State of Nebraska

BOARD OF PAROLE

Supervision/Services New & Noteworthy

Parole Volunteers at Saratoga Elementary's Annual Fun Night

On Friday, May 10, 2019, Parole Officer Don Nevins and District Supervisor Todd Rosenthal represented the Lincoln Regional Parole Office in volunteering for the annual Saratoga Elementary School Fun Night held at Saratoga Elementary School.  Both interacted with Saratoga Elementary School students, families, and staff and assisted in serving food to the students and families that attended.

Saratoga Fun Night is a function that allows students and families to interact with Saratoga staff and other Saratoga Community Advisory Group partners.  Activities include various games, face painting, and other activities on the school playground, followed by hot dogs, chips, and drinks served in the school gym.

Parole appreciates the opportunity for staff to be involved in this activity with Saratoga Elementary School each year.

Remembering our Wonderful Staff and their accomplishments.

As we move through 2019 we reflect back to the  past year 2018 and saw a constellation of amazing people if you use a play on words.  We have people “Making a Difference” and some real “Shining Stars”.  We would like to stop and take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments that the staff does every day and the hard work that goes into making a successful agency.  When an Agency has great staff that are willing to take that extra step or to be a part of helping to provide mentorship and setting an example to others, then that truly deserves to be acknowledged and so we reflect back and remember.

All of the recipients of “Making a Difference” were asked to come forward and were given a pin at our last All Staff Meeting. Those individuals that were recognized for 2018 were:

Jennifer Baird

 Alex Johnson

Tracy Felker

Carolyn Stewart

Jeff Beran

Kirk Woltman

Heather Todd-Roberson

Tom Verplank

Amy Bethards

Shining Stars were also recognized at our All Staff meeting. Our 2018 recipients were Marnie Lorenz  who was awarded this honor at the first part of the year and Joel Denney who will holds the traveling trophy for several months until the next Shining Star is awarded.  They were each given a pin that they will keep as a remembrance of this selection.

Baird Successfully Completes Leadership Scotts Bluff

Senior Parole Officer Jennifer Baird recently completed Leadership Scotts Bluff, Class XXX.  This is a community leadership development-training program provided through the Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce.  The premise of the 9-month program is to learn about all the entities that make up the entire community and how each is a leader in their own right.  The program culminated in the Class XXX members organizing, from start to finish, a benefit to raise funds for four local non-profits of their choosing. 

Officer Baird represents the Division of Parole Supervision and has served the Scottsbluff Regional Parole Office for many years as a parole officer.  “The reasons I wanted to be a part of this program and class are because I wanted to broaden my community relationships and resources,” said Baird.  “I learned so much throughout this class and met so many people that I now consider my friends.  From various avenues of industry and commerce, their abilities and skills are invaluable to me.”

The event organized by the class members was “Hoops for Heroes” which coincided with March Madness, the men’s NCAA basketball tournament.  A total of $25,000 was raised which was then donated to the selected non-profit organizations in the community—Life Change Connection, Festival of Hope, Disability Rights Nebraska, and the Scottsbluff/Gering Soup Kitchen.  As Officer Baird reflects on her experience, she knows she can reach out to any of the members of Class XXX and ask for help or guidance and they will be right there to assist her in any way that they possible can. 

Division of Parole Supervision helps with Flood relief 2019

During March 2019 the Northeast section of Nebraska and the East side of Iowa experienced record-setting floods.  The Nebraska Division of Parole Supervision collected over $300 and goods to donate to the Salvation Army to help with flood relief.  Several of our very own officers were affected by these devastating floods and many of our clients are still being impacted by these floods.

Collaborative work between the Nebraska Board of Parole and the Center for Operational Excellence

Habib Olomi from the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services Center of Operations Excellence recently spoke at the Nebraska Board of Parole Board meeting.  His report provides some interesting details regarding the Process Improvement for Nebraska Board of Parole and Parole Supervision. Mr. Olomi reported that forty percentage of his work is based with the Board of Parole and Parole Supervision and the remainder of his time is shared by two other Nebraska State Agencies.

Projects for 2018 were selected, undertaken and completed. Mr. Olomi’s responsibility is to implement positive change and improve the processes of the agency. Positive connections with agencies have been developed. 

