BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana State Penitentiary Museum Foundation held its annual Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame Induction Friday August 28th in Baton Rouge.
The inductees are:
La. Association of Chiefs Of Police Executive Director Fabian Blache, Jr.
La. State Penitentiary Warden N. Burl Cain
Asst. State Attorney General Emma J. Devillier who is also Section Chief over the State's Sexual Predator Unit
La. Supreme Court Justice Jeff Hughes
Executive Dir. Of the New Orleans Family Justice Center Mary Claire Landry
Terrebonne Parish District Attorney Joseph L. Waltz, Jr.
Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre.
And Caddo Parish District Attorney Charles Rex Scott, who was honored posthumously,
The banquet was the culmination of a day of events for the honorees. They received a tour of Angola prison. They cut a ribbon on a new exhibition featuring their names and histories.
As relatives, friends and co-workers gathered to honor these outstanding public servants, what really stuck with me was the lifelong commitment the honorees had made to law enforcement and/or justice. Assistant State Attorney General Emma Devillier had wanted to be a lawyer since she was in 4th grade, and later in life become a state legislator from 2000 to 2004 and authored legislation that strengthened sex offender laws, authored bills that protected victims of crime, especially children. Devillier now prosecutes sex offenders who broke state law, she pushes to register all sex offenders online where the public can see them.
Supreme Court Justice Jeff Hughes was a young lawyer when he opened the first law firm in Walker, Louisiana.
Mary Claire Landry was a clinical social worker helping the vulnerable of society when it struck her how to better serve families battered by violence. She created the New Orleans Family Justice Center, organizing 14 related organizations to create a one-stop place for battered women, neglected children to get their help.
Colonel Fabian Blache, formerly of the EBR sheriff's office, had worked a whole career in the New York City Transit Police when he moved back home to Baton Rouge. He worked his way to the rank of colonel within EBR Sheriff's Department when he became Director of the La. Association of Police Chiefs, leading them to become a major representative of law enforcement in legislation and other public venues.
Charles "Scotty" Scott, District Attorney of Caddo Parish, had learned of his honor before he suddenly died of a heart attack while in Baton Rouge April 22nd. His wife Alexis and Son Charles the Third, accepted his induction with pride, saying it is a fitting way to remember him.
Warden Burl Cain, you realize, runs the prison where the Museum is located. He had waved off repeated nominations to include him the Justice Hall of Fame. Even now then-Sheriff Harry Lee, could not muscle him to accept the honor. Cain took the award tonight, and deflected all credit for the positive changes he's made to Louisiana's largest prison.
In the audience, Louisiana Corrections Secretary Jimmy Leblanc and former Corrections Secretary Richard Stalder. State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and State Representative Pat Smith were there as well.
A special award apart from the Hall of Fame inductions was made for the significant work done for Angola's "Re-Entry" program. Whalen Gibbs, a former Assistant Secretary of La Corrections was honored for helping to design the curriculum, the method, how the men would be chosen to participate, organized the volunteers, the way the men served after their training. Gibbs was passionate that not everyone in prison needs to be. Gibbs is for retraining and releasing people who can become productive citizens in our community.
Money generated with the banquet and awards will be invested in the La. State Penitentiary Museum.