January 2018
In Memoriam: Corporal Swanda Dunn
Corporal Swanda Dunn had an infectious smile, and a genuine warmth that drew family and friends near to her. On Monday, January 22, 2018, the DOC family gathered for a candlelight vigil to honor her life and legacy.

The ceremony, led by Warden Lennard Johnson and Rev. Samuel Whittaker, featured the Presentation of Colors by the DOC Honor Guard Unit, musical and poetic reflections, and a powerful sermonette from fellow correctional officers who were closest to her.

Cpl. Dunn's granddaughter expressed her admiration for her grandmother and she thanked the DOC family for their expressions of love and kindness during a difficult time of loss.The tremendous impact Cpl. Dunn had on the lives of her family, staff, as well as residents showed in the number of supporters who attended the vigil and funeral services.

D.C. DOC will continue to celebrate and honor Cpl. Swanda Dunn's life and 28 years of distinguished service to our agency.

Click HERE to view Candlelight Vigil photos.
New Beginnings Family Reunification Extravaganza
The New Beginnings Family Reunification Extravaganza was a huge success. On Saturday, January 20, male and female residents enjoyed quality time with their families over music, refreshments, games, arts & crafts, and dancing. The quarterly program was organized to help strengthen families and prepare residents for reintegration into society. Each family received free books from the District of Columbia Public Library.

Dr. Bahiyyah Muhammad, Assistant Professor at Howard University, served as the guest speaker at the women’s session. She shared the impact that losing her mother had on her life and the ways that her mother still raises her despite no longer being alive. She encouraged the mothers to view their lives through her lens and not to allow their circumstances to prevent them from raising their children. “Don’t be ashamed of incarceration,” Dr. Muhammad said. “The way that reality paints incarceration is not the way you have to live it. You can utilize it as a safety net to change and reinvent yourselves.”

Mr. Corey Knight, founder of the Hope Foundation Re-Entry Network, shared some of his incarceration experiences with the fathers. He emphasized the integral roles that fathers have in their households and communities, and the critical need for more fathers to be home supporting their families instead of residing in the prison system. 

Joel Castón spoke on behalf of the male residents and he offered a powerful tribute to his mother and families who attended the program which drew thunderous applause. “Thank you all for coming and supporting us,” Mr. Castón said. “It really, really means a lot to us.” 

Click images to view our Facebook albums !
Volunteer's Corner
DOC is pleased to highlight our January Volunteer of the Month, Deacon S.L. Witherspoon of Zion Church in Lanham, Maryland. Deacon Witherspoon provides services on first, third, and fifth Mondays and every Tuesday.

Deacon Witherspoon serves in multiple capacities and he ministers to the residents housed in the Department of Corrections facilities with great compassion. Whether leading a small group or a large group Deacon Witherspoon always serves with integrity. 

Prior to retirement, Deacon Witherspoon served in the United States Army. Post retirement he served as a volunteer with the United Service Organization Inc. (USO) for many years. 

Deacon Witherspoon also leads bereavement teams at Zion Church. The knowledge and expertise he brings to our agency has helped comfort inmates in times of loss.

The D.C. Department of Corrections is grateful for the committed work Deacon Witherspoon has given over the past year he has served. It is with thanks that Deacon Witherspoon is recognized as a valued volunteer!  
Heart Health Month
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States? Each year, one in four deaths is caused by heart disease.There are preventive measures that can help reduce the risk of acquiring heart disease, such as maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, exercise and stress management. 

Throughout the month of February, take time to learn more about heart disease and cardiac arrest. Schedule an appointment with your physician and ask questions about heart health. Most importantly, share what you learn and check on one another. You might help save a life!
Friday, February 2, 2018 is National Wear Red Day ® in the United States. Let’s join the movement by wearing red clothing or accents in support of women’s heart health .

For more information visit the American Heart Association  
What's Happening!
The agency is taking another step in the direction towards further transparency through the creation of agency Master Event Calendar (ECAL), accessible to all DOC personnel. The Executive Team strongly encourages all staff to check out and utilize the new DOC Master Calendar tool, for all upcoming agency events. The Master calendar captures all pertinent DOC events and activities throughout the agency. Be informed by reviewing the ECAL, for daily opportunities to engage and support the agency’s vision, mission, and values,
if your schedule permits.

Please note that due to security concerns the web portal is secured. Contact Zachary D. Weaver, Ph.D. for access details and all Master Event Calendar (ECAL) activity updates and event additions. 

Please find the Master Event Calendar (ECAL) link and Calendar Administrator contact information below:

Be sure to utilize the blood pressure
screening machines in the ODRs at the Central Detention Facility (CDF) and Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF).
The Provata Virtual Reality Kamle Headsets are now available for use in the Central Detention Facility (CDF), Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF) and the Central Cell Block (CCB).
Policies & Procedures
Policy binders with the agency’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) were placed in the Officers' Dining Rooms (ODR) at the Central Detention Facility, Correctional Treatment Facility, Central Cell Block and the Training Academy.

Once existing and new policies are approved by the Director, the OPP will update the binders. All binders must remain in their respective places.