Tuesday, May 26, 2009 • High Desert State Prison correctional officer honored by state

Publisher’s note: This story originally appeared in the Tuesday, May 26, 2009, edition of the Lassen County Times.

Tim Jackson, a correctional officer at Susanville’s High Desert State Prison, has earned the prestigious Correctional Officer of the Year Award.

Jackson received the award from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation during the 25th annual Medal of Valor Ceremony held in Sacramento on Thursday, May 14.

According to a press release from HDSP, Jackson earned the award for his actions at HDSP and in the community.

“Officer Jackson is a dedicated CDCR employee,” said Mike McDonald, warden at High Desert State Prison. “He has earned our trust and respect.”

Jackson was involved in the conversion of a general population facility to a sensitive needs yard facility. His peers noted that he has been personally instrumental in minimizing violence among inmates where the wrong words or approach can trigger a violent incident.

In addition to his contributions as a correctional officer, several selfless actions taken outside the prison walls also raised his profile.

During a recent hunting trip, Jackson and his hunting partner apprehended an inmate who had escaped from HDSP.

In another event cited in the press release, Jackson was returning home from his shift at HDSP on Dec. 6, 2008, when he spotted smoke billowing from a house. He stopped, assessed the situation and called 911 to report the blaze.

Jackson entered the burning structure to see if there were any people needing assistance. No one was inside, but Jackson found three dogs. Two of the dogs were unconscious. Jackson picked up the third dog and carried him outside. He was unable to return to the building because of the flames.

The CDCR recognizes employees who have performed their jobs above and beyond the call of duty and, in some instances, performed acts of heroism.  These special men and women are nominated by their supervisors or peers for their outstanding acts.

Matthew Cate, CDCR’s secretary, presented this year’s awards. More than 50 CDCR employees received awards during the ceremony.