Carolina Department of Correction
Correctional, Probation and Parole
Officer of the Year Reception
Thursday, May 8, 1997, 2:30 p.m.
Remarks by Correction Secretary Mack
I appreciate your taking time out of your busy
day to come to Raleigh. I wanted you to come here today so I
could personally let you know how much I appreciate your hard
work and dedication to the Department of Correction. You are
special people because you were selected from more than 11,000
DOC officers statewide as Officers of the Year. You deserve
|Besides being dedicated to your job, I
know that some of you also volunteer in your respective
communities, helping out in schools and motivating young
people. Please continue. Crime and poor education go
hand-in-hand. Eighty percent of those in our prison
system test below a twelfth-grade education. Over half
read below an eighth grade level when they come to
prison. Gov. Hunts Excellence in Schools Act
demands more from students and teachers and holds them
accountable. We must reach out to children in the early
years, while theyre still in daycare. Thats
why Gov. Hunts Smart Start program is so important.
Its about quality child care, early childhood
education and health screenings.
Although Gov. Hunt could not be with us today,
he asked me to tell you how proud he is of this department and of
all of you for being named officers of the year. In fact, he went
so far as to proclaim this week as "Correctional, Probation and Parole Officers
Week" in North Carolina. Listen to
what Gov. Hunt says about you in his proclamation.
||WHEREAS, more than 10,000 North
Carolina correctional officers are responsible for the
daily supervision and control of 31,000 prison inmates in
90 prisons. Officers work hard to make sure prisoners
(many of whom are violent and have no respect for the
law) behave. Officers also enforce rules designed to
ensure a prison that is safe for the local community,
staff, and inmates.
more than 1,600 probation and parole officers supervise
120,000 offenders across the state, and provide
counseling and support services. Officers make frequent
contacts with offenders (on the job or at home) to ensure
that they meet all the conditions of their probation or
WHEREAS, correctional, probation and
parole officers must act as counselors, communicators,
and experts at crisis management. They must possess the
intuitive sense to resolve conflicts and to restrain
persons representing a danger to themselves or others.
These highly-trained professionals must complete a
rigorous 160-hour training program to become certified.
The training includes courses on effectively
communicating with offenders, policies and procedures,
first aid, unarmed self-defense and firearm training.
Officers have to refresh their skills with 40 additional
hours of training annually.
WHEREAS, correctional, probation and
parole officers must perform their work often under
adverse and hazardous conditions, while conducting
themselves in a manner which meets the high standards set
by their profession and the expectations of the public.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES B. HUNT JR.,
Governor of the State of North Carolina, join Secretary
of Correction Mack Jarvis in proclaiming May 4-10, 1997,
as "Correctional, Probation and Parole Officers
Week" in North Carolina, and recommend this
observance to our citizens.
The Division of Probation and Parole selected
eight officers of the year. As I call your name, please come
forward so I may shake your hand and present you with a small
token of my appreciation.
||Kenny Owens is
chief probation and parole officer in Edgecombe County.
Mr. Owens has led his office to the forefront in the use
of Electronic House Arrest, IMPACT, and drug testing of
offenders to target those needing treatment. He has
averaged more than 30 offenders on E-H-A during the past
year and is one of the leaders in the number of offenders
referred to IMPACT. While pushing his unit to a high
level of achievement, Mr. Owens remains sensitive to his
officers needs creating high morale.
|Greg Batts is
a probation and parole officer in Wayne County. Mr. Batts
has a reputation for being very helpful to both
colleagues and offenders. He has a positive attitude
towards his work and his community. He shares his upbeat
personality with others. Its no wonder hes in
demand in his community. Mr. Batts has been involved in
numerous organizations including the Goldsboro Jaycees,
Wayne Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board, Special Olympics,
and the Probation and Parole Association.
is a probation and parole officer in Franklin County.
