Madison Parish Correctional Center - Recognized for Re-entry Programs
The link below provides a Special Report about the Programming at Madison Parish Correctional Centers. "Often, the biggest battle toward rehabilitation isn't in a prison cell, but in classrooms where they're taught the important skills they'll need to reacclimate to life outside." Programming provides tools for the incarcerated to use for fighting against residivism and to hopefully gain an easy re-entry into life after being released. "Director Baur said they've reduced residivism by 20% and graduated 2,500 women, but she said success comes from the letters and phone calls about new jobs and new lives from her graduates."
Richwood Correctional Center - Race for the Cure
Richwood Correctional Center had a team participate in the recent Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event, which was held on Saturday, September 28th at Forsythe Park in Monroe, LA. Team RCC won the Largest Corporate Team outside of the parish and Top Corporate Fundraising Team outside of the parish. They raised a little over $3,000 this year. What an accomplishment!
Team members were: (back row left to right) Gwen Loche-Smith, Warden Keith Deville, Robert Hanser, Danny Cappo, Michael Jordan, Bobby Blossom, Artie Jones. (sitting) David Verrett, Corrina Terral, Kesha Wooten, Dede Richard, Cindy Jordan, Kayla Blossom, Gina Hanser, and Ramona Deville. Not pictured were Carnecia Brown, Connie Brown, Lawanda Brown, Lodde Brown, Nakeydrea Brown, Deneen Pratt, Sheila Salsberry, Gwendalynn Sammons, Benji Sammons, Ronald Sammons, and Treva White.
Richwood Correctional Center - FUNdraiser
Pictured aboved are Richwood Correctional Center employees who recently participated in a Paintball Tournament as a fundraiser for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. They had a great turnout at this event and everyone had a blast! Warden Deville's team took first place and Warden Hansen's team took second place. LaSalle Corrections is so proud of Richwood's continuous efforts in giving back to the community.
Pictured from left to right: (back row) Dale Hayes, Elaine Hayes, Frank Kelly, Roger Dawkins, Warden Deville, Warden Hanson and (front row) Felisa Young, Kayla Blossom, Carnecia Brown
McLennan County Courthouse - Press Release - May 7, 2013
On April 30, 2013, the McLennan County Commissioners Court was fortunate to have received 2 very competitive offers in response to our RFP for Operation and Management of the Jack Harwell and Downtown Jail Facilities. The Commissioners Court wishes to compliment both responders on their proposals. During the past week, both vendors have negotiated in good faith, in a professional manner on an almost round-the-clock basis.
This afternoon, the McLennan County Commissioners Court made the decision to select LaSalle Corrections as our vendor for the operation and management of the Harwell and Downtown county jail facilities, effective beginning June 13, 2013.
LaSalle Corrections is a family owned business, which has been managing jails for over 15 years. Currently, LaSalle manages and/or owns 12 facilities with a total inmate capacity of over 8,000 inmates and 1,100 employees. Contracting with various state, county, city and federal agencies for housing of inmates, LaSalle has built an excellent reputation for being innovative, professional and for treating detainees with dignity, respect and courtesy.
LaSalle feels that outstanding corrections management drives their success and points to their qualified professionals, including former state corrections directors, wardens, law enforcement officers and federal government personnel who work together to combine their knowledge, experience and leadership to give LaSalle a service oriented competitive edge in the corrections marketplace.
In Texas, part of the LaSalle portfolio consists of four facilities in the state with similar characteristics to the McLennan County Project, including Burnet County, Johnson County , Jefferson County Jails and the Bowie County Correctional Center. The addition of the McLennan county detention facility to these four facilities provides the opportunity for sharing of resources and the ability to collectively bargain for services. The centralized geographic locations for these five facilities should provide a competitive advantage to LaSalle in its efforts to service both federal populations and state populations. By offering housing and transportation services to all key Texas courts and airports, LaSalle will position itself as a major customer to the ICE and USMS. LaSalle believes its relationships and expertise will help McLennan County to market its available beds to the Northern and Southern District ICE offices, to the US Marshals and to be prepared for any future TDCJ needs.
In weighing the two proposals received, the Court found the long term proposal at a reduced operator fee offered by LaSalle attractive. The proposal offers a 5 year agreement, consisting of an initial 3 year period, with mutual renegotiation opportunities for both the County and LaSalle after 16 months and again for the remaining 20 months of the first 3 year period. Thereafter, two additional 1 year renewal options are available for years 4 and 5 of the contract period.
