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Corrections Connection: This Week In Corrections


We kick off our last focus of 2008 with a feel-good story that can serve as an inspiration to all. The Make a Smile campaign began as a simple idea to revive playgrounds in Lousiana and Mississippi areas still reeling from Hurricane Katrina. Folks from corrections agencies across the country volunteered in droves.

The playground communities became so encouraged by the outpouring of goodwill, they supported, sheltered and fed all those who participated. Reporter, Ann Coppola, details the energy behind the kind spirit of the event and includes some captivating video too that is well worth viewing.
Jim, Corrections.com editor


What smiles are made of

By Ann Coppola

Making a happy place

The mission of the Make a Smile Playground Project can be best described by its own name: to bring smiles and joy to children who have suffered or are in need. The volunteer project, created by The North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents (NAAWS), had a banner year in 2008, accomplishing a massive undertaking that went above and beyond its namesake goal.

This year, Make a Smile recruited hundreds of correctional employee volunteers from across the country to rebuild three playground parks for children in neighborhoods hard-hit by Hurricane Katrina. The project’s mission especially focused on helping children of corrections families. NAAWS, the Correctional Peace Officer Foundation, and the Association for Professional Women in Corrections combined efforts to raise more than $170,000.

“This involved people from all over the country volunteering time, money, and resources to help people they had never even met and didn’t know anything about,” says NAAWS Vice President Mel Williams, who oversaw building efforts in New Orleans. “We were corrections officers, maintenance employees, probation, parole, secretaries, and nurses. It was unforgettable.” Read this week's full story.

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Regarding Words Through Walls
A very good idea. However, I question its effectiveness. I have seen in my few short years in corrections that there are a lot of family groups that are incarcerated.

There is another program being used that would make more sense. Using groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters, where children are read to by law abiding citizens, would give them positive examples to keep them from following in their parents' footsteps. One of the best ways to help individuals, including inmates and their families, is by good example.

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Making amends

Among the history behind the celebration, Thanksgiving is also associated with long lines... Full story

Jamming on the inside

Cell phones may be prohibited in corrections facilities, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping inmates from using them. Full story

High-tech fetching

The presence of cell phones inside correctional facilities can endanger everyone, from staff to inmates and even the outside public. Full story


California DOCR completes deployment of ATG system

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has successfully deployed Trust Fund Administration and Commissary Operations applications... More

Keefe Receives AWEC’s Legacy Award

Keefe Group was honored by the Association of Women Executives in Corrections’ (AWEC) Executive Committee as the recipient of the 2008 Legacy Award. More

Federal Bureau of Prisons fully deploys two medical systems in 18 months

In less than 18 months, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) has deployed ATG’s Electronic Medical Records and Pharmacy Administration systems to all 114 Bureau institutions nationwide serving over 165,000 inmates. More


N.H. names industries administrator

Fourteen-year corrections veteran, Fred Nichols, whose experience includes work at Arizona, Idaho and Oregon corrections departments, has become New Hampshire’s new correctional industries administrator. Full story.

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