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Michael F. Easley

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Theodis Beck

North Carolina Department of Correction

For Release: IMMEDIATE Contact: Keith Acree
Date: July 15, 2002 Phone: (919) 716-3727

Intensive probation officer works with domestic abusers

Walter GoodwynWINTON Ė Itís all about the ability to help people turn their lives around. Thatís what keeps intensive probation officer Water Goodwyn coming back to work day after day. "Most people I see want to be helped," says Goodwyn. "And Iím in a position to help steer them in the right direction."

Goodwyn is one of ten probation officers assigned to Hertford County, and one of two who handle high-risk offenders on intensive probation. He partners with surveillance officer Bryant Cook to provide strict daily supervision for about 30 offenders in and around Murfreesboro.

Goodwyn also specializes in helping male offenders convicted of domestic abuse. He teaches and counsels in the Roanoke Chowan Domestic Violence Offender program. "We try to change peopleís behaviors by teaching alternative methods to violence," said Goodwyn. "First, we must get them to accept that they have a problem."

Judges sentence men who have been convicted of abusing their wives or girlfriends to the 26-week program Ė one of only a few such programs in the state. The group meets weekly and uses discussion sessions and group counseling to talk about situations that happened in their lives that week. The group discusses each individualís situation and how he might have handled it better. Sixty percent of men who graduate from the program are able to avoid further trouble with the law.

Goodwyn also serves as an instructor for the Division of Community Corrections, leading annual training for probation officers in policy and procedure, search and seizure and first aid.

A native of Boykins, Va., Goodwyn now lives in Murfreesboro with his three daughters. He is a graduate of Elizabeth City State University and a former military policeman in the U.S. Army. He also has served as a Virginia correctional officer.

Governor Michael Easley has proclaimed July 14-20, 2002 Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Officersí Week in recognition of more than 2,000 community corrections officers who supervise more than 116,000 criminal offenders in North Carolina communities.

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