergency assistance was unexpectedly needed again. While driving through Alabama, they came upon a car that had flipped over an embankment, ejecting the driver. They located the driver and provided first aid until medical crews arrived.

Evacuees from Louisiana who were brought to Texas were met by employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). Many of the evacuees were housed in Ford Park, an entertainment and sports event complex in Beaumont, where, safe for the moment, they received donated clothing, food and other supplies gathered and distributed by TDCJ volunteers from area correctional facilities. The volunteers kept children occupied by playing games and doing crafts. They organized meals, and tackled the mounting problem of cleaning laundry. TDCJ had a new set of problems when almost three weeks later, Hurricane Rita slammed into the Texas coast, forcing the evacuation of much of that region and inflicting heavy damage on Port Arthur and Beaumont. Many evacuees found themselves evacuating again.

Within days of Hurricane Katrina, a team of employees from the Arkansas Department of Correction headed to Louisiana with generators, flashlights, batteries and other supplies. Some of the volunteers had family members in the area. During the trip, Industries Administrator Jerry Campbell asked Cpl. Michael Smith (whose son was serving in the military in Iraq) when his son was expected to return home. Smith said, "About 20 minutes ago." A stunned Campbell asked him why he did not mention his son's return before leaving for Louisiana. Smith simply said, "Boss, this had to be done." Campbell said his team's morale never wavered for an instant, even when they were severely exhausted. "I was totally impressed with the dedication of each of these employees," he said.

Private corporations also assisted greatly with hurricane relief. When Larry Pettey and Ray Wagoner, correctional officers with the West Virginia Division of Corrections, drove a truckload of donated supplies to Baton Rouge, La., the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation donated the truck rental fees and the costs of fuel, food and lodging. In addition, Wal-Mart donated a gift card, which was used to purchase drinking water, and a local bank and Kmart allowed Pettey and Wagoner to set up donation boxes at their locations. Vicki Lang, an administrative technician with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, helped load a truck with goods to be shipped to Louisiana. She also acted as a liaison to connect people with family and friends in the hurricane zone. To help with that, Cingular Wireless gave her 100 free daytime minutes on her cell phone.


Christopher Epps, commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), said that Katrina was a "historic natural disaster" that devastated parts of the state. He said it was "amazing to witness the love, compassion and devotion that correctional professionals from around the nation have offered." Epps said, "I have talked to many of our fellow citizens on the coast, several of whom are still living in tents. They have told me that depression is widespread and some people have lost hope." He would like to let them know that although Mississippians still face a difficult journey ahead, "we will not have to venture alone, as our friends in corrections from around the nation stand firmly beside us."

Richard Stalder, secretary of the Louisiana DPSC, was also moved by the outpouring of emergency relief that his state received during and after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. "We lost lives, homes, entire communities. We continue to grieve over lost memories and dreams," he said. With the support of correctional communities around the nation, however, "we have realized as never before that we are not alone in confronting these challenges," Stalder said. "I hope that no other agency will experience what we along the Gulf Coast have experienced and continue to deal with," he said. But if it does, Stalder said, that agency will have the full support of his and many other correctional agencies.


In addition to the many volunteers and donations that correctional agencies across the country sent to Louisiana and other states affected by the hurricanes, the American Correctional Association, along with other correctional organizations such as the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents, and the Association of Women Executives in Corrections, organized relief funds for the hurricane victims. "Our profession is a family ... and I could not be prouder of our family and our response," said James Gondles Jr., executive director of ACA.

ACA wishes to express sincere thanks to all those who rushed to the aid of their brothers and sisters in corrections in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, including the individuals named below. This list is by no means exhaustive, and we know that there are far more unsung heroes who selflessly put aside their own concerns to help people in need.


James Bost

Anthony Burton

Jerry Campbell

David Foote

Anthony Johnson

John Kleiner

Robert Leggett

Dennis Reap

Robert Reed

Michael Smith

Leon Starks


Alan Adams

Mittie Bailey

Noel Brown

John Cassi

Amy Cloutier

Pam Connelly

Raymond Danner

Walter Edwards

Robert Enriquez

Robert Farmer

Gary Feldman

Seiji Funai

Harbert Furhman

Eric Gilchrist

Richard Gray

Nikkia Harakaly

Tracy Hartshom

Michael Hollis

Ronald Hylton

Bradford Lake

Sylvia Lorenzi

Kevin Macneal

William Melanson

Alan Olenick

Lee Oppert

Pat Ottolini

Melvinia Parker

Maria Pirro

Roddy Porter

William Pruyne

John Robbins

Jaime Shepard

Lawrence Sorensen

Donald Theriaque

Elizabeth Wagner

Beverly Washington

Barbara Williams

Gregory Yacovou


Dixie Brooks

Jermaine Brown

Tim Brown

Brad Browning

Joshua Cantu

Robert Clavert

Brad Cox

Mick Craig

Randy Crawford

Roberta Creamer

Ryan Darschewski

William Denny

Doug Evans

Cherie Fox

Joe Garrison

Larry Girdler

Virgil Gray

Patrick Harless

Steve Harless

Petri Hayes

Brian Knauff

Randy Koester

Steven Large

Larry Lazart

Bruce Lemmon

Larry Machin

Daniel Martin

Robert McCammon

Michael Moore

Michael Newton

Scott Netzley

Eric P. Niccum

Mark Olsen

Michael Osburn

Thomas Parrish

Euripides Perez

Michael Pollard

Ora Sue Provines

Cory Riley

Donn Sherwood

Randy Silk

Michael Spurgin

John Tetidrick

Ted Vaughn

Bradley Vestal

David Walker

Aaron Watson

Dia White

David Wire

Andrew Witherell


Elizabeth "Lisa" Baker

David Bell

Tony Buffington

Randy Cole

Toni Linville

Amy Neisen


Randy Adkins

Gene Arnold

Robert Baize

Fred Basham

Alicia Bloyd

David Burns

Randy Calkins

Spring Callis

Tim Cronen

James Dunn

Darime Ellis

Danny Epley

Michael Gilliam

Billy Hale

Lorry Hansen

Mary Hargis

Justen Hayden

Janet Herrell

David Higgs

Paul Hileman

Brian Hillman

Jeffery Hope

Felicia Howard

George Hubbard

Keith Hunter

Michael Hutchinson

Steve Ingram

Hardie Johnson

Travis Jolley

Ryan Kirby

Lee Kjeseth

Tim Loy

Linda Lyle

Elaine Mahaffey

William Mahuron

Mike Manning

Bruce Mason

James Maxberry

Kevin Mazza

Judd McCowan

Paige McGuire

Allison Medley

Lisa Meece

Lonnie Melton

Liggett Morris

Patricia Murphy

Lenn Neal

Brandon Nelson

Daryl Partin

Larry Pennington

Peggy Penrose

Sheila Phillips

Scott Powers

Phillip Renfro

Jody Roberts

Regina Robertson

Michael Robinson

Danny Sanders

Tim Schenk

Bill Searcy

John Shawn

Steve Simpson

Greg Smith

Terry Sutton

Michael Turnley

Terry Underwood

Sharon Veech

Darrel R. Wheeler

Ricky Whitmer

Beth Wigginton

Brandon Wright


Charles Bunnell

Jo Burton

Betsy Chandler

Wayne Drexler

A.B. "Sonny" Edwards

Russell Frazier

Todd King

Jacqueline LaFontaine

Adam Lee

Jimmy Mclntyre

Lee McTeer

Daryl Neely

Ken North

Ronnie Odom

Keith Roberts

Sean Smith


Valerie Axtell

Robert Beck

Troy Blank

Greg Borske

Anthony Brinton

Mario Campa

Wanda Carver

John Charlton

Gary Cox

Doug Cress

Aaron Edman

Matthew Eustace

Francis Flansburg

James Frazier

James Graham

Anita Hearn

Dan Hendren

Mitchell Hubbard

Mark Jenkins

Gary Jobe

Harold Johnston

Lonnie Landrum

Stephen McLane

John Meadows

David Nelson

Pete Oetting

Ed Packer

Bryan Ruddy

Dennis Saxton

Thomas Schmidt

Carolyn Schupp

Phyllis Stanley

Joseph Suchland

Travis Troy

Rhonda Vaughn

Mark Walker

Ralph Wallace

Christopher Watkins

John Webber

Scott Williams

Ronald Wright

Leslie Young

New York City

Harry Ahl

Angel Baer

Emmanuel Bailey

Rodney Banks

Budnarine Behari

Candida Bonilla

Donna Boven

Toussaint Boyd

Lawrence Bradford

Edwin Brea

Tyrone Breedan

Anthony Bulluck

Edwin Caban

Jose Camacho

Tasha Capers

James Coyle

John Daguet

Darryl Davis

Latricia Davis

Saul Dejesus

Giuseppe DiFilippi

Michael Dudley

David Dueno

Gilbert Ellison

Daniel Fabre

Michelle Feldra

Joseph Ferramosca

Janett Francis

Michael Freeman

John Gadson

Conal Gallagher

Verladesh Gilles

Carla Gittens

Joseph Goodheart

William Green

Charles Hall

Yvette Hamilton

Jerome Han

Prescott Harris

Demosthenes Hatzoglou

Jason Hawkins

Jose Hernandez

Nicholas Hershewe

Antonio Irizarry

Arthur Johannes

Karl Johnson'

