Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Eric MacEachern honored for service to ICA

Eric MacEachern is pictured with ICI-O Warden Terema Carlin, who nominated him for the Feldner Award.

The Idaho Correctional Association (ICA) has given its highest honor, the Feldner Award, to Eric MacEachern of Orofino, a former deputy warden at Idaho Correctional Institution-Orofino (ICI-O) who sought to protect the people of Idaho by giving offenders opportunities to change.

Eric “Mac” MacEachern began working for the Idaho Department of Correction as a correctional officer in January of 1985. He served in a variety of positions at ICI-O, including as a member of the department’s Correctional Emergency Response Team, before retiring as the institution’s deputy warden of programming in April.

“Mac was always loyal to IDOC and believed the job of any and all IDOC staff is to provide opportunity for change for the offenders and for each other,” says ICI-O Warden Terema Carlin during the award presentation on December 8 in the Statehouse rotunda. “Every day, Mac provided opportunities for the staff and the offenders to excel.”

MacEachern witnessed IDOC undergo dramatic change during the course of this 26-year career. In 1985, Idaho’s total prison population was 1,339. Today it is more than 7,600. 

Still, MacEachern says the department’s mission remains the same – to protect society while keeping IDOC staff and offenders safe. But he says his view on how to fulfill that mission has evolved.

 “It took me a long time to realize that just running the prison really wasn’t protecting society,” MacEachern says. “It was that kind of heart-to-heart programming and teaching and role modeling that the correctional officers and food staff do every day, because that that was what was going to protect society when people were released.”

The Idaho Correctional Association represents all correctional professionals in Idaho. The association’s Feldner Award for Lifetime Achievement is considered to be the Idaho criminal justice community’s highest honor.  The award honors a criminal justice professional who has shown excellence, dedication, loyalty, and leadership while in service to the citizens of Idaho. The award was created in memory of New Plymouth Police Officer Ronald Feldner who was shot and killed in 1994 while investigating a report of a stolen car.

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