Supervision/Services New & Noteworthy

DPS Continues to Emphasize Importance of Mental Health

September 10th has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as Suicide Prevention Day since its establishment in 2003.  With an estimated 700,000 suicides per year worldwide, suicide is a major public health problem connected to nearly everyone.

The Division of Parole Supervision (DPS) continues to emphasize the importance of mental health through various training opportunities like Mental Health First Aid and ongoing discussions.  Recently, several of our staff completed Critical Incident Stress Management training to better assist in situations of crisis.  Our Agency is committed to reducing stigma, raising awareness of mental health issues, and staying connected to community resources.

“Creating Hope Through Action” is the triennial theme for the World Suicide Prevention Day from 2021-2023.  This theme serves as a powerful call to action and reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and that through our actions, we can encourage hope and strengthen prevention.  By creating hope through action, we can signal to people experiencing suicidal thoughts that there is hope and that we care and want to support them.  It also suggests that our actions, no mater how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling.

Parole Supervisors Graduate from State Government’s Leadership Program

The Division of Parole Supervision saw two of its supervisors recently earn the Nebraska State Government Leadership Certificate.  On April 27, 2023, Supervisors Mikki Kirkpatrick (Lincoln) and Tracy Felker (Northwest) were awarded certificates after successfully completing a year-long curriculum – 72 hours of specialized training that included coursework in the following:  Effective Communication for Leaders; Hiring Right; Ethics in Government Panel; Personnel Rules and Contracts; Effective Performance Management; Emotional and Social Intelligence; Cultivating Positive Culture; Coaching (Even the Tough Stuff); Leadership and Conflict; Navigating Change for Leaders; Building Team Morale; Competing for Talent with Culture; Planning for Succession; Developing Yourself and Others; and Ken Blanchard's SLII (Situational Leadership).

The leadership program provides enrollees with an extensive training program led by a unique blend of local in-house instructors and noteworthy professionals nationwide.  The training is online, allowing students and instructors to interact over otherwise prohibitive geographic distances.  In addition, the professional network being created will offer numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth for all participants throughout their careers.  Supervisors Felker and Kirkpatrick will undoubtably take their new training and find practical applications to Parole supervision that have the potential to transform the agency.

Parole Represented at UNO SCCJ Scholarship and Awards Luncheon

On March 31, 2023, the University of Nebraska at Omaha held a Scholarship and Awards Luncheon for the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (SCCJ).  This event honored exemplary students, faculty, and individuals who contribute to the success of SCCJ. 

Parole was represented by Rosalyn Cotton, Chair of the Nebraska Board of Parole, and invited guests.  In attendance with Ms. Cotton were Julie Micek, Hannah Hansen, Sarah Krohn, Nikki Hodges, Oscar Lopez, Cayla Tritle, TylerAnn Zoubek, and Sally Reinhardt-Stewart.  Attendees were able to network with other agencies throughout the criminal justice field in Nebraska.  This event allows students the opportunity to continue their education and further their passion for future employment with these agencies. 

Thank you to UNO and Ms. Cotton for the opportunity to attend this event. 

Nebraska Parole Supports the Nebraska Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers during National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Since 1983, April has been nationally recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month.  In Nebraska, a network of child advocacy centers works together to provide victim services, distribute resources, advocate for legislation, and raise public awareness.  This network, known as the Nebraska Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers (CACs), provides statewide coverage and ensures that no child is too far away from supportive services.  Core services provided by the Nebraska Alliance are:

  • Maintaining Standards and Integrity of the Child Advocacy Center Movement
  • Growth and Development of New and Existing Centers
  • Support, Continuation of Existing CACs
  • Networking/Support/Mentoring
  • Community Awareness
  • Evaluation and Assessment
  • Funding/Resource Development
  • Legislative Representation and Advocacy at State level
  • Training for the CACs, Law Enforcement, Department of Health and Human Services, Attorneys, Schools, Medical, Mental Health, and other Community Professionals

For the last three years, the Nebraska Division of Parole Supervision has actively supported the mission of the Nebraska Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers through promoting community awareness and gathering donations.  This year the Lincoln and Grand Island Parole Offices partnered with US Probation and Pre-Trial Services to gather donated resources that were distributed to Child Advocacy Centers in support of their mission.  Parole also designated April 5th as Wear Blue Day to Support Child Abuse Prevention Day.

