WOOSTER, Ohio – David Roush ’71, an expert and leader in the field of juvenile justice, was recently presented the National Commission on Correctional Health Care’s (NCCHC) highest honor – the Bernard P. Harrison Award of Merit. He was recognized at the organization’s national conference, held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The NCCHC’s Award of Merit is annually given to an individual or group that has demonstrated excellence and service that has advanced the correctional health care field, either through an individual project or history of service.
Roush, who majored in religious studies at Wooster, has directed innovative programs to treat juveniles involved in the justice system and to prepare them for successful reentry to their home communities, earning high accolades and praise throughout his career. His experience includes projects in more than 250 juvenile detention and corrections institutions in 49 states, the NCCHC noted.
Roush’s work, which has included roles as author, counselor, educator, mentor, researcher, and trainer, has always been centered around the service of youth who find themselves in serious trouble. Two areas of focus were changing the public perception of what juvenile detention is and providing proper training and education to staff, thus helping them be better prepared to work with youth in a unique environment.
“Dr. Roush has a keen understanding of the critical role a good health care system plays in a correctional setting. As liaison to the NCCHC Board from the National Partnership for Juvenile Services, he has been instrumental in helping NCCHC develop policies and standards for juvenile health care that reflect the most up-to-date practices in juvenile corrections,” stated Deborah Ross, CEO of NCCHC.
After graduating from Wooster, Roush began his career as a childcare worker in a court-operated juvenile detention center in Nashville, Tenn., then served as superintendent of the Calhoun County Juvenile Home at Marshall, Mich., for 19 years. He recently retired following 10 years as a compliance monitor for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Roush earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Western Michigan University and a Ph.D. in criminal justice administration from Michigan State University, where he is an adjunct specialist in juvenile justice at MSU’s School of Criminal Justice.