Although shes been in Correction less than two
years, she already exemplifies professionalism,
dependability, and attention to detail. When there was a
vacancy in her office, Ms. Ripper took on the extra
workload and helped find several offenders thought to be
absconders. Other officers assisted with the extra
caseload but Ms. Ripper kept the files and saw more
offenders. She never complained about the extra work and
never neglected her own caseload.
is an Intensive Probation Officer in Cumberland County.
At the request of Judge Lynn Johnson, Mr. Faircloth
assisted the sheriffs department with developing a
physical training program for probationers needing
discipline. The program has received national attention.
Mr. Faircloth puts in countless hours beyond his normal
duties to ensure the programs success. The program
has been a valuable asset for DAPP in Cumberland County
as an alternative to incarceration. The programs
success is due in part to Mr. Faircloths
outstanding efforts and dedication. He also speaks to
high school and college classes about his job...
inspiring smart, energetic students to join the criminal
is chief probation and parole officer in Cabarrus County.
Ms. Combs works closely with a program known as Meet the
Courts and Law Enforcement. She introduces 9th graders to
probation and parole, and explains the judicial process.
The program is used at all Cabarrus County and Kannapolis
city schools. She is a volunteer with Rowan Countys
Rape Companion and Family Abuse Crisis Center. She
supports rape victims by helping them understand court
and police procedures and medical requirements.
|Ted East is an
intensive case officer in Forsyth County. Mr. East
assisted with the Impact After-Care Pilot Project. He has
shown strong leadership in coordinating this program. Mr.
East has established an agreement with the city of
Winston-Salem to employ Impact graduates and has arranged
for job training. He also makes sure emergency housing is
available for Impact graduates. Mr. East has arranged
banquets to honor graduates and used community leaders as
speakers. In addition, Mr. East has organized sporting
events between after-care groups. The commitment Mr. East
has shown towards this program is one reason hes
such a valuable staff member.
|Bobby Cagle is
chief probation and parole officer in Cherokee County.
Hes also a graduate student at UNC Chapel Hill. As
part of his study, Mr. Cagle recently completed a
year-long internship with the areas primary
treatment provider. Besides overseeing substance abuse
treatment for individuals and groups, he completed two
major projects during his internship which were very
helpful to the Division of Adult Probation and Parole.
First, he completed a study with recommendations for
improvement of communication between the local mental
health center and DAPP. He also planned and coordinated a
meeting of DAPP staff in the 13th district and substance
abuse treatment staff at the Smoky Mountain Mental Health
Center. This helped to improve the two agencys
relationship and the quality of service provided to local
probationers and parolees.
Ralph Elliott is chief
probation and parole officer in Cleveland County. Mr. Elliott has
been a DOC employee for more than two decades. Hes
dependable, helpful, and always completes his assignments. Mr.
Elliott supervises six intensive teams and seven probation and
parole officers. He conducts about nineteen case reviews each
month. Although he has a heavy workload, he gets the job done and
does it well.
|Ryan Aycock is
a correctional officer at Caledonia Correctional
Institution. Last December, Mr. Aycock was on his way
home from work when he noticed smoke coming from the roof
of a house and a child in the front doorway. Mr. Aycock
quickly pulled over and ran to the burning house. The
child said his mother and sister were still in the home.
Without regard for his own safety, Mr. Aycock searched
the house until he found the other occupants and helped
them outside to safety. Although the family lost their
home, thanks to Mr. Aycock, they have something much more
important, their lives.
is a correctional officer at Odom Correctional
Institution and he knows the importance of being
prepared. Last year, he was in the prisons tower
doing inventory when a car quickly pulled up and the
doors flew open. The occupants were calling for
assistance and indicating that a child in the car was not
breathing. Officer Bowen raced to the car and discovered
a two-year-old who was neither responsive nor breathing.
Mr. Bowen used his DOC training and began rescue
breathing while another officer called for more medical
assistance. Odoms nursing team worked on the child
until a rescue squad arrived and took the little girl to
the local hospital. Shes now doing fine thanks to
the quick action of Mr. Bowen.
is a correctional officer at Western Youth Institution.
