Partnerships With Law Enforcement/CSOSA Awards Ceremony

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(Audio begins)

Leonard Sipes: Hi and welcome to D.C. Public Safety. I’m your host Len Sipes. The annual CSOSA award ceremony is taking place today, on November 13th, 2007. We’re in a big downtown hotel in Washington, D.C. Principle speakers today are Paul Quander, the Director of CSOSA and Winston Robinson, the Deputy Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department. Now, we have an array of award winners recorded today and the primary emphasis of the show is the variety of tasks that Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency is involved in; in many cases within partnership with the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department so sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

Paul Quander: One of our main partners is the Metropolitan Police Department. A couple of weeks ago, this agency along with a number of other agencies both local and federal, took part in an event called Fugitive Safe Surrender and what that event encompassed was a whole group of agencies and let me just give you the agencies. From the U.S. Attorneys Office, the Superior Court Pretrial, the Public Defenders Service, also the Attorney General, the United States Parole Commission, the Metropolitan Police Department, OCTO, which is the Officer of the Chiefs Technology Office for the District of Columbia, the United States Marshall Service, Department of Corrections, and the Criminal Justice Coordinating Counsel, along with a faith institution, Bible Way Church decided that it would be a very good idea to do a joint effort so that we can get men and women or were on the fugitive status to come in, off of the street, out of the cold, and to come on back in and because of this agency commitment, because of this agency’s ability to make it all happen, it was a resounding success. You’re some real bad people because no event like this has ever been undertaken before in the history of the District of Columbia and there were a lot of people that said, no it can’t be done. You can’t get a church to open its doors. Now, churches may talk a good game but it’s one thing to talk and it’s another thing to actually open their doors to men and women who really need the service on the day other than Sunday, but we were able to do that. They said that you can’t get all the computers and the IT system together in order to make it all work, but I had a little secret. I’ve got a mean IT department here at CSOSA and I knew that if we gave them the challenge that they could put it together, and they did. They said you won’t be able to coordinate all the facilities and everything else that needs to be done to make this work but I had another little secret, I’m the Director of a great agency and we can do anything that we put our minds to. And then they said you won’t be able to get the men and women to come in but we do that day in and day out with the CSO and CSS so I knew in the back of my mind that we could do this. The only trick was to convince all the others that we could but when that door opened on that Thursday and those men and women started to come in and people from the Superior Court and all of our other partners were there working as one, then I knew that this agency had hit it’s mark and hit its mark in a very big way and the only way that we could have succeeded was because of all of you in this room because you didn’t ask any questions, you didn’t give any doubt, when I called you just said Mr. Quander, we’re going to be there and we’re going to do this and you did. You have to remember that this agency is only 10 years old. Only 10 years old and you have demonstrated throughout the course of this year and others, just how significant you are to criminal justice in this city. Take a moment and think about that. 10 years back, we weren’t even here and now this agency, because of you, are major players and that’s significant because a lot of you got into this work to make a difference in the lives of men and women in this city. A lot of you went to school to say, I want to come back to my community or to a community and to help out and very rarely do we get the opportunity but you’ve taken that opportunity, you’ve seized on it, and you make a difference to the lives of the men and women that come across our doorsteps everyday but more importantly, to their parents, their children, and to our community and it’s a wonderful thing. You don’t get rich financially in this type of work. It helps every now and then when you’re acknowledged and you get a couple of dollars in your pocket, but the thing that is everlasting is that spirit and that feeling that you get in your heart when you know that you’ve done a good job and you know that your fellow man is in a better position because you have taken that extra step and this award ceremony today is to acknowledge that extra step that you have taken throughout this year and often times we’re not there to say thank you when you do the work, when you put in the long hours, when you go home and you have to unload on your family, and they have to listen to that days work. We’re not there in the evenings to early mornings when you get up because you want to get to work a little early to do what you have to do, to get your day started but we are here today to say thank you and to acknowledge all that you have done. This has been a dream job for me because I enjoy coming to work everyday because I know what it is that we do and I know the value that we bring but it also gives me a good place in my heart to be surrounded by men and women who exemplify professionalism, who exemplify getting their job done, who exemplify being the best that they possibly can be. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel proud to be the director of this agency so as a director; I just need to give you a simple word. Thank you. Thanks so very much for all that you do day in and day out. I’m going to take a minute and talk about one of our partners in particular and that’s the Metropolitan Police Department because we realized early on that we could not do the work that we have to do by ourselves and we reached out and we reached out to the big boys on the block because we talk about criminal justice in this city, you have to talk about the Metropolitan Police Department and as a new agency, when we reached out to them, they said yeah. Let’s do these accountability tours. Let’s meet with the commanders regularly so we can exchange information. If you have a problem, then we have a problem and they’ve been right there by our side day in, day out, so please give them a round of applause for what they’ve done. And recognition of our partnership and the efforts that we have made to move public safety to a new direction, I would like to ask Assistant Chief Winston Robinson to come forward and to accept on behalf of Chief Cathy Lanier this award for our partnership efforts to further public safety in the District of Columbia.

