The Passing of a Paladin: Lynn J. Lund


A paladin in history was a protector, a champion, a knight sent by the ruler to deal with problems or threats facing the realm. During the 1970s there was a major civil rights revolution in corrections. Jail and prison officials were overwhelmed by an absolute explosion of law suits and federal judges entered comprehensive orders that essentially allowed federal courts take control of and dramatically change how jails and prisoners would operate. The litigation storm hit with such swiftness and intensity, that few jurisdiction had the capability of withstanding the onslaught. To make it worse, very few of the officials had an understand of the rapidly growing body of case law that defined the newly emerging prisoner rights. It became necessary to find experts – paladins – who could help train and aid jail and prison officials. Lynn J. Lund was one who entered the fray and whose contributions were extraordinary. He was one of a half dozen of the most influential trainers and consultants to assist jail and prison officials develop the knowledge, expertise, and plans to meet the new challenges.

Teaming with Lynn Lund

In 1972, after nearly a decade as a criminal investigator with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, I took a brief leave of absence. Upon my return, I was assigned to fill in for a Salt Lake County Jail sergeant who had been hospitalized. To my surprise, I found a enjoyed the new assignment and turned down a chance to return to law enforcement. Not long after, I was promoted to lieutenant and later Jail Commander. When the federal courts abandoned their long-standing hands-off doctrine resulting in a flood of prisoner litigation, I recognized a critical need for technical assistance and quality training – especially legal-based training. However, I was unable to find anyone qualified to provide us comprehensive corrections law and jail liability training.


In frustration I contacted Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training for help. I was told that POST was only tasked and funded to do law enforcement training; however, one POST staff member, a young former police officer and deputy sheriff named Lynn Lund, offered to help. He came up with some grant money to fund a three-week jail pre-service training program, but finding qualified instructors was a challenge and we could find no one with the expertise to conduct the critically needed legal issues training. Lynn came up with the only solution: He and I would study the emerging court decisions and other legal authority and then teach the legal courses ourselves. It would be better than nothing. Neither of us anticipated the effect that decision would have on corrections training nationally.

After we developed and implemented the training program, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) heard what we were doing and asked us to train at a seminar at NIC’s Jail Center in Boulder, Colorado. The training went so well that with in a few weeks we were being booked to train all over the U.S. Lynn was a gifted and enthusiastic trainer who commanded the attention and imaginations of those who had the privilege of hearing him speak. It was a exciting to team with Lynn and we became close friends who saw more of each other – traveling to nearly every state in the U.S. – than we saw of our wives. The demand for our training grew to the extent that we both had to leave or our jobs to train and consult on a full time basis.

New Challenges

Over a period of several years, it was not unusual to train in 2 or 3 states in the same week. During his career Lynn had addressed virtually all of the

During the time he served as Inspector General, Lynn gained the respect of those with whom he worked. I often assigned Lynn – in a paladin role – to handle difficult problems facing the

department. He served well as a go-to guy. During his time at the Department of Corrections he was awarded two of the Department’s highest awards. He won the Walter E. DeLand Award – the Department’s top award and was one of only six recipients to receive the Paladin Award. Eventually, Lynn decided to return to the national training and consulting scene and he left the Department of Corrections. Lynn and I, thereafter, worked together only a couple of times, national corrections and law enforcement organizations in the U.S. Eventually, Lynn decided to take a break from the non-stop travel and the national demands for our training. In the early 1980s,after being part of a small team selected by the Utah Governor’s Office to investigate serious problems at the Utah State Prison, Lynn accepted an appointment as Inspector General of the Department of Corrections. That would lead to Lynn and I working together again a couple of years later when another Governor appointed me as the Executive Director of the Department of Corrections. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with Lynn again. His knowledge,insight,and professionalism proved to be critical components to restructuring, redirecting, professionalizing the Department.

Pausing to Remember

Although we crossed paths infrequently over the past few years, I felt a deep sense of loss when – while conducting training in Louisiana – I was told of Lynn’s death. It is worth noting that regardless of where I am training or consulting across the country, I am always asked about Lynn whether by his good friends like Bill Wilson and Jim Barbee or the corrections professionals who remember his decades of training seminars and consulting. It is with a sense of pride that our names continue to be linked after all these years. Well done Lynn.

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