Photos: Opening phase on new juvenile facility in Avoyelles _lowres (copy)

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Office of Juvenile Justice Deputy Secretary Mary Livers speaks in 2014 at the then-future site of the Acadiana Center for Youth.

The former secretary for Louisiana's juvenile justice department was honored this week by the American Correctional Association for her dedication to the field, both across the nation and in the Bayou State. 

Mary Livers, who led the state's Office of Juvenile Justice for eight years until 2016, was given the E.R. Cass Correctional Achievement Award at the organization's national conference in Boston. She also served as the ACA's president from 2015 to 2017. 

Before returning to her native Louisiana in recent years, Livers worked for corrections departments in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Maryland. Livers still lives in Baton Rouge where she remains dedicated to her profession. She is currently a part-time adjunct professor at LSU in the social work department where she teaches a class focused on juvenile delinquency, and serves on the board for the Louisiana Parole Project, a nonprofit that helps long-serving inmates re-adjust to life in free society upon their release from prison. Livers also provides training and support for women employees at the Louisiana Department of Corrections. 

"Mary Livers is one of the most dedicated and thoughtful executives in corrections," ACA Executive Director James A. Gondles Jr. wrote in a statement. "She has always been committed to reforming those in our care and to sound correctional practices. She is a forward-thinking and innovative correctional leader.”