Winston Robinson: I’m glad to be here today. I’m looking at all these faces. I remember 10 years ago, there weren’t that many faces. My district at that time was 7D and we were a pilot district for CSOSA to begin the new venture of community policing with us and our PSA we selected was 704 and I’d like to tell you 704, the first year had a 45% decrease in crime followed by a 21% the next year. So, I know first hand the success that CSOSA has made in the lives of its citizens and I know a lot of the inmates who are returning now. Some we arrested some I went to school with and grew up with and their lives hopefully will improve with your help. The work you do is invaluable, I mean, you make a difference in a lot of folks lives so keep your work going. The Chief is committed to CSOSA. Mr. Quander is an outstanding U.S. Attorney. He’s an outstanding Director of CSOSA, is that right? Give him a round and we’re committed to work with CSOSA to do whatever we can to improve the lives of the citizens and of the returnees and of course to make your work safe for you so thank you.

Interviews with award winners:

Leonard Sipes: Hi, could you give me your name please?

Catherine Terri Crusor: Hi, I’m Catherine Terri Crusor.

Leonard Sipes: And Catherine Terri Crusor, why did you win today’s award ceremony? Why were you recognized?

Catherine Terri Crusor: It’s great to be appreciated first of all for the work that we do. In the last year, I’ve been reassigned to manage the Sex Offender Supervision, General Supervision Service’s branch and during that year, I have been successful in coordinating initiatives within the 5th district, sex offender supervision activities, and the GPS monitoring unit in terms of efficient operations of those programs so I was acknowledged today for that accomplishment.

Leonard Sipes: Now, you now have over 600 individuals on a daily basis involved in GPS. You have been involved in one of the most difficult units in terms of the sex offender unit and you’re also instrumental about putting on an extremely well-attending conference on special supervision including sex offenders, mental health offenders, and domestic violence offenders.

Catherine Terri Crusor: Yes, that has been some of my accomplishments over the year and with the efforts of my colleagues, and very dedicated community supervision officers and other partners within the agency, we’ve been able to achieve a great deal in the last year and particularly in the area of GPS, we’ve done a great job in building up that program and now we service as you say in excess of 300 offenders with the success of the managers and programs so it’s been a good run this year. I look forward to continue work with CSOSA. It’s a great organization and agency and to know that they take time out of their busy work to acknowledge us is very appreciated.

Leonard Sipes: Thank you very much.

Catherine Terri Crusor: Thank you Len.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, give me your name.

Christine Keels: Chris Keels.

Leonard Sipes: And Chris why did you get the award today?

Christine Keels: I received an award for a special act which was involving, developing, employment partnerships for our agency for the offenders that we supervise.

Leonard Sipes: And one of the key ingredients of successful community supervision is to do exactly that, is to find employment opportunities for them and to provide training correct?

Christine Keels: That’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: And give me a little bit about the unit that you were involved in, VOTTE?

