CCA Executive Director, Marsha Weissman, was presented with the prestigious Sara Tullar Fasoldt Leadership and Humanitarian Award from New York State on January 12 at the Governor's Office in New York City. Ms. Weissman is being recognized for her "outstanding leadership and significant contributions to the field of community corrections".
Marsha Weissman, Ph.D., is the recipient of the 2010 Ralph E. Kharas Award presented by the Central New York Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union. The award is given for long standing commitment to and distinguished service in civil liberties. The CNY Chapter presents an annual award named after Ralph Kharas, former dean of the Syracuse University School of Law.
The Onondaga County/Syracuse Commission on Human Rights selected Ms. Weissman to be honored for her contribution to the cause of human rights with the 2006 Human Rights Award in the field of criminal justice. The award was presented at the Twenty-seventh Annual Human Rights Awards Luncheon on October 17, 2006.
This award recognized CCA's outstanding volunteer programs. The judges noted that CCA's programs offer high levels of training, attract volunteers with diverse backgrounds and skills as well as successfully win long term involvement and commitment from volunteers. This award includes a contribution of $5,000.
Congratulations to Linda Ervin, a CCA Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), who received a 2004 Achievement Award for outstanding service to the community by the Post-Standard newspaper. Linda Ervin, of DeWitt, was applauded for a lifetime of commitment to struggling families, including foster parenting, her volunteer service as a court-appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children, work with Jubilee Homes and leadership on the Jamesville-DeWitt school board.
As a Court Appointed Special Advocate Ervin worked with a teenage brother and sister in foster care. She met with the children regularly and gained their trust. They recognized that she was a volunteer and independent of the foster care, education and court systems. “When we first met, they had been in foster care for several years and didn't see school as important,” says Ervin. By becoming a consistent and dependable presence Ervin helped these young people think about their lives, improve their behavior, focus on their school work and she arranged visits with their mother. In the end, she advocated before the judge for reuniting the family. The children have moved to their mother's home and they are doing well.
The first annual National CASA Diversity Leadership Award was given to CCA in recognition of its leadership in achieving diversity. The presentation was made at the Membership Luncheon of the 22nd National CASA Conference on March 31, 2003 in Boston. CCA has provided the CASA ( Court Appointed Special Advocates) program serving Onondaga County since 1996.
The Division of Parole Linda Mills Memorial Award for Public Service was presented to Marsha Weissman, Executive Director, by the NYS Division of Parole. This award is presented annually to service agencies that assist the Division and Parole Officers in their day-to-day operations. The award was presented at the June 2002 NYS Division of Parole Eleventh Annual Employee Recognition Luncheon and Awards Ceremony.
Alan Rosenthal, Director of Justice Strategies, was presented the 2002 Kharas Award for Distinguished Service in Civil Liberties. The award is given by the Central New York Chapter, New York Civil Liberties Union and NYCLU Foundation in honor of Ralph Kharas, former Dean of the Syracuse University College of Law, who was a champion of civil liberties in the Syracuse community.
"Alan Rosenthal has been a criminal and civil rights attorney in Syracuse for over 27 years, litigating cases involving police misconduct and violations of civil rights for citizens in the Syracuse community and inmates in jails and prisons. His career as an advocate for civil rights began in law school, where he helped start the Free Legal Clinic at the SU College of Law. As the current Director of Court Services with the Center for Community Alternatives, he has undertaken a study of race and the local criminal justice system. A frequent speaker, Alan is more than an advocate and a lawyer; he is an educator and role model for the next generation."
Marsha Weissman, Executive Director, was awarded the New American Community Award , recognizing New American Community Leaders and Organizations Effectively working to Reduce Crime in Their Communities from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.
Ms. Weissman was a nominee for a Leadership for a Changing World Award, a program of the Ford Foundation in partnership with the Advocacy Institute and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University. Leadership for a Changing World seeks to recognize, strengthen and support leaders currently tackling tough social problems, who are not yet broadly known beyond their immediate community or field. Ms. Weissman was one of 285 candidates selected to move forward to the next level of review from 3,000 original nominations.
Ms. Weissman gave the keynote address, "Framing Criminal Justice in Prevention Terms", at the Symposium on State and Local Corrections held at Elmira College, Elmira, New York. The annual Symposium began in 1982 as a cooperative effort between correctional organizations in both public and private sectors, focussing on contemporary problems, emerging issues and technologies in correctional administration. Ms. Weissman also presented a workshop "Critical Issues in Working with Women Offenders", which discussed the treatment and other needs of women in the criminal justice system, highlighting innovative approaches to serving women in CCA's Crossroads program, a community-based drug treatment program.
Barbara Benedict was chosen by the Onondaga County Bar Foundation as the recipient of the 2001 Liberty Bell Award. This award is given to a lay person who had shown excellence in working in the field of justice. The award was presented at a ceremony held at the Onondaga County Courthouse as part of Law Day. Barbara Benedict is the Program Coordinator for the Onondaga CASA Program, one of several court services programs of the Center for Community Alternatives. CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, is a national program, with the local program funded through grants from United Way of Central New York and National CASA.
Louella Williams is among the recipients of the Central New York community's 2001 Jefferson Awards. Louella Williams is the Diversity Specialist in the Onondaga CASA program.
The Center for Community Alternatives was the recipient of the 2000 National Association of Sentencing Advocates (NASA) award for Commitment to Excellence in Serving Clients, Courts and Community, presented in San Diego, California at the national conference. Established in 1992 by a group of dedicated professionals, the National Association of Sentencing Advocates is a professional membership organization of sentencing advocates and defense-based mitigation specialists. Members work with defense counsel on behalf of defendants, inmates, and parolees. Defense counsel and others interested in the Association's goals and objectives are also counted amongst the membership.