Winter Conference Awards

Article excerpt

At the 2003 Winter Conference, the American Correctional Association recognized six individuals who demonstrated their dedication to the corrections field.

Margaret Henderson, assistant social worker supervisor for the New Jersey Department of Corrections, was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award.

While working for the New Jersey DOC. Henderson has maintained a B average at New Jersey City University, where she is pursuing her master's degree in criminal justice. Henderson, a single mother, student and full-time supervisor, graciously accepted the award. "I am awe-struck that I am here today, she said." In the spirit of King, Henderson added, "If I can help someone, then my life cannot be in vain."

The Medal of Valor was awarded to probation officer Doug Watts of the Delaware DOC's Division of Probation and Parole. On March 21, 2001, Watts prevented what could have become a fatal situation when a suspect opened fire on his partner David Spicer of the Dover Police Department. When the officers stopped two individuals they had observed engaging in a drug transaction, the two suspects fled. The officers pursued one suspect, who opened fire on them. Three shots hit Spicer. As the suspect was prepared to fire again at the downed officer at point-blank range, Watts returned fire, hitting the suspect twice. Watts' quick actions drew the attention of the suspect away from Spicer, saving him from being shot again. Watts, grateful for the award, recognized his partner. "Dave bears the scars from that night and I don't think I've heard him complain even once," he said. …