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Phoenix PSS Awarded Inaugural Psychology Award

Tags: Phoenix
December 23, 2019 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

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At this year's 27th Annual Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference, hosted by Drexel University's College of Medicine, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' Psychology Office presented the inaugural Dr. Lance Couturier Psychology Award to SCI Phoenix Psychological Services Specialist Robert Ladonne.

Ladonne's contributions to psychology and the Department of Corrections have been immense. He has been employed for more than 20 years in Pennsylvania corrections, with 18½ years worked at SCI Graterford and at SCI Phoenix since its opening. A consummate professional, selfless teammate and a gentleman, Ladonne (pictured) has been adaptable and professional throughout his entire career, just like Lance. What makes this award special is that not only does Ladonne personify the qualities of this award, but he does so as a front-line Psychology staff member, working in the trenches, face-to-face, with the most psychiatrically unstable, clinically ambiguous and vulnerable individuals in our custody. Lance was a firm believer that Psychology staff within the corrections organization didn't need to have prominence or a high-ranking title within the agency to be leader or to help someone adapt to a stressful situation, like incarceration.

The Psychology Office formally established the Dr. Lance Couturier Psychology Award in 2019 to not only memorialize and remember Lance's contributions to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, but to ensure that his legacy, leadership, advocacy, excellence in professional psychology, responsibility, and service are highlighted and remembered amongst Lance's peers and current Department of Corrections' Psychology staff. As discussed at the conference by Dr. Lucas Malishchak, Director of the Psychology Office, the Psychology Office's intention is to present this award annually into the future, to the DOC Psychology staff member that best exemplifies the above qualities, which Lance epitomized during his tenure with the department.

Joining in the honor and celebration of Lance's contributions at the Forensic Conference were several of Lance's surviving family members, including two of his children, Greg Couturier and Anna Simpson, Lance's brother, John Couturier, Greg's partner, Tracy Sanna, and Lance's dear companion, Nancy Wieman. During the conference, the Psychology Office presented Lance's family members with a replica of the inaugural award.

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' Psychology Office, please join us in congratulating Robert Ladonne as the first recipient of the Dr. Lance Couturier Psychology Award, for his embodying of Dr. Couturier's principles of advocacy, excellence in professional psychological service, selflessness, responsibility, and professionalism.

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