JAILCON19 Southern Region Outstanding Corrections Professional Awards

Last week during JAILCON  Southern Regional Conference in New Orleans, NIJO recognized many agencies and individuals who have demonstrated excellence in the corrections profession.  Awards were presented on August 8th during the Awards Ceremony at the JW Marriott New Orleans.  We extend our congratulations to the following award recipients.


Detention Rookie of the Year Award
Tracy Walker, Marengo County Sheriff’s Office, AL

Awarded to a Certified Detention Officer, without regard to years in service, who has exhibited professionalism and dedication to the Office and the community during the past year.

Tracy Walker has shown leadership skills and is a loyal employee who is determined to do whatever it takes to get the job done in a professional manner.  She has expressed to her coworkers that they can call anytime, day or night, if they are experience problems, booking or releasing inmates, locating warrants, doing commissary, transporting to court or updating inmates files after returning from court, fingerprinting, DNA samples, etc. When the jail administrator had to go out on emergency medical leave, Tracy stepped up to make sure the daily operations of the jail ran smoothly.

Civilian Employee of the Year Award
Kay Patrick-Hile, Michigan Sheriffs’ Coordinating & Training Council (MSCTC), MI

Awarded to a “non-certified” Detention employee serving in a support section of the Office who has who provided innovative ideas that enhanced the efficiency of the facility in line with the mission of the Office during the past year.

Award recipient, Kay Patrick-Hile, consistently performs her duties in a professional manner and is always searching for ways to improve the delivery of services to agencies throughout the state of Michigan.  MSCTC Executive Director, Bob Noordhoek, stated, “Kay is one of the most positive individuals I have ever known, especially under stress.”

Health Care Professional of the Year Award
Susan Neal, Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, AL

Awarded to the Detention Center medical staff member who set the bar for jail medical programs and best represents the overall spirit of professionalism, caring, and dedication. This award is submitted by peer nominations from medical or detention staff members.

Thirty-nine years as nurse, and six years in corrections, Susan Neal, has played an important role in nursing staff at the Mobile County Metro Jail, AL.  Susan is a detail-oriented individual, who is able to remain calm and focused under any type of pressure.  Ms. Neal was promoted to the position of HSA with highest recommendations and confidence from her warden and deputy warden, and proved right away she was capable of working long hours and carrying a heavy workload.  Under Susan’s guidance, Mobile County has received two consecutive accreditations from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.

Detention Supervisor of the Year Award
Kimberly Klos, Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, AL

Awarded to a Certified Detention Officer serving in a supervisory capacity (Corporal and/or Sergeant) who excel in their positions and are highly regarded by their staff for their consistent leadership, integrity, understanding and support, both professionally and personally, during the past year.

Staff Sergeant Kim Klos is an integral part of the corrections management and training team at Baldwin County Jail.  During her time with Baldwin County, Kim has been assigned to security, training, transportation and the docket room. Over the past several years, she has participated in the design and implementation of basic corrections officer management team.  Recently when Baldwin County Jail was accredited through the National Institute for Jail Operations, Staff Sergeant Klos worked very closely with the team in bringing up the standards, policies and procedures required at her facility.


Detention Administrator of the Year Award
Aquanetta Daniels, Marengo County Sheriff’s Office, AL

Awarded to a detention administrator/commander who has shown exemplary leadership and has contributed to the improvement of the jail environment positively for enhanced safety, security, and custody to benefit overall jail operations, officers, staff, inmates, and the general public.

Jail Administrator Aquanetta Daniels has gone above and beyond normal expectations by working many extra hours and ensuring that the work environment in the Detention Center is safe and secure for all employees, inmates and the general public.  Being on-call 24-7 for detention employees, as well as the Sheriff and Deputies that are on duty, she never waivers to step in and fill a shift for employees when the need arises.

Detention Facility Innovation Award
Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, LA

Awarded to a detention facility which has demonstrated exceptional achievement in developing and/or enhancing a particular aspect or feature in the facility or in the operations of the facility in line with the mission of the Sheriff’s Office during the past year.

If you thought your jail was a piece of … you can relate to where the jail in Washington Parish (LA) was just a few years ago.  Their jail was falling apart, decrepit, old and ignored.  But with a Sheriff change a number of years ago came a focus on the jail that didn’t exist before.  Due to the support and dedication of Sheriff Randy “Country” Seal, Chief Deputy Mike Haley, Jail Administrator Jim Miller and an amazing staff, they have been successful in turning their jail around.  Here are just a few of the improvements and changes that have been made:

  • Initiated the ARP (administrative remedy procedure)
  • High tech camera system (only 4 analog cameras before which now number over 100)
  • Temporary holding units (were none before)
  • Facility is now paperless
  • All cell blocks are painted and semi remodeled
  • Key control was obsolete and now there is security card access
  • Gym was established for officers
  • Jail officer control center was remodeled to better facility use and productivity
  • Cellphone detectors
  • Polycom system for court (72s, arraignments, etc)
  • Medical unit which consists of nurse, assistant and two doctors
  • Remodeled triage unit and medical office
  • Obtained cell entry materials and trained cell entry officers
  • Extra security gates which established “true” interlock
  • One-way industrial tint on the control center windows
  • Established trustee maintenance crew and shop

Congratulations Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office!