The alertness and professionalism of Ms. Ferguson
resulted in the capture of three escaped felons. Ms.
Ferguson was the first to spot two of the inmates. Then,
while keeping them covered, she saw a third one hidden
beneath some vines near another officer. She was able to
get control of the third inmate until he could be
disarmed and shackled. The inmate, who had a screwdriver
and scissors in his possession, had vowed not to be taken
|Cathy Dixon is
a correctional officer at Pender Correctional
Institution. Ms. Dixon is very dedicated to her job and
often goes beyond the call of duty. Her mother passed
away during the Easter holiday weekend. In spite of this,
Ms. Dixon reported to work long enough (on the following
Monday morning) to take care of important business. The
day after her mothers funeral, Ms. Dixon worked the
command post during an institutional shakedown. She also
worked in the command center during hurricanes Bertha and
is a sergeant at Raleigh Correctional Center for Women.
It was Christmas night last year when Mr. Jones learned
that an inmate had just escaped. The inmate was in
shackles awaiting transport to Womens prison for
segregation. Sgt. Jones ran out of the building and up
the street through one of the most dangerous areas in
Raleigh. He was able to catch up with the inmate and
apprehend her a few blocks from the prison. At one point,
Mr. Jones lost sight of the inmate. Instead of giving up,
he continued and was able to find the inmate. Nearby
residents were not in any danger thanks to Mr. Jones and
his quick capture.
is a program supervisor at Wilkes Correctional Center. He
was recommended for this honor because of his high
productivity and exceptional work. He has made an extra
effort to ensure that inmate programs are meaningful and
that inmate job assignments are available. Mr. Pierce is
also active in his community. He helped establish the
first annual Childrens Classic Charity Golf
Tournament. Mr. Pierce is also an active member of the
State Employees Association and has served as chairman
for district eight.
|Frank Horne is
a program assistant at Orange Correctional Center.
Earlier this year, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshall David
Griffith and his wife were involved in a single car
accident between Hillsborough and Durham. The car ran off
the right side of the road, crossed over to the left
side, went down an embankment and struck a tree head-on,
trapping both occupants inside. The electrical system
shorted out and the car filled with smoke. There was a
strong possibility of fire. That didnt stop Mr.
Horne, who witnessed the accident, from dashing down the
embankment and pulling the Griffith couple to safety.
|Lewis Smith is
a lieutenant at Anson Correctional Center. Mr. Smith does
an outstanding job organizing training and teaching. He
is the promotional exam instructor and officers
refresher training instructor for the South Piedmont
area. Mr. Smith is also very active in his community.
Hes a member of the State Employees Association,
American Correctional Association, the Peabody Community
Action Club, and is a cub scout leader.
is a lieutenant at Hyde Correctional Center. Hes
also a certified criminal justice instructor. He had the
awesome task of being the prisons training
coordinator. This was when the new medium security prison
was just beginning the process of recruiting, hiring, and
training a full-time staff of 227 employees. Because of
the remote location of Hyde, it was clear that there
would be few applicants with prior criminal justice
experience. Mr. Biggs accepted the challenge of
developing and coordinating a major training program to
prepare employees to work effectively. Gov. Hunt and I
went to Swan Quarter last week to help dedicate Hyde
Prison. We were impressed with how well the prison is
is a correctional officer at Davie Correctional Center.
Last year when the prison was short-staffed, Mr. Daywalt
would always respond to late night and early morning
calls requiring him to work 16-hour shifts. Regardless of
how many days in a row he worked, or the number of hours,
he always had a positive attitude and performed in an
I commend each of you for being named Officers
of the Year. I hope all the guests and visitors will take a
moment to shake hands with these special officers before you
leave. Let them know how much you appreciate what theyre
doing for the state of North Carolina.