| ||Cheri Kraus - National Award Recipient |
Cheri Kraus, Branch Manager for Kentucky Correctional Industries, was recently selected as the recipient of the 2013 National Staff Award from the National Correctional Industries Association, Inc. Kraus received the honor for the Southeast Region a few months prior to her national recognition. The awards recognize the “superior performance and supervisory excellence” of a correctional industries staff member who has made “significant and sustained contribution” to a correctional industries program.
| ||DOC Employees Recognized for Savings Suggestions |
Pictured above (left to right); Green River Correctional Complex Offender Information Specialist Vanessa Dortch, Northpoint Training Center Fiscal Manager Stephanie Wilkerson and Central Office Administrative Coordinator Johnathan Hall. The DOC employees were recognized for their submissions to the Kentucky Employee Suggestion System (KESS). KESS is an incentive program designed to encourage employees to participate in good management by sharing ideas on improving productivity and the services offered by the state. The DOC suggestions were calculated to save over $4 M and the employees received a total of $5,200.
| ||LLCC Receives ‘Above and Beyond’ Award |
Jim Papovich from the National Committee for “Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) visited Luther Luckett Correctional Complex on June 10, 2013 in order to present the “Above and Beyond” award to the facility. Warden Greg Howard accepted the award on behalf of the institution. The National Committee ESGR recognized LLCC for its commitment to go above and beyond in its support of employees who serve in Guard and Reserve units. In addition to the ‘Above and Beyond’ Award, LLCC also received “Pro Patria” Awards from EGSR. Those awards also recognize LLCC’s support of its military employees. Accepting those awards were: (L-R) Lieutenant Mark Wasson, Captain Lindsay Dowden, Jim Papovich, Warden Greg Howard, and Deputy Warden Phillip Bramblett.
| ||Employees Complete Public Health Leadership Institute |
DOC Health Services Administrator Cookie Crews, Dr. Deborah Coleman and Dr. Russ Williams are pictured above after completing the Kentucky Public Health Leadership Institute in Lexington, Kentucky. The goal of KPHLI is to strengthen the public health system in Kentucky by improving the skills of the professionals who administer state, regional and local public health systems. In order to graduate, participates had to complete two book reports on leadership, Individual Development Plans, and Change Master Projects. The class also took the Change Style Indicator, 360 Degree Feedback and Emergenetic Baron EQ-I Assessment test.The DOC group chose as their Change Master Project to develop a training manual on how to manage inmates diagnosed with Dementia. The group called themselves the “Dementia Militia.”
| ||Commissioner Thompson Honored by EKU |
Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Justice and Safety recently held its annual “Night of Distinguished Professionals” and recognized the achievements of two justice and safety practitioners, including our own commissioner, LaDonna H. Thompson. Thompson was presented with the Dean’s Award. This honor is presented to an individual in recognition of “Lifetime Achievement and Meritorious Service in Corrections.” Thompson is pictured at left receiving the award from EKU College of Justice and Safety Dean Allen Ault.
| ||State CERT Commander, LLCC Warden Howard Honored |
Luther Luckett Correctional Complex CERT Commander Daniel King and Internal Affairs Officer Lt. Mark Wasson recently recognized longtime state CERT Commander and LLCC Warden Greg Howard. The award recognized 20+ years of commitment to CERT. “He is a dedicated and hands on leader,” said King. “As my Shift Captain he was not afraid to get down in the trenches with the rest of the team to teach staff the correct way to handle situations. Warden Howard is a true inspiration within Luther Luckett Correctional Complex and a true asset to the Department of Corrections. His leadership and experience will lead CERT teams statewide to face any task.” Deputy Commissioner James Erwin and Commissioner LaDonna Thompson were invited to present the award to Howard.
| ||DOC’s Johnathan Hall Recognized As Top Junior Computer Science Major |
Johnathan Hall, Adminstrative Coordinator for the department’s Offender Information and Information Technogy branches was recently honored at the Kentucky State University 50th Annual Honors Convocation. Hall was recognized as the university’s top Computer Science Outstanding Junior Student.
