Juvenile Justice Employees Recognized for ‘Raising the Bar’


Leaders in the Juvenile Justice Section of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice distributed awards earlier this month in recognition of individual staff members or groups of staff members who excel in their duties.

“We implemented the ‘Raising the Bar Award’ this year to recognize those individuals or groups of individuals in juvenile justice who go above and beyond the call of duty, or develop or help implement innovative practice within the juvenile justice system,” said William Lassiter, deputy commissioner for Juvenile Justice. “We hope to make this an annual awards program, to recognize the hard work and dedication of so many of our staff.”

Raising the Bar award winners (by region) were:

Western Area

Linda Graney


e C


ity Programs

Linda Graney,

Area Consultant, West/Piedmont Areas

Linda Graney stepped up to the plate to do extra work to move statewide projects along, from the design of new JCPC monitoring tools, to standardized training materials for the SPEP training roll out and presentation of scores to programs.

Juvenile Court Services

Staff and Management team, District 28

(Buncombe County)

The district created a Graduated Responses partnership with Eliada Home for Children allowing full access to their campus for court counselors to provide kids with rewards including tennis courts, a driving range, climbing walls, weight room and basketball/volleyball courts. One juvenile court counselor was trained to become a NYPUM (National Youth Project Using Mini-bikes) Instructor.

Management has worked on a number of initiatives to build district morale including the creation of a Wellness Committee and a Positive Reinforcement Committee.  For 2014-2015, District 28 ranked #1 in the state for meeting benchmarks in all areas of Peer Review, receiving an overall score of 98.2 percent.

Bill Davis,

Chief Court Counselor, District 23 (Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Yadkin counties)

Bill Davis has distinguished himself as a statewide leader and with his quiet, humble and optimistic leadership style has focused on building services and developing staff within District 23.

Davis serves on four county JCPCs, has strong standing among the district's court officials, is commited to goal-oriented staff development; and shows creativity in developing electronic processes to support both juvenile justice administration and field staff.

Piedmont Area

Juvenile Court Services

Staff of District 17

(Surry, Stokes, Rockingham counties)

District 17 initiated its Graduated Responses and Sanctions Program in June 2014 as a collaborative pilot project for juveniles to address violations of probation and to provide incentives for positive behaviors while under probationary supervision.  Staff members have imposed sanctions (such as adding community service, electronic house arrest, modification of curfew) and imposed incentives (such as tours of college campuses, trips to state parks, summer camps, attendance at sporting events). District staff have volunteered their personal time and resources during this pilot project.  Since January 2015, 65 youth have been served by this project and only one youth has been taken back before the judge for non-compliance.  This is a tremendous cost savings to our state and to the community.  The community is now approaching district staff wanting to be involved and to reach out to juveniles and families. This project is a community-supported project that instills great pride in District 17 staff members.

Staff of District 22

(Alexander, Iredell, Davie, Davidson counties)

Exemplary results in juvenile diversion – the District as a whole diverts 60 percent from court in comparison to the state rate at 35 percent – and during the District Peer Review in the category of Intake, Decisions, Diversions were accomplished in District 22 through leadership of the supervisors and the teamwork of each court counselor and staff assistant working together when the district staffing was down 25 percent.  A Peer Review rating of 97.45 percent compliance in the category of Intake, Decisions, Diversions is significant because Davidson County had the state's 6


highest rate of juveniles at intake, and Iredell County follows at 17


.  Additionally, the district deserves recognition for its outreach in regard to juvenile delinquency. Both the Davie and Alexander County JCPCs have held youth symposiums to bring community stakeholders together to promote awareness about juvenile justice issues and identify needs to generate solutions for court-involved youth. The outcome of the symposiums have resulted in strengthened relationships with the schools (SROs), law enforcement and Department of Social Services.

Juvenile Facility Operations

Beverly Cash,

Cook Supervisor II, Alexander Juvenile Detention Center

Beverly Cash works diligently to ensure the child nutrition program at Alexander Juvenile Detention Center scores exceptionally well on all inspections and audits. Ms. Cash's state and federal audits are always scored at 100-percent with additional comments always being made about the cleanliness and organization of the kitchen.

Ms. Cash also consistently goes beyond the basic requirements by making submissions to various awards programs. She often, of her own accord, works on these submissions outside of normal working hours. She has obtained positive, professional recognition for Alexander Juvenile Detention Center, the Division and the Department, on the local, state and national levels.

  • In 2014: Ms. Cash won the 2014 National USDA Best Practice Award for AJDC's School Nutrition Program in the area of increasing participation in school breakfast to 100-percent. She came in third place, at the state level, for the Awards for Excellence program. Ms. Cash placed at the Silver level and won $1,000 for AJDC, higher than any other submissions for the department, for the Healthier U.S. School Challenge.
  • In 2015: Ms. Cash was a plaque recipient for the Golden Key Achievement. She won state level awards for SNA Partners in Education, NC Sweet Potato Month and the School Choice Leadership Award.

