N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--August 1997


By Larry Revelle

Raleigh - Referred to as "a champ" and "the godfather of state correction officials," Assistant Prisons Director Pete Barnett took a final bow during a June retirement luncheon in his honor. The room was decorated with racing banners, checkerboard flags, and miniature race cars.

"DOC has leaders and heroes but very few legends and Pete is a legend," said Programs Director Keith Hester. "He has style and substance."

Other speakers referred to Barnett as their mentor. Several supporters talked about how Barnett skillfully navigated the treacherous waters of state government. He was described as a true champion who improved the course and made it to the finish line. Barnett helped shape and establish many DOC policies and procedures.

On behalf of Gov. Jim Hunt, Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis presented Barnett with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest award. He congratulated Barnett for his dedication and perseverance during his long career with DOC. Prisons Director Dan Stieneke praised Barnett as a man who "cares about all people and this organization."

"If there’s a Pearly Gates Correctional Center, Pete will get there as superintendent," quipped Crime Control and Public Safety Deputy Secretary William Dudley. Other well-wishers thanked Barnett for giving them a chance and hiring them for their first job in DOC.

Barnett began his Correction career in 1957 and was one of the first blacks hired by DOC. He helped organize Minority Pioneers to provide support and professional development for minority employees. Throughout his career, he has pushed for a diverse workforce.

One speaker summed up Barnett’s sendoff into retirement with the words of an old, popular song by James Brown, Poppa’s Got a Brand New Bag.

NC DOC Correction News- August 1997
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