The Court feels that LaSalle presented a comprehensive, thoughtful marketing plan and values their documented recent marketing successes with other locations that have similar needs as the McLennan County facility. Another aspect of the LaSalle proposal that the Commissioners Court felt would be extremely beneficial is their thoughtful transition planning which proposes to utilize the majority of the staff currently employed at the Harwell facility.
Richwood Correctional Center - Donating Bicycles
For Christmas this year, Richwood Correctional Center donated bicycles again to the Town of Richwood. RCC held a raffle earlier this year to raise the funds to purchase the new bikes. Some bicycles were also donated to the facility and some inmates were able to refurbish them in great condition to add to the donation. Richwood Correctional Center was able to donate a total of 40 bicycles this year. What a great way to share Christmas in their town!
Jefferson County Downtown Jail - Christmas
The Jefferson County Downtown Jail celebrated Christmas as a family as always. Employees participated in Secret Santa and had a blast! Gifts were flowing in and excitement was throughout the facility. Although several staff members had suffered recent family tragedies, the facility offered support and continued to smile. The Supervisors got together and we decided to adopt a family for Christmas. With a unanimous vote we chose Officer Patricia Wilson. Unfortunately, Officer Wilson was surprised several months ago to inherit her three grandchildren; ages 3, 4, and 6. Officer Wilson joined LaSalle in February of 2012 and has proven to be a loyal, dedicated, and dependable employee. Officer Wilson never complains and found ways to get these children back and forth to school and daycare and arrive to work on time at 5:30 a.m. to start her day at work. She is very grateful for the prayers and support she has received. Therefore; as being chosen as the adopted family, the unit supervisors purchased each child a bicycle and presented them to Officer Wilson for Christmas. Please pray for Officer Wilson to receive the strength to continue to be healthy and supportive of her grandchildren.
Jackson Parish Correctional Center - Relay for Life Awards
The Jackson Parish Correctional Center recently participated in the annual Relay for Life that was held in Jonesboro, la. They were awarded the #1 fundraising award for the entire Central area of Louisiana and the Pace Setter Award. The Jackson Correctional Center raised $13,578.00 this year and over $10,000.00 at last years event. The employees of the Jackson Correctional Center are to be commended for their hard work and dedication to this great event.
RCC: Running to Cure Cancer
Richwood Correctional Center participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Event in Monroe on September 29, 2012. Richwood had a total of 19 participate on their team and raised $1,000 for the cause over several fundraisers throughout this year. Team RCC was recognized with a certificate for the largest Corporate Team outside of Ouachita Parish.
Pictured on bottom left to right – Zion Lawton, Senalda Henderson (Survivor), Whitney Haywood, Kayla Blossom, Corrina Terral
Top left to right – Prentice Montgomery, Kesha Wooten, Gwen Loche-Smith, Victor Wooten, Cindy Jordan, Bobby Blossom, Shelby Jordan, Dr. Robert Hanser, Elaine Hayes
Not pictured – Carnecia Brown, Lawanda Brown, Lodde Brown, Michael Jordan, Margarita Redden, Treva White
A few quotes from some of the participants about Race for the Cure:
“This was my first year to participate. And I hope to make it an every year thing”.
“I enjoyed it. I enjoy doing anything like this that is for a great cause. I’ve had so much of that so close to home”.
“Ready for next year!”
Jackson Parish Correctional Center -"Top Fundraising Team"- Relay for Life
Relay for Life, of the American Cancer Society, helps create awareness about differnent types of cancer and honors those who have died of the disease. Jackson Parish Correctional Center participated in fundraising and events for the Relay for Life in 2011. Not only did Jackson's employees have a great time raising the money, they were also recognized as "Top Fundraising Team" for Relay for Life of Jackson Parish.
