North Carolina Department of Correction - Correction News - December 1998

DOP Area Administrator James Brown Retires

REIDSVILLE — More than 100 people gathered at a Nov. 6 luncheon in Reidsville to honor retiring North Piedmont Area Administrator James Brown.

Cody Phillips, James Brown, Boyd Bennett and David
Osborne (LtoR) share a memory and a smile.

Retired Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis presented Brown the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest honor for a citizen. Jarvis saluted Brown as part of the early group of minority leaders in the agency.

"For those minority employees working with us today, Mr. Brown, Bob Reese and Herman Bridges helped pave the way for your careers," Jarvis said. "I’m proud for what you’ve done for the department and proud to have known you."

Reese attended the luncheon and offered his thanks to Brown for helping to organize the first Minority Pioneer banquet in 1984 which was held in Reidsville.

Forsyth Correctional Center Superintendent Zeb Crews presented Brown an award from the Prison Emergency Response Team 3rd Battalion. Brown served as its commander. He joined P.E.R.T. in 1978.

Prison Director Dan Stieneke praised Brown for five attributes: his commitment to family, his respect for people, his self-investment, his quiet manner and his luck.

In giving an example of Brown’s luck, Stieneke told of a decision he, Region Director Boyd Bennett and Brown made to buy Ford Tauruses. At the time, Stieneke and Bennett both ribbed Brown about buying a used car from H.B. "Shep" Shepherd when they bought new models. Laughing, Stieneke said Brown is still driving his car with a quarter million miles on it, long after he and Bennett had given up on their cars. Stieneke said working with Brown has been part of the most enjoyable time of his career.

Brown began his DOC career at Sandy Ridge Correctional Center where he was eventually promoted to sergeant. In 1978, he was promoted to lieutenant at Rockingham Correctional Center. He served as the prison’s assistant superintendent and later, superintendent. In 1988, he was named district manager of the North Piedmont Area. Five years later, he was promoted to area administrator.

In 1996, he was appointed to serve on the department’s Insurance Advisory Committee. His three- year term expires April 1, 1999.

Danny Safrit, Brown’s assistant area administrator, said he hadn’t returned to the restaurant where he and Brown visited every Monday for pinto bean day. During the luncheon, Safrit presented Brown with six different kinds of pinto beans, Brown’s favorite food.

Brown was also presented with a rocking chair from Superintendent Raymond Smith and the staff at Randolph Correctional Center who served as hosts of the retirement luncheon.

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