Louie L Wainwright Award

In Honor of Louie L Wainwright
Secretary of Florida Department of Corrections
From 1962 to 1987


SUMMARY: After Directors of Corrections leave their posts as leaders of corrections agencies, some may be chosen to become Associate members of the Correctional Leaders Association. No Associate has been more successful in directing an agency nor given so much to the profession as the revered Louie Wainwright who, for twenty-five years of continuous service, served as Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections. After his service, he continued to contribute to Corrections via Wainwright Judicial Services, a criminal justice consulting firm based in Tallahassee, FL, and the Corrections Foundation of Florida, a non-profit entity serving the Florida Department of Corrections with more than 25,000 members. 

 In 2004, the Louie Wainwright Award was created to recognize outstanding contributions to Corrections by a CLA Associate who has exemplified the professional standards espoused by Mr. Wainwright. 

BIO: Before entering the private sector in 1987, Louie L. Wainwright was the acknowledged Dean of American Correctional Administrators based on his twenty-five years of continuous service as Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections. Upon his retirement from state government, he established Wainwright Judicial Services, a criminal justice consulting firm based in Tallahassee, which he continues to operate. For the past nine years, he has served as President of the Corrections Foundation of Florida, a non-profit serving the Florida Department of Corrections with more than 25,000 members. 

During his tenure with the Florida Department of Corrections, Wainwright’s vision and “hands-on” involvement resulted in the development of prototype programs and designs for both community facilities and major institutions. He served as an advisor to other state corrections departments in reorganizational efforts and testified as an expert witness in Federal Court and before the U.S. Congress. 

Past President of the American Correctional Association, the National Association of State Correctional Administrators, and the Southern States Correctional Administrator, Wainwright received numerous gubernatorial and presidential appointments. He was a member of the Florida Overcrowding Correctional Task Force, the President’s Joint Commission on Correctional Manpower and Training, and chaired the 1983 National Platform on Corrections Committee. 

Wainwright is a recipient of the American Correctional Association’s highest tribute, the E.R. Cass Award for Outstanding Service. Other awards include the National Institute of Corrections Distinguished Service Award and the Volunteers of America Maud Booth Correctional Services Award. Additionally, his efforts in support of 

accreditation in Florida and nationwide earned him the 1986 Accreditation Achievement Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections. 

In 1990 the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency honored him by the establishment of its Louie L. Wainwright Award to annually recognize the member best exemplifying the professional standards he espoused. The Association of State Correctional Administrators at its 2004 Summer Business Meeting announced that its annual Past Presidents’ Award honoring a former director would henceforward be known as the Louie L. Wainwright Award. 

Upon receiving his Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from Nova University, Wainwright later served as an adjunct faculty member. He has also lectured on criminal justice at the University of Florida, Florida State University, and the University of Georgia. 

Born and raised in Lawtey, Florida, Wainwright resided in Tallahassee, FL until his passing on December 23, 2021, at the age of 98.


Nomination Eligibility and Process

Requirements for receipt of the award are:

• The recipient must be a former director of corrections, and current due paying Associate.

• The recipient must have demonstrated outstanding leadership and/or contributions to corrections, accomplishments in the corrections field, and service to the Association and/or to the field of corrections since serving as director.

•Those not eligible for this award include Past Presidents of CLA and Francke and Clements Award winners. 

Nominations may be submitted by current CLA Members, Associate Members, and the supervising authority of the correctional administrator (i.e. Governor, Mayor, etc.).


Past Wainwright Award Recipients

Robert Brown (2004) (MI) 
Michael Fair (2005) (MA) 
John Gorczyk (2006) (VT) 
Parker Evatt (2007) (SC)
Ken McGinnis (2008) (IL & MI)
Rick Seiter (2009) (OH)
John Rees (2010) (KY)
Larry Fields (2011) (OK) 
George Vose (2012) (MA & RI) 
Wayne Scott (2013) (TX) 
Theresa Lantz (2014) (CT) 
Terry Collins (2015) (OH)- posthumously
Harley Lappin (2016) (FBOP)
J. David Donahue (2017) (IN)
Bob Houston (2018) (NE)
Bernie Warner (2019) (WA)
Nick Hun (2020) (WV)
Jon Ozmint (2021) (SC)
Luis Spencer (2022) (MA)
Joe Williams (2023) (NM)