SPRINGFIELD – On behalf of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, Illinois Department of Corrections Director Roger Walker today recognized five outstanding front line employees as 2005 Correctional Officers of the Year. The recognition comes during Correctional Officer Week in Illinois May 2nd – 6th.
“Through their professionalism, leadership and courage, these employees serve by example in protecting the public and enhancing the success of offenders who are reentering into society,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) Director Roger E. Walker Jr. also commended the efforts of front line staff and noted that the agency’s main focus is to operate a safe and secure prison system.
“In every decision we make and in every action we take, safety is at the forefront of our operations,” Walker said. “Today, it gives me great pride to honor the excellence of our front line staff. This fine group of men and women face challenges every day with steadfast commitment.”
Employees receiving top honors during a ceremony at the agency’s General Headquarters in Springfield are:
- Correctional Officer Tyrone Carter of Vandalia Correctional Center
Officer Carter, Vandalia Correctional Center, has exceptional knowledgeable regarding his duties and responsibilities. He consistently completes his assignments in a successful and professional manner while maintaining harmony and enthusiasm. Officer Carter upholds a good relationship with his fellow employees and assists others when needed.
- Correctional Officer Angelita Hanson of Decatur Correctional Center
Officer Hanson, Decatur Correctional Center, works virtually every assignment at the center with little or no supervision and currently is assigned to the Industries Department. She always maintains a positive and professional attitude and a commendable attendance record. Officer Hanson works well with fellow staff members, offenders and the public.
- Youth Supervisor II Leonard DiFiore of Illinois Youth Center-St. Charles
DiFiore, Illinois Youth Center-St. Charles, can always be counted on to have a positive attitude and demeanor. He adapts well to change and has exceptional knowledge of automobiles and mechanics. He is assigned to the Statewide Transportation Unit and is a significant part of that team. His primary assignment is to perform security functions.
- Correctional Residence Counselor I Maxine Walker of Crossroads Adult Transition Center
Walker, Crossroads Adult Transition Center, has developed a reputation for firm, yet fair and consistent treatment of all center residents. She maintains a professional demeanor in her daily encounters with staff and residents.
- Parole Agent Shannon Champion of District 4
Agent Champion, District 4, chose to work with a specialized caseload of sex offenders maintaining her caseload in an effective and efficient manner. She has an excellent rapport with the community and other law enforcement agencies. Because of her expertise in dealing with sex offenders, she is often asked to speak to various groups in the community.
Nominations for this year’s award come from officers recognized at each of IDOC’s 27 state prisons, eight juvenile centers, eight adult transition centers and parole districts. This year’s top five front line employees were presented with recognition letters from the governor and IDOC director and a $500 check from the Employee Benefit Fund. The nominees are judged on leadership, initiative, professionalism and service to their community and career.
Other facility nominees include:
Women and Family Services Division
Lincoln Correctional Center Sgt. Robert Polley
Dwight Correctional Center Sgt. Sam Zito
Illinois Youth Center-Warrenville Youth Supervisor II Chad Heriaud
Illinois Youth Center-Pere Marquette Youth Supervisor II Byron Harris
Fox Valley Adult Transition Center Correctional Residence Counselor I James Luttrell
Big Muddy River Correctional Center Correctional Officer Larry Provence
Centralia Correctional Center Correctional Officer George Godoyo
Danville Correctional Center Sgt. Eric Judy
Dixon Correctional Center Sgt. Thomas Butler
East Moline Correctional Center Correctional Officer Doug Riggs
Graham Correctional Center Correctional Officer Kenneth Moore
Hill Correctional Center Correctional Officer Harold Stark
Illinois River Correctional Center Correctional Officer Chad Sappington
Jacksonville Correctional Center Correctional Officer Jodie Blackley
Lawrence Correctional Center Correctional Officer Paul Schnepper
Logan Correctional Center Correctional Officer Edward Baunach
Menard Correctional Center Correctional Officer Thomas Duvall
Pinckneyville Correctional Center Correctional Officer Christel Crow
Pontiac Correctional Center Correctional Officer Penny Salzman
Robinson Correctional Center Correctional Officer Terry McCleave
Shawnee Correctional Center Correctional Officer Michael W. Reeder
Sheridan Correctional Center Sgt. Michael Windsor Sr.
Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center Correctional Officer Richard McIntyre
Stateville Correctional Center Sgt. Dorothy McKinney
Tamms Correctional Center Correctional Officer Frederick Madison
Taylorville Correctional Center Correctional Officer Angela Merano
Vienna Correctional Center Correctional Officer Jay McElmurry
Western Illinois Correctional Center Correctional Officer Kenneth DeWitt
Illinois Youth Center-Chicago Youth Supervisor II Fyshanda Johnson
Illinois Youth Center-Harrisburg Youth Supervisor II Kenneth E. Riley
Illinois Youth Center-Joliet Youth Supervisor II Kenneth Bacon
Illinois Youth Center-Kewanee Youth Supervisor II Ken Hilgendorf
Illinois Youth Center-Murphysboro Youth Supervisor II Tim Bowen
Adult Transition Centers (ATC)
Jessie “Ma” Houston ATC Correctional Residence Counselor II
North Lawndale ATC Correctional Residence Counselor I
Decatur ATC Correctional Residence Counselor I
William Craig Appleby
Peoria ATC Correctional Residence Counselor II
Southern Illinois ATC Correctional Residence Counselor I
District Parole Offices
District 1 Parole Agent Sandra Woodhouse
District 3 Parole Agent David Farkas