Tyson Jones

Robert Kauer

Dennis Kelly

William Kwasnicki

James Lam

Philip Lee

William Levy

Daniel Lowe

Caroline Lowery

James Maikisch

Victor Maldonado

Ruby Malofsky

Peter Mandeville

Clifford Marquis

Antonio Martinez

Henry Martinez

Rosario Matos

Eric Mattero

Gerald Maynard

Anthony Mazzo

Willie McAlpine

Veronica McLeod

Chemene McLeod-Quinones

Edward McNamara

Shahid Mehmood

Jeffrey Miller

Ramon Miller

Robert Mitchell

Samuel Morgan

Anthony Mormando

Charles Myers

Richard O'Connor

Craig Oliver

Monica Olmos

James Parker

Cheryl Patterson

Tony Pedro

Michael Peluso

Ivan Penaherrera

Sheldon Powell

John Purcell

Eugenio Ramos

Alfonso Reyes

Dale Reyes

Asha Richardson

Freddy Richardson

Wayne Ridley

Edward Ritchie

Philip Rizzo

Damaris Robles

James Robinson

Jasmine Romero

Marilyn Rucker

Stephen Ryan

David Saladdlacuna

George Salazar

Mark Scott

Marilyn Scrubb

Edward Shanley

Gilbert Sherman

Joseph Silecchia

Howard Simmons

Nigel Smith

Michael Sorrentino

Joseph Soto

Anthony Spence

Edward Sperring

Paulette Steele

Devindra Sukhu

Michael Swetokos

Anton Taylor

Trevor Thomas

Scott Thompson

Kwame Tolliver

Anthony Vaughn

Norberto Velez

Timothy Vorhies

Regina Washington

Roy Wayson

Keturah Webb

Andre White

Michael White

James Wolters

Eevie Wooten

Lynell Wright

Mitchell Yablonsky


Andrea Haffner


Diane Adams

Ralph Anderson

Connie Barwick

Daniel Beats

Steve Beck

Ron Duty

Jeremy Fitzgerald

Joyce Golding

Jay Goodwin

Randall Gowdy

Larry Hagelberg

Trevor Hall

Nancy Holder

Muriel Irwin

Dillon Jones

William Jones

Cindy Kincaid

Timothy Kirkpatrick

Vicki Lang

Kyle Leatherwood

James Mason

Wayne McClure

Matthew McKeown

Chansey McMillan

Jaime Means

Brad Morris

David Morrison

Shelley Parris

Todd Peck

Jason Robertson

Shaan Robinson

Vernon Sanders

Michael Shelite

Dearyl Shields

Chris Sisto

Cody Snow

Matt Speers

Richard Solis

Brandy Toth

Aaron Tyler

Julie Walker

Tommy Williams

Dallas Wilson


George Allen

John Antalosky

John Antalosky Jr.

Michael Bobella

Scott Buchanan

Denise Bunner

Larry Burlile

Kimberly Byers

John Colyer

Lance Couturier

James Croft

Lynn Fischer

Charles Fix

Joshua Fogelman

Gregory Gunderman

Trevor Hardy

Sean Hersey

Deena Martinez Ketner

Mark Knopsnyder

Christopher Lekka

Gerard Long

Roy McElroy

Michael McGarry

Robert Miller

James Morton

Roy Nelson

Kathleen Parsons

Christopher Scicchitano

Thomas Siket

Edward Smith

David Snyder

Jose Soto

Mike Stine

Christopher Symons

Larry Wolfgang

South Carolina

Greg Cornell

Barbara Hartt

Theresa Holland

George Jackson

Tony Legette

Belinda McEachern

Connie Mitchell

Greg Moore

Craig Williams


Seterria Anderson

Robert Chance

Jewel Courville

Melissa Cui

Reginald Goings

Patricia Hebert

Quida LeBeoulf

Kin Lewis

J.W. Mossbarger

Debbie Nagle

Nathaniel Quarterman

Howard Relford

Jennifer Sawyer

Joe Smith

Nadria Turner

Sadie Vincent

Lori Walker

Dawn Williamson

Don Young

West Virginia

Larry Pettey

Ray Wagoner


Patrick Owen

Maintaining High Standards

Janie Adkins, administrative specialist II, serves in several capacities at the Morehead Youth Development Center (MYDC) in Morehead, Ky., as ACA specialist, timekeeper and secretary. Adkins began her career in 1985 at Morehead Group Home, where she worked as a youth worker. She then moved on to Woodsbend Youth Development Center, where she also served as a youth worker, before her employment with MYDC on Dec. 11, 1991. Since then, Adkins has been juggling a long list of duties and responsibilities that she performs not only at MYDC, but also at other facilities throughout the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice's (KYDJJ) Eastern Region.


With her in-depth knowledge of ACA requirements, Adkins not only serves as Morehead's ACA specialist, but also as a consultant at French-burg and Middlesboro group homes, the former of which she works at two times a week, dividing her time between there and working with youths at Morehead Youth Center. Before yearly audits are conducted by either KYDJJ's Quality Assurance Branch or ACA, Adkins spends tireless hours going over the fine details, making sure that Morehead, French-burg and Middlesboro facilities are meeting the standards set forth by those respective agencies. "I like to feel at the end whenever we get through a three-year audit, after a team effort, that I have done my best, and hopefully at some point when I retire I have made a difference, and have taught someone else," Adkins said. She follows through with these agencies' standards, educating staff members on the importance of each standard's purpose as it relates to KYDJJ's overall goal. Adkins has also taken a personal interest in teaching various staff members around the Eastern Region how to successfully keep their facility's records.

Maintaining accurate documentation for ACA accreditation is merely one of Adkins' duties at Morehead. As a timekeeper, Adkins ensures that employees use and account for their time in an honest manner. She keeps up with differentials between work shifts and determining paid vs. unpaid comp time. Adkins also keeps an updated annual training plan for all employees and ensures that each employee receives the specific training he or she is required to attend.

In addition, Adkins acts as secretary while other secretarial staff members are out of the office. She is always willing to assist in answering phones, typing reports and performing other administrative duties necessary to maintain the daily operations of the facility.

With remarkable dedication to the department and MYDC, Adkins always maintains a positive attitude as she deals with job-related tasks. While putting much effort into being proficient at her job, she also teaches others the correct way to do theirs. "I like to do the best job that I can do. And I like to make a difference," Adkins said.

Adkins accomplishments in the workplace are extraordinary, considering that she has not only struggled with health problems of her own, but has also been caring for her 91-year-old mother-in-law, who is suffering the ailments associated with old age.

Throughout her struggle with failing health, Adkins still managed to juggle her job duties and personal life with a positive attitude. "Everybody needs to do their very best job at whatever they do. I apply this kind of motivation to my personal life as well as my professional life."

Kevin Harris is an editor for the American Correctional Association.

By Kevin Harris

PIO Presents San Quentin to Outside World

Vernell Crittendon, public information officer at California State Prison-San Quentin, fields thousands of media inquiries each year. And he has been doing it for more than 15 years.


While maintaining the overall safety and security of the prison, Crittendon said the department wants to be as "open and transparent as possible." "We have a need to be a secure environment but we do not have to be a secret environment," Crittendon noted. "One of our missions is to involve the public and offer [insight] into the lives of the men we incarcerate."