NIJO Dedication to Excellence Award
(aka Overworked and Underpaid Award)
Jon Garlick, Calhoun County, AL

Awarded to a detention officer, supervisor, or administrator who in the past year has gone above and beyond normal expectations by working extra hours, making extra effort to ensure the safety and security of staff members, inmates, and the general public.

This year, NIJO was pleased to award the “Dedication to Excellence” to Jon Garlick.  Chief Deputy Jon Garlick has made significant contributions to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement/Jail Operations as well as for the entire state of Alabama.
Jon was instrumental in starting the Mental Health Officer Program in Alabama and worked daily in mental health efforts and passing legislation in 2007 creating a funding stream through a local mental
health board to enable them to employ a full time mental health officer.
He was promoted to Lieutenant over Sheriff’s Office operations and assisted with creating a mental health court, drug court and veterans court. Among his accomplishments, Jon has completed FBI National Academy, is a Certified Hostage Negotiatior with Jail Certification, Certified Juvenile Treatment Specialist, Crisis Intervention Specialist.  He is a highly respected Law Enforcement Professional who has shared his knowledge and expertise with the Alabama Jail Training Academy, National Institute for Jail Operations,  attorney general law enforcement summits and many other
events in Alabama and the nation.


NIJO Executive Director Award 
aka Gary W. DeLand Award

Robert “Sam” Houston
Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, AL

NIJO honored Sam Houston from the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office for his extraordinary contribution and leadership in the law enforcmenet and corrections fields.

Of Houston, Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran said, “This individual truly is the glue that keeps things together in the Jail.  His cool, calm, and steady leadership sets the example throughout the jail.  For the past few years, we have been in an almost crises mode.  We house approximately 500 additional inmates than the 1160 capacity the jail was designed for.  We have run the jail while 35 to 40 correction officers short, over 20 % of our workforce.  Through all the constant hiring, firing, scheduling, maintenance issues, AND inspections by DOJ, this individual continues to maintain a great attitude seeking excellence.  His more than 40 years of law enforcement is a great benefit to us in our County.”

Executive Director, Tate McCotter, went on to say, “The NIJO awards committee selects the award recipients in a blind process to avoid selecting individuals based on who we know or are familiar with.  It happens that I do know this individual and echo all the things that were said by Sheriff Cochran.  His staff is extremely lucky to have him, his expertise, his leadership and genuine concern for all those that work there.  He is a blessing to them all.  When he someday rides off into the sunset, I hope he knows how much he is appreciated.”



The National Institute for Jail Operations developed the Professional Certification Program in response to the need to provide a respected national certification for individuals looking for a process that involved legal-based curriculum by an organization which supports and defends their agencies’ worthy goals and objectives.   NIJO Professional Certification is a professional designation – earned not issued – for jail and detention officers, supervisors, administrators and sheriffs who have demonstrated to possess the requisite understanding, knowledge, skills, experience and abilities to function to a specific level.  Achieving NIJO Certification is a significant accomplishment and reflects intense training, effort, experience and comprehension proving that an individual confidently knows and can follow clearly established laws and procedures in fulfilling his or her duties within a correctional facility.

National Certified Corrections Executive (NCCE) Certification was awarded to the following individuals at JAILCON19 in New Orleans:

Sergeant Kimberly Klos
Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, AL

Captain Ron Adkins
Blount County Sheriff’s Office, AL


NIJO Accreditation is an established process for correctional administrators to verify and be recognized nationally as compliant to what the law requires to run a constitutionally safe facility.  As the only such accreditation in the country, NIJO promulgates over 600 legal-based guidelines specific to each state, to ensure that detention and correctional facilities comply with current legal requirements applicable to each state, circuit court and federal rulings and statutes.  Achieving accreditation is not a walk in the park.  It requires legal-based policies and procedures, documentation and consistency on all levels.

Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, IN

Wayne County Sheriff’s Office (IN) was recognized for not only maintaining their original accreditation, but improving their status to a Level I–the highest that can be awarded by NIJO.

Boone County Sheriff’s Office, MO

Boone County Sheriff’s Office is the first jail in Missouri to be accredited by NIJO and the very first jail from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.  This was an extremely difficult process and would not have happened without a lot of tenacity and hard work by a solid command staff and the support of their sheriff.

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