[The original image -- uncropped, at higher resolution, without lettering -- can be accessed via a page on NYS DOCS' web site featuring links to its memorial ceremony photos. The above caption is from that page.]
Employees, Fallen Prison Heroes
[ALBANY, JUNE 4, 2002] - . . . . Two Medals of Honor and two Medals of Merit were presented to Department employees for their outstanding service in 2001. They are:
At today's ceremony, Governor Pataki also became the first Governor ever to receive the Department's highest award -- the Medal of Honor.
In presenting the Medal of Honor award to Governor Pataki, DOCS Commissioner Glenn S. Goord said
"You have worked tirelessly to give our staff the tools it needs to make our prisons more secure.
"You have provided all inmates with expanded programs that contribute to making our prisons safer, while offering nonviolent offenders the opportunity to earn early release.
"Your support and determination to accomplish these goals have earned you our Medal of Honor."
Senator Dale M. Volker, Chairman of the Committee on Criminal and Civil Codes said
"There is a reason why New York ranks as one of the safest states in the entire country, and that reason is Governor Pataki's effective long-term strategies in reducing illegal behavior in our communities, especially violent criminal behavior.
"The Governor has invested in our State corrections personnel, stiffened penalties for violent criminal behavior, made enormous progress in ensuring that victims are given compensation and recourse; while at the same time maintaining and protecting the rights of those accused of illegal offenses."
Senator Michael F. Nozzolio, Chairman of the Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee said
"Governor Pataki has been a leader in making the workplace safer for correction officers, right-sizing our prison system, and enhancing public safety. As a result of his leadership, assaults on correctional staff are at the lowest level in 20 years, crime has been reduced dramatically, and our correctional facilities are safer than ever." . . .
According to Commissioner Goord, overcrowding has been reduced in medium security prisons through the Governor's alternatives that have, since 1995, allowed more then 44,000 selected, nonviolent offenders to gain release prior to completing their court-set minimum sentences.
The Commissioner also noted