Top officers are named
Corrections honors bestowed
MARQUETTE — Marquette Branch Prison recently recognized two of its correctional officers with yearly honors.
Jeffery Vining was selected as MBP’s 2021 Correctional Officer of the Year, while Susan Judkins was selected as the 2020 recipient. A celebration for Judkins was unable to be held last year due to the pandemic.
Recipients are chosen based on many factors, including leadership ability, work ethic, time and attendance, communication skills, an ability to relate to coworkers, and prisoners and community involvement.
Judkins started with the Michigan Department of Corrections in 1993.
“Officer Judkins, in her over 27 years of service, has always exhibited professionalism and consistency in her duties,” MBP said in a news release. “Officer Judkins is continuously drawing on her vast knowledge of operational procedures to assist in keeping the facility running smoothly, mentoring new employees and sharing her knowledge and experience. Her experience and attention to detail is invaluable.”
MBP noted of the positive attitude Judkins maintains while on the job. She can be found with that attitude almost every day working many overtime shifts.
In her free time, Judkins volunteers with Shop with a Cop, helping foster positive relationships with the community and local law enforcement.
Vining was a finalist under consideration for MDOC Officer of the Year honors. He’s been employed by MDOC since 2001, beginning his career at the Alger Correctional Facility before transferring to MBP in 2015.
“Jeff’s job performance is consistently above and beyond of what is normally expected,” MBP said. “He is an officer of high integrity, knowledgeable of his duties, self-motivated and never fails to conduct himself professionally.”
Vining is a former Emergency Response Team member and is trained in nearly every skill and technique that is available to an officer. MBP said Vining trains new officers regularly on the proper procedures and techniques that it requires to become a successful officer.
Vining also received the department’s lifesaving award for action he took during a water emergency on Lake Superior in 2018. While out fishing, Vining and his two sons observed two kayakers in distress, one of whom capsized and was becoming fatigued. A strong current drew the kayakers farther out into the open water, and Vining and his two sons acted quickly to rescue the kayakers and deliver them safely back to shore.
MBP referred to both Judkins and Vining as valuable assets to MBP, the MDOC and the community.
Ryan Spitza can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. His email address is