And the winner is…. A group of Community Corrections employees and partners who dealt with an unprecedented issue that led to a project never before attempted in the department got a special award for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The award was presented during the recent North Carolina Probation Parole Association training institute in Durham recently.
As part of the opening session, Community Corrections Director Tracy K. Lee presented his annual Director’s Award for outstanding service and dedication. This year, instead of a single recipient, the award was presented to a group of more than 20 people who assisted with DPS Non-Congregant Sheltering Project last year in Durham.
“This was an unprecedented global health crisis,” said Community Corrections Director Tracy K. Lee. But our dedicated Community Corrections staff did an outstanding job supervising these individuals and helping to provide security, many times under very challenging circumstances. It’s efforts like those that make very proud of our officers and staff.”
The program provided temporary shelter to primarily men who had recently completed their sentences in North Carolina correctional facilities, but who may have been exposed to COVID-19 prior to their release. There were fewer women compared to the men who needed the temporary shelter to avoid potentially exposing others to the virus.
“Early on in the pandemic it became apparent there would be a tremendous challenge with finding safe places for recently-released individuals to stay during their quarantine,” said Nicole Sullivan, deputy secretary for Analysis Programing and Policy. “This innovative program helped protect more than 550 offenders, their families and the public at large from the spread of COVID-19.”
District 14 Judicial District Manager (JDM) Celeste Kelly accepted the award on behalf of Community Corrections staff from District 14 who assisted with the project.