employess receive state awards
Emmett Wilson, Kevin Rehder and Renee Warnacutt received Idaho Correctional Association state awards during the state meeting in Boise last week. All three are instructors at North Idaho Correctional Institution.
Wilson received the Community Contribution and Partnership Award. Wilson participates in the local community leadership and community activities. He has operated the Cottonwood Community Library Recycling Program for over 10 years and transfers the cardboard from NICI to the recycling center in Cottonwood weekly. This is, at leats, a full pickup load of trash that NICI does not have to pay for removal and adds recycling payments for the Cottonwood Community Library. The benefit of Emmett’s dedication to this program will be seen as this program will end at the end of this month.
In addition Wilson serves on the St. Gertrude’s Monastery Board and participated in the Prairie Leadership Development program provided through the Horizon grant.
He is active and involved in most events – Walk for Life, 4-H, school, Bravehearts Youth group (spends time as camp cook) and many other community activities. His participation is not limited to the community as he is also a strong influence and active in Corrections libraries, the Correctional Education Association and North Idaho Correctional Employees’ Association.
Warnacutt received the 2007 Distinguished Service Award. She was hired as a contracted employee at NICI through Lewis-Clark State College in July of 1997.
She taught the Pathfinders program, Cognitive Self Change, Government Classes, substituted for other teachers, proctored GED testing, contributed to Correctional Education Association Regional Conferences through her tireless efforts and involvement in doing what it takes to make conferences successful, and, for more than 7 years, provided Pre-release Classes to almost every offender leaving NICI.
Warnacutt has made sure she is in touch with every Community Corrections district, reviews changes in procedure and correctional practices, share information with others, and integrates correct information into her class.
She teaches just under 100 inmates each month. Using conservative estimates, Renee has taught Pre-release classes to over 7,500 inmates, who go from NICI to all districts in the state.
She will be retiring this year from a part-time contracted job of teaching Pre-release to inmates. She has inspired and encouraged her students to do the best they can do, to leave NICI prepared for probation, and to see themselves as able to participate in and contribute to their communities.
Rehder received the ICA Cutting Edge Award.
This award recognized Rehder’s exceptional work in providing offender work programs that combine education with institutional jobs in the kitchen, laundry, maintenance and school/library areas.
Every inmate worker has the opportunity to gain skills as part of their institutional work assignments at NICI. Rehder coordinates inmate work activities so the offenders can complete education and treatment programs and, when possible, gain work skills and attitudes for those who find difficulty in attaining and maintaining a job in the general work force.
Thomason to head ICA
Lawanda Thomason of Craigmont was selected president-elect of the Idaho Correctional Association during the annual conference held at Boise last week. She will assist the current president until next September, when she will take over as president of the association. She previously had been vice-president of Region 2 for ICA.
Thomason is currently the lieutenant at North Idaho Correctional Institution. She started her law enforcement career as a dispatcher in Lewis County before becoming a correctional officer at NICI in Cottonwood. She was promoted to sergeant at the Idaho Correctional Institution-Orofino then served as a lieutenant there before transferring back to NICI two years ago.
She has been active with the League of Women Voters and the Idaho Correctional Emergency System.
Correctional professionals from all over Idaho attended the conference. Items for a prize drawing were donated by businesses including True-Value Hardware, Primeland, Bazar, Print Shop, Norco and Napa Auto Parts in Grangeville. Area correctional staff helping with the program were Bill Farmer, Sheryl Pizzadilli and Ray Robinette of NICI and Loy Mechling and Brenda Layne of ICI-O.