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

Freeman Moves up
Correction Department Loses Top-Notch Secretary to Governor's Staff

Raleigh - As one of the most effective secretaries the Department of Correction has seen, Franklin Freeman moves on to a top post with Gov. Jim Hunt's staff. On Jan.17, Gov. Hunt picked Freeman as his chief of staff and legislative counsel.

"Franklin Freeman's new job is one of the most important in state government," Hunt said. "Following four intense and demanding years at the Department of Correction, Franklin Freeman has shown himself to be one of the best administrators and negotiators this state has ever seen. I need him on my top team."

Under Freeman's leadership, managers were able to gain control of the direction of DOC. Prison capacity expanded by nearly 15,000 beds, 8,000 new jobs for inmates were added, the Division of Adult Probation and Parole was organized along judicial lines, and dozens of other issues were dealt with such as out-of-state prison contracts, pepper spray training and the removal of the state's prison cap.

"Freeman has carried out his duties with the utmost respect for his fellow man," Mack Jarvis, the newly-appointed secretary said. "I have never worked with a finer, more upright, decent man than Franklin Freeman. For the first time in a long time, the Department is ahead of the curve thanks to Franklin's leadership. He will be tremendously missed in this department."
Many employees who have seen Freeman's management style echo Jarvis' sentiments:

"I believe that Sec. Freeman is one of the hardest working persons in government," said Division of Prisons Director Lynn Phillips. "He is a great public servant, who from day one in the department, began providing the most effective leadership for the agency that I have experienced during my career. His very quick grasp of all the issues affecting the Department, coupled with his wisdom and integrity, has allowed him to lead the agency through a period of its history highlighted by record growth and change. Through Sec. Freeman's constant vigilance and guidance, the public image of the department has improved tremendously and has enhanced the value of all our efforts directed at improving public safety and public service.

Phillips continued, "He was always supportive of Division Operations and appreciative of the valuable and difficult work performed by prison employees. We will miss all of these special attributes, and yes, we will miss his mule jokes, too. His humor oftentimes lightened our work burden. Gov. Hunt in his wisdom has picked the right man for the right job at the right time. Even though Sec. Freeman is leaving, we will continue to match his work ethics so that the Department of Correction contributes to his future success and remains a point of pride for him."

Freeman, whose mule jokes have become legend in the department, has helped improve the morale of department employees, creating a better team atmosphere.
Franklin Freeman on horseback at Caledonia state prison farm

"Franklin has a warmth that permeates to those he meets," Patty McQuillan, director of public information said. "He lifts souls higher than where he found them by bringing out the best in every individual no matter what rank or station in life, high or low. His openness with the media has brought much deserved credit and recognition to the department."

Director of the Division of Adult Probation and Parole, Theodis Beck, said, "Sec. Freeman has led the DOC through the most challenging period in its history with great success and much to be proud of. He's always remained in control of situations by commanding respect rather than instilling fear. It has been my privilege to serve under his leadership and he should be recorded in the history of DOC as a great secretary. We have all learned a great deal from him and he will be truly missed."

Correction Attorney LaVee Hamer said, "Franklin has been a solution-oriented leader whose personal integrity and hard work not only carried the Department through difficult times, but also set a standard for his employees. He left a legacy for all that devotion to duty and fair, honest treatment of everyone will beneficially solve any problems and leave you better for having weathered the storm. Just as it takes a child many years to put together the words they hear into a paragraph, for years to come, those of us privileged to work with him will no doubt continue to grow and benefit from the good lessons he taught by how he treated people and solved problems."

"Freeman set the Department of Correction in a good direction, and it's up to the employees to continue his legacy," Deputy Secretary Rip Ryon said. "The Department has been able to get a jump ahead of the many problems confronting staff each day. He has been a top-notch leader."
Freeman assumed his new duties Jan. 21.

Correction News - February 1997
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