Crittendon coordinates events and is the spokesperson of the institution for the news media and the department's headquarters regarding various incidents and court-ordered executions. In the past year, Crittendon dealt with the onslaught of media due to the conviction and death sentence of Scott Peterson and the execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams, one of the cofounders of the Crips street gang. During the time leading up to the sentencing and arrival of Peterson to the prison, Crittendon fielded hundreds of calls and interview requests each day. "Throughout the entire period with the trial and sentencing, Crittendon carried out his duties diligently and professionally, presenting a very positive and professional image of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and San Quentin Prison in particular," said J.P. Tremblay, assistant secretary for the department's Office of Public and Employee Communications.

Crittendon studied administration of justice at City College in San Francisco because he wanted to work in public service to give back to his community. While in the San Francisco Police Cadet Program, Crittendon learned that state correctional officers were paid the same as outside law enforcement and was encouraged to pursue a career in corrections, which has lasted nearly 30 years.

Crittedon started out with the department of corrections in California in 1977 as a correctional officer. He worked in inmate housing units and served as a member of the Special Security Squad and Special Emergency Response Team. From 1986 to 1999, he was a member of the Hostage Negotiation Team and eventually, Crittendon became the prison's primary hostage negotiator for several years.

As a sergeant, Crittendon worked on San Quentin's condemned row, supervising the day-to-day operations. He also served as the warden's administrative assistant. After being promoted to lieutenant, Crittendon worked as housing unit lieutenant, in-service training manager, watch commander and currently as pubic information officer.

In addition to his other duties, Crittendon coordinates programs for volunteers, visitors and inmates. The inmate programs, including: Reach, which teaches inmates to read; Real Choices, which helps at-risk youth; The Trust, which encourages inmates to change their values; and No More Tears, which helps stop violence in the community.

Following Sept. 11, 2001, Crittendon oversaw a special inmate project. In just three weeks, inmates raised $8,000 to benefit the surviving families of victims of the terrorist attacks. Nine of 15 inmate firefighters gave two-months worth of their salaries to the family members of firefighters who died on 9/11.

Crittendon also manages the prison's baseball and basketball teams. "Sports is the one venue that we have in our society where your race or your age disappears. Everyone can identify when the home team hits a home run," he said. "We want to open up lines of communication between people who traditionally would not speak or recognize one another's right to exist. Sports knocks down those barriers and those walls."

In addition, Crittendon helps out with San Quentin's college program, one of only three programs in the country that runs at no cost to the taxpayers. Local professors come in and teach for free and graduate students tutor the inmates and oversee a college preparatory program. "The people selling drugs and poisoning society are people who feel disenfranchised and have limited education," Crittendon said, adding, "The more education a person receives, the more choices they will see in their day-to-day lives. The more choices they can select from the greater chance they will make a good decision."

One of the most challenging things Crittendon said he faces is seeing people who have made changes in their lives being denied a release date. Equally difficult, he said, is working closely with victims' families and seeing their wounds reopened when they either witness an execution or learn that one has been challenged and postponed.

"Lt. Crittendon's commitment to excellence and his professionalism especially under intense media and public attention are commendable," Tremblay said. "He clearly deserves to be recognized as one of the best in the business."

Susan L. Clayton is managing editor of Corrections Today.

By Susan L. Clayton

Going for Gold in Environmental Design

Throughout his 19-year career, Thomas Davis, C.E., project manager with the Washington State Department of Corrections' (DOC) Capital Planning and Development, has provided a high standard of excellence with a tireless dedication to his projects and to his assigned facility--the Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC), a 2,200-bed multi-custody level prison in Monroe, Wash. As part of the DOC's TEAM (Teamwork for Efficiency and Achievement using a Matrix Management Approach), Davis managed the first state corrections project in the nation to undergo the comprehensive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) project evaluation and acheive a gold rating for his Regional Training Center at the Monroe complex.


Before commencing the predesign and design phases for the 10,000-square-foot, $2.35 million project, Davis took LEED training, partnering closely with designers, the MCC plant manager, environmental specialists and consultants throughout the process. "We were excited. It was our first project," Davis said.

Design for the Regional Training Center project began in 2002, before construction started in October 2003. The project was completed within budget in October 2005.

The U.S. Green Building Council awards the LEED gold rating to building projects that demonstrate a high level of commitment to conservation and renewable energy through design and operation. Initially the project achieved a LEED silver rating, just three points shy of the gold rating. By meeting the LEED requirements, the new MCC Regional Training Center will reduce wastewater by 50 percent and water use by 30 percent. "We've had one of the earliest design processes to incorporate LEED in a building," Davis said.

In April 2005, while the training center was under construction, MCC pursued LEED certification in response to executive order signed into law by Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire (Governor's Executive Order 02-03 SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES BY STATE AGENCIES), which requires state agencies to design for LEED silver standards for larger projects. In response to the governor's directive, the DOC set a goal to achieve LEED accreditation within two-and-a-half to three years for all new building projects more than 5,000 sq. ft. "It was our environmental manager's and the agency's decision to pursue this project before it became an executive order. We took the project in its beginning stage before any designing was done," Davis said.

Davis sought the department's decision to make additional improvements to obtain the LEED gold rating, making the MCC Regional Training Center the nation's first correctional facility to be awarded the LEED silver--let alone gold-rating by the U.S. Green Building Council.

In November 1987, Davis began his career with the Department of General Administration. He has been with the TEAM Program since its beginning in 1990, providing dedicated service and outstanding project management for the Monroe Correctional Complex. He manages his projects from the period of legislation approval, throughout the contracting process to closeout and occupancy, all with a thorough attention to detail.

Kevin Harris is an editor for the American Correctional Association.

By Kevin Harris

Warden Leads by Example

Throughout his 30 years of service in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Stephen M. Dewalt has been a dedicated leader. Dewalt, warden at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Ky., began his career in corrections in 1975 as a correctional officer at the U.S. Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pa., after serving in the U.S. Air Force.


In 1981, he took a job in Hartford, Conn., working with the U.S. Marshall Service, the Connecticut Department of Correction and the BOP, to deal with several high-profile groups that were housed in Connecticut and tried for criminal activity against the U.S. government. The DOC provided the facility, the BOP took care of the internal operations and the U.S. Marshals Service provided the external security. "It was a nice chance for me to be exposed to senior management and work with two other agencies to make sure the mission was taken care of," Dewalt said.

"Steve consistently sets the standard of correctional excellence in every position he holds. He is a dedicated public servant and correctional professional," said Harley G. Lappin, director of the BOP, adding, "His ability to balance correctional basics and the changing population demographics and needs is outstanding."

Dewalt has held various positions with the BOP, ranging from correctional officer, lieutenant and administrator, to associate warden and warden, in eight different states. Before moving to his current position in Kentucky, DeWalt spent 22 months in Cumberland, Md.

While at FCI (federal correctional institution) Cumberland, Dewalt instituted numerous programs, including a Residential Drug Abuse Treatment (RDAT) program, a seven-week typing class, an advanced dog handler program and a plumber and electrician apprentice program.

"I was particularly proud of several of the new programs that were started while I was there," Dewalt said. In addition to the existing 500-hour RDAT program at the minimum-security camp, Dewalt expanded the program to the inside of the secure institution. He thought it would also be good to have the inmates complete a community service program prior to their graduation and release from the institution. As a result, community service programs tripled and the facility received positive press as the community witnessed inmates mowing grass, sweeping streets and participating in clean-up days. "We were able to work with the resources that we had in place and put together that program," Dewalt said, adding, "It was a great benefit to the inmate population inside as well."

Also, while Dewalt was warden at FCI Cumberland, inmate assaults and staff and inmate grievances were reduced. This was accomplished by implementing additional training on accountability and security procedures. Staff also held meetings with the inmates, to inform them violence would not be tolerated. The meetings were also an opportunity for staff to explain issues and upcoming changes and for the inmates to voice concerns and ask questions. Communication improved due to Dewalt's focus on training, awareness and education for staff.

Dewalt also implemented cost-saving initiatives at Cumberland, which saved $105,400. "This savings was due primarily to reduced overtime expenditures, application of network technologies, efficient procurement policies and conservation of other resources," Lappin said.

Dewalt said that since he arrived in Lexington earlier this year, he has been very busy. Because it is a medical facility, staff have the task of providing medical treatment to the inmates. "It is a daily challenge to ensure that we stay as ahead of the game by being out with the folks who are running all of these programs," Dewalt said. "The wonderful part about it is having the ability to work with medical doctors, medical staff and correctional folks."

