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  • APAI Awards

    The field of parole is both complex and demanding. Those of us who work in the field often do our work in a quiet and unassuming way. Naming an award for a member is the highest honor we can give, signifying that the person's contributions to the field have been exemplary. Bestowing our awards on members have become a primary and public means of acknowledging our members and our colleagues for their accomplishments in promoting understanding and heightening awareness of what we do.

    We invite you to explore this section of our website to learn about those we have honored.

    Ben Baer Award

    Benjamin F. Baer was an appointed public official who dedicated his 48 year career to the criminal justice system, fighting for fair and equitable treatment of offenders and protection of the public. He was appointed to the U.S. Parole Commission by President Ronald Reagan in January 1982, was designated Acting Chairman in February and appointed as Chairman on March 24, 1982. He later died in office on April 9, 1991. Chairman Baer was recognized for his determination and struggle to defend just punishment for offenders in this country. A long time advocate for truth and fairness in sentencing. Chairman Baer also fought long hard battles to defend the supervision process as a necessary link in providing safety, accountabilty and protection to the public. This award, which is given in his name, is to recognize and reward an individual who has demonstrated significant service in the field of parole or community corrections.

    Vincent O'Leary Award

    From 1951 to 1957, Vincent O'Leary was Chief of Parole and Probation for the state of Washington. He then went to Texas where he was Director of Parole Supervision from 1957 until 1962. He became Director of the National Parole Institute in 1963 where he was responsible for the first parole board member training, helped develop the first national statistic report on parole, and influenced the development of parole guidelines. He stayed in this position until 1968 and was also Director of Research and Policy for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. During this time he worked in the early days of APAI to develop policy for parole boards. In 1968 he was employed as Dean of the School of Criminal Justice for the State University of New York at Albany. He was involved in developing standards for parole boards as a consultant to the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals in 1973. In 1977 he was appointed to the position of President of the New York University at Albany and stayed until he retired in 1990. He has always fought against the abolishment of parole. This award, which is given in his name, is to recognize and reward an individual who has made significant contributions to the Association of Paroling Authorities International and has demonstrated vision, leadership and commitment to the field of parole.

    Dr. Kenneth Walker Community Service Award

    Dr. Kenneth Walker served as a "hands on" Chair and Member of the Rhode Island Parole Board for over 35 years, having been consistently reappointed by all Rhode Island Governors irrespective of their political affiliation. He was also an educator, basketball referee, and devoted his career to serving his home state of Rhode Island. Dr. Walker's commitment to public service was unprecedented. Though retired, he continued to participate and advocate for his community particularly as it relates to young people, the incarcerated, senior citizens, the physically and mentally challenged, as well as issues related to the minority communities and their access to health care. He has been recognized and honored by many groups, including the Association of Paroling Authorities International, where he was awarded the Vincent O'Leary Award for his many contributions to the field of parole and the Ben Bear Award for his efforts to defend the parole supervision process as a necessary link in providing successful transition and reentry. Dr. Walker received the Neil J. Houston, Junior Award from Justice Assistance for his dedicated service and citizen contribution toward the Criminal Justice Profession and the Public Interest. This award, which is given in his name, is to recognize and reward an individual or an organization which has contributed significantly to the furthering of the rehabilitative efforts of parole.

    Renee Collette International Excellence Award

    Renee Collette served as a member of the Quebec Parole Board for three years and as Chairman for ten years before being appointed as a full-time Board Member and Executive Vice-Chairperson fort the National Parole Board of Canada. Renee also served as the Acting Executive Director and Acting Chairperson for the Board during her tenure. Her commitment to International Criminal Justice existed throughout her career and reached far beyond the borders of North America. Renee served APAI from its earliest days, in every elected and appointed position that the Association of Paroling Authorities International Constitution embodies. Renee’s leadership fostered international growth and advancement throughout the years. Her representation and promotion of the international criminal justice community successfully helped form APAI into the strong international association that it is today. Renee holds numerous awards and recognitions, including the Vincent O'Leary Award, Ben Bear Award, and the President’s Award with the Association of Paroling Authorities International, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Commemorative Medal, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal of recognition. This award, which is given in her name, is to recognize and reward an international individual or an organization which has contributed significantly to the advancement of international criminal justice.

    President's Award

    This award is given to an active APAI member who has made at least a single significant contribution either to the field of parole or to the Association.

    CARE: Communication Award Recognizing Excellence in education and collaboration

    The Award shall be presented to an APAI Member organization that held an educational, public relations or outreach event or implemented or continued to produce an educational, public relations or outreach program that has served to positively inform agency key stakeholders as to their core functions resulting in a measurable difference in the Boards [Agencies] perception amongst these key stakeholders within the award year.