Boston Professor Receives Bimel Award for Helping Drive Detention Reforms

Posted April 30, 2017
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog bostonprofessorreceivesbimelaward 2017

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion has named William Rodriguez, assis­tant pro­fes­sor and chair of juve­nile jus­tice and youth advo­ca­cy at Whee­lock Col­lege in Boston, as its 2017 Natal­ie S. Bimel Award recip­i­ent. The Foun­da­tion pre­sent­ed Rodriguez with the award in recog­ni­tion of his com­mit­ment to fair­ness and equal­i­ty, human rights and social justice.

Willie is devel­op­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of juve­nile jus­tice lead­ers and reform advo­cates who are ground­ed in a clear under­stand­ing of pos­i­tive youth devel­op­ment and racial and eth­nic jus­tice,” said David Brown, senior asso­ciate at the Foun­da­tion, when pre­sent­ing the award at the 23rd JDAI Inter-Site Con­fer­ence in Orlan­do, Florida.

Rodriguez has spent more than 30 years pro­mot­ing crim­i­nal and juve­nile jus­tice reform. In addi­tion to teach­ing, he leads a pro­fes­sion­al cre­den­tial­ing ini­tia­tive for juve­nile jus­tice pro­fes­sion­als that focus­es on expand­ing pos­i­tive youth devel­op­ment and cross-sys­tems col­lab­o­ra­tive strate­gies. He is also a ded­i­cat­ed com­mu­ni­ty col­lab­o­ra­tor, hav­ing held lead­er­ship or board posi­tions with orga­ni­za­tions such as La Alian­za His­pana, the Vera Insti­tute of Jus­tice, and Jus­tice for Fam­i­lies and Fam­i­lies and Friends of Incar­cer­at­ed Louisiana Children.

The Foundation’s Natal­ie S. Bimel Award rec­og­nizes com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers whose work has advanced deten­tion reform efforts. The award’s name­sake was a crim­i­nal jus­tice reformer who estab­lished a num­ber of high­ly regard­ed com­mu­ni­ty pro­grams that reduced reliance on incar­cer­a­tion and helped for­mer pris­on­ers suc­cess­ful­ly tran­si­tion back into their com­mu­ni­ties. Natal­ie S. Bimel passed away from can­cer in 2004, short­ly after direct­ing the JDAI doc­u­men­tary These Are Our Kids.” She epit­o­mized the cre­ativ­i­ty, deter­mi­na­tion and influ­ence of com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers who ded­i­cate them­selves to the well-being of local residents.

Read about the win­ner of the Glo­ria J. Jenk­ins Award for out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to juve­nile deten­tion reform

Read about the win­ners of the JDAI Dis­tin­guished Sys­tem Lead­er­ship Award

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