Mackey Awards

The Vision of Virginia and John Mackey

The Reverend Virginia and John Mackey were outstanding advocates of criminal justice and social justice in the Greater Rochester area and beyond. Ginny’s role was often more public, while John’s was more behind-the-scenes, though nonetheless committed and persistent. In the early 1970s, in response to serious problems in the criminal justice system and to the violent conclusion of the Attica Prison Uprising, Ginny founded the Judicial Process Commission, then in affiliation with the Genesee Ecumenical Ministries. The Commission - a volunteer group of educators, attorneys, and clergy, under Ginny’s leadership—strenuously addressed a range of major issues involving law enforcement, the courts, and jail and prison reform, including advocacy of needed legislation to strengthen the justice of the system. She also authored a major national document on Restorative Justice: Toward Nonviolence (1990) and was instrumental locally in founding the Task Force on Courts, the Center for Dispute Settlement, community service sentencing, merit selection of the Public Defender, and many other lasting endeavors.

When Ginny and John Mackey left Rochester in the early 1990s to live closer to their family in Colorado, the state of New York lost the near presence of their prophetic voice, but not the persuasive memory of their just lives and enduring example. When Ginny died in 2001 and John in 2004, the Judicial Process Commission was humbled to receive a bequest from them that makes possible The Virginia and John Mackey Leadership Award and The Virginia and John Mackey Training Award, both administered by the Judicial Process Commission.

The vision and commitment of the Mackeys underlies and guides these Awards as does their relentless devotion to achieving greater justice and nonviolence in the pursuit of the common good, particularly restorative justice.(*) May their undying example be honored by and given continued life by these annual Awards given in their names.

For more information and to nominate someone for a Mackey Leadership or Training Award, please follow these links:

* Restorative justice engages the criminal justice system, the victims, the offenders, and the community in a search for solutions that promote repair and reconciliation.