PITTSFIELD — Dr. Richard Clarke, retired medical director of the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction, has been awarded the 2021 Bernard P. Harrison Award of Merit by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, in recognition of his distinguished service to the field.

The award — it's the commission’s highest honor — is presented to an individual or group that has demonstrated excellence and service that has advanced the correctional health care field, either through an individual project or a history of service. It is named after the commission's co-founder and first president, Bernard P. Harrison.

Clarke has been engaged in correctional health care for more than 25 years. He oversaw all health care at the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction for over 20 years, guiding that facility to commission accreditation, and to the Program of the Year Award in 2014 for its innovative long-term care and discharge-planning program.

Post-retirement, Clarke remains highly involved with the commission and with the organization’s consulting arm, NCCHC Resources. Clarke received the award recently, during the opening ceremony of the National Conference on Health Care in Chicago.