Gov. Ricketts Recognizes Parole Team on Receiving National Award
Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970
Eric Maher, 402-471-1974
LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Board of Parole applauded the Nebraska Board of Parole/Office of Parole Administration’s Research and Training Team for their work which earned them a national award. The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) recently honored Nebraska’s parole team with the President’s Award, which is awarded annually to recognize excellence in the field of parole work.
“The Board of Parole is a critically important component of Nebraska’s criminal justice system that helps ensure the safety of our families and citizens,” said Governor Ricketts. “Nebraska’s parole team has made great strides over the past couple years, and it is gratifying to see their exceptional work receive national recognition. Thank you for your continued work to protect public safety.”
The award was presented to team members Dr. Jennifer Miller, Program and Fiscal Analyst, Denison Campbell, Training and Staff Development Supervisor, and Joel Denney, Adult Parole Training Specialist, during the APPA’s Plenary Session of the 42nd Annual Training Institute in New York, New York, on August 28, 2017.
Director Julie Micek, LIMHP, was pleased to accompany the team to receive the award. “Recognition such as this not only acknowledges the dedication of our staff, but also helps inspire new commitment in our team to rededicate ourselves to our work and our mission of protecting public safety. It demonstrates that state government can lead the way in implementing initiatives that assist an agency to be more effective, more efficient, and more customer-focused in its approach.”
APPA singled out the Board of Parole accomplishments in these areas as the basis for the award:
- Improvement with how evidence-based practices can be implemented and sustained
- Assisting with the training of all Office of Parole Administration supervisors and parole officers on the matrix process used for sanctions and incentives utilized for violations
- Helping implement new training tools for all supervisors and parole officers
Rosalyn Cotton, Chair of the Nebraska Board of Parole, nominated the Team for the award in recognition of the Team’s excellent performance in implementing provisions of the justice reinvestment legislation which was signed into law in 2015. The nomination was supported by the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center. The justice reinvestment initiative was realized through the efforts of the CSG Justice Center, Nebraska State Legislature, and Criminal Justice partners across the state.
As Chair Cotton stated in her letter of nomination, “This training team played an important role in providing the agency with impressive leadership skills. They have taken great pride while working with other agencies such as the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS), the Board of Parole, and Nebraska State Probation. The successful collaboration between these agencies ensures that new evidence-based practices will be more sustainable as they continue to grow and develop new goals for the agency’s training department.”
The justice reinvestment initiative included the provisions of evidence-based practices, a validated risk and needs assessment and ongoing staff training on the use of the assessment, relationship skills, cognitive behavioral interventions, criminal risk factors being targeted to reduce recidivism, and proper use of a matrix which incorporates sanctions and incentives into the violation process. At the same time that the Office of Parole Administration was implementing the provisions of the initiative, it was also actively engaged in transitioning from NDCS to the Nebraska Board of Parole due to the passage of legislation. APPA has recognized that the Team’s approach to implementation can serve as a model for other agencies.
Director Julie Micek expressed how proud she is of the Team’s accomplishment. “This is the first such award we’ve received. As we continue to move forward, our team will continue to work towards becoming a recognized leader in the criminal justice arena.”