Blog: DPS Dispatch

Every day across the state members of the NC Department of Public Safety – whether sworn or civilian – serve to protect the lives and property of those living in and visiting our state. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic staff have expanded their responsibilities to help distribute PPE, share lifesaving information or assist with vaccine rollout.  Probation and Parole Officer Cindy Ulibarri, a member of Unit O in Cleveland County, took on additional responsibilities this year while assisting with a community vaccination clinic. She has been with NCDPS for six years. 

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With new COVID-19 cases on the decline, prisons providing vaccinations to all incarcerated individuals who want the vaccine; and  vaccines now widely available in communities across the state; the N.C. Department of Public Safety is wrapping up a project that provided quarantine space to recently released offenders who may have been exposed to COVID-19 prior to release. This group would have otherwise been homeless or didn’t have a stable home to go to following completion of their sentences.

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April is Second Chance Month in North Carolina, a time to consider the challenges facing the more than 20,000 people returning to their communities after leaving prison. At least 1 in 4 North Carolinians have criminal records that often trigger collateral consequences, limiting their housing and employment opportunities. In fact, about 95 percent of people in prison will eventually return to their communities.

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Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed August as Reentry Month in North Carolina, a time to highlight efforts at the local, state and federal level to assist formally incarcerated individuals with a smooth transition back into their communities.  Every year, thousands of individuals complete their sentences in the state’s correctional facilities. These people face many challenges. They need a place to live, a job, transportation and assistance creating a healthy life.  What is Reentry?

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Becoming a PPO

This week we celebrated the probation and parole officers (PPO) of North Carolina. We thanked them for their service to our communities and all they do to help keep us safe. These sworn law enforcement officers supervise offenders to ensure compliance with court orders, elevate offenders’ needs to successfully complete probation or parole, and counsel offenders regarding treatment. With so many job duties, do you know what it takes to become a PPO with the Department of Public Safety? PPO Requirements and qualifications

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Chief Probation and Parole Officer Lauren Patterson was just a child the first time she volunteered with Operation Christmas Child, a ministry project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides children in need around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items and school supplies. That one time was all it took to spark a passion within her. From that moment, Patterson continued to volunteer with the organization through her church until later down the road she was given the opportunity to become an area coordinator—and she took it.

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Initial class to complete new expanded training curriculum The first graduation ceremony of the year’s first class of basic probation/parole officer trainees came complete with the pageantry, and pomp and circumstance of a major state event. What made this occasion different than those Community Corrections had hosted in the past was one, the location, and two, the special keynote speaker.

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