The Kentucky Department of Corrections honored employees across the state at its annual Corrections Awards Luncheon held Sept. 4 in Lexington.

Joseph Meko, the warden at Little Sandy Correctional Complex (LSCC) in Sandy Hook, was named “Warden of the Year.” He was recognized for the importance he places on his staff, his ability to encourage his employees and for bringing new inmate programs and job opportunities to his institution.

Robert Taylor was named “Probation & Parole Supervisor of the Year.” Taylor, who currently supervises District 16 in Louisville, has served with the division since 2003. Among the reasons Taylor was selected were his efforts to increase productivity and his dedication and initiative in making the district one of the most efficient in the state.

The “Rookie of the Year” award was presented to Zach Goins. Goins, who joined the department in July 2012, serves as a probation and parole officer in Harlan County. He was praised for his work performance and desire to do things the right way.

The agency’s top awards, called “Commissioner’s Awards,” were presented to: Brian McGuire, property branch section supervisor; Darin Hunter, lieutenant, Roederer Correctional Complex; Hezzie Turner, lieutenant, Luther Luckett Correctional Complex (LLCC); Belinda Sanchez, classification and treatment officer, Bell County Forestry Camp (BCFC); David Higgs, fiscal manager, Green River Correctional Complex; Cheri Kraus, administrative branch manager, Kentucky Correctional Industries; Eric Sizemore, internal affairs captain, Blackburn Correctional Complex; Jennifer Westphal, corrections regional education administrator, LLCC; David Short, probation and parole officer, District 10; David Meeks, policy and procedures officer, Western Kentucky Correctional Complex; Benjamin Wells, assistant supervisor, District 20; Lisa Craigmyle, accountant III, Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR); Brian Melvin, probation and parole officer, District 11; Stephen Ison, corrections education administrator, LSCC; and Wayne Pearson, justice program specialist, KSR.

Department of Corrections Hero Awards were presented to: Rick Jones, correctional officer, BCFC; Lloyd Watkins, social services clinician, District 16; Jennifer Del Valle, probation and parole officer, District 17; William Hoskins, correctional officer, BCFC; Mark Lyons, correctional officer, Northpoint Training Center; and probation and parole officers Kate Greer, Chris Gumm and office coordinator Sandy Silvestri, District 17.

A complete listing of the awards can be found on the Department’s website at: http://corrections.ky.gov/about/Documents/2013%20Award%20winners.pdf



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