Two former U.S. Justice Department officials and five criminal justice programs have been recognized by the National Criminal Justice Association and the IJIS Institute for their contributions to criminal justice. Laurie Robinson, who served two stints as assistant attorney general for the Office of Justice Programs, got the association’s Career Service Award. Association president Jack Cutrone said Robinson had “reinvigorated state and local partnerships” with the Justice Department during her time in the Obama Administration, which ended Feb. 29. The IJIS Institute gave Thomas O’Reilly its annual Robert P. Schumate Award. O’Reilly ran the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative, which the institute said has produced “groundbreaking progress in the nationwide sharing of counter terrorism and criminal intelligence information.” O’Reilly is now executive director of Rutgers University’s Police Institute.
The association’s five annual Outstanding Criminal Justice Program awards went to Maine’s Kennebec Community Harvest for providing agricultural skills to inmates; St. Leonard’s Ministries, a prisoner re-entry program in Illinois with a recidivism rate of 20 percent; Project Reentry in North Carolina, which has served 869 participants since 2003 with a recidivism rate of only 11.2 percent; Montana’s Yellowstone County Jail-Based Treatment Program, which has offered addiction treatment to inmates since 2006, and Minnesota’s Cass County/Itasca County/Leech Lake Tribal Court Wellness Program, which has combined resources from state and tribal courts to address chronic alcohol and drug abuse problems on the Leech Lake Reservation in the northern part of the state. The awards were given this week at the criminal justice association’s annual forum, which took place near Albuquerque.