One of the 2018 goals was to train everyone at Board of Parole and Parole Supervision in the Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt, a current statewide initiative program.  This program is progressing well and other goals, such as the Lean Sig Sigma Executive Green Belt and the Certified Lean Leader is moving forward as well.

There are two 2019 goals with intent to complete three Lean Six Sigma projects and to have the entire Board of Parole and Parole Supervision involved with QDIP Boards and Huddles.  Habib will continue to work with the agency on Huddles, Yellow Belt Training, and overall savings on time and budget.

Mr. Olomi stated that he was proud of this agencies’ accomplishments and looks forward to continued work in the coming year. 

A question was presented during the Board Meeting as to how our agency was doing statewide in comparison to other State Agencies.  The response was that of the 26 Process Improvement Coordinators, Mr. Olomi was one of many that achieved their entire 2018 goals. The credit goes to the agency Sponsors (2), Project Teams (3), Project Owners (3), and the support of the Center of Operation Excellence.

Agency wise, Mr. Olomi felt Parole is ahead of the curve. The reports on the progress regarding soft savings and goals are shared to Center of Operation Excellence and they will pass this information to the Governor’s office.

 

Parole Supervision Director Speaks at Baltimore Conference

Director of Parole Supervision, Julie Micek, had the opportunity to present at The Association of Paroling Authorities International (APAI) conference in Baltimore. It was a great week and our agency is proud to report out on the work that we are doing and the great successes we are seeing. The presentation was a collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Association (BJA) and focused on outcomes from many states. All of this is only possible because of the work of the Board of Parole and all the staff at Parole Supervision. This agency has made tremendous strides over the last few years. Director Micek, sends out a thank you to everyone who works so hard every day to make this agency grow and continue to do such positive things.

Events to Benefit Students/Families of Saratoga Elementary

In November and December 2018, the Division of Parole Supervision (DPS)/Lincoln Regional Parole Office (LRO) participated in a number of events that benefited students and families of the Saratoga Elementary School in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The DPS/LRO has been part of a longstanding collaborative community partnership working with Saratoga Elementary School and the Saratoga Community Action Group.  Our Agency continues to partner with this group to provide community/neighborhood support for the Saratoga Neighborhood as well as support for students and families of Saratoga Elementary School that are in need.

Below is a summary of events that DPS participated in since November 2018 that have gone toward benefiting students/families of Saratoga Elementary:

On November 1, 2018, Lincoln Regional Parole Officers and supervisors volunteered at the Annual Saratoga Community Gratitude Pancake Feed held at Saratoga Elementary School.  Parole Officers and supervisors assisted in cooking and serving pancakes to Saratoga Elementary School students, families and Saratoga Neighborhood residents.

In December 2018, DPS/LRO participated in the Saratoga Adopt a Family for the Holidays event.  DPS “adopted” a Saratoga Elementary School family in need.  DPS staff donated money and purchased Christmas gifts for the identified family.

DPS has also continued to be fortunate to be able to partner with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) in an event that supports Saratoga Elementary School.

On November 27, 2018, NDCS sponsored a Chili feed/cook-off.  All money raised from the chili cook-off was donated to Saratoga Elementary School to go to students/families in need.  Over $300 was raised during the DCS-sponsored event.  This went toward the purchase of hats, mittens, clothes, and gift cards that Saratoga could then provide to their families in need.

Lincoln West Optimist Club’s Generosity Brings Warmth to Many

In December 2018, the Lincoln West Optimist Club (LWOC) in Lincoln donated 50 brand new boys and girls coats in various sizes to the Division of Parole Supervision/Lincoln Regional Parole Office.  These new high quality coats were distributed at no cost to Parole clients in need for their children who could benefit from a new winter coat. 

LWOC is a non-profit youth service organization, which began in 1969 and has about 75 members.  The club is inclusive of college students, active military members, and adults in various stages of their lives.  The organization’s mission is to positively impact the lives of youth.  The organization does this through service and through gifts.  The LWOC provides movie nights for foster families, supports the Friendship Home at Christmas, coaches baseball teams for children with disabilities, supports various scholarship programs, and supports other various sports-related activities.

Through the generosity of the LWOC, many children stayed warm during the winter season.