The institution itself was built around 1930. Dewalt must work daily to identify the most dire needs to ensure that the infrastructure is maintained during a time of dwindling resources. "This lack of resources is probably the biggest challenge to ensure that we are able to continue to run safe and secure institutions," Dewalt said. Recently, security has been enhanced and an ion scanner, used for detecting drugs and explosive chemicals on visitors, was implemented. Also, staff are conducting an overview of the institution, as it may be required to house more medical inmates than in the past.

Throughout his career, Dewalt has spent much time mentoring and developing staff. As a result, his staff have been recognized for their contributions to the agency and promoted to positions with more responsibility. "I have achieved the position I have because there were a lot of wonderful folks who were great leaders and they spent a lot of time mentoring me, telling me when I was making a mistake, teaching me how to see both sides of the fence, how to focus on the business were are in," Dewalt said.

"Warden Dewalt is an experienced, effective, corrections professional and is truly deserving of this recognition," Lappin said. "He faces every new challenge with enthusiasm and dedication to excellence."

Susan L. Clayton is managing editor of Corrections Today.

By Susan L. Clayton

An Officer and Mother to the Rescue

Margaret Dickinson, of Lower Township in Cape May County, N.J., would have kept her heroic efforts quiet, but the story was reported in the Press of Atlantic City and coincidentally, the volunteer assistant fire chief with the Leesburg Fire Co., who responded to the accident, was a fellow correctional officer.


Dickinson, taking her sons John, 16, and Josh, 12, to separate sporting activities, had been following a pickup when she witnessed the head-on crash that sent the truck with Paul Germanio and his 12- and 10-year-old sons crashing into a wooded area.

Dickinson saw flames in the truck's engine, heard the cries of children and had to act quickly. She parked her car at a safe distance and instructed her sons to wait inside.

Finding the truck door stuck, with the father slumped unconscious over the older boy on the passenger side, Dickinson tried to reach inside the window that was open only a crack but could not get her hand far enough down to open it. She asked the 10-year-old boy if he was okay to climb forward from the small rear seat of the cab to roll down the window. He was able to get it halfway down, and she pulled him out. After the boy was out, another man stopped to help and was able to crack the door and force the window all the way down. Together they pulled the 12-year-old boy out. A second man appeared and helped pull the father to safety, moments before the entire truck burst into flames.

The father and sons were airlifted to Cooper Health System in Camden, where the father was treated for a broken collarbone and cuts on his head and knee. The boys had minor scrapes.

Dickinson has been a correctional officer at New Jersey's Bayside State Prison in Leesburg for four years. She considers herself tough at work and took some razzing from the fellow correctional officer who saw her tears at the accident scene when, because her own two sons were with her, she had to decline one of the rescued boys' request to accompany them to the hospital.

Dickinson admits her sons are proud of her rescue efforts, but says her younger son was upset at the time because "he could see the flames and hear the little boys screaming." She said his older brother comforted him as they watched from her car.

Dickinson seems surprised by all the attention she has received since the May 2005 rescue, saying she is "overwhelmed with all this."

No stranger to the hazards of driving, Dickinson was still on sick leave in April 2006, recovering from herniated and bulging disks in her neck caused by an accident on Dec. 26, 2005, when she was unable to avoid colliding with a car that pulled in front of her. Her son John, who was with her at the time, was not injured.

Dickinson was awarded the New Jersey Public Service Recognition Award for heroism on May 1, 2006, at the Patriots Theater War Memorial in Trenton. Her husband, John, also a correctional officer at Bayside, accompanied her to Trenton for the ceremony.

Dickinson also received a valor award from the DOC on June 21, 2005. Additionally, she received a meritorious service award in March 2006 from New Jersey Superior Officers Law Enforcement Association Lodge 183.

"Officer Dickinson's heroic act of bravery and selflessness brought honor to the Department of Corrections and most likely saved the lives of a man and his two children," Craig Smith, a captain at Bayside, said.

Glenda Beal is a contributing editor/writer for Corrections Today.

By Glenda Beal

Adding a Motherly Touch

Veronica Gambill enjoys helping mothers to build good relationships with their children. Fortunately for the Cambridge Springs State Correctional Institution, a minimum security women's prison in northwest Pennsylvania, she is now in her fourth year as its parenting program director. "I just love it," Gambill said. She speaks proudly of her programs that help foster improved parenting for the institution's inmates.


She has also added new programs. The childbirth education class is a five- to six-week class offered to pregnant women since late 2003, where a certified midwife volunteers her time to provide information on prenatal health and expectations for each trimester and the birthing process.

The New Beginnings program, started in late 2005, uses four electronic babies to give women hands-on experience with infants, helping them improve their parenting skills. It "helps women who have experienced some failures (some with charges against minors) or those who come to prison pregnant and need postpartum education." The program is very popular with the mothers, and even some who do not fit the criteria often express interest and are allowed to participate. She also supervises the Virtual Visitation program, a video-conferencing link for women offenders and their family members.

In 2004, Gambill started an annual Easter party for the inmate mothers, grandmothers and children. This year, the institution held the party a week before Easter, with a magic show and an appearance by the Easter Bunny. Gambill said she also plans a Christmas party.

Gambill offers a mother-child retreat each August. The all-day retreat includes caregivers of the inmates' children and offers workshops and therapy by volunteers. Various professionals give their time to make sure the families have an exceptional day, Gambill said.

Growing up in a large, supportive family that included seven siblings may have helped shape Gambill's sense of community, but her enjoyment in helping others and her positive attitude probably was equally shaped by hard work in overcoming obstacles in her own life. Gambill worked her way through Edinboro University in Erie, Pa., while raising her son, now a 19-year-old college sophomore.

Her awards and volunteer positions tell still more of her story. There is the 2003 Women Making History Award for community work and the 2004 Public Housing Hero award from the Erie Housing Authority, which, Gambill explains, "is given to people who have grown up in a public housing setting and have gone on to strive and better themselves and are active in the community helping others." There is a 2005 award from the Pennsylvania State Elks Association for community service and leadership, and a plaque that represents recognition from President Bush for more than 4,000 volunteer hours serving others in the community.

Gambill has worked with mothers and their children through various community groups for approximately 15 years. She has chaired the board of Erie's Dwelling and Advocacy for Women in Need--a transitional housing agency for homeless women and children--for two years, served on the board for six years and is now mentoring her fifth client. She has served four years on the board of the Sarah Reed Children's Center, a residential facility for children with mental health and behavioral problems. And she is an advisor for Stairways Inc., and Lakeshore Community Services, both in Erie.

Her ties to Lakeshore Community Services go back to 1988, when she worked there as a staff-relief worker. And she was program specialist supervisor for the agency from 1994 to 1998 before taking a position as probation officer for the Erie County Juvenile Probation Department, where she worked for four years.

Gambill said she stays in touch with many of the women she has helped over the years and has been invited to weddings, house warmings and graduations, and contacted for job references.

When she is not working or volunteering, Gambill likes to spend time with her son Joe. He is relocating back home after two years at Roberts Wesleyan College, in Rochester, N.Y., where he is a star basketball player. She laughed at the possibility that they might go to school together, he to complete his undergraduate studies and she to pursue a master's degree in criminal justice. Gambill also enjoys spending time with her extended family, especially nieces and nephews, whom she takes to various activities in the community.

Glenda Beal is a contributing editor/writer for Corrections Today.

By Glenda Beal

Programmer Designs New Age System

Joe Graham's innovation saves more than 30,000 hours of staff time each year--and he designed and developed the computerized system in his free time. His data collection system is used statewide in 26 of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice detention facilities, where it has improved communication and accountability.


The system also has made the facilities safer and led to better management decisions, according to Robert Raggett, director of the department's central region headquarters in Tampa. Graham worked in the headquarters until mid-February when he was promoted due to his work on the database system and moved to the office in Tallahassee. Graham loves working with technology and says of his promotion, "I've taken on a few goodies--as far as technology and things like that go."

Graham has been with the department since 1996, starting at the Brevard Juvenile Detention Center in Cocoa, where he first began developing the system when managers noticed an improvement in computer operations after he had worked there and gave him more responsibility. After seeing one of his supervisors using Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet programs to track information, Graham said he knew it could be done more easily using a database, programming and some specific interfaces. So he took some of the work and transferred it into Microsoft Access (a database program). He said he had to learn everyone's job at that point to be able to put everything into the system.