| ||DOC Participates in Crisis Negotiation Training |
Department of Corrections employees from across the state took part in Crisis Negotiation Training by either serving as facilitators or participating in the training. The training, conducted by FBI Special Agent Lori Greenwell, was held at the new Kentucky State Police (KSP) Academy, formerly the Frankfort Career Development Center. The attendees included employees from the FBI, KSP and three employees from the DOC; Emily Schofield, Pam Clayton and Bruce Snider. The remaining DOC employees served as facilitators and assisted by working alongside FBI staff with the training. The DOC facilitators served in oversight roles during day four of the five-day training, providing guidance and evaluation to several trainee teams during live scenario situations. The DOC currently has 79 staff who are trained Crisis Negotiators throughout all of the Adult Institutions.
| ||CAP Participants Recognized |
Probation and Parole staff who participated in the recent CAP operation in Jefferson County were recognized by Commissioner LaDonna Thompson recently and presented with a Certificate of Excellence. Officers participating in each CAP operation will receive the recognition and certificates. Pictured above, front row (L-R) Eric Staples, Connie Roach, Lisa Gilkey, John Sutton; second row (L-R) Michael Rach, Matt Hayes, Jay Bell, Commissioner Ladonna Thompson; back row (L-R) Keith Link, Derek Meeks, Griffin Brown, Chris Mull, John Madeya and Jimmy Henderson. Not pictured but involved in the Jefferson County operation were: Jonathan Parker, Brian Patterson, Mike Mitchell, Rob Storey, Derek Jeffers, Will Kline, Tim Walker, Danielle Smith, and Robert Taylor.
| ||APEX Training Comes to Department of Corrections |
The Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Salato Education Center provided a serene location for intensive two-day work sessions attended by 58 staff from Central Office, Probation & Parole and institutions the week of December 10-13. Commissioner Thompson and Deputy Commissioners Jim Erwin and Paula Holden warmly welcomed NIC-sponsored trainers Nancy Cebula and Theresa Lantz to guide two teams as they practiced the principals of the Achieving Performance Excellence (APEX) initiative. APEX is a business model that offers a systems approach to change specifically for correctional organizations. It provides multiple tools and strategies to build sustainable capacity toward higher performance, evidence-based practices, and data-driven decision making. Safety and security is one of the foundational principles of APEX. Above: APEX trainers and DOC facilitators: (L to R) Ruth Edwards, Cyndi Heddleston, Nancy Cebula, Tiffany Ratliff, Theresa Lantz and Danny Norris. Below: Those attending the APEX training were divided into break-out groups to work on projects. Projects included: Newly-adopted PREA standards - looking at the mandate and developing recommendations that will form the foundation of DOC’s compliance effort; and the current process for releasing inmates from institutions and jails - developing recommendations to eliminate any lag time so offenders are released as soon as they are eligible.
| ||Commissioners’ Roundtable Focuses on DOC History |
On October 24, 2012 Bell County Forestry Camp (BCFC) celebrated the prison’s 50th anniversary. Among the attendees were current and former BCFC staff, Division of Forestry officials, local and state government representatives and several DOC Central Office staff. The event was a huge success and began with a program during which guest speakers talked about the importance of BCFC to the community and included a tribute to deceased BCFC employees. Speakers were Warden Kathy Litteral, Deputy Commissioner Jim Erwin, Division of Forestry Director Leah MacSwords, Bell County Judge-Executive Alby Brock and Kentucky State Representative Rick Nelson.
| ||Bell County Forestry Camp Celebrates 50 years |
Commissioner LaDonna Thompson invited all previous DOC commissioners to a roundtable discussion on November 2nd. There are currently only four previous commissioners living: Doug Sapp, Tom Campbell, Vertner Taylor and John Rees. Bringing this group together was something Commissioner Thompson had wanted to do since being appointed in 2008. Her goal was to have the group collectively discuss issues faced during their individual terms as commissioner, and to share their solutions. All four previous commissioners graciously accepted her invitation. The group gathered at Spindletop in Lexington and had a very productive and interesting meeting. "I believe a great deal can be learned from the past,” said Thompson. “So many of the issues we face today are the same or very similar to ones faced by our former commissioners. It was very informative for me and I believe the discussion will be valuable to the Department’s future leaders as well.” Above: The four previous commissioners that attended the Roudtable are pictured (left to right) with Commissioner Thompson: Doug Sapp, John Rees, Commissioner LaDonna Thompson, Vertner Taylor and Tom Campbell.