NC Dept of Public Safety logo   North Carolina Department of Public Safety

NC State seal

North Carolina
Department of Correction
Michael F. Easley, Governor                Theodis Beck, Secretary

For Immediate Release
May 1, 2001
Contact: Keith Acree
             (919) 716-3700

Drill Instructor Instills Work Ethic In Trainees

John WintersHOFFMAN – For much of his adult life, Cpl. John Winters has worked to help prepare young men for what life holds in store, first as a drill sergeant in the U.S. Army and now as an assistant drill instructor at the state’s boot camp for young offenders.

Winters is one of more than 11,000 certified correctional staff who protect public safety by supervising offenders at one of the state’s 78 prisons. Gov. Mike Easley has proclaimed May 20-26 as Correctional Officers Week in North Carolina.

Winters joined the staff at IMPACT (Intensive Motivational Program of Alternative Correctional Treatment) in November 1997, shortly after his retirement from the military. He says many of the same techniques and skills he used in the Army are applicable with the IMPACT trainees. As an assistant drill instructor, Winters works to instill discipline, self confidence and a sound work ethic in the trainees, whose ages range from 16 to 30 and who have been sentenced to the program in lieu of prison.

Each day Winters supervises a group of trainees on their work assignment, which includes clearing woods, farm labor, painting and carpentry. He’s also responsible for instructing them in drills and marching techniques. "Some of these guys have never held a tool in their hand and don’t have a very solid work ethic, so we have all kinds of challenges," he said. In addition to the physical challenges of the program, trainees also participate in education, job and life skills training and substance abuse treatment.

Winters says he knows all of the trainees won’t make it through the rigorous 98-day program. "I’d like to see them all make it, but that’s just not going to happen. If they don’t get through the program, it’s because they don’t want to; the staff here does everything we can to help them succeed," Winters said.

Each IMPACT class participates in a graduation ceremony at the end of the training period. Watching the trainees graduate makes all the hard work worthwhile. "We can’t save them all, but for each one who graduates I know I’m having a positive impact. There aren’t many jobs that give you that," said Winters, who lives in Hoke County with his wife Jackie and their three children.


DPS | Adult Correction | Prisons | Community Corrections | Correction Enterprises | ACDP | News | Offender Info | Contact
1995-2012 North Carolina Department of Public Safety. All rights reserved.