Correctional Officer of the Year

2020 Correctional Officer of the Year

The award is given annual to the person or persons who serve as positive role models and foster an environment that supports a balance between professional development, professional job performance, and personal wellness. The recipient or recipients conduct themselves professionally through fair, honest, and ethical behavior.


Heidi Richards, Security Patrol Officer at Pleasant Valley State Prison

Officer Richards exhibits a “can-do” attitude in all that she tackles. Her work ethic is inspiring to everyone.

One of the more unusual and successful projects she instituted was the Equestrian Program at Pleasant Valley. Incarcerated men learn anatomy, injury treatment, nutrition and other aspects of the care of horses.

The program opens the door to possible careers as farriers, veterinary assistants and caretakers.