Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice Names Earp, Sullivan to New Leadership Positions Earp new Deputy Secretary for Administration; Sullivan the Deputy Secretary for Analysis, Programming and Policy


Chief Deputy Secretary for Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice Timothy Moose announced the promotions of Melissa Earp and Nicole Sullivan into key leadership roles within the division.

Earp, the former director of administrative services for the state prison system, was named as Deputy Secretary for Administration. She replaced Tracy Little, who retired on Feb. 1.

Earp has oversight of the ACJJ fiscal, human resources, purchasing and IT areas, as well as oversight of Staff Development and Training section, Combined Records, and Critical Incident administrators. For the past year Earp provided expert guidance through the many needs that the pandemic created for Prisons’ finances, human resources and training new employees.

“Melissa has the heart for our employees and for our work across the various agencies of ACJJ and DPS, as well as the institutional knowledge and experience to continue to guide us well across the board in this new assignment,” Moose said. 

Earp started her state government career in June 1996 with the former Department of Correction and served in a variety of roles including Prison’s administrative services manager for the Piedmont region in Forsyth County and budget analyst for the prison system. She left DPS to become the chief financial officer for the Wildlife Resources Commission in July 2017. She returned to Prisons in December 2019 as the director of administrative services.

Earp is a graduate of Forsyth Technical College and is working on completing her degree at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. 

Moose also announced the promotion of Sullivan to ACJJ Deputy Secretary for Analysis, Programming and Policy. Sullivan served as the director of Reentry, Programs & Services since 2013. In her new role, Sullivan is responsible for evidence-based programs development, reentry services and community programs, program quality assurance, research, planning and administrative analysis, external affairs and partnerships. 

She is a nationally-recognized expert and trainer on evidence-based practices, the principles of effective interventions, risk-needs assessments, cognitive behavioral interventions, and offender reentry and transition. Sullivan has led multiple best practice research initiatives with the Council of State Governments Justice Center, The Research Triangle Institute, Vera Institute of Justice, and the Pew Foundation. 

“In my career, I have never known someone who can take research principles, algorithms, findings and outcomes, and translate them into everyday understandable language in the way that Nicole can,” Moose said. “Those who know Nicole appreciate the passion she has for our profession and the work that our frontline staff do every day trying to impact behavior change while accounting for public safety.”  

Prior to her new role, Sullivan served as director of Research & Planning in both ACJJ and the former DOC. She began her state government career in 1992 as a social research assistant working in the Drug & Alcohol Recovery Treatment Program. She moved to the former Criminal Justice Partnership Program Office in 1994 as a social research associate and later worked as a correctional planner, corrections research and evaluation analyst, and policy development analyst before moving into the role as director of research and planning in January 2012.

Sullivan graduated from Emory University in Atlanta and received her master’s degree from Duke University. 

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