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Correctional Officers Walk Path of Honor


By day,the three correctional officers walk those charged with some of Baltimore’s most violent crimes through city jails.

But later this month, the women will walk across the stages of the area’s most respected universities to receive their diplomas and collect top Grade Point Average honors in their fields of study.

“This is the brain trust of the pretrial detention system,” Pretrial Commissioner Michael Resnick said. “These are our academic stars.”

Captain Genieve Goodall, 62, will receive Coppin State University’s Distinguished Eagle Award for graduating with the highest Grade Point Average in criminal justice. Goodall, who has 29 years with the department, supervises the staff at Baltimore’s Youth Detention Center that houses teens charged with adult crimes.

She came from Jamaica 42 years ago and decided to attend college while working full-time in dedication to her parents, who wanted their children to graduate from American universities.

“I decided I wanted to fulfill their dream,” she said.

Officer Fanesha Jones-Bey, 33, will also graduate with the Distinguished Eagle Award in criminal justice from Coppin for the fall semester. Jones-Bey, who helps manage fleet operations, has earned a full scholarship to attend law school at the University of Baltimore.
How did she juggle one of the toughest jobs in law enforcement with a full college schedule?

“Balance, balance, balance,” she said. “I take it one day at a time.”

Captain Kalima Roberts, who has 13 years with the department, will earn a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in organizational leadership.

With an undergraduate degree from Norfolk State University, Roberts hopes to earn her doctorate and become an adjunct professor while continuing her career in corrections.

Goodall started at Baltimore City Community College before earning a scholarship to Coppin. She will be graduating from college while her granddaughter will be walking across a stage graduating from high school.

“It’s not where you start or how you start,” said Goodall, who is interested in criminal forensics. “It’s how you finish.”