James B. Hunt, Governor
Joe Hamilton, Secretary
Patty McQuillan, Public Information Director

Correction News
December 1998

Department of Correction
214 W. Jones Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603
(919) 733-4926

Iredell Correctional Center loses member of the family

Neuse plumber killed fighting fire

DOC truck driver killed

General Assembly closes four prisons

Spotlight on Carteret Correctional Center

SAVAN scheduled to go live this month

Bryant named head of Umstead

Program employees honored

Area Administrator James Brown retires

Stewart retires from Neuse

Craven County adsconders beware

Composting at Caledonia

DOC Web page gets new look

News Briefs


1998 Employee of the Year Honored

RALEIGH — For efforts that helped convict two killers who were sentenced to death, Acting Correction Secretary Joe Hamilton named James A. Gribble of Morganton the department’s Employee of the Year during a reception Oct. 21.

While working in the segregation unit at Foothills Correctional Institution, Officer Gribble supervised safekeeper Tilmon Golphin, one of two brothers sentenced to death for the 1997 murders of N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Ed Lowery and Cumberland County Sheriff’s Corporal David Hathcock.

As a result of the contact he had with Golphin and with other inmates who talked with Golphin, Gribble assisted investigators, prosecutors and became a key witness in the state’s case. His assistance and testimony played a role in the Golphins being found guilty of murder and being sentenced to death.

"Gribble has one of the toughest jobs in our department. He works in the segregation unit of a close security prison," Hamilton said. "His conscientious attitude and attention to detail were important in one of the state’s highest profile murder trials."

Gribble was one of 34 employees nominated for the honor from more than 19,000 department employees statewide. During the ceremonies, Hamilton honored the following correction employees:

Sandra Barnes is administrative secretary to Controller Sam Newman and has been a correction employee for 26 years. She was recognized for her competency, character and positive attitude. In her new role as Human Resource Professional, she is the leader in implementing the new merit based hiring concept in the Controller’s Office.

Randall L. Besser is a Program Assistant I at Sampson Correctional Center. He tracks the criminal history, social history and educational level on a caseload of 75 inmates to help make an accurate assessment of their needs. He coordinates DART aftercare volunteer efforts, serves as the prison’s victims services coordinator and chairs the unit’s employee relations committee.

Suzy Cooper is an intensive probation officer serving Hyde County. Cooper has worked with law enforcement and school officials to warn high school students of the dangers of drugs. She has also worked to set up the county’s first Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

Cory Cradle is an Applications Programmer II with Research and Planning. Cradle sought and received a grant for staffing and equipment to provide statistical information about offenders. Initially, he put the Research and Planning Office’s statistical abstract report on the Internet. Then he provided a computer application that allows visitors to create their own customized reports about offenders.

Anita Culbreth is a victims’ advocate in Judicial District 3B. She provides information to crime victims about the probation system and trains correction employees in the most effective ways to work with crime victims. She has spent countless hours speaking in the community about probation and services for crime victims.

Maxine Davis is a correctional officer at Foothills Correctional Institution. Davis is the prison’s mailroom officer responsible for reviewing and distributing all incoming and outgoing inmate mail. In reviewing one letter being sent by safekeeper Tilmon Golphin, Davis read one line stating that an officer was going to be harmed severely. As a result, Davis testified about the letter in the trial of Kevin and Tilmon Golphin, who were convicted and sentenced to death for the murders of N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Ed Lowery and Cumberland County Sheriff’s Corporal David Hathcock.

Bruce Dillon is a maintenance mechanic at New Hanover Correctional Center. Dillon is responsible for the maintenance of the New Hanover Correctional Center and Wilmington Residential Facility for Women. Dillon worked around the clock making preparations for Hurricanes Bertha and Fran and, after the storms, making assessments of the damage and insuring repairs were made.

Richard Duke is the assistant superintendent for programs at Caledonia Correctional Institution. Duke has a role in the well being of inmates at Caledonia through his oversight of inmate classification and programs. He successfully chaired the State Employees Combined Campaign for a five-county region and helped rekindle interest in the North Carolina Correctional Association in the northeast region of the state.

Randall Epps is a third shift correctional officer at Stanly Correctional Center. Epps is active in the community, taking part in many worthwhile causes. At the local Moose Lodge, he plays Santa Claus at an event for disadvantaged children. He recently worked in a golf tournament that raised money for the Stanly County Hospice, Stanly Memorial Hospital, Stanly Community College and Stanly County Animal Rescue League.

Allison Henry is a correctional lieutenant at Pender Correctional Institution. Henry manages the prison’s eight road squads. After responding to an emergency in which an offender transport company was involved in a vehicle accident, Henry helped secure the offenders and maintained security at a nearby hospital where the offenders were treated. As a result of this incident, he developed a training program to prepare prison road squad staff for similar emergencies.

Craig Hilliard is superintendent of Iredell Correctional Center. He has worked with Prison Fellowship on three community service projects that have put inmates and community volunteers to work renovating an elderly Kannapolis woman’s home, a Statesville halfway house and Pfeiffer College. He has worked to make holidays special for inmates by organizing a Thanksgiving dinner and obtaining donations of toys and candy for inmates to give their children.

Belinda Horner is a probation and parole officer in Judicial District 15A. Horner worked with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) to arrest 19 illegal immigrants who were on probation or parole for drug offenses or violent felonies. She coordinated the arrest of these offenders with fellow probation officers and INS agents. Their efforts resulted in the largest roundup of criminal aliens ever in North Carolina.