Cabarrus Regional Detention Center Management and Staff

Cabarrus Regional Detention Center was recognized for outstanding performance and attitude of the staff in making the move (52 miles, within 48 hours) from Gaston County to the new Cabarrus Regional Detention Center a success. The team had to overcome obstacles including staff shortages and learning a whole new control panel system. Their willingness to pull together as a team to learn a new system and provide adequate coverage to protect our youth and the citizens of North Carolina is evidence that they must love what they do for a living, and do an outstanding job at it.

Jeffery Mitchell,

Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center

Though he is not a supervisor and this is not part of his job duties, Jeffery Mitchell has reinitiated the REAL curriculum on two housing units and trained staff. He is the facility's co-PREA compliance manager, and co-manages the canteen, which is not included in his job duties. Additionally, he has been the chairperson for the SECC for two years. Mitchell has also sponsored a family from a local church group at Christmastime for the past two years. To do so, he runs a canned food drive at the facility, with staff from Stonewall Jackson volunteering the food items, which Mitchell then delivers to the family during the holiday season.

Juvenile Treatment and Intervention Services

Chaplain Ben Whitlock,

Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center

Chaplain Whitlock has provided excellent service to the campus at SJYDC for more than 15 years. In addition to individual clinical and spiritual service to youth over the years, he has developed and maintained relationships with faith-based resources in the community, created special programs for spiritual development, recruited volunteers and arranged for spiritual aftercare as part of post-release supervision plans.

Principal Paula Thompson,

Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center

Paula Thompson began at Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center as a school teacher, was promoted to assistant principal and finally, school principal. She was able to bring her vast experience as an educator and administrator to our table and, during the past five years, has successfully managed the largest school in our juvenile justice system. During a recent statewide curriculum change, Thompson voluntarily developed crosswalks to assist her faculty, and colleagues in other juvenile justice school sites, gain a better understanding of common core standards. She was also instrumental in the implementation of Professional Learning Communities at Jackson YDC.

Central Area

Juvenile Community Programs

Walter (Eddie) Crews,

Central Area Consultant

Walter (Eddie) Crews, former Contracts Manager and now Area Consultant, has provided leadership in the development and movement of the Dillon Project (Crisis and Assessment Center) at C.A. Dillon's D Cottage. This has been a tremendous task and accomplishment in that we have moved a concept into the reality of a service to benefit youth and families across the Central and Eastern Areas. The same model is planned for the Piedmont Area with Forsyth Project, located at the former Forsyth Detention Facility in Winston-Salem.

Juvenile Court Services

Miguel Pitts,

Chief Court Counselor, District 12 (Cumberland County)

Since becoming chief court counselor in 2013, Miguel Pitts has made significant changes in District 12, reducing detention days and YDC commitments and thus saving thousands of taxpayer dollars.  Additionally, the number of complaints has been reduced as well as the number of juveniles being sent to court. Due to his leadership and hard work, District 12 is the first large district to reach all benchmarks during peer reviews. Pitts has reached out to the community and schools and provided them with data and resources to help guide families in the right direction prior to law enforcement involvement. While implementing changes within the district, Mr. Pitts managed to serve on various committees within the district and state.  He attended and completed Peak Performance Training and CLDP, is a General Instructor, Peer Reviewer, Lead Reviewer, member of the Cumberland County JCPC, Communicare Board and is President of the Great Oak Board of Directors (a local mentoring organization).

Central Area

Intensive Case Management Counselors

Intensive Case Management began in selected districts in early 2014. These case managers receive specialized training and must work intensively with high risk/high needs juveniles and their families. They often must find creative ways to work with families and provide quality services, because resources are sparse. Current intensive case managers in the Central Area are:

Mary Jordan


Alan Garrett


Jessica Carter


Sharnita Peterson


Susan Tew


Joey Todd


Pamela Joyner


Tonya Griffis


Sterling Edwards


Catherine O'Brien


Jon Berkley

(D-15); and

Alison Uhlenberg


Sandra Brown

(D-10) previously worked as an ICM Counselor.

Pam Joyner

, Intensive Case Management  Counselor, District 14

Pam Joyner became the intensive case management counselor for Durham County because of her commitment to youth and families, her knowledge of community resources and her ability to get resources in place. She works tirelessly and has assisted families in securing housing, identifying and linking families to community resources, completing applications and other forms, navigating the education and mental health system, and locating employment for the juveniles and for their parents. Joyner is a certified youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Child & Family Team Trainer, an active member of the Durham County Juvenile Justice Substance Abuse Mental Health Partnership, a Court Services Peer Reviewer, and serves as the Electronic Monitoring Specialist within the Durham District.