Graham is aware of the level of trust he holds with his supervisors. "They had a lot of faith in what I could do, a lot of trust in the outcome of the project. They pretty much turned me loose and said, 'make something that works,'" he said. Graham worked with assistant superintendents and supervisors from his region, who sat down with him and shared what they thought the system should look like. Graham, whose responsibilities at the time were for facilities and special projects, did a lot of the work on his own computer at home. He said some work that had to be done on facility computers he did after his normal hours so it did not interfere with the work that they were paying him to do. The system had a trial run in December 2003, when the users group, made up of supervisors, line workers and care staff, tested it in the Brevard Detention Facility.

The now-named Juvenile Detention Facility Management System (DFMS), developed by Graham, incorporates and tracks operations data using electronic forms to replace time- and expense-consuming paper forms. Detention facility staff now enter routine data by computer into forms standardized for juvenile centers statewide. The database captures daily operations related to all facets of life in the detention facilities: security, safety, maintenance and administration--including medical and mental health needs of the residents and any significant events in the facility.

Both the name of the staff member entering the information and the time of entry are included in the database. Each subsequent entry and review of data is also documented. DFMS sends automatic, instantaneous notification of operational information to designated staff through e-mail and cellular text messaging. This includes automatic and instantaneous notification of appropriate staff about significant events in the facility.

The automated reports contribute to a safer, more secure environment and more informed management decisions, ensuring proper medical and mental health care of residents and heading off crises that might otherwise arise from overlooked conditions.

Raggett offers examples of the system at work: "... physical plant work orders are forwarded to maintenance, incident reports go to administrators, special alerts go to all staff, etc. This, in turn, ensures accountability in the timeliness of addressing needs, reviews and approvals."

The data system also is responsible for greater efficiency. Saved employee time in report preparation allows more staff time for resident supervision and more reasonable work hours for line staff. There is also a savings of thousands of dollars in paper and staff time used to process and store paper documents, as well as the cost of storage space.

Graham's motivation in developing the database system was simple: "I saw a need and wanted to bring them into the information age and automate some of the things I knew that they needed to have done."

Glenda Beal is a contributing editor/writer for Corrections Today.

By Glenda Beal

Taking Care of Correctional Health

Rob Hofacre is a team player and a team builder. He is proud of his staff and says he is very fortunate to have the strong support of his directors. Ask about his 14 years as nursing director at the Ohio Department of Youth Services, and he will tell you about his excellent health service administrators.


Hofacre's team approach is reflected in his involvement in developing and encouraging the use of performance-based correctional standards. Also chair of the ACA Health Care Committee, he is serving his fifth year as a commissioner on the Commission for Accreditation and has helped develop both juvenile and adult standards.

He pulled together a team of Ohio health care professionals to write standards with expected practices based on the juvenile correctional facilities. The standards were field tested by Ohio and approved in August of 2005. He believes the standards "will serve as a valuable tool for all states, as clear guidelines and directions for writing policies, for writing procedures and what is expected."

A tireless supporter of the use of standards and the accreditation of all correctional facilities, Hofacre served as an accreditation auditor for five years before becoming a commissioner. He played an instrumental role in developing performance-based standards for health care and encourages the involvement of his staff of health service administrators in accreditation. For his efforts, Hofacre was honored in 2005 by the Correctional Accreditation Association of Ohio with the Geno Natalucci-Persichetti Award for Excellence Through Accreditation.

Hofacre was lauded by his director, Thomas J. Stickrath, for his innovations at the Ohio Department of Youth Services. One example was his agreement with the pharmacy to use blister-pack dispensed medications, which saved the department $200,000 in the first year on medications that could be returned for credit rather than thrown away as youths were discharged.

Hofacre started out with the goal of becoming a physician, but with some uncertainty where that would lead him, decided to study nursing--to the amusement of his fraternity brothers at Michigan State University, he points out. Hofacre is proud to have been chosen to attend the Royal College of Nursing in the United Kingdom. One of 25 people chosen globally, Hofacre was the youngest and least experienced--and the only male. He laughs still at the class being addressed as "Ladies and Rob." Reflecting on his positive educational experience, Hofacre said, "I always encourage my staff to take advantage of every educational opportunity."

After graduating from Michigan State University, Hofacre moved back to Ohio for a position with Ohio State University Hospital in surgical trauma. After six months, while serving as staff nurse at the university, he enrolled in the College of Engineering for a master's degree in city and regional planning with an emphasis on health-care planning. Hofacre credits his skills in planning and focusing on the big picture to these studies.

This was also the time in which he became involved in corrections. The university needed an assistant nurse manager for the 25-bed prison unit that took care of Ohio's adult inmates. Pleased with his work, administrators decided to use Hofacre as a floating nurse manager throughout the hospital. He served three-month tours in many different areas of the hospital while replacing directors on maternity leave, sick leave, etc. Hofacre credits this responsibility with making him grow up quickly: "I was able to deal with a lot of different staff issues, a lot of physician issues and a lot of different patient care."

Hofacre took this experience back to the prison unit as a nurse manager when he completed his master's degree. From there, he took a job with the department of youth services at one of its maximum security facilities, where he worked for about a year before being promoted to nursing director.

The American Nurses Association has asked Hofacre to serve on the committee to establish a scope of standards for the practice of correctional nursing. Hofacre sees correctional nursing as a specialty area similar to geriatrics, public health and pediatrics. He is passionate about correctional nursing and can see himself teaching it when he retires from the department.

Another passion in Hofacre's life is travel. In addition to his extensive tours throughout Asia and Europe, he has been grateful for his ACA auditor experience that allowed him access to facilities and their surrounding communities all over the United States.

Glenda Beal is a contributing editor/writer for Corrections Today.

By Glenda Beal

Sacrificing for a Friend

Brian Metz, a correctional officer at St. Marys Correctional Center in Pleasant County, W.Va., had known Lyle Dearth for years as an acquaintance, but one day their relationship changed drastically. Metz became Dearth's liver donor in March 2005 and now is his close friend. The gracious act on the part of Metz was reflected in the eyes of the community as they pulled together to help the Dearth family.


When Metz heard from Dearth's wife that her husband's condition was worsening, and fortuitously that the men shared the same blood type, 0 positive, Metz felt he had to help. He did not want the Dearth's daughter, Hannah, to lose her father. This was important to Metz, who had to leave his three children to serve in Iraq for 13 months. "I knew what it was like for my kids to go without their dad ... I didn't want that to have to happen to their little girl," he said.

After talking and praying with his pastor and his wife, Staci, Metz decided to go through with the operation. The first step was for him to undergo testing, including cardiology tests, a livery biopsy and blood work, to verify that he was a match. To the surprise of the doctors at the testing site in Pittsburgh, Pa., Metz was almost a perfect match. He was the first person to be tested as a possible donor for Dearth and fit as closely as would a relative. "They said our livers couldn't have been any closer a match if we had been twins," Metz said.

Metz began his testing on March 7, 2005, and underwent the surgery on March 22. The operation took between seven and eight hours to remove part of Metz's liver and another eight hours to complete Dearth's transplant. Metz stayed in the hospital for 10 days and Dearth remained for almost a month. The community of St. Marys helped to put together money to help pay for Dearth's surgery through fund raisers in the town.

Metz took a total of 10 weeks unpaid leave from his job at the correctional facility, but, graciously, a few people in town decided to contribute money to replace some of the money he lost. However, their charity only went so far. After Dearth's father bought Metz a fishing boat because he knew how much Metz enjoys fishing with his sons, the contributors decided to stop paying the lost wages. They thought the Dearth family should be compensating Metz, given that they could afford to buy him a boat. "I had to scrip and scrap for a while," Metz said.

Metz acted selflessly, putting Dearth's life before his own. At the time of the surgery, the Metz family was still recovering from losing their home in a 2004 flood. Metz found out about Dearth's condition while he was filing his claims at the State Farm Insurance office, where Dearth's wife works. The Metz family was in a tough spot, but that did not hold Metz back from deciding to save another man's life.

Since the surgery, Dearth and Metz have become close friends, talking on the phone frequently and seeing each other whenever possible. Metz's busy schedule includes going to church, picking up his kids from school and working in the transportation department at the correctional facility. His job is to transport inmates between institutions, to court and to the hospital or medical appointments. He is also part of the correctional emergency response team, through which he has learned to deal with daily inmate behavior problems, as well as emergencies such as riots or hostage situations. Luckily, in his six and a half years at St. Marys Correctional Center, he has not had to deal with either of those extreme situations.