Christine Keels: VOTTE is a vocational opportunities, training, education, and employment and in this past year, we’ve had a wonderful opportunity with Giant Supermarket to provide 100 opportunities for offenders to be employed and so we were able to fill 92 of those positions, and we’re very proud of that.

Leonard Sipes: Now you’ve sense left VOTEE and went over to another unit correct?

Christine Keels: Yes, now I’m working with a faith based initiative which means helping to provide mentors for ex-offenders from the faith based community and so we’ve developed a work team and our work team received an award today so we’re very proud of that. We’re responsible for reaching out to the community and developing relationships and resources for ex-offenders. Of that includes mentors.

Leonard Sipes: And both key ingredients with jobs, job training, and mentors for offenders from the religious community, from the faith based community, those are 2 extraordinary big challenges.

Christine Keels: Yes, and I’m excited to be a part of both programs. It’s been a very good year. I think CSOSA has really put itself on the map in terms of innovative and creative ways to meet the needs of ex-offenders as they reenter into the community.

Leonard Sipes: Chris Keels, thank you very much.

Christine Keels: You’re welcome.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, could you give me your name please?

James Lanier: I’m James R. Lanier.

Leonard Sipes: And Jim, you gave out awards today to your team for what reason.

James Lanier: We have teams that really deal with the offenders in terms of reentry and so the folks who had done a great job for us got awards. We gave them awards for their work on reentry in terms of substance abuse and criminality.

Leonard Sipes: Now, you’ve run the reentry and sanction center. It is now a national if not internationally renounced organization. We have an entire building that we rehabbed in Washington D.C. that takes individuals with extremely long criminal histories and also drug histories and we try to help them when they come out of the prison system, we try to help them adjust to the realities of their substance abuse and start the treatment process, correct?

James Lanier: That is correct. We have offenders who are returning from incarceration, from all across the country who have to have an adjustment period to reenter into the community and so we spend that time doing an assessment, a needs assessment, a risk assessment, and then make recommendations as to how they can successfully reenter into the community.

Leonard Sipes: And from there they go to, ordinarily, they go to an inhouse drug treatment program and then outpatient drug treatment, correct?

James Lanier: That is correct. We try to get them stabilized to a drug treatment program. We have those needs assessed and those risks that we have identified, we try to give them wrap around services that will address their substance abuse and their criminality.

Leonard Sipes: And a couple earlier evaluations of this program indicate a substantial reductions in terms of arrests, correct?

James Lanier: That is correct. In fact, I’m so happy to report that last week, we got the results from our 2002 recidivism program and we reduced recidivism by 67%.

Leonard Sipes: Now, that’s amazing. Reducing recidivism by 67%.

James Lanier: That is correct. That is a study that will be released officially next week but it was released last week to us.

Leonard Sipes: Great. Thank you Jim.

James Lanier: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, and give me your name please?

Mary Anderson: Mary Anderson.

Leonard Sipes: And Mary Anderson, what do you do?

Mary Anderson: I’m the web content manager.

Leonard Sipes: And that’s a really really really modest because what you do is redesign websites, a new redesign website for the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency as well as doing the website for Fugitive Safe Surrender. You got an award today. Why did you get the award for today?

Mary Anderson: Well actually I got a performance award and I got a special achievement award for my help with the special observances committee.

Leonard Sipes: And how long have you been at work for CSOSA?

Mary Anderson: Since April 99.

Leonard Sipes: And what do you think? I mean you are the heart and soul of the technological public face of CSOSA in terms of the websites that you developed, in terms of the special website that you developed for Fugitive Safe Surrender. I mean your contributions are endless.

Mary Anderson: Well, thank you. It’s just part of my job.

Leonard Sipes: Okay, well thank you. Hi, can you tell me your name please?

Paul Washington: My name is Paul Washington.

Leonard Sipes: And Paul why did you get the award for today?

Paul Washington: My team, team 43, diagnostic received an award today for team service.

