officers the "unsung heroes of our criminal justice system,"
State Corrections Director Robert Brown, Jr. announced the recipient
of the state's 1986 Corrections Officer of the Year.
He is Ray Carigon,
44, or Saranac, who has worked at the Michigan Reformatory in Ionia since
Runners up were: Cheryl
Jackson, 30, of Detroit, who works at the Phoenix Correctional Facility
near Plymouth, and George I. Miller, 30, of Belding, who works at Riverside
Correctional Facility in Ionia.
All three officers
will be honored in a special ceremony at the Earl F. DeMarse Corrections
Academy in Lansing. The ceremony will be part of a graduation exercise
at the Academy, and will include Dan Bolden, Deputy Director in charge
of the Bureau of Correctional Facilities.
The officers also
will be sent to the annual conference of the Michigan Corrections Association
in Ann Arbor.
In making the announcement,
Brown said corrections officers "are the backbone of any state prison
operation. The manner in which they conduct themselves may literally make
the difference between life and death. I think the men and women who work
for the Michigan Department of Corrections are among the finest and most
professional officers in the nation."
Carigon was nominated
for the honor by Warden John Jabe who said he has "excellent rapport
with prisoners in a very difficult work station - that of the segregation
unit. Because of his expertise in the system since 1970 and his patience,
new officers have been assigned to him for training."
Jabe said in all Carigon's
positions at the Reformatory, "Ray has displayed the cooperation,
enthusiasm and knowledge associated with an ideal corrections officer."
He started with the
Department and the Reformatory, a close-security prison for younger men,
in 1970. He has worked at all levels of security.
He is an Army veteran
and post commander of the American Legion in Saranac.
Jackson has worked
at Phoenix, a medium-security prison for men, since joining the Department
in 1983. She is a former Detroit Police officer. She was recently cited
for her professionalism in aiding in the prevention of an escape at the
prison and was recently honored by the Northville VFW Post 4012 for her
Miller, who works
at the Reception Unit at Riverside, has been an employee of the Department
since 1978 and at Riverside, a close-security prison for men, since 1979.
He has been praised for his versatility and his community activities.
This is the second
year that the Department has selected an officer for special recognition.
Among the criteria used in determining suitability are involvement with
the community, calm and rational behavior during emergency situations
and ability to relate well with prisoners and staff.