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May 4, 2010

Illinois Department of Corrections and Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice recognize Correctional Officers of the Year for 2010
Five front line employees awarded top honors

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


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 


Decatur    Correctional Officer Mark Czajkowski 
Dwight    Correctional Officer Jackie Charlier 
Lincoln    Correctional Officer Kathleen Hillyer 


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 


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 


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