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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary


Statewide Employee of the Year

Freida Mercer
Fiscal Assistant II, Jackson Correctional Institution

Freida Mercer has served the department for seven years and other state agencies for 23 years. She performs her duties with the highest level of professionalism, competence and effectiveness. Through months of tedious work, Ms. Mercer has been instrumental in the conversion of eight years of paper property records to computerized records, resulting in increased staff productivity and efficiency. She exceeds expectations of her position and, through her own initiative, has mastered skills to use technology to be more productive. She and her husband are active in community fund raising projects which contribute to the development of a positive image for the department.

Frieda Mercer

Correctional Officer of the Year

Sylvia Sturgeon
Sergeant, Central Florida Reception Center-Main Unit

Sylvia Sturgeon has served the department for over six years. In addition to her normal responsibility as a Food Service Sergeant, she has assumed the duties of the Main Unit Food Service Director and added the East and West Unit to her growing list of responsibilities. In addition to these daily duties, Sergeant Sturgeon developed and installed a food cost worksheet into the food service computer and trained fellow officers to use the more efficient operation. She is responsible on a daily basis for tracking and monitoring National Child Nutrition Program inmates, which has resulted in thousands of dollars of savings to Florida's taxpayers. Sergeant Sturgeon consistently demonstrates a high level of professionalism and leadership by always placing the needs of the Food Service Department and the institution above her own personal needs.

Sylvia Sturgeon

Correctional Supervisor of the Year

Elma L. Pope
Correctional Probation Services Supervisor,
05-5 Ocala South

Elma Pope has served the department for 26 years. She is both professional and effective when dealing with department staff, other criminal justice agencies, and the public. She took the initiative to write and establish procedures between the Ocala Police Department and Community Corrections for expedient warrantless arrests of probation violators. Ms. Pope also coordinated Marion County's involvement with Operation Thunder Road, a 67-county sweep by local and state law enforcement, in conjunction with Community Corrections, to serve old felony warrants. She strives for a high level of productivity and efficiency within the department. Ms. Pope is very involved in her community and is a Community Corrections representative on the Marion County Advisory Board.

Elma Pope

Correctional Probation Officer of the Year

Joseph Feinberg
Correctional Probation Specialist, 171 Pompano Beach

Joseph Feinberg has served the department for ten years. He is responsible for a high-profile caseload as a sex offender specialist and has demonstrated an exceptional degree of professionalism and effectiveness in dealing with offenders, their families and victims, as well as law enforcement and court personnel. Mr. Feinberg is in frequent contact with law enforcement agencies, the courts and the State Attorney's Office and has earned their utmost respect as a dedicated and knowledgeable professional. Mr. Feinberg is truly a team player who is willing to go the extra mile to achieve a work place of individuals who are professional, knowledgeable, courteous and helpful.

Joseph Feinberg

Volunteers of the Year

The department places a high priority on volunteer services and programs and appreciates all who volunteer. These statewide volunteers and interns of the year represent all the fine men and women who perform such valuable service work throughout the state.

James E. Edris
Lancaster CI, Correctional Institutions

Mr. Edris has worked as a volunteer at Lancaster Correctional Institution for 17 years. He is a Church of Christ missionary who provides counseling and computer instruction to the inmates. He also recruits other citizen volunteers and speaks to civic organizations in order to solicit support for Lancaster CI. Donations, as a result of Mr. Edris' efforts, already total well over $1,000!

James Edris
Dee Mercer
Hillsborough Community Correctional Center,
Community Corrections

Ms. Mercer has been teaching a pre-release class for inmates at Hillsborough Community Correctional Center for two years. Every few months, she conducts 6 one-hour classes. Her classes average from 9-13 participants from the HCCC. She counsels the inmates after each class to ensure their understanding of all pre-release skills and their success after they leave the center.

James Edris

Interns of the Year

Kim Gronemeyer
Brevard CI, Correctional Institution

Ms. Gronemeyer served as an intern from Florida Institute of Technology in the Psychological Services Unit at Brevard Correctional Institution. She assisted staff in the delivery of individual psychotherapy, group sex offender treatment, case management, creation of individual service plans and psychological testing and evaluation. Due to Ms. Gronemeyer's excellent clinical skills, she was able to help many inmates reach their treatment goals.

Christian Durning
Orlando Midtown P&P, Community Corrections

Mr. Durning served as an intern at the Orlando Midtown Probation and Parole Office. As a Probation Officer's assistant, Mr. Durning accomplished many activities associated with the supervision of felony offenders and the retrieval of necessary information from local law enforcement agencies. During his internship, Mr. Durning also assisted in getting the local Speakers Bureau back on track and fully functioning.

Teacher of the Year

April Kalnin
1999 Teacher of the Year

"I can honestly say I always learn as much as I teach. To me this is the greatest reward of my profession. I learn things I did not even know I needed, like patience, directness, open- mindedness and compassion. My career as a teacher is truly a joy and I cannot imagine any other profession to come even close to the complete fulfillment experienced with teaching."
April Kalnin

Ms. Kalnin teaches Electronic Desktop Publishing, a Workforce Development training program, which provides marketable skills to her adult inmate students at Jefferson Correctional Institution. She began her current teaching assignment in April 1997 with an empty classroom, a new program to implement, and most important, a dedication to excellence. From this beginning she created one of the first desktop publishing programs in a corrections setting. Students benefit from her enthusiasm as much as they do from the state-of-the-art technology applications.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Kalnin is involved with projects that benefit other services provided by the institution. She has designed a coloring book for children visiting an incarcerated parent. Teaching is more than a profession to Ms. Kalnin, as demonstrated by her participation in the local school mentoring program, and by her work with organizations that provide services to at-risk children.

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