Richard E. Schwert received his BSW in 1970 and his MSW in 1972, both from the School of Social Work at UW-Madison. Richard was a professional social worker and administrator within the State of Wisconsin Division of Corrections, and a field instructor and field supervisor in the School of Social Work for many years. He also worked as a probation and parole officer in Madison, and a unit supervisor in the Green Bay region.
Understanding the relationship between imprisonment and poverty, Richard was concerned about services for those in the corrections system. He saw his administrative responsibility as a way to bring about positive change and emphasized the rehabilitative possibilities of corrections. He supported bringing more people with a social work background into the field of corrections, and encouraged his co-workers and staff to further their educations and keep learning.
As a field instructor and supervisor at the School, Richard enjoyed working with the students to prepare them for the practical aspects of their field placements, teaching them how to work with people, especially when it wouldn’t be easy. He worked wonderfully with the students and was extremely likable.
To honor Richard and encourage people with more advanced education to bring their understanding of people and systems to the field of corrections and criminal justice, Attic Correctional Services, Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin, has funded this award since 1987.