ALAMO, Ga. — The North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents named Corrections Corporation of America’s Ralph Kemp Warden of the Year for 2009-10.
Kemp, who is warden of CCA’s 1,712-bed Wheeler Correctional Facility in Alamo, will be honored at the NAAWS Warden of the Year banquet during the American Correctional Association summer conference this August in Chicago.
Since 1979, the annual NAAWS award has recognized wardens at public agencies and partnership correctional companies for distinguished service, commitment to the highest standards, professional excellence and industry achievement.
“Wardens are on the front lines of correctional facilities and our communities every day,” says NAAWS Executive Director Art Leonardo. “These decisive leaders are accountable to the public, their staff and the inmates we serve. Their public service must be recognized and revered.”
Officials from the Georgia Department of Corrections and CCA nominated Kemp for the award, which was contested by 18 wardens from across the United States.
“Warden Kemp has made broad achievements that have benefited greater society,” says Rick Seiter, CCA chief corrections officer. “He was instrumental in passing legislation to prevent convicted felons of accessing the autopsy reports of their victims. He also supported the passage of a law that made unauthorized possession of a cell phone a felony in a correctional facility.”
Kemp became warden at Wheeler Correctional Facility in 1998 following a 30-year career with the Georgia DOC in which he held various posts, including deputy commissioner of institutional operations and Southeast regional director, supervising 13 state and county correctional facilities in the latter post. Kemp assumed his first post as warden in 1977 at Coastal Correctional Institution in Savannah after five years as deputy warden at the Georgia State Prison.
“With over 40 years of experience in corrections, Ralph Kemp is without a doubt one of the most knowledgeable and well-respected people in state government,” says Brian Owens, commissioner of the Georgia DOC.