North Carolina Department of Correction News - June 1999

Secretary Beck: We will get the job done!

The following is an excerpt from Secretary Beck’s Oath of Office speech given during his swearing-in ceremony April 26.

The Department of Correction, as one of the largest departments in state, government will continue to do its part to help make North Carolina a safe place to live for all of its citizens. Probation and parole officers will continue to knock on doors and use technology to monitor the activities of offenders assigned to the Department’s supervision by the courts and Parole Commission. We will continue our work as partners in the community, in schools and with law enforcement.

Our prisons will continue to provide fair and humane treatment to those assigned to our care, custody and control, and we will be relentless in our efforts to make all able-bodied inmates work hard along our highways and all across this state where there is a need for our services. The Department of Correction also wants to play a role in the prevention of juvenile crime.

In addition to the two major divisions, we have excellent support services and a superb Enterprise operation.

While the task may seem daunting with some 19,000 employees, more than 32,000 inmates and over 113,000 probationers and parolees, the Department has an excellent senior management team with roughly 200 years of experience, all of whom are career professionals and long-term state employees.

Taking care of all department employees will also be a priority. Their tireless, endless and often thankless work goes unnoticed. But they do a job in public service that has to be done to make life better for all of us.

We will get the job done, Governor. That is my commitment to you and to the citizens of North Carolina. We will view obstacles and challenges as opportunities to excel. We will examine ourselves with the same type of intensity that a skilled prosecutor cross examines a hostile witness on the stand, looking for efficiencies and areas to make improvements.

This department has had excellent leadership over the past six years, in former secretaries Franklin Freeman and Mack Jarvis, and I have great footsteps in which to follow. I will be forever grateful to them for their mentoring and willingness to give me opportunities. The standard of leadership has been set, and the bar of excellence has been raised. My goal is to uphold the standard and raise that bar even higher.

To whom much is given, much is required. There may well be some difficult days ahead, but that’s okay because if I fall, I will just get up and try again, because I know that trouble will not always last. I think that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it best in his quote, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenges and controversy."

Why am I so happy to join this cabinet? Because when I look at Governor Hunt’s agenda I can see the Governor's love for this state and all of its people, and I truly believe that the Department of Correction plays a vital role in helping to make life better for all North Carolinians.

Now as we prepare to move on with the business at hand, and travel roads not yet taken, I ask for your continued support and your prayers.

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