Metz grew up in St. Marys, a town of just more than 2,000 residents, and has chosen to raise his three children, Westin, 10, Cade, 9, and Halle, 5, there as well. Metz's dedication is tested each day through his job as a correctional officer and through his service in the National Guard. "My church, military and my family is pretty much all I do besides work," Metz said. It is no surprise that this all-American correctional officer is viewed with high esteem by his colleagues and his community.

Lisa Leone is assistant editor of Corrections Today.

By Lisa Leone

A Guardian Agent

Nadine Mitchell is a human life force, providing community service and commitment to the corrections profession. Currently a parole agent in Sacramento, Mitchell got her start working for the California Youth Authority and as a correctional counselor, before moving on to become a parole agent in San Francisco in 1986. She has worked for the past three years in the Sacramento office, as an assistant unit supervisor. She has inspired her colleagues through humanitarian programs and commitment to her parolees and their families.


Mitchell is best known around her office for the Christmas spirit she has brought to parolees and their children the past two years. "There was a lapse in community service and I felt something was missing," she said. Mitchell immediately got permission to hold the event in the office conference room and she asked the agents to nominate families who they thought would benefit most from the experience.

The first year, she threw everything together in three weeks, mostly with the help of her sister, who also works in corrections. There were food and gift bags for each of the 37 children, along with a special appearance by Santa. The gift bags included $40 to $50 worth of CD players, jewelry and gift certificates. The next year, Mitchell started planning in October, which gave her enough time to interview the parents to get the children's sizes and to find out what they might want or need. All 23 children received shoes and/or jackets along with a more personal, fun gift. Agents and staff members who had heard about the past success volunteered to help by donating money and entertaining the guests with Christmas carols. "The agents enjoyed it. They were excited when they saw the reaction of the children," Mitchell said.

The inspiration for the program was seeing the children of parolees while she was out in the field. "The children of parolees are victims themselves," Mitchell said. "These kids ... are kind of forgotten and I don't think they have a really good chance of making it unless there is some miracle somewhere." She said her most memorable moment was seeing one of the parolees cry when his daughter opened a toy that she really wanted.

Mitchell's efforts extend past the holiday season. She has worked with adult literacy programs through the library system, has participated in elementary school outreach programs, and has helped with battered women and the homeless in her community.

In contrast to her humanitarian side, Mitchell is also a tough parole agent. "Those that have potential I am hardest on," she said. Mitchell, who holds a master's degree in social work and a bachelor's degree in corrections, said she feels that education is one of the most important things. She is eager to refer her parolees to the drug programs and the literacy lab, provided by her office as a free service. On a normal day, Mitchell is out in the community, making house calls, testing for drugs and making necessary arrests. "I believe in this job," she said. "Parole agents do a really good service to the community because we not only lock people up, but also we try hard to work with people."

Mitchell's biggest challenge recently has been working with women. She said she is having success with them because she takes the time to find out what is going on in their lives and gets them involved in the community. Mitchell realizes that many women will have relapses, but she is there to support them. "The fact that they come back and talk to me and don't run to try to avoid me tells me something. They seem to respect me," she said. As a black, female parole officer, she is a positive role model for all women. She was one of the first women in the Preston Youth Authority and proved her strength through her success on one of the hardest living units. She also became a mentor for other women agents who joined the team.

Mitchell said she is proud of the increasing number of women working in the corrections field. "We are taken seriously now. It's changed," she said. Men used to think that women agents needed to be tough, but Mitchell said she thinks the "women side" of corrections is important. "The nurturing side does work. The parolees and inmates do respond to that," she said.

Mitchell said she loves her job because it combines her passion for helping people in the community with her law enforcement side.

Lisa Leone is assistant editor of Corrections Today.

By Lisa Leone

Corrections Expert Takes Charge

A car speeds at a 45-degree angle across the highway going 95 to 100 mph. The car races off the road, down a 10-foot roadside gully and back up the other side into a cement wall, then flip-flops and lands on its roof. Arthur J. Ramirez, an experienced parole agent, criminal justice scholar, and former military firefighter, rushes to the scene.


Ramirez was traveling home from teaching at the Parole Agent Academy for the California Department of Corrections in Sacramento when he witnessed the crash and came to the victim's rescue. "I knew that seconds counted and the car was already on fire in the engine area." Ramirez called 911; receiving no answer, he dialed his parole unit. Agent Dale Evans answered his call and efficiently set about getting an emergency unit to the scene.

Meanwhile, Ramirez reached the car to find the driver, Ken Hohimer, unconscious and had to pull him out through the passenger-side door. An off-duty paramedic soon joined Ramirez and took care of brining the victim around and asking him questions to gather information for the ambulance team when they arrived. Ramirez took a coordinating role as a retired sheriff joined the team. They set to work attempting to quell the fire by smothering it with the surrounding dirt. The fire raged and the men had to move Hohimer 20 yards farther from the vehicle. At this point Hohimer became violent, screaming that his wife and baby were in the car. Ramirez immediately returned to the burning vehicle to check for any more victims. Hohimer became enraged when Ramirez returned and told him that the woman and baby were not inside. Ramirez decided to check the car again. "It was at that third time I was saying 'boy I hope this car doesn't blow up,'" Ramirez said.

Having found out earlier that the driver was heading to work, the paramedic asked if he usually brought his wife and child along. Hohimer calmed down, knowing that his family would not have been with him. Thanks to calls by Evans, the freeway was cleared and a helicopter arrived to take the victim to Point Loma hospital.

The team of three rescuers disbursed, leaving Ramirez in awe of the control and efficiency of his makeshift rescue squad. "I thought it was wonderful that the paramedic was able to identify [Hohimer's] medical needs," he said. The paramedic instructed the highway patrol and firemen, as they arrived on the scene, saving a few minutes of precious time. Ramirez said he felt good about being calm enough to coordinate the life saving efforts. "Number one in our business is public safety, so it wasn't even a question for me to do what I did," Ramirez said. "Although, I have to admit, after it was over I was thinking 'whoa!'"

Amidst the commotion, Ramirez had forgotten he was still holding a cell phone that the paramedic had tossed to him. He assumed the paramedic had loaned it to him to call 911, but when he called one of the contacts, Ramirez realized he was holding the driver's phone. The woman he was talking to was the Hohimer's wife. Ramirez explained the situation and she seemed to understand what had happened, as her husband had previously blacked out from a panic attack while driving with her in the car. Ramirez met the wife at the hospital to return the phone and answer her questions.

Two days later, on Thanksgiving, Ramirez spoke with the Hohimer's thankful wife, and on Christmas, Ramirez was able to speak with Hohimer, who had sustained a broken right ankle, facial damage and internal bleeding. Hohimer was out of work for six months and was later diagnosed with epilepsy, which explained his sudden blackouts. Ramirez said he and Hohimer have become friends and hope to help each other find closure by discussing the traumatic event.

Ramirez is a well-respected scholar in California corrections; he holds a doctorate degree in criminal justice and master's degrees in community clinical psychology and criminal justice. Along with being a parole agent for Orange, Calif., Ramirez teaches corrections courses at California State University at Long Beach and the parole academy. He also worked as a clinical social worker for seven years, contributing to child's rights and getting involved in the local community. "I always wanted to be a public servant. I am committed to improving the quality of life."

Lisa Leone is assistant editor of Corrections Today.

By Lisa Leone

Supervisor Epitomizes Excellence

For more than 13 years with the Connecticut Department of Corrections, Joseph Roach, correctional counselor supervisor and unit manager at the Bergin Correctional Institution, has contributed to the mission of the department with unsurpassed initiative and enthusiasm. On Aug. 12, 2005, Roach received the Department of Corrections' 2005 Manager of the Year award, which recognizes the manager within the agency who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and managerial skills.


"I was in total shock," said Roach. "I didn't know that my warden [Eileen Higgins], submitted my name." Candidates nominated for this prestigious award are considered based on their exceptional service, commitment, leadership, communication skills, record of career, growth and development. Other attributes include a demonstrated ability to be a positive role model and to show creativity in performance of assignments. "I appreciated that somebody even put my name in, considering other people in the department have been doing an outstanding job," Roach said.

