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In memoriam: Carolyn cross.

On Sept. 7, 2014, Carolyn Cross, 64, deputy director for operations for the District of Columbia Department of Corrections (DOC), tragically passed away in her home in Alexandria, Va. Cross was an active member of the American Correctional Association, an auditor, a member of the Awards Committee, a member of last year's Congress Host Committee and a trainer for ACA. Her keen senses of the administrative, operational and programmatic protocols were critical in her ability to safely and efficiently operate jails/prisons and to ensure full compliance with standards set by ACA. During her more than 30 years of service, Cross spearheaded efforts that resulted in ACA accreditation of the Maximum Security Facility at Lorton--the first DOC facility to achieve full accreditation.

The investigation surrounding the circumstances of Cross' death is ongoing with the Alexandria Police Department, working collaboratively with the DOC's Office of Internal Affairs. Since her passing, condolences have been pouring in from corrections officials and government employees nationwide via Twitter, including U.S. congresswoman Eleanor H. Norton and the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights. "Cross was an outstanding person," said Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner and ACA President Christopher B. Epps. "In all my interactions with her, she embodied all the positive things about corrections. She was the kind of person you would not forget, and I will always remember her. We should continue to keep her family in our thoughts and prayers."

The funeral service was held Sept. 19, 2014, at The Greater First Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. Pastor Winston C. Ridley Jr., Ph.D., led the service, which included emotional tributes from the Cross family that celebrated her beautiful life and the impact that she made on everyone around her. The service was well attended by leaders in the community, such as District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray. She is survived by her four adult children and two grandchildren. In her honor, the District of Columbia DOC has named a new inmate processing center after her, which Gray announced would be officially named The Carolyn A. Cross Inmate Reception Center. District of Columbia DOC Director Tom Faust said, "We mourn the loss of our dear friend and a highly-valued member of the corrections family who worked tirelessly throughout her more than 30 year career in public safety to advance the profession and to promote best practices throughout the field of corrections."

Born on Oct. 2, 1949, Cross, a native Washingtonian, attended the University of District of Columbia Bachelor of Arts program for criminal justice. She completed numerous training programs in such areas as: organizational management, leadership strategies, correctional management, behavior and inmate management, interpersonal relations and communication, and employee and labor relations. In addition to her contributions to ACA. Cross served as a board member for Voices for a Second Chance, which helps ex-offenders successfully reenter their communities without recidivating. She was also an active member of the American Jail Association, Women in Corrections, Juvenile Justice Executive Women in Corrections, the Correctional Education Association, the Correctional Training Association and Blacks in Criminal Justice. She most recently was the recipient of the Carl Robinson Award given by the Middle Atlantic States Correctional Association for demonstrating extraordinary leadership and making significant contributions to the field of corrections. ACA Executive Director James A. Gondles, Jr. said, "Carolyn Cross was a devoted mother, daughter and corrections professional. Having known her and her parents for more than four decades, she never had a task too difficult to achieve. She was an active, contributing and proud auditor, trainer, committee member and volunteer for ACA. All of us will miss that Carolyn Cross trademark smile." ACA's thoughts and prayers go out to Cross' family, friends and colleagues.
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Publication:Corrections Today
Article Type:In memoriam
Geographic Code:1U5VA
Date:Nov 1, 2014
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