Marvin Sanders Honored as 2024 MDOC Corrections Officer of the Year

March 1, 2024

Contact: Adam Earley, MCO Communications Coordinator
(517) 485-3310

Contact: Kyle Kaminski, MDOC Public Information Officer
(517) 242-1233

Lansing, Mich. – Marvin Sanders, a Corrections Officer at Saginaw Correctional Facility, has been named the 2024 Michigan Department of Corrections Officer of the Year.

“The selection of Marvin Sanders as Corrections Officer of the Year is a reflection of not only his efforts as an officer, but also his impact on his facility as a trainer and mentor,” said Michigan Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington. “Marvin’s colleagues at the Saginaw Correctional Facility view him as someone who models the technical elements of being a highly effective officer while being a consistently positive and engaging presence. I am proud to commend Officer Sanders on behalf of the entire MDOC for his well deserved selection as officer of the year.”

Officer Sanders has been an MDOC Corrections Officer for 24 years. Whether administering NARCAN, performing CPR, or engaging in effective communication to deescalate volatile situations, he routinely exhibits exemplary heroism. His peers recognize his deep understanding of policy and procedure and his dedication to mentorship and continued learning. He is widely regarded as an honest and objective leader who recognizes humanity in every individual.

Marvin has demonstrated versatility by undertaking various roles such as Resident Unit Officer, facility trainer, weapons trainer, front desk officer, control center officer, and he is currently the bid healthcare officer. Officer Sanders readily accepts additional duties and is committed to the seamless functioning of his team.

Cary Johnson, Vice President at Michigan Corrections Organization and a member of the Officer of the Year selection committee said, “Any of the five candidates today could have been the winner and can come to JCF and work with me any time! The professionalism and values of the Officers I met today let me know that we continue to have the highest of standards. The hardest part was choosing one. Officer Sander’s work within the community and his facility are so impressive. I am so happy for him and SRF.”

As a departmental trainer, Marvin fosters innovation and creativity by delving deep into subject matter; breaking down content into digestible steps and ensuring that students grasp the underlying rationale. Officer Sanders is a volunteer firefighter for the Bridgeport Fire Department, a part-time deputy for the Midland County Sheriff’s Department, a member of the Bridgeport Gun Club and participates in Shop with a Hero events. He is currently enrolled in courses at Delta College.

“Take what’s given to you and make the best of it,” Officer Sanders said. “Strive for your goals, work hard, and don’t take what you already have for granted.”

The Michigan Correctional Officers’ Training Council, comprised of representatives from the MDOC, Michigan Corrections Organization, law enforcement, and higher education, chose Officer Sanders for the honor from a pool of five finalists.

Finalists included: Corrections Officer James Burch, Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility; Corrections Officer Matthew Oppermann, Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility; Corrections Officer Mark Smith, Muskegon Correctional Facility; and Corrections Officer Justin Cantu, Thumb Correctional Facility.