El Centro, California - Sheriff Raymond Loera nominated Mrs. Gaylla Finnell for the Volunteer of the Year with the American Jail Association (AJA).  AJA notified Sheriff Loera that Mrs. Finnell was chosen as the 2015 Volunteer of the Year for AJA and will represent Imperial County.

Mrs. Finnell is currently pursuing an Educational Doctorate Degree with an emphasis in Postsecondary Education at San Diego State University and completing her internship with the Sheriff’s Office Corrections Bureau. During her internship with the Sheriff’s Office, Mrs. Finnell worked with the staff members to develop the Inside/Out Program.  Imperial County is the first Sheriff’s Office in United States to host college courses under the Inside/Out philosophy. Mrs. Finnell has volunteered countless hours of her personal time at the County Jail and Day Reporting Center advocating for inmates. Mrs. Finnell conducts community presentations, interviews inmates, and has taken the vision of creating a jail college credit program to a reality. She has given inmates the opportunity to see that they do have a “second chance” in life and a pathway to change.

“Gaylla and the instructor have done a great job to ensure an optimal learning environment in spite of being riddled with security issues and concerns. Without Gaylla’s presence and her efforts, the Corrections Bureau would not be successful in this venture. She has made our programming something to be emulated by others. Gaylla has been a great influence to our department and a great supporter of our inmate programs” ~ Sheriff Raymond Loera.