Leonard Sipes: Okay, now what is the Diagnostic Unit and what do you do?

Paul Washington: The Diagnostic Unit creates the PSIs for the agency.

Leonard Sipes: And PSI is presentence investigation.

Paul Washington: Presentence investigation, correct.

Leonard Sipes: So most of the offenders in D.C. Superior Court, when they are to be sentenced, do get presentence investigation, investigative reports, correct?

Paul Washington: Yes they do and the presentence report is a report that’s prepared to get a background history of the offender, kind of assess the offenders risks and needs to the community and provide the judiciary with a recommendation for sentencing.

Leonard Sipes: Which is the backbone of the whole sentencing process?

Paul Washington: Exactly, exactly because most of or all of the supervision officers, they rely on the presentence report prior to seeing the offender in order to manage the offender and determine how that offender is supervised.

Leonard Sipes: Thank you very much.

Paul Washington: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, could you give me your name please?

Tasha Trotter: Tasha Trotter.

Leonard Sipes: And Tasha why did you get the award for today?

Tasha Trotter: The award I just received is a special achievement award for the branch 2A supervisors.

Leonard Sipes: And why was that? Why did you get the award?

Tasha Trotter: Well, I think it was working as a team and supervisors in branch 2A coming up with different ideas to better help the teams ban together and better help to come up with programs to help the offenders. We do things all year. We did a conference in Las Vegas at the National Association Forensic Counselors and we worked on that as a team. Various ones worked on the PowerPoint’s, worked on the presentation, but we all worked together so that the branch remained in really good standing.

Leonard Sipes: Okay, so the bottom line is what the branch is being recognized for is finding new and unique ways to make sure that the offenders under our supervision get the services they need.

Tasha Trotter: Well said Len, well said. That’s exactly what we do.

Leonard Sipes: Also, I wanted to point out the fact that you were a public affairs officer at the Fugitive Safe Surrender program and you were there among 6 others to help handle the media. How did you feel about that?

Tasha Trotter: I really enjoyed the experience. I really enjoyed it. I did a lot. I had one of the reporter from the Washington Post call since then to ask about some of the things CSOSA does and a lot of the things that we were spearheading in the community.

Leonard Sipes: And you are a supervisory community supervision officer and you’ve been a supervisor for how long?

Tasha Trotter: Gosh, I’ve been a supervisor for maybe 2 years, 2.5 years.

Leonard Sipes: Right, and before that you were a community supervision officer out in the field working directly with offenders both on parole and probation.

Tasha Trotter: Yes I was.

Leonard Sipes: And what are your general reflections about dealing with offenders?

Tasha Trotter: I love it. I love it. Everyday, I love it, that’s why I do it.

Leonard Sipes: And it’s one of the most difficult things, jobs, anybody could possibly have.

Tasha Trotter: You know, difficult or challenging. It’s a challenge. It’s never boring. There’s always something and someway that you can help somebody’s life. I don’t care if it’s the individual, the offender, their family, the children, it’s always some way you can help somebody and it’s always challenging to come up with those kind of creative ways.

Leonard Sipes: Thank you very much.

Tasha Trotter: Anytime Len.

Leonard Sipes: Gentlemen give me your names please.

William Ware, James Epps: I’m William Ware. James Epps.

Leonard Sipes: And both of you received award today at the awards ceremony from CSOSA correct?

William Ware, James Epps: Yes we did.

Leonard Sipes: And why did you get these awards?

William Ware, James Epps: Hard work and dedication.

Leonard Sipes: No, no a little bit more than that. I mean what are the specific nature of what it is that you do and why you’re being acknowledged.

James Epps: I’m a Community Supervision Officer and the award for me today is Employee of the Year and it’s for the hard work that I do for my offenders.

William Ware: And I received a team awards. I think the unity that we have on the team and trying to ensure that we do reduce recidivism and along with the agency’s mission, insure public safety, and to do our best to try to help our offenders succeed. I think that’s why we got the award.

