The American Correction Association (ACA), founded in 1870 as the National Prison Association, is the oldest Association affiliated with the correctional profession of which President Rutherford B. Hayes was the first President. In fact, the Declaration of Principles developed at that first meeting in 1870 have become the standard guideline for the US and Europe with several updates. In 1954, Congress of Correction in Pennsylvania changed the name from the American Prison Association to the American Correctional Association. The change in name was thought to recognize better the increasingly important role of corrections as an active form of comprehensive education that would help ameliorate people’s attitudes and behavior in the society rather than using non-effectual and simple punitive measures.
The mission of the Association is to provide correctional professionals with an Association to share ideas, and continue to improve the justice system. The goals of the ACA are centered around serving membership, promoting diversity, providing professional development opportunities, uphold standards and practices that are strongly rooted in research, work to enhance the public opinion of corrections, develop international relationships with other corrections professionals, and promote ethics in the justice system. Through the mission and goals, ACA follows through with a solid vision to promote the improvement of the future of corrections.
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr, the ACA presents the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award Scholarship. The award is intended for minority students planning to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field of criminal justice at an approved college or university. Candidates for the scholarship are not obliged to be a member of the ACA; however, they are required to be nominated as a recipient of the award by a member of the Association. Additionally, nominees must be currently enrolled full-time as an undergraduate or graduate student, and show proof of acceptance or attendance at a four-year institution of higher education. Ideal candidates will also demonstrate academic achievement and the meet the principals of Dr. King.
Candidates should make sure that a completed nomination form is submitted on their behalf. Students should then submit a completed application package in which there should be verification of full-time enrollment at the institution. Also, candidates must provide an outline of financial need or the last page of the FAFSA. Students must provide proof of academic viability by presenting a competitive transcript.
Finally, the most important part of the application process should be submitted with care. A 250-word essay detailing the candidate’s reflections on Dr. King’s philosophies and how they, themselves have attempted to incorporate those same ideals into their daily lives or otherwise emulate Dr. King. As essay is a critical deciding factor in the determining the winner, it is advised to pay special attention to grammar, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary. The scholarship deadline is June 1, 2017. You can find more information online here.