RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Adult Correction honored its top Prisons employees and outside volunteers Wednesday, May 3.
Officer Jermaine Burns [click for photo and additional details] of Scotland Correctional Institution, Laurinburg, was named Correctional Officer of the Year. A seven-year Prisons veteran, Officer Burns last November stopped at a school bus crash and helped four children and the driver to safety.
The Division of Prisons’ annual Employee Recognition Ceremony, held at N.C. State University’s McKimmon Center, singled out officers, administrators, health care staff and other categories of employees whose work establishes a standard of excellence throughout the state correctional system.
“You have a premier state agency,” Kristi Jones, chief of staff to Gov. Roy Cooper, said of the new Cabinet department, which debuted Jan. 1, “and you’re on the way to becoming a premier state agency nationally.”
Secretary of Adult Correction Todd Ishee said state correctional staff “are writing a new chapter in the history books of North Carolina. Every one of you is a part of that.”
Part of the history is being revised, Ishee added: “We’ve transitioned from the ‘troubled’ label to having built a respected prison system. In 2023 we’ll transition again to being a correctional system that’s recognized nationally for the work you do every day.”
Before honoring Prisons employees, the department recognized outstanding external partners:
- The Bob Barker Foundation, a nonprofit arm of institutional uniform and products supplier The Bob Barker Co. of Fuquay-Varina. The foundation is a partner with Adult Correction and Campbell University in the Second Chance Initiative, which provides college education opportunities for offenders at four state facilities—Sampson, Scotland, Anson and N.C. Correctional Institution for Women.
- Game Plan for Life, a ministry founded by three-time Super Bowl-winning Coach Joe Gibbs. Game Plan for Life partners with Adult Correction and The College at Southeastern in Wake Forest to provide a specialized college degree program for offenders at Nash Correctional Institution. Upon graduation, field ministers use their training to provide counseling for fellow offenders.
Exemplary volunteers from the correctional system’s four regions were:
- Central — Jerry Campbell, founder of Stars Behind Bars, Franklin Correctional Center, Bunn.
- Eastern Region — Billy and Cindy Garris, Day of the Lord Ministries of Wilson, Greene Correctional Institution, Maury.
- South Central Region — Evelyn Scott, creator of Bags of Hope for re-entry, Albemarle Correctional Institution, New London, Stanly County.
- Western Region — Dan Quartuccio, Elevation Church, Piedmont Correctional Institution, Salisbury.
Special employee recognition awards went to:
- K-9 Officer Ronnie Bollinger of the Western Region. Bollinger and his partner, Rhino, frequently assist other law enforcement agencies. During a vehicle stop last year by the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, they found more than eight kilograms of methamphetamine.
- Incident Command System (ICS) Team, a multidisciplinary team that monitored and directed prison operations during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure best disease-prevention practices were implemented at all facilities and that critical supplies and vaccines were distributed.
Other correctional Employee of the Year winners by category were:
Other wardens of the year, by region:
- Central—Isaac Rogers, Dan River Prison Work Farm, Blanch, Caswell County.
- Eastern—Mark Fleming, Pamlico Correctional Institution, Bayboro.
- Western Region—Steven Niday, Forsyth Correctional Center, Winston-Salem.
Associate Warden of the Year—Jeanette Robinson, Albemarle Correctional Institution, Nee London, Stanly County (also South Central Region winner).
Associate wardens of the year, other regions:
- Central—David Cassady, Caswell Correctional Center, Blanch.
- Eastern—Tammie Stocks, Craven Correctional Institution, Vanceboro.
- Western—Travis Byrd, Burke Confinement in Response to Violation (CRV) Center, Morganton (newly promoted to warden of Craggy Correctional Institution, Asheville).
Health Services Employee of the Year—Melissa Ashley, Granville Correctional Institution, Butner.
Division Nurse of the Year—Mindy Sykes, Hyde Correctional Institution, Fairfield (also Eastern Region winner).
Nurses of the year, other regions:
- Western—Alayna Howard, Marion Correctional Institution McDowell County.
- South Central—Sheana Litaker, Albemarle Correctional Institution, New London, Stanly County.
