Jerry Warner, Chaplain
Jenkins Correctional Center, Millen, Georgia, 5 Years
It might be surprising to hear that a facility chaplain happily pitches in for laundry, kitchen, and trash collection duties. But to those who know Chaplain Jerry Warner, it's no surprise. He’s done that and more since the beginning of the pandemic. In fact, he used the time as a way to connect and pray with those in our care, even as he took meal trays to their units.
“I’m sure there are many others who deserve to be recognized at Jenkins Correctional Center as well," Warner said. "COVID-19 has impacted all of us and caused us to find new ways to connect and care for the inmate population.”
“For me it's not about staying in my lane," Warner explained. "It's about coming alongside the inmates, staff, and leadership to serve wherever I am needed.”
Monica Bennett, Assistant Facility Director
Oklahoma Reentry Opportunity Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 5 years
Monica Bennett builds personal relationships with both residents and her colleagues, making it a point to know the name of everyone in her care and to remember something unique about each individual. Her dedication to her work has helped her quickly advance from case manager to assistant facility director over the past five years. Among Bennett's many responsibilities as an assistant facility director, she has also facilitated regular sanitation of the facility, as well as compiled reports amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Bennett has always been known for giving 100 percent, and her positive attitude shines through in her team. That hasn't changed amid COVID-19. Bennett still works just as hard despite new challenges, though she's sure to be cautious and follow proper safety guidelines while interacting with staff and residents.
"The challenge isn't serving the population during this pandemic," Bennett said. "The challenge has been helping those in our care understand the importance of compliance with CDC guidelines for face masks and social distancing."
Not only did Bennett face the challenge of COVID-19 this year, she also helped lead her facility in successfully shifting its focus to the reentry of formerly incarcerated women who face unique challenges after incarceration.
When asked what motivates her to go above and beyond, Bennett keeps it simple.
"I love what I do," she said.