Leonard Sipes: And what is it like working with the offender population. I’ve done sort of some of this work in the past and I’ll tell you, it’s one of the toughest jobs that I’ve ever had but one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had but again, the whole idea of being out there in the community supervising offenders, that’s tough. That’s a tough job.

William Ware: Absolutely. It’s definitely a challenge but like you said, I think it’s a very rewarding job. I think it’s excellent.

James Epps: Very rewarding job especially when you’re helping others to achieve something that we’re all trying to achieve here in society and that’s to get ahead.

Leonard Sipes: Gentlemen, thank you. Hi, give me your name please?

Dana Anderson: Dana Anderson.

Leonard Sipes: And Dana you have been a community supervision officer for how long?

Dana Anderson: 1 year.

Leonard Sipes: And you got a couple of awards today I can see. 1 award? Okay you got 1 award. Now, let me ask you a little about community supervision officer. What does a community supervision officer do?

Dana Anderson: As a community supervision officer, we’re dedicated to assisting our offenders with gaining reentry back into the community.

Leonard Sipes: Okay, so what does that mean to the general public? It’s both a supervision role and at the same time an assisting role?

Dana Anderson: We assist them with gaining stable employment and maintaining sobriety, finding suitable housing, and helping them adjust to the community and becoming positive citizens.

Leonard Sipes: Right and at the same time you supervise them to make sure that they adhere to the orders of the court or the orders of the parole commission?

Dana Anderson: Yes.

Leonard Sipes: And that’s a big part of the public safety as well?

Dana Anderson: Yes.

Leonard Sipes: And also I wanted to point out the fact that you were a public affairs officer at Fugitive Safe Surrender, a volunteer public affairs officer, and you escorted medial throughout the process. Can you tell me how that process went?

Dana Anderson: It was actually wonderful. I got to meet a lot of individuals and tell them the wonderful things that CSOSA does on a day to day basis and also introduce them to various individuals of CSOSA and other government agencies who they can talk to.

Leonard Sipes: Dana, thank you.

Dana Anderson: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, can you give me your name please?

Faola Wolf: My name is Faola Wolf.

Leonard Sipes: And, Faola, you are with the mental health team and you won an award today at CSOSA’s award ceremony, correct?

Faola Wolf: That’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: Now, I’m really interested in the fact of why you won the award but more importantly about the mental health team. That is one of the most difficult assignments in the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, correct?

Faola Wolf: That’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: And tell me a little bit about what you do?

Faola Wolf: Well, on a mental health team, what we do when the offenders are assigned to the CSO’s, we first link them, if they’re already receiving mental health services, we link them or make sure that they continue those services with the mental health service provider in the community. If they’re not linked, they first get a mental health evaluation to determine whether or not those services are needed and if so then they’re linked with those appropriate community service providers and as CSO’s on a mental health unit we have to make sure to keep in contact, close contact with their case managers at those community service providers to make sure that they’re receiving the services, they’re taking their medications, and their compliant with their mental health services.

Leonard Sipes: You know, I can’t think of a more difficult and challenging population to deal with.

Faola Wolf: Yes, it’s difficult because you have to spend so much extra time. It’s not just the criminal aspect but their situation or housing, or employment. You also have those mental health issues, sometimes, most of those times it’s often substance abuse issues that come along with that and those mental health community service providers also provide substance abuse treatment also such as groups and NA and AA meetings so they may be able to provide both those services at the same time.

Leonard Sipes: Thank you very much. Hi, can you tell me your name please?

Ravila McMillen: Ravila McMillen.

Leonard Sipes: And Ms. McMillen you got an award today and do you know why.

Ravila McMillen: Yes, I got an award for my achievements in the interstate compact branch and the community supervision that I’ve done here in interstate.

Leonard Sipes: Okay, now tell me a little bit about the interstate compact. What that means is offenders who come from outside of D.C., into D.C. you supervise them correct?