Jackson Parish Correctional Center "Jail Birds" co-captains Debra Johns and Bea Rice - teams members included: Robin Harvey, Patty Watts, Tim Nelson, Hayward Shively, Terry Lawson, Becky Otwell, Betty Pullig, Laura Freeman, Teri Shively, Warden Billy Tigner, Libby Tigner, Warden Tim Ducote, Warden Dave Yelverton and Gilbert Pickens. We are all employees of the Jackson Parish Correctional Center and Sheriff Andy Brown (except Ms. Libby, who is at the Corporate office). This was the first year for us to participate in the "Relay for Life". We were "late bloomers" in getting started, as we attended out first captains meeting in May 2011, and the "Relay" was to be held in September. We had to really get with it to meet our goal of raising $5,000. We were very enthusiastic about raising money for such a worthy cause, for we have all been touched by cancer one way or another. We chose the theme of "Jailhouse Rock" and our team members really rocked! We had several fund raisers, including designing and selling t-shirts, 2 rummage sales, a golf tournament, raffle for a grill, and selling Jambalaya lunches. We had a blast at the "Relay" which included rocking our ride of a "Pink Cadillac" which took first place. By the end of the day, our team had raised over $9,000 for the cause. We have already had our first team meeting for this year (2012) and have set our goal even higher, with everyone's help we know we will reach it and then some!
Richwood RCDA Annual Bike Giveaway
The Richwood Community Development Agency (RCDA) recently received a donation of bikes and other items from Richwood Correctional Center for its annual bike give away this year. Warden Deville, pictured above, took the bicycles to the Town of Richwood for our annual donation. RCDA is a nonprofit organization that engages in community related activities throughout the year. During the Christmas holidays, RCDA offers new toys or bicycles to students who attend schools in the Richwood area.
Lincoln Parish Detention Center - Celebrate Recovery Graduation
Lincoln Parish Detention Center recently held a Celebrate Recovery graduation on November 30, 2011. Pictured above is a graduate accepting his certificate from volunteer Tony Gray, as Chaplain Joe Koskie looks on. An article was featured in the Ruston Daily Leader newspaper on Dec. 7, 2011. The article reads as follows:
"The biggest jail cell is not inside the walls of prison, but that which some have built around their lives, Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone told several inmates at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center last week.
Stone was one of several attendees at the facilit's first graduating class ceremony from Celebrate Recovery, a nondenominational 12-step program for dealing with addictions and other issues.
"With this program, you've been released from those bars," Stone told the graduates. "There is no drug, drink, pill or shot that will fulfill you like the spirit of Christ. You've got the freedom others are looking for tonight in a bar or in a needle."
Ten inmates participated in the voluntary seven-month program, which entailed weekly step study meetings using a workbook and following a program of honesty.
"They all live together in the same dorm, pray together and do Bible studies together," said Joe Koskie, LaSalle Corrections deputy director of programming and chaplain for the LPDC. "The weekly program is led by another inmate who has already been through the program."
New Orleans native Tyrone Butler was among those who picked up his program graduation certificate last week. The inmate said he has been incarcerated for about six years, and he was moved around several times following Hurricane Katrina, eventually ending up at the LPDC on work release about 16 months ago.
"I'm in jail for selling drugs," Tyrone told the Daily Leader. "You don't have to be a user to be addicted to drugs - selling drugs is an addiction, too. When you start selling drugs and there are the different things that go with doing that - money, women - you don't want to stop."
Butler said others in the Celebrate Recovery program helped him to understand that his actions were not only destroying his own life, but those of the people who purchased the drugs and their families.
"I've been shot, robbed and put my family in jeopardy, and that all came with selling drugs," he said. "It took me from my family and three kids."
Although participation in the Celebrate Recovery program can help some prisoners obtain early release, Butler said that was not his motivation to participate, because he was scheduled to be out soon anyway.
"I chose to be in this program because I thought it would help me when I got back on the streets," he said. "When I got in the program, I learned what I was doing wasn't right. It helped me change my attitude and outlook on life."
An inmate named Robert, who got up to speak during the ceremony, said jail was what you make of it, and he wanted to make better decisions.
"The definition of insanity is doing something over and over and expecting a different result," he said. "I'm tired of being insane. I had to be able to forgive myself. I often thank God for (my) coming to jail."
Billy McConnell, LaSalle Corrections managing member, said that nationwide, participation in Celebrate Recovery - which also has a program on the outside - has been shown to significantly reduce the recidivism rate. But he said this is not the primary reason they are offering the program here.