The Manager of the Year award earned Roach recognition by the Department of Administrative Services, which presented him the 2005 Distinguished Managerial Service Award. This award also recognizes managerial excellence and its nominees come from all state agencies within Connecticut. Roach was selected from among all state managers to receive this honor.

Throughout his career, Roach has earned several outstanding awards and acknowledgements including perfect attendance (on many occasions), a Preservation of Life award (1999), an Employee Distinguished Service award (1999), an Employee of the Quarter award (2002) and a Circle of Merit award (2003). Roach fondly remembered attending an awards ceremony honoring his brother Randy, a correctional officer, when his mother gave him some encouraging words regarding his own future. "[My mother], God rest her soul, said 'I can actually see you getting your award one day ... I can see a lot of good things happening for you,'" Roach said.

After finishing college in 1992, Roach began his career at the New Haven Correctional Center as a correctional officer, following his four siblings, Randy, Neal, Charles and Lucy, into the Connecticut DOC. His brothers served as correctional officers and his sister worked in the records department. At the New Haven Correctional Center, Roach worked his way through the ranks from correctional officer to social worker trainee to correctional counselor. In 2003, he was promoted to counselor supervisor at Bergin Correctional Institution. Roach has taken on the role of unit manager and is in charge of four inmate housing units that include orientation, an addiction services recovery unit and the general population. He also supervises the Bergin Correctional Institution's records department, felony DNA collection and resource center.

During his spare time, Roach volunteers countless hours working with youths in his community. For more than 13 years he has been involved in the administration of the New Haven Pop Warner Program, local youth football teams in the city of New Haven. The program includes high-risk, low-income youths ranging from ages 7 to 14, who are divided into age and weight classes. The program seeks to teach respect, discipline and leadership to young people. Roach manages up to 235 youths in the program who compete with youth teams in other states, including Florida and Alaska. The winning two teams get to compete in Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Roach's team made it there in December 2005. "The team that we sent down there ended up losing, but it was a great experience for the kids, because the majority of them have never been outside of Connecticut," Roach said.

Roach holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Connecticut State University. He was also enrolled in the Supervisory Leadership Program at Tunxis Community College before his graduation in February 2006.

Kevin Harris is an editor for the American Correctional Association.

By Kevin Harris

Samaritan Storekeeper Aids Family

It was a cold and wintry morning on Jan. 6, 2005, when Donald Vance, a storekeeper at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center, was driving along Highway 44 in Eureka, Mo., and noticed a broken-down green minivan being pushed along the highway by two adults. There were three children inside. Vance pulled over to offer his assistance, only to realize that the adults spoke no English. Only their eldest daughter, a teenager of 16, was able to translate for the parents.


"It's a cold morning and it's snowing sideways because it's windy out. He's wearing a jean jacket and she's wearing a sweater,... and I knew it was too cold for them to be out there pushing that van," Vance said.

Vance learned from the daughter that the family's van had broke down the day before in Dallas, and they had taken it to a service station where they spent everything they had to get it fixed, only for the vehicle to break down again. "I guess whoever took their money in Dallas didn't repair their car quite as well as they said they had," Vance said.

The family had stayed in Mexico City for Christmas, and they were just returning in the early part of January for the kids to go back to school. They were traveling through Missouri on their way to Chicago, and the parents only had money to cover the cost of gasoline and meals. The vehicle was not going anywhere, and it was apparent that this family was in trouble.

Having a wife and three children of his own and having been raised on Christian values by his mother, Vance decided that the right thing to do was to help this family. Noticing a trail of red transmission fluid streaming from the vehicle, Vance called his towing service to have their vehicle towed to Price Professional Automotive in Eureka. He also decided to use his own credit card and he told the personnel at the service center to proceed with the car repair.

When the highway patrol arrived, the officers advised that there is a fund to pay for overnight expenses for people in need. Vance advised the family to stay at a nearby hotel and that afternoon he returned to Price Professional Auto and discovered a repair bill of $685. The minivan needed a drive shaft replaced, a rear seal and transmission fluid. Vance was prepared to pay the entire repair bill, but once the service center owners discovered Vance's generosity, they paid for the $385 labor bill and left Vance to pay the difference of approximately $300 in parts.

"At that point I didn't understand what was involved. It could have been very expensive. All I knew was that these folks didn't have the money, the kids are in there stranded and they're stuck, so what are they going to do? A lot of us keep money in the bank for a rainy day, but many people don't have a rainy day fund," Vance said.

The family made it home and the daughter called Vance from Chicago that night to express the family's gratitude. When Vance told his supervisor about the incident, explaining why he was two hours late for work that morning, Vance's supervisor told the administration of the institution what happened. The superintendent of the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center nominated Vance for the Department of Corrections' Employee of the Month, which he was awarded in April 2005. As a result of this accomplishment, Vance was then nominated on the state level. On Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2005, during a proclamation ceremony at the Missouri State Capitol, Gov. Matt Blunt named Vance State Employee of Month for August 2005.

Vance began his employment with the Missouri DOC in May 1995 and has worked for 12 years as a storekeeper ever since. He was selected as Employee of the Month in June 2003, as well, by the personnel club at his institution because of his outstanding performance in that role. Vance's responsibilities include ordering and maintaining food stocks in the commissary warehouse, keeping inventory records and working with the food service manager in filing and reviewing food requisitions.

When recalling last winter's incident, Vance said, "I didn't do this for recognition, I did it because it was my Christian ethic. It was just the right thing to do."

Kevin Harris is an editor for the American Correctional Association.

By Kevin Harris

List of Submissions

The following personnel were submitted for Corrections Today's annual Best in the Business issue. Many thanks to the correctional agencies and ACA chapters and affiliates for this year's submissions.


Jim Heafner, coordinator, Division of Juvenile Justice, McLaughlin Youth Center, Transistional Services Unit


Bill Branson, general manager, Arizona Correctional Industries; Judi Longmeyer, quality and training manager, Arizona Correctional Industries; Ralph Pendergast, service dog program administrator, DOC


Gary Woffinden, parole agent I, CDCR Eureka Parole Unit, Region II


Robert Dale Jr., correctional officer, DOC, Hartford Correctional Center; Laurie Etter, chaplain, DOC, York Correctional Institution; Alan Piascik, correctional counselor, DOC, Gates Correctional Institution; Gary Rose, parole officer, DOC, Waterbury Parole and Community Service


Janet Abee, statewide PACT coordinator/senior management analyst II, Department of Juvenile Justice, Probation Headquarters; Robert Edward Smith, superintendent, Department of Juvenile Justice, Okaloosa Regional Juvenile Detention Center; Vincent P. Vurro, detention center superintendent, Department of Juvenile Justice, Collier Regional Juvenile Detention Center


Dennis R. Cooper, chief of community outreach and special assistant to the director, DOC, General Office-Concordia Complex; Georgia Mulligan, volunteer, DOC, Dwight Correctional Center; Sam Zito, sergeant, DOC, Dwight Correctional Center


Russ Fry, community treatment coordinator, DOC, Eighth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services; Marilyn Sales, R.N., director of nursing, DOC, Iowa Medical and Classification Center; Sandra Scheib, associate warden of support, DOC, Fort Dodge Correctional Facility


Retha Brock, R.N., charge nurse, DOC, Bell County Forestry Camp; Tanya Crick, office coordinator, Department of Juvenile Justice, Hopkinsville Group Home; Bruce Hewell, assistant supervisor, DOC, Probation and Parole District 2; Willis King, assistant superintendent, Department of Juvenile Justice, Bluegrass Youth Development Center; Jason McAllister, head teacher, Department of Juvenile Justice, Ashland Day Treatment Center; Michael O'Donnell, lieutenant, DOC, Northpoint Training Center; Katherine Peterson, licensed psychologist, DOC, Kentucky State Reformatory; Kimberly Potter-Blair, district supervisor, DOC, Probation and Parole District 9; Bryan T. Sager, social service worker II, Department of Juvenile Justice, Ashland Group Home


Employees of the Lousiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Lonnie Nail, lieutenant colonel, DOC, David Wade Correctional Center; James D. Miller Jr., warden, DPS & C, Washington Correctional Institute


Leonard B. Dixon, director, Michigan Department of Human Services, Bureau of Juvenile Justice; Jeriel Heard, chair, Michigan Department of Human Services, Committee on Juvenile Justice; Gatha McClellan, food service manager, DOC


Mike Blegen, investigator II, DOC, Western Region Probation and Parole Fugitive Unit; Julie Boehm, women's program manager/reentry manager, DOC.; Glenn Brucker, probation and parole regional administrator, DOC, Central Region Probation and Parole; Larry Hadley, corrections officer I, DOC, Western Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center; Chad Obersteadt, investigator II, DOC, Western Region Probation and Parole Fugitive Unit


Tari James, recreation manager, DCS, Tecumseh State Correctional Institution; Mike Last, psychologist associate, DCS, Diagnostic and Evaluation Center; Don Phares, IT systems analyst lead, DCS, Central Office; Steven Neff, manufacturing manager, DCS, Cornhusker State Industries; Jeff Peterson, emergency preparedness specialist, DCS, Diagnostic and Evaluation Center-C.C.C.L.

