Anderson County Chief Jailer Avery Johnson was recently presented the Jail Administrator of the Year award by the Tennessee Corrections Institute, or TCI.
The Tennessee Corrections Institute is the state agency that regulates local jails and workhouses. The award was presented at the annual TCI Jail Issues Conference in Franklin, Tennessee.
Also attending the award ceremony were Anderson County Sheriff Paul White, Chief Deputy Mark Lucas, Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally, and Johnson’s wife Diane with other family members.
The Jail Administrator of the Year award is awarded to a worthy candidate who must be a full-time jail administrator responsible for operations within a local correctional facility, a press release said. The nominee must have demonstrated a high level of professionalism and dedication in the area of corrections within the agency and community. They must have initiated or promoted programs enhancing the operations of a correctional facility within the State of Tennessee. They must also have contributed toward the overall mission of TCI in working to develop a professional corrections environment for today and tomorrow.
Chief Jailer Avery Johnson began his career with the Anderson County Sheriff Department in February 1981. After working patrol duties, Johnson was assigned to the jail, and he was promoted to sergeant in charge of jail operations in March 1984, the press release said. As the responsibilities of the jail increased, Johnson was promoted through the ranks of lieutenant, captain, and chief jailer. Except for brief periods, Johnson has remained as the jail administrator since 1984, and he may be the longest serving jail administrator in Tennessee, the press release said.
During his tenure, the Anderson County jail has grown from a small facility in the courthouse to a modern detention center that will hold more than 500 inmates.
“Chief Johnson’s knowledge and experience have been invaluable to the department over these many years,” the press release said. “Each renovation and expansion of the jail required expertise that Chief Johnson held.”
These periods of renovations demanded continual deliberations with TCI, County Technical Assistance Services, State Fire Marshal’s Office, architects, and the Anderson County Commission, just to name a few, the press release said.
“Chief Johnson’s practical work experience and his ability to reason together with all parties has brought the jail to where it is today,” the release said.
Johnson was instrumental in implementing the first-ever Alternatives to Incarceration program for Anderson County.
“This new, innovative effort brought new programs into the jail to improve inmate reintegration back into society,” the press release said. “Under his supervision, programs such as Adult Education, Moral Reconciliation Therapy, Anger Management, Parenting classes, and many others have reduced the inmate population in the jail and returned better persons back into society.
“Chief Jailer Avery Johnson is well deserving of this award and is congratulated on his many years of dedicated service to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department,” the press release said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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