- Central—Dellery C. Harris, Warren Correctional Institution, Manson.
Division Sergeant of the Year—Sgt. Jonathan Farthing, Catawba Correctional Center, Newton (also Western Region winner).
Sergeants of the year, other regions:
- Central—Sgt. Denise Williams, Granville Correctional Institution, Butner.
- Eastern—Sgt. Rachel Mayes, Pamlico Correctional Institution, Bayboro.
- South Central—Sgt. Robert Lee, Sanford Correctional Institution, Lee County.
Division Custody Manager of the Year—Capt. Crystal Atkinson, Lumberton Correctional Institution (also South Central Region winner).
Custody managers of the year, other regions:
- Central—Lashawn Mitchener, N.C. Correctional Institution for Women, Raleigh.
- Eastern—Capt. Tobias Turley, Pasquotank Correctional Institution, Elizabeth City.
- Western—Lt. Anthony Ryerse, Foothills Correctional Institution, Morganton.
Alcohol and Chemical Dependency—Otis Isler, Drug/Alcohol Rehabilitation and Treatment (DART) Center, Goldsboro.
Correction Enterprises—Sherman Collins, Warren Correctional Institution, Blanch.
Facility Services—Raymond Krynicki, Pender Correctional Institution, Burgaw.
Human Resources—Celeste Robinson, Central Region Office, Raleigh.
Administrative Services—Tania Roberto, Marion Correctional Institution, McDowell County.
Food Services—Darilyn Thompson, Southern Correctional Institution, Troy, Montgomery County.
Program Services—Mark Patneaude, Western Correctional Center for Women, Black Mountain.
Correctional Officers of the Year, by region and facility:
- Anson CI—John Stanback
- Caswell CC—Willie Fitzgerald
- Central Prison—Mario Dervin
- Dan River PWF—Leah Lochan
- Franklin CC—Daniel Godfrey
- Nash CI—Victor Martin
- NCCIW—Ronald McCrae
- N. Piedmont CRV—Amanda Church
- Orange CC—John Morrison
- Granville CI—Vincent Hopkins
- Randolph CC—Travis Brown
- Wake CC—Jasil Younger
- Warren CI—Eric Fleming (unable to attend)
- Western CCW—Traci Cannon
- Bertie CI—Carshenia Ryan
- Carteret CC—Damarkion Richardson
- Craven CI—Charymar Santana
- Eastern CI—Mikayla Sykes
- Greene CI—Shannon Bynum
- Hyde CI—Harmony Harris
- Johnston CI—Magion Williams
- Maury CI—Jessika Bowden
- Neuse CI—David Bateholts
- Pamlico CI—Madilyn Gawerecki
- Pasquotank CI—Aimee Dance
- Roanoke River CI—Gregory Edmonds
- Tyrell PWF—Stephone Collins
- Alexander CI—Mathew Walker
- Avery-Mitchell CI—Bobby Gragg
- Burke CRV—Jeffrey Brindley (unable to attend)
- Caldwell CC—Ronald Mitchell
- Catawba CC—Tyler Stephens
- Craggy CI—Ronald Telly
- Davidson CC—Ashley Worrells
- Foothills CI—Art Fisher
- Forsyth CC—Muhammad Huda
- Gaston CC—Victor Johnson
- Lincoln CC—Demetrius Young
- Marion CI—Jeffrey Nichols
- Mountain View CI—Phillip Garland
- Piedmont CI—Eric Hedgspeth
- Rutherford CC—Joshua Vance
- Wilkes CC—Glenn Reavis
- Albemarle CI—Kennetta Spencer
- Columbus CI—James Spillman
- Harnett CI—Elisa Whitted
- Lumberton CI—Sheila Woods-Oxendine
- New Hanover CC—Aaron McKoy
- Pender CI—Edward Jones
- Richmond CI—Antoine Shaw
- Robeson CRV—John Locklear
- Sanford CC—Shelia Potts
- Sampson CI—Wesley Watson
- Southern CI—Kevin McBride
- Tabor CI—Joey McPherson
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