James Jones is the lead correctional officer for a Wayne Correctional Center road squad. Jones is a member of the prison’s drug task force whose efforts have uncovered a zip gun and escape plot as well as illegal drugs that resulted in the arrests of civilians, inmates and an employee. He is a member of the unit’s and department’s Prison Emergency Response Team.

Edmond Lamm is a correctional officer who works first shift in tower No.1 at Franklin Correctional Center. Lamm’s work includes controlling two gates, the facility base radio station, coordination between the prison’s officer-in-charge and vehicles entering the prison, and assignment of unit vehicles to staff. When the prison experiences staff shortages, he always volunteers to work his off days.

Michael Lanphier is an intensive probation surveillance officer in Harnett County. Lanphier was recognized for saving a man’s life. While on the job in April of this year, he spotted a house fire. Without regard for his safety, he ran up to the front porch of the burning residence. He found a water hose to douse the blaze and banged on the door to waken a man who was asleep inside.

Denise McCrae is a program assistant II at New Hanover Correctional Center. Her job is to make the unit job assignments for the prison’s 450 inmates. McCrae was recognized because her efforts have helped New Hanover have the highest work assignment rate of any Eastern Area prison.

Thomas McInnis is a teacher at Sandhills Youth Center. Sandhills Chaplain Don Jordan said McInnis teaches more than math. He teaches optimism, love, joy, peace and a better way of life. The chaplain says "McInnis has helped more inmates than any one I know." McInnis also serves his community and is active in his church.

James Pierce is superintendent of Caswell Correctional Center. To help new correctional officers, Pierce pairs them with an experienced officer for two weeks of extensive on-site training to prepare them for their front-line supervision responsibilities. Pierce has established behavioral incentives for road squad inmates, encouraging them to work hard and without rules violations.

Roselyn Powell is the Division of Community Correction’s Third Judicial Division Manager. Powell has chaired the Task Force on Female Offenders and Their Children in North Carolina. She has also been involved with Summit House since its inception in 1987. She and other volunteers developed the concept for this community corrections program and helped get the first program up and running in Greensboro. She currently chairs the Summit House Board of Governors.

Mary Lu Rogers is the Division of Prisons’ Population Management Manager. From 1993 to 1997, Rogers oversaw the assignment and transportation of North Carolina prisoners to prisons in Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Texas. She was responsible for insuring that the department’s policies for inmate classification, disciplinaries and grievances were followed by these out-of-state prisons. Rogers also monitors the intake of prisoners from jail. This year, she worked to reduce the backlog to the lowest level since 1995.

James Daniel Cavanaugh is the second shift lieutenant at New Hanover Correctional Center. Cavanaugh joined the department in 1980 and has worked as a correctional officer, bloodhound handler and correctional sergeant. He has served on the Prison Emergency Response Team for the past 17 years. He is a certified general instructor, firearms instructor and pepper spray instructor. During a 16-month stretch, Cavanaugh worked 244 overtime hours on escapes and 25 hours on P.E.R.T. team emergencies.

Veronica Howell is the office manager for the Department of Correction’s Internal Audit office. Howell does whatever it takes to make the office operate in an efficient and effective manner. Charles Owens, director of Internal Audit, says her willingness to go the extra mile time and again, her work ethic and her professional demeanor have been of immeasurable value.

Nancy Lanier is the medical records clerk at Pender Correctional Institution. Lanier is said to work miracles in her job. She never hesitates to assist others in difficult data entry tasks. Agnes Aller, a RN at Pender, said Lanier is a quiet, gentle, well-mannered lady who does not realize the impact she has on the medical department, the department’s employees and others.

The recently retired Bobby Reardon served as the Administrator of Central Prison Hospital. The hospital’s nursing director said Reardon improved morale and the hospital facility. Updated equipment was purchased, inservice education increased, the Palliative Care unit was established and the emergency room expanded. Competent, skilled physicians were recruited, and the staffing pattern for nursing increased. Reardon has 35 years of service at Central Prison.

Gerotha Spain is an inmate grievance examiner with the North Carolina Inmate Grievance Resolution Board. Spain has traveled thousands of miles to review, investigate and respond to complaints and grievances for the Board. Despite the serious and complex issues that can at times be unpleasant, Spain pursues thoughtful solutions.

Robert Steele is a correctional officer at Pender Correctional Institution who serves as the prison’s canteen supervisor. This requires knowledge of the department’s computerized services such as OPUS, Cactus and accounting. Steele works with Pender’s administrative officer to track sales, tax collections and welfare fund expenditures.

Oscar Thornton is a correctional officer at Sampson Correctional Institution who serves as the prison’s canteen supervisor. The week before Thanksgiving 1997, Thornton was driving near his home when he spotted a school bus parked by the road. He stopped and found that a student was choking. Using the Heimlich Maneuver, he dislodged a piece of candy and saved the girl’s life. Thornton also serves as a volunteer fireman and volunteers with the Sampson County Schools’ PTO.

Ricky Yates is the chief probation and parole officer in Catawba County. Yates has worked for the state for the past 12 years. Six years ago, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and quickly became an inspiration to his co-workers with his positive attitude. Yates never falters in his determination to be a productive manager of his staff who have been led to seek the best in themselves in following his example.

Percy W. Underdue, programs assistant II; Donald J. Askew, correctional lieutenant; Michael W. Powell, correctional lieutenant; Jeffrey M. Manley, correctional lieutenant; and Karen D. Vaughn, office assistant III, worked together on an important project. The employees worked to promote the State Employees Combined Campaign at Odom Correctional Institution last year. The goal for the prison was $5,000 and through their efforts, $13,717 was raised.

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