Department of Corrections
Department of Corrections presents ‘Lucille Hurt Robuck Award’ To Denise Bentley
Frankfort, KY – The Kentucky Department of Corrections has paid tribute to a woman who dedicated her life to the life of criminal justice, Lucille Hurt Robuck. Commissioner John D. Rees inaugurated an award named in Robuck’s honor at the Department‘s annual awards ceremony yesterday in Louisville.
The recipient of the Lucille Hurt Robuck “Commitment to Corrections” Award was Denise Bentley. Bentley was chosen for her work with the Department of Corrections while she was a member of the Louisville-Metro Council. She worked diligently to promote the Department’s job fairs in the Louisville area, attending each of the events and even working with the applicants to make sure they understood the application process. As a result of these job fairs, over 300 new employees were hired, many of them minorities.
“Naming this award after Lucille Robuck was a significant milestone in the history of Kentucky Corrections,” said Rees. “She did an incredible amount to increase the professionalism of this field in her work as a parole board member, as a judge and as an administrator. She also contributed much through her many years teaching at EKU, preparing many corrections professionals for the jobs they have today. It is also significant that this inaugural award is presented to Denise Bentley. By presenting this to Ms. Bentley, I’m acknowledging her effort in not only helping us address a serious problem in personnel vacancies, but also increasing the diversity of our workforce. We are truly appreciative of her efforts.”
Robuck, 76, passed away March 12, 2005. An attorney and former chairman of the Kentucky parole board under five Kentucky governors; she was also a judge for the juvenile court systems in Jefferson County and a retired professor of criminal justice at Eastern Kentucky University. She was a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, and the American Academy of Criminal Justice. She earned her masters of social work and doctorate of jurist prudence from the University of Louisville. Her husband, Edwin, “Ed” Robuck, was also a professor at EKU, and he passed away in August.
Also honored at yesterday’s awards ceremony was Lelia “Lee” VanHoose, who was named Probation & Parole Supervisor of the Year for the Department. VanHoose served as Probation & Parole Supervisor of District 9 last year and was just recently named Director of the entire Division.
Glenn Haeberlin, Kentucky State Penitentiary, was named Warden of the Year. Haeberlin just retired last week after serving the Department of Corrections for 30 years.
And the top five awards, “Commissioner’s Awards,” were presented to: Lt. Michael O’Donnell, Northpoint Training Center; Retha Brock, R.N., Bell County Forestry Camp; Sheridan Talbott, Probation & Parole, District 1; Kimberly Potter-Blair, Probation & Parole, District 9; and Dr. Katherine Peterson, Kentucky State Reformatory. (A complete listing of the awards can be found on the Department’s website at www.corrections.ky.gov.)
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