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Correction News

November 2000

Staff Become Offender Employment Specialists

RALEIGH- The National Institute of Corrections "Offender Employment Specialist" class was held Sept. 25-29 at the Division of Prisons Randall Building in Raleigh. The class, which had 25 local attendees, was part of a nationally conducted satellite program offered at 65 sites throughout the United States with over 1,800 participants.

The training consisted of 16 hours of satellite instruction and an equal number of off-air hours conducted locally. All 25 local attendees successfully completed the 32 hours of training, including development of an action plan for follow-up implementation and were awarded certification as NIC Offender Employment Specialists.

The training class in Raleigh consisted of 10 participants from Division of Prisons, eight from the Division of Community Corrections, and seven from community-based organizations, including JobLink Centers, community colleges and other partner agencies involved in preparing offenders for securing and retaining gainful employment upon release.

The purpose of the training was to enhance staff knowledge and skills in pre-release and post-release program planning for offender employment, including use of interagency resources. On-site presenters included Kathy Clay of Clay, Wilson and Associates in Hickory; Diane Smith and Russell Doles from the Employment Security Commission in Raleigh; and Tracy McPherson, prison-to-work consultant in Raleigh. Arthur Clark of DOP Educational Services was the site coordinator.

Secretary Theodis Beck made opening remarks to the class and James French, Division of Prisons director, and Sherry Pilkington, Division of Community Corrections assistant director, joined in offering congratulatory comments and presenting the NIC certificates.

Culbreth Named Distinguished Woman Of The Year

NEW BERN- The Craven County Council on Women named Anita Culbreth, lead victim advocate notification coordinator, as Craven County Distinguished Woman of the Year in Government Aug. 27. The council presented her a plaque and roses during the ceremony at Bridge Point Restaurant in New Bern. The honor automatically puts Culbreth in the running for North Carolina’s Distinguished Woman of the Year, which will be named by the North Carolina Council for Women in 2001.

"It was an honor to accept it not only for myself, but for the department," said Culbreth. "It was extra special for me to get it for my work in victim services. The best part of my job is letting victims know there is someone on their side they can talk to."

Culbreth’s husband, Warren, nominated her for the honor because he says she works so hard. "She even takes her briefcase with her when we go on vacation. I wanted her to know I’m proud of her and she’s appreciated."

Culbreth started working for the Division of Community Corrections eight years ago as an office assistant. She became a victim advocate in 1996 after receiving her degree in criminal justice from North Carolina Wesleyan College.

Officer Receives Commendation From City Of Durham

DURHAM- Officer William Bunn of Durham Correctional Center recently received high praises from Durham city officials for his role in community work crew projects. In a letter to Supt. David Cates, Ralphele Reels, enterprise fund manager for the City of Durham, expressed appreciation for the work the crew Bunn supervises had done at cemeteries and at a historic site on Glenn Road.

"My experience with Mr. Bunn has been both rewarding and informative," wrote Reels. "He is kind, considerate and rises to the challenge when given assignments on various city projects." Reels went on to thank Cates for the help that the facility has given the city.

Bunn, who started working at Durham Correctional just over five years ago, supervises a community work crew of 10 inmates. He says he enjoys it. "I like helping the guys get adjusted to being outside and working with the public," said Bunn. He says the letter touched his heart, but he can't take all the credit. "The inmates do the work and make me look good."

Bunn lives in Durham with his wife. He has a son, two daughters and four grandchildren.

Community Corrections Staff Help Anxious Offender

HENDERSONVILLE- Several officers from Judicial District 29 teamed up recently to help an offender who had called their office and was threatening to commit suicide. Ragan Hare, chief probation/parole officer, was able to convince the offender to meet her and David Oates, intermediate officer, to talk. Tim Marshall, intensive officer, and Tracy Howell, a surveillance officer who has volunteered on a suicide hot line, accompanied them.

Officers Oates and Howell were able to talk with the offender and the family and get the situation under control. "You must always take these type calls seriously," said Hare. "All the officers were ready to respond and willing to stay as long as it took to fix the situation. Everyone did an outstanding job and did it with a positive attitude."

Lieutenant Touts Community Watch Program

CARTHAGE- Lt. David Savage of Sandhills Youth Center says he has proof community watch programs work and he encourages other staff to start one in their own neighborhoods.

Recently, some of Savage’s neighbors saw two men leaving in a van from another neighbor’s home who was out of town. Since the neighbors were all involved in a community watch program they called Savage and the Moore County Sheriff’s Department. Savage assisted deputies in tracking down one of the suspects who was later arrested and is awaiting trial. The suspect’s van turned out to be stolen and had reportedly been used in another breaking and entering case. Deputies also recovered a riding lawn mower that had been taken from Savage’s neighbor and other stolen property.

Savage helped start the community watch program in his neighborhood this past February after a string of break-ins in the area. He says the capture of the burglary suspect is one of many benefits that have come out of the program. "Neighbors are looking out for each other," said Savage. "Half of us didn’t even know each other and now we do and we’re active in our community." He added that if your neighborhood doesn’t have a program, he advocates starting one and becoming involved in it.

Secretary Speaks At NABCJ Conference

RALEIGH- Secretary Theodis Beck welcomed more than 200 criminal justice professionals at the North Carolina State Chapter of the National Association of Blacks In Criminal Justice (NABCJ) conference and training institute Sept. 27. Beck talked about the future of corrections and the many challenges criminal justice professionals have overcome.

Attendees took part in workshops, which included Justice and Social Change in the New Millennium, Changing Trends in Juvenile Justice, Undue Familiarities with Staff and Offenders and more. A job fair was also held.

NABCJ, an affiliate of the American Correctional Association, is a multiracial, non-partisan association of criminal justice professionals and community leaders dedicated to improving the administration of justice. Fay Lassiter, assistant chief of program services for the Division of Prisons, is chapter president and Ray Raynor, assistant superintendent at Polk Youth Institution, is vice-president.

Women Working In Corrections Workshop Held

SOUTHERN PINES- Women Working in Corrections held its annual awards luncheon and training session at the Holiday Inn in Southern Pines Sept. 20. Secretary Theodis Beck was the keynote speaker.

Attendees took part in workshops, which included Professionalism in the Workplace, Domestic Violence, To Your Health..What’s Right for You, and From the Voice of a Victim. Outstanding service awards were presented to Levonna Morrison, transfer coordinator at Albemarle Correctional Institution, and Jewel Monroe, program supervisor at Hoke Correctional Institution.

The program was dedicated to Shannon Cuddington Smith, who was hit by a car while supervising an inmate road crew from Johnston Correctional Institution. A plaque was presented in her memory to Melda Smith, Shannon’s sister.

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