New Mexico

Elmer J. Buston, director of adult prisons, Central Office; Joe R. Williams, cabinet secretary

New Jersey

Chris Carden, public information officer; David Kerr, CEO, Integrity Inc.; John D. Kinnan, captain, DOC, Southern State Correctional Facility; Bartolome Maldonado, sergeant, DOC, Bayside State Prison; Patricia Mansell, secretarial assistant III, DOC, Southern State Correctional Facility; Kevin Quay, senior correctional officer, DOC, Southern State Correctional Facility

New York City

The 130 uniformed staff of volunteers who assisted the Louisiana State DOC in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita


Deborah K. Boyer, SPHR, human resources administrator, DOC; James Johnson Jr., institutional superintendent, Department of Juvenile Affairs, Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center; Northeast District Community Corrections, DOC


All employees who came to the assistance of or contributed to those in Lousiana in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Rebecca Benamati, clerk typist 3, DOC, SCI Fayette; Kimberley Benjamin, superintendent's secretary, DOC, SCI Graterford; Christopher Blaker, correctional officer 1, DOC, SCI Muncy; Lillian Bloom, clerk typist 2, DOC, SCI Somerset; Marcia Combine, center director, DOC, Sharon CCC; David DeFrietas, correctional officer 1, DOC, SCI Waymart; Suzanne Domalakes, librarian, DOC, SCI Frackville; Eric Garland, correctional officer I, DOC, SCI Fayette; Thomas W. Harrison, correctional officer 3, DOC, SCI Waymart; Levi Hosband, administrative officer 2, DOC, SCI Graterford; Rhonda Kirk, purchasing agent 1, DOC, SCI Cresson; Annette Kowalewski, health care administrator, DOC, SCI Laurel Highlands; Linda L. Morrison, purchasing agent 2, DOC, Bureau of Administration, Central Office; Patsy Morrow, registered nurse 2, DOC, SCI Fayette; Edward Nafus, correctional officer 1, DOC, SCI Waymart; Cheryl Owens, correctional officer 2, DOC, SCI Greene; Louisa Perez, superintendent's assistant, DOC, SCI Chester; Michael Pierce, correctional officer 2, DOC, SCI Fayette; Jason Rogers, correctional officer 1, DOC, SCI Fayette; Regis Snyder, correctional officer 1, DOC, SCI Fayette; Charles VanGorder, correctional officer 1, DOC, SCI Rockview; Charlene Zellers, correctional officer 1, DOC, SCI Muncy

South Carolina

Raymond M. Cavanagh Jr., director of institutional management, Department of Juvenile Justice


Larry Harris, correctional officer, DOC, Brushy Mountain Correctional Complex


Dee Wilson, director, TCOOMMI, Texas Department of Criminal Justice


Caledonia Community Work Camp, DOC, St. Johnsbury; Richard Garden, M.D., clinical director, DOC, Bureau of Clinical Services; Bert Senning, DOC, Vermont Offender Work Programs


Barbara Davenport, correctional program manager; Clan Jacobs, lieutenant, Washington Corrections Center; Sonia Lippmann-Boles, therapist risk management specialist

West Virginia

Donald Chambers, electronics technician II, DOC, Northern Correctional Facility; Paul Kuhn, correctional officer II, DOC, St. Marys Correctional Center


Joseph Crofts, instructor I, DOC, Wyoming Honor Farm; Robert Doty, intensive supervision coordinator, DOC; Alice Kirn, case worker specialist II, DOC, Wyoming Women's Center; Victoria McKinney, correctional program manager, DOC, Wyoming Women's Center; Monte Thayer, recreation specialist, DOC, Wyoming State Penitentiary

Federal Bureau of Prisons

Vanessa Patten Adams, warden, Federal Correctional Complex, Petersburg, Va.; Denise Brewer, case manager, Federal Correctional Complex, Butner, N.C.; Mary Ellis, director of nursing, Federal Medical Center, Butner, N.C.; Curtis McRae, recreation specialist, Federal Correctional Complex, Butner, N.C.

Chapter/Affiliate Nominations

Alston Wilkes Society

Rose M. Maxwell, Olin Sanders Correctional Officer of the Year; John Marshall Bunch, Mark Hart Probation and Parole Agent of the Year; James Meek, James W. Sparks Youth Worker of the Year; Leigh H. Denton, William C. Nau Federal Probation Officer of the Year; Wesley Boland, lieutenant, Law Enforcement Officer of the Year; Shayward S. McKenzie, lance corporal, Law Enforcement Trooper of the Year; Leslie Perry, Linda J. Allen Employee of the Year; Pat Crawford, Part-time Employee of the Year; Greg Duncan, store manager, Food Lion store #647, Veterans Home Volunteer of the Year; Leanna Dreher, Foster Parent of the Year; Rhett Jackson, Parker Evatt Volunteer of the Year

American Correctional Food Service Association

Don Cain, retired, Al Richardson Founder's Award; Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc, the Guppy Gourmet, President's Award; Mervin Webb, Homerville State Prison, Operator of the Year; Shirley Clark, CFSM, Washington State Penitentiary, Employee of the Year; Barbara A. Wakeen, MA, RD, LD, Correctioal Nutrition Consultants, Membership Recruitment Award

Arizona Probation, Parole and Corrections Association

Karen Abbott, correctional officer III, honored for involvement in ADOC's Parallel Universe Program; William E. Frye, correctional officer II, ASPC-Phoenix Complex; Debra Han, correctional officer III, honored for starting ADOC's Parallel Universe Program-ASPC Yuma; Peter Mueller-Martin, physical plant supervisor II, Staff Development Training Bureau Employee of the Year; Moses Ochoa, lieutenant, ASPC-Safford Security Supervisor of the Year; Gail Scherr, correctional officer IV, ASPC-Tucson Rincon Unit Employee of the Year

Association of Women Executives in Corrections

Linda A. Dodson, retired, Tennessee DOC, recipient of the first Susan M. Hunter Award

Indiana Correctional Association

Gerald Considine, adult probation officer, Madison County; Daniel Fountain, correctional counselor, Pendleton Correctional Facility; Harold House, correctional educator, South Bend Juvenile; Stephen Wyrick, correctional manager, chief probation officer, LaPorte County.; Don Parkes, correctional manager, Westville Correctional; Dalrey Trotter, food service worker, Westville Correctional; Mattie Giple, correctional officer, Volunteers of America; Janet Pottoroff, substance abuse professional, H.O.C.C.S. Inc.; John "Joe" Widup, detention worker/jailer, Warden, Porter Co.; Susan Brooks, volunteer, Westville Correctional; Jane Morgan, key staffer, Volunteers of America; James Archer, parole officer, IJT/DT3; Amy Beier, juvenile probation, chief probation officer, Porter County; Kathleen Lang, judge, LaPorte County; Rondle Anderson, distinguished service, DOC; Jonnie Zasada, presidential citations; Steve Robertson, presidential citations; Eric Hoch, presidential citations

North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents

Fred Rosemeyer, superintendent, State Correctional Institution at Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania DOC, Warden of the Year

Virginia Correctional Association

Donna Anderson, operational officer, Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, Member of the Year; Nancy H. "Cookie" Scott, deputy director of administration, Virginia Department of Corrections, Lifetime Achievement Award; John Shoda, rehabilitation counselor, Bland Correctional Center, Criminal Justice Employee of the Year
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Article Details
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Author:Kelly, Michael
Publication:Corrections Today
Article Type:Cover story
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2006
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Next Article:Enjoy some old-fashioned hospitality during ACA's 136th Congress of Correction in Charlotte.

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