Blog: DPS Dispatch

Celebrates Staff for a Year of Dedication in a Pandemic North Carolina Prisons leadership today honored the men and women who fell in the line of duty, mourned those who succumbed to COVID-19 and celebrated the staff who have worked with such dedication during the past year of pandemic. “It is a time to honor our men and women we’ve lost,” said Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons, during a ceremony today for Correctional Officers and Correctional Employee Appreciation Week.

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Research has identified seven critical domains where children returning to their communities following involvement in the juvenile justice system face challenges and opportunities when it comes to the likelihood of continued or future involvement in the criminal justice system. A North Carolina program funded in part through a federal second chance grant is helping Juvenile Justice address barriers found in with one especially challenging domain – successful school placement of these young people upon return to their communities.

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Spring is an active time for farmers and members of our state’s agricultural industry. Did you know that in North Carolina it is legal for farm equipment to travel on most public roads? The exception to this includes interstates and controlled access roadways. “Our farmers are out working hard right now as they are one of North Carolina’s most important economic engines,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Please be careful when you see farm trucks and equipment out on the road so they can do their jobs while everyone stays safe.” 

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The North Carolina Juvenile Justice Section is continually increasing and improving opportunities available for juveniles to return to their communities following commitment in youth development centers. The importance of proper reentry was heightened over the past 17 months when the age of youth potentially housed in juvenile hustice facilities was raised to 18. This change meant older teenagers and young adults involved in non-violent offenses could receive more focused and age-appropriate rehabilitation and reentry services.

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As the agency’s mission states, the 37,000 employees of the Department of Public Safety work daily to ‘safeguard and preserve the lives and property of North Carolinians through prevention, protection and preparation.’ Yet the efforts of thousands of volunteers helping in various programs across the state is equally important in fulfilling that mission.  Whether rebuilding homes for disaster victims or helping justice-involved individuals reestablish productive lives, volunteers in these DPS programs offer their hands and hope for a brighter future.  Offender outreach opportunities

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The vaccines have been a game-changer It’s been a year since the pandemic first hit our state prison system. We’ve endured an awful year of heartbreak, surprises, adaptation, perseverance and the most logistically complicated mass-vaccination initiative since the polio vaccine was rolled out in the 1950s. The hard work is paying off. The vaccines are making a huge difference. They are working.

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Gov. Roy Cooper proclaimed April Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to the non-driving activities that can take our eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or interrupt our concentration. While drivers texting is the leading cause of distracted driving incidents, there are other risky activities that are just as dangerous. Any action that causes a driver’s eyes or attention to shift from the road is considered distracted driving, including eating or drinking, putting on makeup, adjusting the radio volume or even engaging with other passengers in the vehicle.

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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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Lieutenant Colonel Donna Carter is the first female to achieve her current rank in the NC State Highway Patrol (NCSHP). She joined the Patrol in 1997 as a recruit in the 98th Basic Patrol School, where she graduated alongside two other women cadets.  After graduating from college, Lt. Col. Carter started her professional career as a physical education teacher.  She noticed the professionalism of troopers at events such as the NC State Fair and was drawn to this challenging career path to see if she could persevere the difficult basic training.

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Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill on March 11 requiring all schools to offer in-person learning. After more than a year of virtual instruction for most in the state, students will be back in the classrooms very soon. That means more school buses will be back on the road. Let’s do a quick review of school bus safety to be safe and ready when they hit the roads. When to stop Two-lane roadway – All traffic from both directions must stop Two-lane with a center turning lane – All traffic from both directions must stop Four-lane roadway – All traffic from both directions must stop

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Few would call the field of law enforcement an easy career path to follow. Being a police officer has always had its challenges, but for many women in years past, just getting on the force in a profession so heavily dominated by men was daunting. Societal changes have seen more and more female officers enter police ranks in recent years. That is a positive trend. However, the women who were the first to serve at their departments and who convinced sometimes skeptical brother officers they could hold their own still deserve our thanks.

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This time of the year, many North Carolinians are preparing their flowerbeds and gardens for the spring showers that will help the flowers and vegetables grow. As beautiful as spring is in North Carolina, it is also the most active season for severe weather like thunderstorms and tornados. In addition to working on their gardens, North Carolinians are also encouraged to be proactive and prepare for severe weather 

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