October 31, 2002
Lawyers to Honor PA Prison Society at Bar Gala Nov. 16Philadelphia lawyers will honor the Pennsylvania Prison Society with the prestigious Louis D. Apothaker Award on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 6 p. m. when the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, charitable arm of the Philadelphia Bar Association, convenes its annual Andrew Hamilton Ball at Marriott's Crystal Tea Room in the Wanamaker Building at 100 Penn Square East. Founded in 1787, the historic society will be recognized for its efforts to promote a human criminal justice system for prisoners and their families.
The Bar Foundation's Apothaker Award is presented annually to a citizen or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the pursuit of justice.
Since its inception, the Pennsylvania Prison Society has promoted a rational approach to criminal justice issues. Their work, grounded in Quaker roots, advances the principle that offenders should be held accountable for breaking the law, but that punishment should be constructive and help repair the damages of crimes on victims and communities.
The Pennsylvania Prison Society maintains a statewide network of members who monitor prison conditions and visit inmates to ensure that they are being treated justly. The Society works closely with offenders to encourage them to develop a sense of responsibility toward society, and to accept accountability toward the individuals harmed by their crimes. The Society has a number of programs designed to assist inmates and their families adjust to the separation, and to lead productive lives upon their return to the community. For instance, the Society provides parenting skills workshops and arranges for virtual visitation programs via the Internet, or for transportation to facilitate actual visits. Moreover, the Society's Re-Entry Services project provides workshops and training programs designed to help inmates lead productive lives and secure employment upon returning to their communities.
"We are proud to present the 2002 Louis D. Apothaker Award to the Pennsylvania Prison Society for its work to promote humane treatment of offenders, to help them maintain a relationship with their families and loved ones during incarceration, and to help them start off on the right foot upon their release from prison. The work of the Prison Society is important in helping prevent recidivism and the break up of families," stated Award Committee Chair Paul A. Tufano, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Independence Blue Cross "Our nation of laws demands that even those convicted of committing crimes receive fair and just treatment. We can think of no better tribute to the principles of this nation than to recognize the Pennsylvania Prison Society for its work to promote a rational criminal justice system."
Previous recipients of the Apothaker Award include the Anti-Defamation League, Gloria M. Guard of the People's Emergency Center; Operation Understanding; Good Shepherd Neighborhood House; Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth; Sister Mary Scullion of Project H.O.M.E, and Northwest Interfaith Movement.
In addition to Tufano, the Award Committee includes Mrs. Louis D. Apothaker; Rhonda R. Cohen of Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll LLP; Bart Colli, General Counsel to ARAMARK; Matthew J. Comisky of Blank, Rome, Comisky, & McCauley, LLP; Andre L. Dennis of Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young LLP; Katherine Hatton, Vice President and General Counsel of Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc.; Hon. Benjamin Lerner of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas; Charisse R. Lillie of Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP; Avery Rome of the Inquirer Magazine; Sister Mary Scullion of Project HOME, and former City Solicitor Kenneth I. Trujillo, of Trujillo, Rodriguez & Richards, LLP.