Porter County Sheriff's Department

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Local Warden Named State's Officer of the Year

County jail head lauded for treatment of inmates, rehabilitation efforts

This story ran on nwitimes.com on Friday, October 7, 2005 12:40 AM CDT

 VALPARAISO | Porter County Jail Warden John J. Widup said anyone could end up in jail, even a normally law-abiding person who has three for four drinks during dinner and then finds himself arrested for drunken driving.
That's why he said he tries to treat all inmates with respect and dignity. "I live by the golden rule -- treat everybody like I'd like to be treated," Widup said.
Widup has been honored for his work, having been named this week as the 2005 Indiana Correctional Association Correctional Officer of the Year. Widup received the award at a conference on Wednesday.
Widup said he was surprised and honored by the award.
Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds, who appointed Widup as warden six and a half years ago, said Widup was part of the transition from the old jail to the new jail, is a big supporter of the ministry and rehabilitation programs in the jail and pitches in to do nonadministrative tasks such as prisoner transports.
"I think the award is well-deserved," Reynolds said.
"He's an integral part of our operations. I'm not concerned about what's going on in the jail because he does his job so well ... He makes my job a lot easier."
Widup joined the jail in 1994 and moved up the ranks from officer, to corporal to sergeant/assistant warden. He previously served 20 years with the Valparaiso Police, retiring as captain of patrol. He also worked two years as a weigh clerk with the Indiana State Police.

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