>   Matthew Birnie, new county administrative officer and director of Community Justice for Jefferson County since 2001, was recently recognized by the Oregon Criminal Justice Association (OCJA) as the Adult Criminal Justice Leader of the Year.
   OCJA recognizes outstanding efforts of criminal justice professionals annually at their three-day conference. This year, the event was held in Newport Oct. 24-26.
   The Oregon Criminal Justice Association (OCJA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing professional training to criminal justice personnel.
   Birnie was nominated for the word by Community Justice Department employees. Nominations were reviewed by a panel of correctional professionals from throughout the state of Oregon. The award recognizes a professional who exhibits outstanding leadership skills and demonstrates initiative toward the development of new programs.
   Birnie was recognized for the dramatic and significant impacts he has made in improving the overall operations of the juvenile and adult probation divisions.
   Community Justice's Adult Division has one of the lowest probation recidivism rates in the state and the Juvenile Division has accomplished the largest reduction in recidivism in the last four years.
   Under his guidance and leadership, the adult and juvenile probation departments were successfully integrated under the same mission and philosophy. Birnie accomplished this with a collaborative management style, seeking feedback and input from all employees.
   "I am honored to be recognized with this award," said Birnie. "The Community Justice Department staff has made tremendous strides over the past few years. I view this award primarily as a reflection of their hard work and dedication."
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