September 2000

News Briefs

Ethics Instructor Appointed To National Council

Michael Silsbee, certified instructor at the Office of Staff Development and Training, has been appointed to the First National Ethics Council of the non-profit Southwestern Legal Foundation. Silsbee is one of 16 people selected for the council and the only corrections representative chosen from approximately 2,500 certified ethics instructors from the United States, Canada and England. He will serve a three-year term on the newly formed council.

As a council member, Silsbee will be asked to help the Southwestern Law Enforcement Institute evaluate its program and services. The institute offers law enforcement management training and executive development programs.

Silsbee started his career with the Department 24 years ago as a correctional officer at Central Prison. He’s also been a social worker at the prison, worked in inmate classification and diagnostic services in the Division of Prisons administration and was also a training instructor. Silsbee lives in Cary with his wife and two daughters.

Catawba County DCC Promotes Wellness

NEWTON- Catawba County Community Corrections hosted a wellness fair June 19 at the National Guard Armory. Two local hospitals pitched in to help provide officers and the general public blood pressure tests, cholesterol tests, TB screening, prostate checks and more. In all, 46 booths provided a wealth of health and wellness related information.

"It was exciting to stage this event," said Judicial District Manager Betty Echerd. "The fair was a way to educate our officers while thanking them as part of our employee appreciation. Helping to sponsor this event made us very visible in the community."

Hilda Spivey of the Office of Staff Development and Training also organized a booth that provided flexibility, body fat and cholesterol tests. In addition, other vendors had booths that included information on employee assistance programs, financial planning and physical fitness.

Officer Performs Heimlich on Choking Inmate

SALISBURY- Correctional Food Service Officer Ronald Peeler recently came to the rescue of an inmate who started choking while eating his evening meal at Rowan Correctional Center. Officer Peeler noticed the inmate was struggling for air and asked him if he was choking. When the inmate signaled that he was, Officer Peeler gave the inmate two Heimlich stomach thrusts and dislodged the object. The inmate was seen by the facility nurse and the local emergency room and reportedly has no ill effects from the incident.

A Salisbury resident, Officer Peeler has been with the Department since 1985. He began his career as a correctional officer at Piedmont Correctional Institution. He transferred to Rowan Correctional Center in 1991 as a correctional officer. Then in 1994 he was reassigned as a correctional food service officer at the same facility. Rowan provides CPR training for all certified staff on a yearly basis.

Staff Get All Wet For A Good Cause

ROXBORO- Several staff members from Judicial District 9A in Person County recently got all wet in an effort to raise money for the North Carolina Special Olympics. The staff rented a dunking booth for the annual Mayfest 2000 in Roxboro. Individuals purchased three balls for a dollar and took their chances at hitting a triggering device that would send the dunking booth participants into the water.

The staff raised more than $300 from the dunking booth, a prize drawing and T-shirt sales. John Lee, judicial district manager; Robert Carver, probation/parole officer; Jody Blackwell, probation/parole officer; and Geoff Brann, probation/parole officer all took turns getting dunked. Lawanda Small, Angela Montague, Tracy Rogers, Stephanie Brown and Dedrick Battle, all probation/parole officers, helped out with the event.

Two Officers Get High Honors For Food Service

SALISBURY- John Dabbs, food service manager at Rowan Correctional Center, has been selected as "Food Service Operator of the Year." The North Carolina Chapter of the American Correctional Food Service Association (ACFSA) presented him the award June 28 at the Food Service Conference in Concord.

Rowan Assistant Supt. Bobby Burton nominated Dabbs for the award. "This facility has most definitely benefited from John's experience both within and outside the Department," said Burton. "The kitchen is a smooth well-oiled operation where both staff and inmate workers enjoy their jobs and come together as a team. The population inmates have been so pleased with the quality of food that it's been over three years since the last inmate grievance was written concerning the food."

Dabbs has been with the Department for eight years. He was employed at Anson Correctional Center before accepting the food service manager position at Rowan in 1994.

The ACFSA also named Alfred "Lee" Cole as Employee of the Year. James Fender, Cole’s supervisor at Foothills Correctional Institution, nominated him for the award. Cole is credited for utilizing USDA commodities and reducing food costs. He has also assumed many management duties filling in for other employees on medical leave.

Cole started his career with the Department six years ago as a correctional officer at Foothills. Within two years he became a food service manager.

Staff Hit The Road For March Of Dimes

FAYETTEVILLE- Several probation/parole staff from Judicial District 12 in Cumberland County recently took part in WalkAmerica to help raise money for the March of Dimes. They raised a total of $576 for programs to save babies from birth defects, low birth weight and infant death. Kedra Sheppard, office assistant; Betty Ann Crawford, victims advocate notification coordinator; Joe Whitehurst, surveillance officer; Garry Garner, surveillance officer; Kathy Blackmon, intensive officer; Lisa Robinson, probation/parole officer; and Charlie Malloy, surveillance officer, participated in the walk.

Officers Pitch In To Help Officer In Need

While transporting several minimum custody inmates July 28 from Central Prison in Raleigh to Tyrrell Prison Work Farm in Columbia, Officer Fran Brickhouse had to call for help when the transfer van she was driving broke down near Wendell. Capt. Rudolph Britton, Sgt. Larry Duston, Officer Robert Raetz and Officer Larry Joyner from Franklin Correctional Center came to her aid within 30 minutes of her call. Even while waiting for help to arrive, Officer Carlton Ewards never lost touch with Brickhouse by radio. "I feel lucky to be a part of such an organization (as the DOC) where fellow staff jumps in to help others," said Officer Brickhouse. "I would just like to say a very gratuitous thank you to Franklin Correctional Center for their warmth, help and extreme kindness."

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