Our Class of 2016 Finalists


Amy Brady

Henderson County Detention Center, Kentucky

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Colonel Brady is Chief Deputy for Henderson County Detention Center in Kentucky. The facility has over 600 inmates, county, state and federal and is the only detention center in Kentucky that operates in the black, paying its own bills with no assistance from the county budget, and has been doing so for ten consecutive years. She has worked in and supervised every department in the facility during her career and is a 19 year veteran whose dedication has earned the respect and admiration of co-workers. She is active in community events, and energetically assists in community fundraisers such as the Lions Club, Riverview School (for challenged children), Henderson County High School JROTC, and others. She is a wife, mother, and friend to many while diligently working to provide inmates with a safe, clean, and progressive environment to serve their sentence. She assists the Kentucky Jailers Association in their training conference and is considered a leader in her field as she works with Federal Marshall's Offices in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana to maintain a sufficient inmate population to provide increased income to make the detention center financially self sufficient.


Buddy Joe Smith

Montgomery County Jail, Virginia

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Lieutenant Smith has served with the Sheriff's Office for 23 years. He has been with the jail since his employment and was promoted through the ranks to Lieutenant. During his service, he has consistently been one to strive for improvement in the overall operations. He is eager to provide for his officers needs as well as maintaining a secure and clean jail atmosphere. Known as “Potsie”, he is an energetic officer always willing to go outside of the confines of his job description to see the needs of others are met. He is a member of the office honor guard, a technician on the “meth lab” clean up team, and an enthusiastic member of the "EFFORT" program, designed to bring attention to the special needs community.

Charlie Carraway

Johnson County Corrections Center, Texas

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This year my senior staff and I have both the honor and the privilege of nominating one of the best officers (we have collectively agreed upon) that we all have ever supervised; that officer is Sergeant Carraway. She is currently our Compliance Sergeant here at the Johnson County Corrections Center; she is also the mother of four young children whom she adores, and has found the time and the energy to complete her Master's Degree in Criminal Justice. She is a beacon of energy and empathy; she is an awesome example to her children, as well as an excellent example to our entire staff here at the facility. Most recently she has been given the incredible tasks of preparing for three different major inspections that will be occurring in succession; the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, the National P.R.E.A. Audit, and the I.C.E. inspection/audit, along with her normal duties of compliance, training, and creating policies and procedures. Although the above work load is very impressive in itself, it's her most recent endeavor that puts her in a league of her own. She just recently made the extra effort in contacting, visiting with, planning out, and now implementing classes here at the facility with our local Family Crisis Center. These classes will include a much needed curriculum for all genders of offenders within the facility, and will also include information on GED Classes, AA and NA, along with information on additional services provided to all offenders post release. In short she has become a treasure to our facility and to our community. So in closing, we once again would like to thank you all for everything you do, and we also very respectfully submit the name of Sergeant Carraway as our nominee for the Correctional Officer of the Year 2016.


Dan Barner

Independence Ohio Jail, Ohio

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Dan Barner works tirelessly to ensure prisoners are safe, fed, and have everything they need every night without fail and without complaining. Guilty or not guilty is not his concern. Staying safe, being fair and impartial are his main concerns. He is the most reliable and honest person I have ever met.


Joe Verhelst

Safford Complex, Arizona

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I would like to nominate COII Joe Verhelst for the honor of Correctional Officer of the Year. He is worthy of the honor due to his involvement in the community of Thatcher, Arizona. He currently works with a nonprofit organization that meets at Rose Wellness Center. In his capacity as a volunteer, he leads a group of young adults in mixed martial arts exercises. The program allows these young adults an opportunity to focus on something positive and teaches team, as well as, individual accomplishment. He is an excellent addition to our team at Stafford Complex Security. He frequently is assigned to complete tasks that require him to travel away from the institution with little supervision. When he is assigned a task, you can rest assured that it will be completed on time, if not early. He always represents the organization well and does it with a smile on his face and firm handshake.


Joshua Kanavel

California City Correctional Facility, California

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It is with great pleasure that I nominate Officer J.D. Kanavel as Correctional Officer of the Year. He has been a full-time employee at California City Correctional Facility since December, 2013 and is known for his high standard of performance. He cares for his work duties, co-workers and family members with respect and dignity and is a great asset to California City Correctional Facility as well as the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Officer Kanavel consistently displays exceptional competence, sound judgment, and depth of professional knowledge in the execution of his responsibilities. He carries himself as a role model who leads by example. He reports to work daily, wearing his workwear with pride. He completes his duties with self-reliance keeping the safety of staff, public, and inmates paramount. With his perseverance and aggregate dedication to duty, he consistently exceeds the expectations of his supervisors.

Officer Kanavel is well known throughout the prison for his work ethic and energy. He is always courteous and helpful to others. He is highly respected by his peers and appreciated by his supervisors because of the way he treats others. He is seen as a very positive person of the team and exhibits a “win-win” philosophy. He is efficient and thorough in his work and finishes the job in a timely manner. The combination of his high ethical standards and vast experience enable him to be an excellent mentor to the junior officers. He is highly respected by those with whom he comes in contact and is an exemplary role model to others in the unit as well as throughout the institution.

Officer Kanavel represents California City Correctional Facility well as he strives for excellence in problem solving. He also volunteers his time for his sons Boy Scouts troop on his days off.