Mississippi  Department of  Corrections

Marshall L. Fisher

Phil Bryant






Date:         February 12, 2002

Contact:     Ken Jones

Phone:       (601) 359-5608

Fax:          (601) 359-5738


Four South Mississippi Correctional Institution

Employees Receive Employee Recognition Awards

Leakesville – Four South Mississippi Correctional Institution (SMCI) employees were presented Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) recognition awards today by Commissioner Robert L. Johnson.  SMCI Superintendent David Turner assisted Commissioner Johnson in presenting the awards.   SMCI is located near Leakesville in Greene County.

The awards presentation ceremony was part of a monthly statewide employee recognition program instituted by MDOC in July.  The program is designed to recognize exemplary employees within MDOC’s ranks for outstanding service to the prison system.

“It is a personal honor for me to present these recognition awards to this group of outstanding dedicated employees,” said Commissioner Johnson.  “Our agency is blessed with countless numbers of professional public servants who provide crucial security for the operation of our prison system.”  Commissioner Johnson added, “I salute all of the dedicated men and women within MDOC’s ranks for their untiring public service.” The Mississippi Department of Corrections currently employs over 3700 employees statewide who maintain vigil around the clock protecting public safety.

SMCI began its operation as a 500-bed medium security institution in April 1989. It presently has 550 people in its employ and the prison houses over 2100 offenders on a daily basis.  SMCI has a capacity to house 2214 prisoners.


South Mississippi Correctional Institution employees receiving

 recognition awards for January 2002 included:


Degenia Myers

Leakesville, MS

Correctional Officer III

SMCI  Area - I

Correctional Officer

 of the Month

Patricia Crawford

Leakesville, MS

Correctional Commander

SMCI, Area – I

Security Employee

of the Month

Tammy Robertson

Leakesville, MS

SMCI Accounting

Inmate Accounts

Extra Effort Award

Lisa Bivins

State Line, MS

Personnel Officer III

SMCI Personnel Department

Extra Effort Award


The 2:00 p.m. awards ceremony was held in SMCI II’s visitation area.  Superintendent David Turner announced the names of the award recipients as Commissioner Johnson presented each employee with lapel pins and certificates.  Additionally, the Correctional Officer and the Security Employee of the Month award recipients were also presented plaques.

SMCI Warden Charles Bailey stated, “These awards presentations provide a special opportunity for all of us to pause and be thankful for our many dedicated employees.  “Life in corrections is difficult and is often stressful.  It is proper for us to recognize them for their bravery.”

South Mississippi Correctional Institution Awards Recipients

Degenia Meyers, Correctional Officer III Leakesville, a six-year veteran with the prison system, received the Correctional Officer of the Month award.  Nominated by SMCI Area-I Warden Michael Sumner, she was characterized as being a highly dedicated employee.  “Officer Meyers is keenly aware of the importance of security.  She conducts herself in a professional manner and treats everyone with respect and fairness,” said Warden Sumner.  Officer Meyers was commended for maintaining close vigil in the Vo-Tech school at SMCI I where she is assigned.  Warden Sumner said, “Officer Meyers handles herself in a professional manner.  SMCI is most fortunate to have her in its employ.”

Patricia Crawford, of Leakesville, a 14-year veteran with the Mississippi Department of Corrections, received the Security Employee of the Month recognition award at SMCI.  Nominated by Warden Michael Sumner, Captain Crawford was saluted for her professionalism.  “Captain Crawford is highly respected by her associates,” said Warden Sumner.  “She is an outstanding supervisor with an untiring loyalty to her job. Captain Crawford is a team player who looks out for the interests of her staff.”   She was commended for her positive attitude and for being firm but fair in her role as a supervisor.

Tammy Robertson, of Leakesville, received the Extra Effort recognition award.  A 12-year veteran at SMCI, Ms. Robertson is assigned to SMCI’s Inmate Banking Department where she serves as an accounting auditor.  Ms. Robertson is responsible for processing court ordered payments to cover court costs on inmate appeals.  She was commended for her congenial and easy-going manner.  “Ms. Robertson is a joy to be around!” said Sister Kathleen Spurlin who nominated her for the recognition award.  “She is a model of professionalism in the way she relates to staff.”

Lisa Bivins, of State Line, received MDOC’s Extra Effort Award.  Brenda Parnell, a co-worker nominated her for the employee recognition service award. Ms. Bivens, a 13-year employee at SMCI, works in the prison’s personnel department.  “Ms. Bivens is an outstanding supervisor,” said Ms Parnell.  “She is dedicated to her job and never fails, when called upon, to assist co-workers, staff and the public alike. She’s truly an exceptional individual whose character mirrors dedication and determination which serve as a shining examples for all to follow.”

Media Note: If you would like a digital photograph of the Service Award recipients, e-mail bgreenleaf@mdoc.state.ms.us or phone him at: (601) 359-5646