Treatment and Intervention Services

Dr. Janet Clarke-McLean,

C.A. Dillon Youth Development Center

Dr. Janet Clarke-McLean

is a clinical psychologist who has been providing quality mental health services for juvenile justice youth for more than two decades. Most of this work was focused on youth at C.A. Dillon YDC but has included Samarkand, Chatham YDC, and Wake Regional Juvenile Detention Center. In both direct service and managerial roles, as a staunch advocate for youth and their families, McLean uses her knowledge about an individual youth's background and current circumstances to ensure a holistic approach to treatment planning and intervention. McLean has exhibited an unfailingly collaborative approach to her work and has provided effective oversight and support for medical, mental health and social work services at Dillon YDC the past several years.

Central Office

Jean Steinberg, Ph.D.,

Psychological Interventions and Implementation Specialist

Deputy Commissioner Billy Lassiter recognized

Dr. Jean Steinberg

for her dedication and hard work in service to the children, families and communities of North Carolina. She is a woman of many talents: from winning federal grant awards (OJJDP FY 2015 Second Chance Act Comprehensive Statewide Juvenile Reentry System Reform Implementation Program), to overseeing grant budgets to facilitating Juvenile Reentry Task Force meetings, and acting as a gracious host to out-of-state guests.

Eastern Area

Juvenile Community Programs

Nancy Hodges,

Eastern Area Consultant

Nancy Hodges stepped up to the plate to do extra work to move statewide projects along, from the design of new JCPC monitoring tools, to standardized training materials for the SPEP training roll out and presentation of scores to programs.

Juvenile Court Services

Kristie Howell

, Juvenile Court Counselor, District 8 (Wayne, Green, Lenoir counties)

Following her graduation from OSDT General Instructor School in early 2014, fellow General Instructor Sgt. Whaley, impressed by Kristie Howell's presentation and teaching skills, recommended that she teach the Juvenile Law curriculum to incoming cadets at the NCHP Training Academy. Howell presented to the 138


Basic Law Enforcement Training class on July 16, 2015, and she was very excited to learn that all of the cadets passed the state's Juvenile Law test. She learned this was an area in which the cadets have historically not tested well.

District 4 Court Services staff

(Duplin, Jones, Onslow and Sampson counties)

District 4 Court Services staff have participated since 2011 in a community fundraiser – The Hot Dog Sale – under the leadership of Chief Court Counselor Tracy Arrington. With declining budgets and economic conditions, the district wanted to help provide youth with school supplies, to show the juveniles support for their educational goals. This year in partnership with Positive Influence (a local mental health provider) District 4 staff raised more than $1,700 to accomplish their goals and continue to help provide for the youth.

Juvenile Facility Operations

James Cavanaugh,

Clinical Chaplain, Dobbs Youth Development Center

James Cavanaugh

developed and wrote the operating platform language for an electronic version of the youth daily skill card that is directly linked to the youth behavior management system. The electronic version of the youth skill card can be accessed on a handheld device whereby the teachers and youth counselors can immediately evaluate the youth, to record both positive behaviors and areas in need of improvement. The electronic system communicates with the TV located in the housing unit, so each youth can immediately see their level and their current status.

This system operates on cell phones that have been permanently disabled; the cell phone then transmits the information through a database. Since the cell phones are devices that would have been surplused, there was no cost to provide the facility with the handheld devices.

Shalita Forrest

, Nurse, Cumberland Regional Juvenile Detention Center

Shalita Forrest

is a motivated individual who demonstrates an innate compassion for the vulnerable population served by a juvenile detention center. She displays strong leadership, above-average medical expertise and the ability to function as an individual and as a team player. As such, she immediately grew her expertise beyond the medical field and initiated specialized training in detention policies and medical best practices methods. Forrest volunteered to be the project team leader for the center's annual Peer Review Audit; her leadership and hard work resulted in a score of Excellence. She also volunteered to be the project team leader in the center's upcoming PREA audit. She spent countless time after-hours and on weekends to prepare our staff for the federal audit, and continues to assist staff members from other facilities in preparing for the federal audit.

Sherry Cain,

Human Services  Coordinator, New Hanover Juvenile Detention Center

Sherry Cain

is untiring in her efforts to help juveniles in detention, and serves as the hub of communication between New Hanover JDC, court counselors, attorneys, parents and others in juvenile caretaker roles. Cain regularly goes well beyond her normal job responsibilities, accepting overtime hours to accompany juveniles admitted to the hospital during medical emergencies, and staying at the JDC until the last possible moment in hurricane weather. She has greatly enhanced programming at New Hanover, and is personally responsible for a service animal-related program currently in use at the detention center.

Treatment and Intervention Services

Nurse Verna Bouie,

Dobbs Youth Development Center

Nurse Verna Bouie has worked with youths at Dobbs YDC for many years and has been a constant advocate for their health. She has often identified previously undetected symptoms and facilitated appropriate referral and medical care. Moreover, Bouie provides feedback and recommendations to Healthcare Services Central Office staff to improve healthcare to youth. Many of the youth at Dobbs look to the health services area as a supportive environment to ask health questions, voice concerns and seek reassurance that they are “ok.” Bouie is responsible, in large measure, for creating that environment.

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