SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) today honored five outstanding front line employees as 2010 Correctional Officers of the Year at a ceremony in Springfield.
The winners were chosen from a field of 48 nominees, who were nominated for the award by their colleagues. The overall winners were chosen by the departments' executive staff.
IDOC Director Michael P. Randle and IDJJ Director Kurt Friedenauer commended the efforts of front line staff within their respective agencies.
"National Correctional Officers Week recognizes the excellence of correctional employees throughout the U.S.," said Randle. "The success of the agency’s operations, programs and services is a tribute to the dedicated men and women who serve the Illinois Department of Corrections. Their steadfast commitment allows the agency to operate one of the safest, largest prison systems in the nation. Each and every day, they bring distinction to the job and to their communities. In addition to meeting the goals of the department’s mission of ensuring safety and security in our prison system, they are leaders in their communities. Many of IDOC’s employees have served or are currently serving in the military to protect our country."
"The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice is committed to encouraging youth to be the best that they can be and avoid a cycle of prison. The department is dedicated to providing treatment and educational, vocational, social and emotional services to the state's young offenders to assist them in becoming productive citizens," said Friedenauer. "The agency's staff is dedicated to the department’s mission. The employees being recognized today are commended for their commitment and support toward this goal."
Nominations for this year's award recognize front line staff at each of the state's 28 prisons, eight juvenile centers, adult transition centers and parole districts. This year's top five front line employees were presented with recognition letters from the governor and IDOC and IDJJ directors and a $500 check from the Employee Benefit Fund. The nominees are judged on leadership, initiative, professionalism and service to their community and career.
Employees receiving top honors during a ceremony at IDOC and IDJJ General Headquarters in Springfield are:
Correctional Officer Jason Anglin at Pontiac Correctional Center
Correctional Officer Jason Anglin assisted local and state police officers in the capture of a fleeing felon, during a high-speed car chase that ended in the crash of the suspect car and the fleeing of two felons. Officer Anglin was approached by a man on a bicycle (one of the fleeing felons), who offered him $500 to “take me out of town.” Officer Anglin refused and flagged down a police officer, who had been searching for the fleeing men. This man was wanted for a homicide out of St. Louis, Mo. It was stated that if not for Mr. Anglin’s actions, the felon could still be at large.
Correctional Residence Counselor II Anita Christoffell at Fox Valley Adult Transition Center
Correctional Residence Counselor II Anita Christoffell has shown her knowledge of the center’s different facets as well as displayed active leadership, which is an example to all in the department. Her attention to detail is revealed to everyone by her daily practice. She has a savvy way of ensuring that proper departmental practice is being followed and there is a sense of compassion shown for the residents and their goals and direction.
Correctional Residence Counselor I Scott Williams at Decatur Adult Transition Center
Correctional Residence Counselor I Scott Williams has worked hard to ensure that all employees at Decatur ATC receive the proper training to successfully complete their jobs. He often talks to employees one-on-one to see if they feel equipped with the training tools they need. He sets a standard in which all other employees can model themselves.
Parole Agent Demetrius L. Norton at District I
Parole Agent Demetrius L. Norton can tell anyone off the top of his head what any offender on his caseload is up to, where the offender is in treatment or other compliance issues. He can also recall the offender’s host site and family issues that may help or hurt the offender’s adjustment. If the offender is employed, Agent Norton knows where he works.
Juvenile Justice Specialist Jeff Marnati at Illinois Youth Center-Murphysboro
Juvenile Justice Specialist Jeff Marnati displays a professional demeanor and is seen as a role model for other staff. He has an excellent rapport with staff and youth alike and takes time and initiative to work through issues with any youth experiencing struggles.
Other facility nominees include:
Nominee list for 2010
ADULT CORRECTIONAL CENTERS
Big Muddy River Correctional Officer David Hermetz
Centralia Correctional Officer Ted McAbee
Danville Correctional Officer Josh Bennett
Dixon Correctional Officer Anthony Ward
East Moline Correctional Officer Brian Burke
Graham Correctional Officer Brett Randel
Hill Correctional Sgt. Glenda Custer
Illinois River Correctional Officer Bryon Kinne
Jacksonville Correctional Officer Gerald “Jerry” Walker
Lawrence Correctional Officer Matthew Freeman
Logan Correctional Officer Michael O’Neill
Menard Correctional Officer Itsie Ellsworth
Pinckneyville Correctional Officer Carol McBride
Robinson Correctional Officer Jeff Hill
Shawnee Correctional Officer Billy Belford
Sheridan Correctional Officer Jason Weymouth
Southwestern Illinois Correctional Officer Steve Stern
Stateville Lt. Darryl Johnson
Tamms Correctional Officer Timothy Fox
Taylorville Correctional Officer Richard Lowe
Thomson Correctional Officer Audrey Humphrey
Vandalia Correctional Officer Robert Osborne
Vienna Correctional Officer Max Nance
Western Illinois Correctional Officer Wanda Kleinlein
WOMEN AND FAMILY SERVICES
Decatur Correctional Officer Mark Czajkowski
Dwight Correctional Officer Jackie Charlier
Lincoln Correctional Officer Kathleen Hillyer
ADULT TRANSITIONAL CENTERS
Crossroads Correctional Resident Counselor I Elizabeth Martinez
Jessie “Ma” Houston Correctional Residence Counselor I Walter Nicholson
North Lawndale Correctional Residence Counselor I Maurice Jones
Southern Illinois Correctional Residence Counselor I Allen Bachmann
West Side Correctional Residence Counselor I Donald Brown
District 1 Senior Parole Agent Phillip Tyree
District 3 Senior Parole Agent Greg Palmer
District 4 Senior Parole Agent Tammy Bush-Hamilton
District 5 Parole Supervisor Paul Carlson
ILLINOIS YOUTH CENTERS
IYC-Chicago Juvenile Justice Specialist Sandra Evans
IYC-Harrisburg Juvenile Justice Specialist Patrick Mings
IYC-Joliet Juvenile Justice Specialist Willie Brown
IYC-Kewanee Juvenile Justice Specialist Sandy Seibert
IYC-Pere Marquette Juvenile Justice Specialist Chad Burns
IYC-St. Charles Juvenile Justice Specialist John Rojas
IYC-Warrenville Juvenile Justice Supervisor Timothy Knox