QAC Warden Lamonte Cooke Honored With 2 Awards

Warden Lamonte Cooke, long time director of correctional services for Queen Anne’s County recently received two professional honors from his peers.

On December 15, 2011 Governor Martin O’Malley appointed Cooke as the local correctional facility representative for the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy (MSCCSP). “I was very surprised,” said Cooke. “I didn’t expect it. Wow. It was a pleasure and honor to receive it.”

The MSCCSP was created to support fair and proportional sentencing policy, increase equity in criminal sentencing practice, and to promote increased visibility and aid public understanding of the sentencing process, according to their website. The MSCCSP also is responsible for oversight of the state’s voluntary sentencing guidelines, collecting sentencing guidelines worksheets, maintaining the sentencing guidelines database, monitoring circuit court sentencing practice, adopting changes to the guidelines consistent with legislative intent when necessary, and providing training and orientation to criminal justice practitioners who apply the sentencing guidelines.

Cooke’s second recognition came January 5th when the Maryland Association of Counties’ (MACo) voted to present him with, “A Recognition Award for his longstanding relationship and work with MACo on issues of importance to the local correctional community. “ The award was presented during the Inaugural Ceremony and Awards Banquet that was held, January 5, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge as part of the MACo Winter Conference.

“I was really blown away by this award,” said Cooke. MACo is the only organization serving the needs of county elected officials and governments across the state. “My big thing is trying to get local representation for all of our agencies and make sure our voices are heard,” said Cooke. During the 2011 legislative session, Cooke testified on various bills related to criminal justice matters and pending legislation.

Cooke has worked in the criminal justice field since 1975 when he joined the Kent County’s Sheriff’s Office. In 1987 he was hired as the warden to Queen Anne’s County Detention Center where he continues to serve today.

MACo is a non-profit and non-partisan organization that serves Maryland’s counties by articulating the needs of local government to the Maryland General Assembly. The Association’s membership consists of county elected officials and representatives from Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. MACo’s members determine Association policy and positions on executive and legislative proposals through an elected Board of Directors and a volunteer Legislative Committee.

In photo: Ken Ulmann of MACo, left, presents QAC Warden Lamonte Cooke with an award earlier this month at the Cambridge Hyatt. Cooke was also recently honored with an appointment by Governor Martin O’Malley.