Craven Correctional Nurse Wins Prisons Innovations and Teams Award


RALEIGH — Lead nurse supervisor at Craven Correctional Institution James Menke has won this year’s Innovations and Teams Award for his creation of a sophisticated medication tracking and recovery system at the prison.

“He has done a tremendous service,” said Valerie Langley, Prisons director of nursing. “When they were misplaced, he worked very hard and very diligently to recover them.”

On taking the role of lead nurse supervisor at Craven Correctional Institution, he quickly proved he was willing to go the extra mile.

He was essential in setting up a standard method for recovering misplaced offender medications by creating a step-by-step process of tracking offenders’ medications at the busy prison, where thousands of offenders are processed each year on their arrival to the prison system before their transfer to other facilities.

By using his medication tracking and recovery system, he was able to determine when, why, and how medications were misplaced and where to find them.

Menke’s consistently innovative approach and extra effort contributed to meeting the requirement to quickly investigate misplaced offender medications and recover them whenever possible, said Gary Junker, Prisons director of health and wellness.

“His effort helped facilities across the state, so they didn’t have to work to track down misplaced medications from offenders out of Craven Correctional,” Junker said. “It is a critical function.”

Announced at the first in-person (but socially distant and masked) gathering of the state’s wardens in a year on May 6, Menke’s award coincided with national Correctional Officers and Correctional Employees Week.

“He represents the best of our best from across the state,” said Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons. “Our award winners are hard-working, innovative and deeply committed to their jobs, their colleagues and to the care of the men and women in our custody.”

Menke was hired as a nurse at Craven Correctional in 2014. He recently transferred to Pamlico Correctional, where he is implementing a medication tracking and recovery system at that prison.

The prison system houses more than 28,000 offenders in 55 facilities with a staff of around 13,500.

Click for information on other Prisons 2021 award winners and for images of award winners.

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