International Scholarship Program

Sonia Patricia Peñon Niño  

The American Correctional Association’s International Scholarship Program was created to foster the international exchange of promising or exemplary practices, innovations and advancements of the corrections profession. This program helps corrections professionals outside the U.S. attend ACA’s Winter Conference, and supplements his or her attendance with opportunities for study/exchange visits with U.S. correctional agencies before and/or after the winter conference. This program provides an opportunity for scholarship participants to share exemplary practices and innovations from their home country, while also learning from the U.S. agencies that they visit.

Congratulations to Sonia Patricia Peñon Niño, the winner for the 2015 scholarship program. Sonia Patricia Peñon Niño was born in Villavicencio, Colombia and is a Mexican citizen. She is the executive director of Cárcel Distrital de Varones y Anexo de Mujeres in Bogota, Colombia. She is a lawyer and holds a Master’s degree in criminal law, as well as specializations in criminal law from Universidad Latina of México and Universidad Libre of Colombia, plus other studies in the field of law.

Peñon Niño has working experience in the private economic sector as a public relations chief, a production manager and as a lawyer working from her own law office in both México and Colombia.  Additionally, she has a total of more than 10 years of experience in the Official Arena working with the Central Government of Bogota D.C., the capital of Colombia, as well as with the Contraloría of Cundinamarca, which is the entity responsible to preserve the good management of the state budget. Peñon Niño’s main concern is the human rights of vulnerable populations, especially defending the rights of prisoners.

Peñon Niño is married and a mother of two children. She thinks that the best work any human being can do is helping others to transcend the tough circumstances of their lives in order to make this world a better place to live.