Ravila McMillen: Yes, I supervise offenders. Well actually I supervise offenders that live outside of the district, so Maryland, Virginia, anything outside and we do transfer packets for them so that they can be supervised in their states so that even though they’re not in D.C., they’re able to be supervised in their jurisdiction.

Leonard Sipes: And you know that’s an important issue because a lot of people don’t understand how many offenders come into D.C. and how many people leave D.C. and all that has to be coordinated and your one of the people that does that coordination.

Ravila McMillen: Right.

Leonard Sipes: How’s it like? What’s it like? Challenging, difficult?

Ravila McMillen: It’s challenging but it’s worth while. It’s a lot of paperwork. A lot of packets that go out day to day and day in, day out and it’s overwhelming but we get the job done and we do what we have to do to make sure that offenders get supervised properly and where they need to be.

Leonard Sipes: Thank you very much.

Ravila McMillen: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, can you give me your name please?

Kenny Freeman: My name is Kenny Freeman.

Leonard Sipes: And Kenny, what is it that you do?

Kenny Freeman: I’m a drug testing technician with the illegal substance collection unit.

Leonard Sipes: And you got an award today, correct?

Kenny Freeman: That is correct.

Leonard Sipes: And why did you get the award?

Kenny Freeman: We got an award today for our performance as far as monitoring offenders in the collection process. I received this award on behalf of my unit for my performance as well as my attendance as well as our overall accuracy when it comes to the testing procedure.

Leonard Sipes: Now, a lot of people as we talk to various award winner throughout the course of the day, you know, it’s an opportunity for the public to understand what it is that you do. The overwhelming majority of the offenders, 15,000 offenders in any given day, undergo drug testing and they undergo drug testing on a regular basis.

Kenny Freeman: That is correct. In the drug testing process, we have to insure that all of our offenders who are under supervision remain drug and alcohol free so as part of that procedure we do monitor the samples and make sure that it is an accurate sample that’s collected.

Leonard Sipes: And they have their own tricks in terms of trying to water down samples or to being in samples from their kids sister, but you can figure that out correct?

Kenny Freeman: That is correct. A lot of times unfortunately we do see individuals who do attempt to circumvent the collection process, however, as law enforcement, we do report that and we do take the necessary steps.

Leonard Sipes: Thank you for being with us today.

Kenny Freeman: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, can you give me your name please?

Carlton Butler: Name is Carlton Butler.

Leonard Sipes: And Carlton you are one of the principles involved in GPS or satellite tracking of offenders, correct?

Carlton Butler: That’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: And you have an award today from the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency. Why did you get the award?

Carlton Butler: Well we got the award because of the significant improvement in the program in the last year or so. Actually, when I started, I recently came with CSOSA in December of last year. There were 98 offenders in the program. We improved the program and now today we have 600 offenders in the program.

Leonard Sipes: Now is that 600 offenders on any given day?

Carlton Butler: Yes, the total number as of today.

Leonard Sipes: Now, that’s amazing 600 offenders on any given day or under Global Satellite Positioning or under satellite tracking, that’s correct?

Carlton Butler: That’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: And there are a variety of offenders ranging from sex offenders to people violating their domestic violence court orders to violent offenders coming out of the prison system.

Carlton Butler: That’s correct. It’s a wide range of sex offenders as you said, domestic violence, we also have general supervision, people that need a little more supervision and the curfew violators, that’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: And there are times when the individual does not comply with the rules of the program and you put them under a curfew through the Global Positioning System Tracking.

Carlton Butler: That’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: Carlton, thank you.

Carlton Butler: Your welcome.

Leonard Sipes: Gentlemen, can I have your names please?

Kiplin Carter, Christopher Woodfield: Kiplin Carter, Christopher Woodfield.

Leonard Sipes: And gentlemen, why did you get the award for today?

Christopher Woodfield: Received the award for law enforcement partnership.

Kiplin Carter: The apprehension of outstanding warrants and sharing information with NPD.

Leonard Sipes: Wonderful, and?

Christopher Woodfield: In addition, we also have done accountability tour initiatives.

Leonard Sipes: And what is an accountability tour initiative tour?

