Local state prison employees honored

May 10, 2019

Two employees of state prisons in Somerset County were honored during the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ annual employee recognition ceremony Wednesday in Elizabethtown.

Valerie Hale of the State Correctional Institution at Laurel Highlands and Randall Pritts of the State Correctional Institution at Somerset received Outstanding Performance Awards.

Hale has worked as the records supervisor in SCI-Laurel Highlands’ records office since 2007.

“Valerie effectively manages its high volume and demanding workload with the utmost professionalism and accuracy,” the department said in a press release. “Described as a pleasant, friendly and well-liked person who is always willing to assist where needed, Valerie is a role model and mentor who recognizes the strengths of her staff and is someone who brings out the best in everyone.”

Pritts is the training lieutenant at SCI-Somerset, “where he demonstrates his commitment to the DOC’s on-the-job training program for 63 corrections officer trainees,” the press release states.

“His commitment and dedication ensures that the program follows DOC policy. Constantly observing and analyzing methods of improvement, Randall believes that, through improving the program, he can provide optimal training to enhance a COT’s knowledge and work performance.”

The department recognized 17 employees at the ceremony. The event’s keynote speaker was Executive Deputy Secretary Shirley Moore Smeal, who will retire in June after more than 32 years with the department.