He said, "We really want to try to make an impact on the lives of inmates." "
Jackson Parish Correctional Center - Volunteer Appreciation Banquet
On the night of October 27th, 2011 the Jackson Parish Correctional Center held its 4th Volunteer banquet. The turn out was good with about twenty five (25) volunteers and their guests attending and over sixty (60) offenders. Mr. Clay McConnell was present and gave the invocation. Dr. Joe Koskie was the guest speaker and gave a wonderful presentation. Warden Tigner, Warden Ducote, and Chaplain Denton were also present. The choir was fantastic and sang several songs that delighted the guests. A fried fish dinner was served and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. A group picture (above) of the volunteers was taken following the event.
Burnet County Jail honored with ACA Full Accreditation
Back row: Warden Bruce Zeller, Sgt. Stephen Jennings, Correctional Officer, Curtis Tisdel, Sgt. Robert Clarkston, Lt. Judith Bennett, Captain James Strong, Commissioner Bill Neve; and front row: Sheriff W. T. Smith, Correctional Officer Melissa Johnson, Kitchen Manager Alan Brown, Nurse Supervisor Tammy Manning, Correctional Officer Mary McGee and Judge Donna Klaeger.
A three day Operational Audit of the Burnet County Jail was conducted by the American Correctional Association in November of 2010.
A panel hearing was conducted in Miami, Florida on May 1 and the Burnet County Jail received full accreditation by the American Correctional Association. This is one of the highest honors a jail facility may receive. In attaining a certification of this caliber, The Burnet County Jail is noted to be operating a safe and secure facility for employees and offenders alike.
The Burnet County Jail also received a Certification of Compliance for 2010 - 2011 from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
Celebrate Recovery Inside - Graduation
On March 15, River Correctional Center had a total of 38 inmates graduate from the CRI program. Chaplain John Bandy, of River Correctional Center, officiated the graduation.
Pictured at the top is John Grigson, LA State Representative of Celebrate Recovery, holding up the t-shirt given to each graduating inmate with the program’s signature motto of "God Never Wastes a Hurt". Below is a photo of Chaplain Bandy speaking during the graduation, along with the attendance of Billy McConnell, Managing Director of LaSalle Corrections, and Joe Koskie, Deputy Director of Re-entry of LaSalle Corrections.
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered and Bible-based 12 Step Recovery Program that is designed to help those struggling with hurts, habits and hang-ups by showing them the loving and healing power of Jesus Christ through a recovery process. The program was founded in 1991 by Pastor John Baker of Saddleback Church in California with the goal of overcoming habits like sex disorders and drug addictions.
Although Celebrate Recovery meetings are similar to those of other twelve-step programs, one difference is in their focus on Christianity. Any person, or inmate, may attend with a desire to work the steps for healing with any number of "hurts, hang-ups or habits." Celebrate Recovery teaches the Twelve Steps by relating them with Biblical verses and the set of Principles used are based on the Beatitudes, which were devised by Saddleback Senior Pastor Rick Warren.
Churches all across the nation have implemented this program within their ministry in hopes of changing lives for the better. LaSalle Corrections has also realized the worth of this program, as they provide another method to help improve the lives of the inmates within their facilities. LaSalle sees this program as a great opportunity for the inmates to follow through with a process that will help them develop hope and a sense of self, as well as to build skills to better cope with struggles and issues.
With this focus in mind, the inmates share experiences and learn to accept God's grace in solving the problems they struggle with, including addictive habits and anger issues. The Celebrate Recovery program has proved to be an accomplishment for our facilities, as Richwood Correctional Center exhibits a graduation number of 78 inmates who have successfully completed the program.
The News Star newspaper has written three articles discussing Celebrate Recovery and our goal to improve the lives of the inmates through this program.
RCDA Annual Bike Give Away
The Richwood Community Development Agency (RCDA) recently concluded its annual bike give away activities. RCDA is a nonprofit organization that engages in community related activities throughout the year. During the Christmas holidays, RCDA offers new toys or bicycles to students who attend schools in the Richwood area. This year, 45 students at Swayze Elementary School received new bicycles and 28 children from the Richwood community received reconditioned bicycles. Bicycles were provided by Warden Clovis Tillery of Richwood Correctional Center and the Tallulah Police Department through an inmate program run by Reginald Kendrick Sr. and Reginald Kendrick Jr., in conjunction with RCC Chaplain Hubbard.