Long-time Juvenile Justice employee wins John R. Larkins Award

RALEIGH

Administration Secretary Bill Daughtridge Jr. today presented Stanley C. Melvin, director of Pitt Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Greenville, with the prestigious John R. Larkins Award during the 2016 State Employees Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in downtown Raleigh. This award is the highest civil rights honor that can be won by a state employee.

Melvin, who began working for Juvenile Justice in 1979 at Dobbs Youth Development Center in Kinston, was cited for his selfless dedication to helping young people – from the juveniles served at Pitt Juvenile Detention, to the college students seeking careers in the criminal justice field who work as interns at the detention center.

Concerned that Pitt Juvenile Detention’s staff lacked diversity, Melvin started an innovative program that increased workplace diversity while boosting staff recruitment through the active marketing of Pitt Juvenile Detention as a student intern site for criminal justice majors at nearby institutions of higher learning. Since 1995, nearly 300 student-interns have gained experience working with minority youths, who in turn were exposed to people from various ethnicities and backgrounds.

Melvin gives back to the community, speaking often to young people in various community settings about the dangers of gangs, drugs and delinquent behaviors. He has also served for 18 years on criminal justice advisory boards at East Carolina University and Pitt Community College, providing oversight of the coursework students will use to be able to keep abreast of the needs of various criminal justice agencies.

“Stanley is a person who truly works from the heart,” said Frank L. Perry, Secretary of the Department of Public Safety. “He treats every juvenile in his care and each staff member as if they were the most important person in the world. We are fortunate in North Carolina to have a leader of such caliber working to guide our troubled youths to a more positive path.”

The John R. Larkins Award was established in 1998 to recognize human service and is presented annually at the State Employees Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance Program. The award this year honored a state employee whose work ethic goes above and beyond and whose self-determination promotes and encourages the same in others. Melvin was one of five finalists for this year’s award.

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