DPS Dispatch

The Juvenile Justice Section recognized five of its general instructors earlier this month during an awards ceremony held during the Section’s annual General Instructors meeting. Kimberly Quintus, Director of the Juvenile Jurisdiction Reinvestment Act, led the awards ceremony, and Deputy Secretary William Lassiter presented awards to the following individuals during the March 2 event: 2017 Juvenile Justice Instructor of the Year: LaTonya MiddletonCourt Counselor, District 11 (Harnett, Lee, Johnston counties)

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Twenty-four men and women proudly took the oath of office as they became graduates of the first basic probation/parole officer training in 2018. Family members, friends and trainers watched as Superior Court Judge Vince Rozier delivered the oath at a special ceremony held at the Office of Staff Development and Training Complex in Apex. Community Corrections Director Tracy Lee was keynote speaker for the ceremony. He shared wisdom from his early career as a Probation/Parole Officer in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Make sure your honor, your integrity and your reputation remain intact,” said Lee.

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On Feb. 7-9, Interim Chief Deputy Secretary Reuben Young and Director of Prisons Kenneth Lassiter resumed their visits to the state’s prisons by heading west. The road swing took them to Lincoln Correctional Center, Alexander Correctional Institution, Caldwell CC, Avery/Mitchell CI, Mountain View CI, Marion CI, Foothills CI and Burke CRV. As they did in their early January visit to prisons in northeastern North Carolina, Young and Lassiter met with the facilities’ senior management to learn about the facilities, hear updates about the various programs, concerns and what is working.

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Leadership from the State Highway Patrol, N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program and local communities gathered in Clayton on Friday for the launch of the “Survive the Drive” campaign to highlight the dangers of speeding and distracted driving on rural roads. Although many collisions occur on interstates and highways, statistics show that most occur on secondary roads. In 2017, the State Highway Patrol responded to 48,789 collisions on secondary roads. Among those collisions, more than 14,000 involved personal injury and 383 resulted in one or more fatalities.

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We want you. That well-publicized slogan on the Uncle Sam posters during World War II still applies. But this time it is the NC Department of Public Safety doing the recruiting and the agency is reaching out to military families. NCDPS and the NC National Guard are hosting a one-day career event designed to match eager applicants with departmental jobs in law enforcement, corrections, emergency management, National Guard, the State Bureau of Investigation and more. NCDPS Career Event Thursday, March 1 9am – 2pm Joint Force Headquarters, 1636 Gold Star Dr. Raleigh

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Governor Roy Cooper is making good on his promise to make North Carolina safer by helping people leaving the state’s prisons become productive members of their communities. During the second meeting of the State Reentry Council Collaborative this week, Gov. Cooper unveiled the comprehensive action plan created by the Council to ensure the success of formerly incarcerated people after they’ve paid their debt to society and return to their communities.

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According to the 18th century English poet Alfred Austin, “To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” With that in mind, Juvenile Justice Health Services has initiated a unique partnership with N.C. State University’s Department of Horticultural Sciences to design and install sensory gardens within the recreation yards on two juvenile facilities in North Carolina.

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Secretary Hooks and some of his executive team continue gathering feedback from employees about safety in prisons through listening sessions and other venues. They are hearing from employees across the state at all ranks and levels of experience. From brand new correctional officers with just months on the job to those with ten to twenty years, as well as sergeants, lieutenants and above, a wide variety of employees have been voicing concerns and making suggestions on how to improve operations and make prisons safer.

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Twenty-one high school-aged juveniles at Alexander Juvenile Detention Center recently competed in the center's annual gingerbread house competition. Nutrition Supervisor Beverly Cash coordinated the efforts by baking homemade gingerbread. Each student was given an unassembled gingerbread house, white frosting,assorted candies and 2.5 hours to create their masterpieces. Teacher John Hendrix primed the students' creativity by showing them a video of this year’s National Gingerbread House Competition held annually at the Omni-Grove Park Inn in Asheville. 

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