Christopher Woodfield: We go out with NPD often detectives, sometimes the uniformed officers and do the home visits unscheduled and scheduled with offenders.

Leonard Sipes: Now there is a pretty good amount of cooperation between the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency in the Metropolitan Police Department, correct?

Kiplin Carter: Yes there is. Most recently we’ve taken up an initiative with the homicide tours. When a recent homicide happens, we come out with the Intel officers and we basically check in with our offenders first to see if there is any information that we can gather so we can work in a collaborative effort to try to you know bring the people to justice.

Leonard Sipes: And that’s a pretty interesting part of what it is we do because we also provide services to offenders but we also provide supervision and we take whatever action is necessary to protect the public and that’s part of what you’re doing.

Kiplin Carter: Yes, that’s correct. When we go out, the offenders do get to see us in conjunction with NPD. It presents an image to them that we are unified and I think it has a good impact on the community.

Leonard Sipes: Gentlemen, thank you.

Kiplin Carter, Christopher Woodfield: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, can I have your name please?

Alex Durand: Alex Durand.

Leonard Sipes: And Alex, you got an award today for what reason?

Alex Durand: I got the foreign language award and I’m a _____ community supervision officer and I assisted with the Fugitive Safe Surrender program. I also did some translations throughout the year assisting Latino speaking offenders.

Leonard Sipes: Now you have a regular case load of Latino offenders, correct?

Alex Durand: Actually I supervise a Diagnostic Unit and we don’t normally get Latino offenders but we periodically get some and under those circumstances, I kind of rotate and assist all of the different teams when they need translations as well as any efforts to contact family or collateral contacts.

Leonard Sipes: Now you mentioned Fugitive Safe Surrender. One of the things that I was to emphasize is that you did the 30 second radio commercials. You did the 60 second radio commercials for Fugitive Safe Surrender. You also have done podcasts on what it’s like to be supervised for the Latino community. You did 3 of those and you also did a whole heck of a lot of national Latino television and radio interviews for Fugitive Safe Surrender, correct?

Alex Durand: Wow, I didn’t know I had done all that but you’re right, I have done all that work throughout this year.

Leonard Sipes: So, it’s sort of interesting if you went from being a person within a large bureaucracy to a voice of a major agency.

Alex Durand: Well, it’s an honor just to be able to serve the community as well as the agency with these skills.

Leonard Sipes: Thank you very much.

Alex Durand: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, could you give me your name please.

Kim Barry: Kim Barry.

Leonard Sipes: And Kim, you are what? What do you do for the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency?

Kim Barry: I’m a treatment specialist with Central Intervention Team.

Leonard Sipes: And what does that do? What does that entail?

Kim Barry: What we do on CIT, for short, is we do assessments for offenders, but my specific core function is facilitating groups and management substance abuse education groups for all of our offenders.

Leonard Sipes: And you have a couple very special awards today. In fact, you have a letter from President Bush, correct?

Kim Barry: That’s correct, yes.

Leonard Sipes: And tell me why you got a letter from the President of the United States?

Kim Barry: Because this is the first time that the President has allowed such opportunities for persons to volunteer and receive awards for volunteer service, so I received this award because of the fact that I’ve volunteered over and above the amount required to receive a goal award and that’s 500 hours, but I actually have over 700 hours of community service so that’s why I received an award today.

Leonard Sipes: And we thank you for your service to the district and to the metropolitan area.

Kim Barry: Thank you so much for the opportunity.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, could I have your name please?

Diane Harper: Hi, my name is Diane Harper.

Leonard Sipes: And Diane you received what the unsung hero award, is that it?

Diane Harper: That’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: And tell me a little bit about that. You have a wonderful crystal statue or award sitting there and why did you get that award?

Diane Harper: I got it because I go above and beyond. I am the Community Supervision for team 20. I am detailed to the management analyst office, Dr. Deborah Kafame. I am detailed to the US PC reprimand sanction here where I am responsible for the transcripts in the docket and I’m just well-rounded and I go above and beyond to get the job done.

