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Former Morris man honored for 34 years service with DOC

Former Morris resident Dennis Benson was honored for his 34 years with the Minnesota Department of Corrections last month.

Benson served in numerous positions with the DOC, including Deputy Commissioner, Warden, Program Manager and Unit Director.

Benson now is working with the Department of Human Services as chief executive officer of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.

Benson was honored at a program at the St. Paul Hotel, and speakers included Rep. Mary Murphy, Corrections Commissioner Joan Fabian and Mike Hermerding, Correction Program Administrator.

Benson was named DOC deputy commissioner in 1996 and focused on bed space and treatment needs of a inmate population that has almost doubled in the past decade.

Benson was instrumental in developing a progressive approach to corrections that emphasized productive activity and treament to improve program success, state Wes Kooistra, the human services department's assistant commissioner for Chemical and Health Services.

"Dennis brings a wealth of executive leadership to our agency and the new position he assumes represents a timely organizational change for the (Minnesota Sex Offender Program)," Kooistra said on the DHS Web site.

Benson is the son of Doris L. Benson and the late Myron Benson. Benson's siblings include Kathy Benson, of Morris, Karen Hoffman, of Kensington, Janice Anderson, of Brooklyn Park, and Sandra Fritz, of Afton.