Sgt. Mindil Kennedy-Lindsey Wins Prisons First Line Supervisor Award


RALEIGH -- When Sanford Correctional Center was chosen to be the first state prison to seek American Correctional Association accreditation last year, Sgt. Mindil Kennedy-Lindsey was tapped as the liaison.

She worked seven days a week including working “ridiculous hours into the night, and on holidays,” said Sanford Warden Melanie Shelton.

Kennedy-Lindsey’s First Line Supervisor Award was announced at the first in-person (but socially distant and masked) gathering of the state’s wardens in a year on May 6, coinciding with national Correctional Officers and Correctional Employees Week.

She pulled together all the policies, procedures and supporting documentation for the ACA auditors and worked hard to ensure the prison met all of the 459 standards required for accreditation. It was detailed, time-consuming work over months.

She did all this while performing her assigned job as day-shift sergeant.

On her own initiative, she recruited some assistance from a few others on the staff, showing her leadership and skills at team-building. Along the way, she earned everyone’s respect as a role-model and a can-do leader who shares her knowledge.

Her hard work more than paid off. The ACA auditors scored the prison 100% on mandatory ACA standards and 98.7% on non-mandatory standards.

“This was just remarkable,” said Shelton. “Sgt. Kennedy-Lindsey is a role model. She shares her knowledge. She is a leader. I’d hate to lose her, but she has my highest recommendation.”

Sgt. Kennedy-Lindsey has since reached out to help the next prison in line to seek ACA accreditation to offer her help and insights.

"She represents the best ofour best from across the state," said Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee. "Our award winners are hard-working, innovative and deeply committed to their jobs, their colleagues and to the care of the men and women in our custody."

She was hired as a correctional officer in 2011.

The ACA standards are the “gold standard” of national benchmarks for the effective operation of correctional systems throughout the United States. These performance-based standards address services, programs, operations, safety and security, administrative and fiscal controls, staff training and development, and more.

The prison system houses more than 28,000 offenders in 55 facilities with a staff of around 13,500.

Click for information on other Prisons 2021 award winners and for images of award winners.

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