Leonard Sipes: We thank you for your service today.

Diane Harper: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, give me your name please?

Jennifer LaPointe: Jennifer Lapointe.

Leonard Sipes: And Jennifer you have a huge crystal award today that says employee of the year 2007, Jennifer Lapointe, and congratulations.

Jennifer LaPointe: Thank you very much.

Leonard Sipes: Now, why do you think you got this award?

Jennifer LaPointe: For the work that I’ve been privileged to do with the Reenter and Sanctions Center for the Office of Community Justice programs with CSOSA.

Leonard Sipes: Now, the Reenter and Sanctions Center is that brand new building that we have in Northwest District of Columbia that basically takes offenders coming out of the prison system and does a complete and thorough analysis and gets them involved in very comprehensive drug treatment.

Jennifer LaPointe: This is correct and in support of that mission, I’ve been involved with the procurement, the personnel, the equipment, technology, just all aspects of the program and I’m honored to have an opportunity to serve those that are at most risk to the community and the staff that goes so diligently and dedicated towards making sure that those offenders and defendants reenter into society prepared to remain drug free.

Leonard Sipes: You put it perfectly Jennifer. Thank you for being our employee of the year.

Jennifer LaPointe: Thank you. I’m honored and surprised.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, can you give me your name please?

James Epps: James E. Epps.

Leonard Sipes: And James, once again, you have this gorgeous large crystal award, employee of the year 2007 to James E Epps. Now you are with the Community Supervision Services Branch, correct?

James Epps: Yes I am.

Leonard Sipes: And why did you get this award?

James Epps: For performance dedication and hard work for the offenders that I work for or have been working for the past 15 years in the community.

Leonard Sipes: Now, 15 years of supervising offenders in the community. I mean there is a marine corp hem that says you’re guaranteed heaven because you’ve served your time in hell. I mean that’s a difficult, challenging, but a very rewarding job, correct?

James Epps: Yes it is but most of all I get the mind gratification and appreciation from just helping others.

Leonard Sipes: And what do you do to help others?

James Epps: Sometimes, find them employment, try to teach them the right way to go and get up out of poverty, and help them get housing and things of that nature.

Leonard Sipes: Congratulations. We’re all very proud of you.

James Epps: Thank you very much.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, let me have your names please.

Linda Mayes: Linda Mayes.

Leonard Sipes: And what do you do Linda?

Linda Mayes: I’m the Associate Director for Human Resources.

Leonard Sipes: And?

Fran Hagan: I’m Fran Hagan and I’m a Human Resources Specialist.

Leonard Sipes: Now both of you were in charge of putting this ceremony on today and I’m assuming that this is the best way of ending a glorious ceremony. We had hundreds of people here in this huge ballroom in downtown D.C. to give recognition to employees who work in difficult dangerous situations and often times they don’t get the recognition they’ve received. You 2 were the people in charge of making sure that this happened.

Fran Hagan: That’s correct and we’re just so delighted to be able to support this great effort. You know, Human Resources if very important in the background for getting people paid and helping them get their awards on time and they’re so deserved and our agency is really wonderful to put on an event like this so that everyone can come up and shake the directors hand and get a picture made and just a time out when we can acknowledge the great work they do all year.

Leonard Sipes: Linda, I need you to add to that.

Linda Mayes: Well, I just want to say that Fran worked so hard. It takes a lot of work to put this on and she did a tremendous job.

Leonard Sipes: It really is interesting. Again, large huge ballroom in downtown D.C., hundreds of award winners, people who got trophies, people who got beautiful crystal awards, people who got individual awards ceremonies and recognitions. I mean this was really difficult to put on.

Linda Mayes: Well it does take a lot of work, but it always gets done every year and when we need help, people pitch in and it’s a great effort for human resources. Everybody comes together.

Leonard Sipes: Ladies, thank you.

Linda Mayes, Fran Hagan: Your welcome and thank you.

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