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Governor offers hero's salute to BCF employee

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By Vince Luecke

BRANCHVILLE — Mike Hubert, a Branchville Correctional Facility maintenance employee critically injured by three offenders who escaped in March, was presented a certificate of heroism Tuesday by Gov. Mitch Daniels.

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Hubert continues to recover from head injuries he suffered during the attack. The three men, who were later captured, struck him in the head with a blunt object before cutting through prison fences and fleeing.

With Daniels for the presentation of the Governor's Heroism Award was Department of Corrections Commissioner Edwin G. Buss. He and Daniels commended Hubert's actions. "Every day, correctional workers work in a very difficult environment in order to keep Hoosiers safe," Buss told employees and others packed inside the prison's visiting room. "Mike Hubert showed incredible heroism earlier this year, and we are so glad he is still part of the team."

Daniels, making a swing through southern Indiana, saluted correctional workers for their efforts and said the state is committed, despite the national recession, to public safety. As many as 14 states, Daniels said, are trying to save money by releasing offenders early, even those convicted of violent offenses. Some have laid off correctional staff. Indiana, he said, isn't among those states.

Daniels and Buss honored the facility's staff for year-round efforts at public safety, as well as high grades during evaluations.

Branchville Correctional Facility passed 100 percent of mandatory standards and 97.7 percent of other standards during its last review for reaccreditation by the American Correctional Association.