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

Gov. Hunt Names Mack Jarvis Correction Secretary
Former Correctional Officer Makes It To The Top

Raleigh - Following his fourth Inauguration Jan. 11, Gov. Jim Hunt named R. Mack Jarvis, Jr. secretary of the North Carolina Department of Correction. Jarvis replaces Franklin Freeman who has become Gov. Hunt's chief of staff.

"I have chosen Mack Jarvis because of his thorough knowledge and experience in running successful correctional programs and for his balanced commitment to safe prisons and making the probation and parole offices more effective," Hunt said. "Mack is the epitome of excellence and professionalism in a career state employee. When a state employee like Mack works hard, and comes up with new ideas, he gets rewarded."

Jarvis, the former deputy secretary of the department, is the first correctional officer to become secretary. He began his career in 1959 at Caldwell Correctional Center in Hudson.
Mack Jarvis

"Mack Jarvis is making history by rising through the ranks to take the lead position in the Department of Correction," Freeman said. "He has been a trusted, hard-working deputy who will easily fill this new role and do an excellent job. Although he had been trying to retire for the second time, the Governor was able to encourage Mack to stay."

Jarvis said he and Freeman had a number of projects ready to implement, and he will follow through with the planned proposals.

"I want to make this department the most efficient, effective department in State government," Jarvis said. "I was sincerely looking forward to retirement, but, I am now eager to help make this department the best it has ever been."

Mack Jarvis with the late U.S. Senator Sam ErvinDuring the past 35 years, Jarvis has held numerous jobs in the department, including being superintendent of Avery, Watauga, Stokes, Western and Piedmont correctional centers. He was a program director for the Western Area Office before becoming Area Administrator in 1977.

"As I traveled the state during my four years as secretary, I discovered every employee was hired by Mack Jarvis," Freeman joked, then said, "He has made a strong reputation for himself in encouraging employees to be their best, and he has earned enormous respect throughout the state."

Jarvis graduated from Lenoir High School in 1956 and attended Clevenger College and N.C. State University. He was president of the State Employees Association 1981-1983. Former Secretary James C. Woodard recognized Jarvis as the top administrator in the department in 1983.

Before Western Youth Institution (then called Western Correctional Center) in Morganton opened in 1971, Jarvis developed a comprehensive training program for correctional officers. He also developed an inmate gradient system which eventually led to an inmate's conditional release or parole.

Jarvis and his wife, Janet, have two children and six grandchildren.

 Correction News - February 1997
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