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Volunteers of America Gives Corrections Awards at American Correctional Association Meeting

DENVER, August 9 - Volunteers of America honored three leaders in the corrections field today at the annual meeting of the American Correctional Association. Reginald A. Wilkinson, director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Columbus, Ohio, received the Volunteers of America Maud Booth Correctional Services Award for his work as a leader in the correctional field. Charles Gould, president of Volunteers of America, said, "Wilkinson is being honored for his compassion and belief in the potential of offenders to turn their lives around and rebuild them. His leadership has made an impact on improving public policies, programs, and services in the criminal justice system."

P.W. Keohane, warden, U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, accepted the Volunteers of America President's Award for Program Excellence for the prison hospice program at the Federal Correctional Medical Center in Springfield, Mo. The prison hospice program is being recognized for its excellence and innovation in providing humane services to inmates that are dying in prison. Steven Runyon, vice president of adult corrections in Volunteers of America Indiana, Indianapolis, Ind., received the Volunteers of America Hope award. Runyon is being honored for his outstanding leadership in improving program standards and results in Indiana. Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit, spiritually based organization providing local human service programs, and opportunities for individual and community involvement. Its programs are designed to help communities meet a wide range of challenging problems. Volunteers of America, with headquarters in Alexandria, Va., provided programs or services to more than 1.5 million people last year. In 1998 Volunteers of America served nearly 39,000 people across the United States in community-based, nonresidential and residential corrections programs, with a budget of more than $33 million. The Volunteers of America Maud Booth Correctional Services Award is named after the co-founder of the organization. Booth was one of the first prison reformers of the 20th century. From 1896 until her death in 1948, she campaigned tirelessly against abuses in the prison system. She established the nation's first system of halfway houses to provide transition from prison to productive life in the community. The awards were presented at a breakfast during the American Correctional Association's conference in Denver at the Hyatt Regency hotel.