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Officer's volunteer work sets example for youths.

Edward Hill, a corporal with the Prince George's County, Md., Department of Corrections, believes that to reduce the growing violence among our youth, ordinary citizens must become more involved. This desire to help young people motivated him to volunteer his days off to speak with students at local schools.

"If everybody volunteered 10 or 20 minutes a week, this country would be a better place," he says.

For his performance at work and his volunteer efforts, the Maryland Criminal Justice Association in December presented Hill with its "The Surveillance--We Are Watching You" Award.

Hill says his main objective is to communicate to youths the idea that although life may appear difficult, many people do care. During his talks, he answers students' questions and tries to help them work through some of the challenges they face.

Because peer pressure often is a strong influence on the students, Hill encourages them to think for themselves. "They have to learn that you have to be your own person," he says. "You go into your coffin alone--and you have to live your life your own way."

At the Prince George's County Correctional Center, Hill is an escort officer responsible for responding to emergencies that may arise. He also is a firearms instructor. A five-year veteran, he says that until he attended the corrections academy, his view of corrections was unflattering.

"I used to think that all corrections meant was keeping the doors locked and keeping inmates in line," he says. "But I realized that it's a job that requires a lot of skill, and a job that encourages people to take responsibility for their actions."
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Title Annotation:Best in the Business; Edward Hill of the Prince George's County Correctional Center, Maryland
Author:Spertzel, Jody K.
Publication:Corrections Today
Date:Jun 1, 1993
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