The James A. Murphy CAC Award of Excellence

The James A. Murphy CAC Award of Excellence

The James A. Murphy CAC Award of Excellence is presented annually by the CAC National Executive Committee (NEC). It recognizes and acknowledges individuals or teams who exemplify commitment, drive and leadership in advancing the CAC movement.

The award was established in 2013. It is named after James A. Murphy to honour his long-standing public service career in which he embodied passion for the engagement of Canadians in the federal correctional process and extraordinary commitment to the CAC movement. Mr. Murphy dedicated his 38-year professional career to community corrections. He contributed to establishing and maintaining many of the partner relationships that collectively support the mission and priorities of CSC.

2016 James A. Murphy CAC Award of Excellence Recipient

Congratulations to the 2016 James. A Murphy CAC Award of Excellence recipient Mr. Niels Bjelbo, a CAC volunteer from the Ontario Region.

Mr. Bjelbo is a strong advocate and believer in the offender's ability to return to the community. He first became a volunteer at the Keele Community Correctional Centre (CCC) transporting offenders to and from alcoholics' support meetings. Since becoming the chair of the CAC at Keele CCC in 2012, he continues to build relationships between the community and the CCC by talking to neighbouring residents and business owners, hosting open houses so the community can tour the CCC and meet its residents and planning a beautification project where offenders cleaned and renovated the community.

Several offenders at the Keele CCC have benefited from Mr. Bjelbo's efforts to help them get identification documents and find employment. He started a program providing offenders small loans to pay for work boots, uniforms, and transportation. The program sees offenders eventually repay the loans – money that goes to help offenders find work in the future.

Mr. Bjelbo's positive nature, care and empathy promote the work of CACs in Toronto and across Canada. His work preparing offenders for employment, helping with job development and promoting offender community involvement is instrumental in encouraging offenders to become law-abiding citizens and creating safer communities.