Blog: DPS Dispatch

Every year, thousands of people complete their sentences in one of North Carolina’s correctional institutions and return to their community.  Preparing offenders for their return home is a nine-month process. Case managers review the home plan with the offender to ensure they will have a stable place to live, they help the offender get new identification and documents they may need and help the offender connect with resources for employment, transportation and other assistance.

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The World Health Organization designated 2020 as the “International Year of the Nurse” in honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. If there is a group of nurses that represent the courage and care needed to deal with the pandemic this year, it definitely includes the nurses who work for the state’s Juvenile Justice section.  

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The year has brought us many changes. One thing that has not changed – protecting our home. Home safety is extremely important especially during the holiday season. Emergency Management and law enforcement experts from the Department of Public Safety came up with these tips to help your family remain safe during the holidays. Protect against home fire risks

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After years of planning, North Carolina implemented the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act (S.L. 2017-57) on Dec. 1, 2019. More commonly known as “Raise the Age,” the law redirects 16 and 17-year-olds who committed misdemeanors and low-level felonies from automatically being charged in the adult criminal justice system. North Carolina was one of the last states to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction for most offenses to 18. By including 16 and 17-yearolds under juvenile jurisdiction, the state endorsed a practice that is not only effective in reducing crime but also is cost-effective. 

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With winter weather in the forecast, now is the time to prepare. To remain safe during this time, the best thing you can do is not drive on the roads, but if you must, plan ahead and review how to operate your vehicle in winter weather. Prepare Your Vehicle Before you hit the road, it’s a good rule of thumb to prepare your vehicle ahead of time. The lower temperatures can cause tire pressure and battery power to drop and may cause moisture to freeze the gas lines. Check your tire pressure, test your battery and keep your gas tank at least half full.

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Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season and has made a name for itself as the largest shopping day of the year. Many friends and family shop together to plan a day scoring deals upon deals. But satisfying shopping experiences can quickly turn sour if we’re not careful. Following these tips will help keep you safe however you choose to shop in this holiday season and during a pandemic.  Shopping during COVID-19 Whether shopping in person or picking up items, taking a few extra precautions this year will help keep you, your family and friends safe during the COVID-19 era. 

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Bertie Correctional Institution Sgt. Robert Russell is a trailblazer in his northeastern North Carolina county. Not only was he a member of the first Public Safety Cadet Program class back in 2017 at Bertie High School, he also was the first member of the program to be hired by the state prison in 2018. 

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Partnerships between agencies are important in state government. Problems at one agency may be easily solved by another if there was a way to bring everyone together. The Office of Strategic Partnerships, through the Office of State Budget and Management, works to increase and enhance partnerships between state government and North Carolina's research universities and philanthropic sector.

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At its September National Memorial Ceremony and Training Institute Recognition Luncheon in Bloomington, Minnesota, the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation honored Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Critical Incident Administrator Jeffery Billups for his heroic actions last summer while driving home from work. Billups (pictured in center) received the CPOF Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award from the CPOF Board of Directors Chairman Glenn Mueller and National Director Ron Barnes.

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Collisions and other road incidents can happen any time, anywhere, no matter the experience level of the driver. One of the safest choices both drivers and passengers can make in a vehicle is to wear a seat belt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that in 2017, seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 lives. In that same year, 47 percent of those killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing a seat belt.

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As National Domestic Violence Awareness Month winds down this week, it’s important to include a vital function within the North Carolina Department of Public Safety - Victim Services. Under the direction of Liddie Shropshire, this section of Administration provides a team of employees responsible for addressing both the functional and monetary needs of those individuals in our state who have been victimized by crime.

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The Department of Public Safety is charged with preventing, protecting and preparing North Carolinians from actual or potential dangers. While much attention is placed on natural disasters, those aren’t the only instances when the public needs to be protected.  The department is a great resource for safety tips to help you and your family stay safe. To serve our growing Spanish-speaking population, many of these resources also are available in Spanish. Emergency Plan

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The ongoing pandemic temporarily halted in-person educational programs in every state prison due to restrictions placed on outside visitation by instructors, as well as community colleges stopping classes. But it did not stop the N.C. Field Minister Program from moving forward into its fourth year at Nash Correctional Institution.

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The Division of Prisons works tirelessly to train offenders for life back in the community. Educational and job training opportunities abound in the state’s 50-plus facilities through Correction Enterprises and other avenues, but the majority of those opportunities benefit male offenders. Thanks to its continuing partnership with The College at Southeastern in Wake Forest, a program geared toward female offenders is now in place at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh.

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