Denis Johnson Shumate: a man remembered, respected and loved.


On March 28, 2017, at 9:15 p.m., the American Correctional Association, the corrections field and the community as a whole experienced a great loss in the passing of Denis Johnson Shumate. Shumate was a great man, a cherished friend and a loving husband, and he remains close in the hearts of all who knew him. Born in Larned, Kansas, on Aug. 1, 1938, Shumate's renowned career began after he and his wife finished their degrees. After marrying Karen Peterson on Aug. 14, 1960, Shumate earned a Masters in Psychology from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, where he also attended undergraduate studies. Following graduation, Shumate began work as a clinical psychologist at the Kansas Girls Industrial School (GIS) in Beloit, Kansas. While there, his two sons, Daren and Eric, were born, and he was later promoted to superintendent in 1966.


Following his successes at GIS, Shumate transitioned to the Beloit Juvenile Correctional Facility in Beloit, Kansas, beginning--35 years of correctional work--as superintendent. In the midst of his professional career, Shumate earned national recognition for his vision and leadership. In 2002, Shumate earned the highest honor ACA gives: the E.R. Cass Correctional Achievement Award. This award not only celebrated his contributions to ACA and professional achievements in the field of corrections, but also his community-focused and charitable endeavors. Shumate proudly wore his sash and medal to all subsequent E.R. Cass ceremonies. In addition, Shumate received the Donald G. Blackburn Award from the National Association of Juvenile Correctional Agencies; the Kansas Conference on Social Welfare's Outstanding Person of the Year; and the Kansas Correctional Association's Institutional Employee of the Year, to name a few. His...

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