Students Explore Careers in Parole at 2023 UNL Career Fair

A special thanks to Specialized Parole Officers Oscar Lopez, Kristen Keenan, and Cayla Tritle for their attendance and representation of our agency at the UNL Career Fair 2023.  These officers were happy to represent the Division of Parole Supervision and showed pride and dedication in the services provided by our agency. 

There were many students who engaged with our officers and showed genuine interest in the field.  They asked relevant questions and were eager to learn the day-to-day activities of a parole officer.  These officers provided materials and gave examples of the service provided to our clients while they transition back into the community.  Students were given the opportunity to wear and install an electronic monitor, administer a mouth swab for drug testing, and allowed to try on safety vests.  The students were ambitious to learn what it takes to be a parole officer and appeared excited as they shared their thanks of appreciation.   

Thank you, Officer Lopez, Officer Keenan, and Officer Tritle for making a difference with your service and dedication to the citizens of Nebraska.

Careers in Parole Again Peaked Student Interest at UNO Career Fair

On March 1, 2023, the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) hosted a large career fair in which the Nebraska Division of Parole Supervision (DPS) again had the opportunity to send a team to represent DPS.  Parole Officers Mike Plachy and Hunter Stange, with Program Director Tom Mealey, attended the event.  The team provided information about career opportunities in Parole to many UNO students seeking careers post-graduation.  As in the past, interest level amongst the students was high, and the team had many engaging conversations about what serving on the Parole team entails. Program Director Mealey was able to describe the role of the PREP House that will be opening this summer for clients on parole and the upcoming job opportunities there.  The team also made connections with both UNO staff and other service providers in the community.  Our team was once again welcomed by UNO staff who ensured our team was well equipped for the event.

DPS believes that future events will continue to be positive opportunities for Parole to reach a quality pool of young, qualified candidates for future openings within the agency.  It also believes that such events will continue to assist the agency in building collaborative relationships with other agencies. 

Julie Micek honored at APAI 2023 Conference held in Kansas City

Three members of the Board of Parole Chair Rosalyn Cotton, Member Mark Langan and Member Habib Olomi along with Director Julie Micek and Attorney Nicole Miller recently attended the APAI Conference 2023.

Ms. Micek was nominated by Ms. Rosalyn Cotton for not only her impressive credentials, but also her generosity in sharing her extensive expertise with parole officers, supervisors, community providers and other external partners.  She has spearheaded initiatives to provide staff with new resources and opportunities and is a champion of staff betterment.  She works tirelessly to ensure that community supervision practices are evidence-based and that high-quality services are available to parole clients.  Ms. Micek has been nationally recognized for her development of innovative strategies and leadership in the realm of community supervision and services.  This award is well-deserved.


The Ben Baer Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a significant service in the field of parole or community corrections.


  1. Nominee must be a board member, parole agent, examiner, analyst or community corrections professional who not only has performed assigned duties in an outstanding manner, but has made a significant contribution to the parole or community corrections profession at the local, regional or national level.
  2. Nominee must have brought credit or honor to the profession of parole.
  3. Nominee must be nominated by an active member of the APAI.



DPS Victim Services Forum Hosted in Omaha

In March 2023, the Nebraska Division of Parole Supervision (DPS) hosted its first Victim Services Forum at the Community Engagement Center at the University of Nebraska Omaha. With over 35 attendees from State agencies and non-profit organizations, we were able to learn the roles of various entities and engage in discussions about victim services in Nebraska.

We were able to learn from various individuals who are leaders in their fields.  The Forum started with a keynote address from Dr. Tara Richards who presented on the importance of collaboration, information sharing, and coordinated community response teams.  Nebraska Board of Parole Chair Rosalyn Cotton also spoke about the Board’s role in ensuring victims are heard and that any safety concerns are addressed.  Next, our grant partners from the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center focused on how crime survivors navigate the criminal justice system, how we can better meet the needs of victims, and how the Board of Parole can continue to support victim survivors. 

Day two of the forum commenced with guest speaker Amber Leake, Victim Services Director with the Virginia Department of Corrections, who presented Virginia’s victim notification system and how Virginia’s victim services team and services have grown over the last several years.

DPS was grateful for this opportunity to bring so many people together to work towards a common goal of victim services.  We thank our presenters, speakers, and participants, and look forward to collaborating with advocates across the state to better support survivors of crime in Nebraska.