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PUBLISHED: 4:27 PM on Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Gastineau Human Services Corporation receives national award for ad spots
The American Probation and Parole Association chose Gastineau Human Services Corporation, a United Way of Southeast Alaska partner agency, to receive the 2007 Community Awareness Through Media Award.

The award recognizes a "media broadcast, publication or film capable of reaching a national audience that broadens the public's awareness and understanding of issues in the American criminal justice system in an accurate, fair and balanced manner, through sharing the vision" of the American Probation and Parole Association.

"For 20 years I have heard from my peers that the public doesn't understand what we do or understand the challenges we face," said Greg Pease, Gastineau Human Services Corporation executive director.

Challenged with that public relations dilemma, Pease began working with his identical twin, Marc, who teaches television production at Clover Park Technical College in Tacoma, Wash. Along with the public relations firm of Hansen and Gress, Gastineau Human Services Corporation developed the print and television campaign.

"We feel it presents our story well," Pease said.

John Larivee, the CEO of Community Resources for Justice in Boston, Mass., nominated the GHSC and Pease after reviewing the advertisements.

"I wanted to applaud Greg's efforts," Larivee said, "because very few people know what we do and I thought these ads really explained it well."

The strictly print on black campaign states the simple message: "Each year over 650,000 prisoners are released across the United States. They return to our neighborhoods, villages and cities. How ready are you? How ready are our children, families and businesses? How ready are you? We can help." The public service spot was produced with support from the local Alaskan cable provider GCI.

Pease estimates the exposure has been worth more than $60,000 in free air time and the 30-second spot has been seen by hundred of thousands of Alaskans.

The print ads appeared in local new publications, as well as played throughout the Rotary International District 5010, which stretches from Western Canada to Eastern Russia, on the Chamber of Commerce Web site and in various program booklets such as the Juneau-Douglas High School's play "Holes."

In addition Pease said it is being podcast during the popular summer tourism season in Southeast Alaska and was uploaded on YouTube in Junea. He also has written about it on his blog on his organization's Web site, www.ghscorp.org.

Pease offers the campaign to other correction associations and communities. It can be easily adapted by changing the working on the final slide.

Pease and GHSC will receive the award at the APPA winter training plenary session in Phoenix, Ariz. in February. GHSC was recently asked by the International Corrections and Prisons Association for permission to have the campaign translated into four languages to show on it s Web site.

The APPA is an international association composed of individuals from the United States and Canada actively involved with probation, parole and community-based corrections, in both adult and juvenile sectors.

All levels of government including local, state, legislative, executive, judicial and federal agencies are counted among its constituents. By taking the initiative, APPA has grown to become the voice for thousands of probation and parole practitioners, including line staff, supervisors and administrators. Educators, volunteers and concerned citizens with an interest in criminal and juvenile justice are also among APPA's members.

APPA seeks to create a fair, just and safe society where community partnerships are restoring hope by embracing a balance of prevention, intervention and advocacy.

Its membership represents adult and juvenile probation, parole and community corrections agencies throughout the United States and Canada.


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