Rosalyn Cotton, Nebraska Board of Parole Chair, and Julie Micek, Director along with several other staff members of Parole Supervision recently attended the Nebraska Operational Excellence Summit 2022. Several speakers presented including Governor Ricketts and Governor Elect Jim Pillen.
Nicole Miller was honored for her completion of the Executive Green Belt training by Governor Ricketts.
Following a formal lunch, various speakers lead discussions in break out sessions and networking time as a part of the event.
Nebraska Division of Parole Supervision (DPS) staff recently gathered at Platte River State Park on November 3 and 4, 2022, for the annual All Staff Meeting. On Day One staff were welcomed with an introduction by Director Julie Micek and an introduction exercise to allow staff from the entire state to meet and learn about one another.
The initial meet and greet was followed by guest speaker, our very own Mr. Mark Langan, member of the Nebraska Board of Parole, who provided a training session on Active Shooters. Mr. Langan provided the framework for staff to look at individual situations and prepare themselves to maintain safety in a variety of settings. It was an extremely engaging session!
The second training session of the day was “Refuel, Reset, & Replenish: Tools for Resiliency” presented by Kay Glidden and Beth Reynolds Lewis. The training gave staff skills to use during meditation, mindfulness, and other tools to provide self-care in stressful situations to maintain health and balance.
Day Two began with breakfast together followed by a State of the State address by Director Micek. Director Micek answered questions and provided information to staff about upcoming issues.
The Awards & Recognition Committee (ARC) completed a short awards ceremony to congratulate staff for longevity awards. Staff then broke up into several groups and completed a series of team building exercises. A great time was had by all.
That evening the annual Holiday Party was held at Backswing Brewery in Lincoln in which staff and their guests came together for dinner and entertainment. Director Micek thanked the All Staff Planning Committee and ARC for their assistance in planning and coordinating both events. Assistant Director Ken Quinn also offered some comments. The evening culminated with music bingo and prizes.
On September 22, 2022, after completing a one-year Leadership program, ten officers and supervisors with the Division of Parole Supervision (DPS) presented their projects to Parole Board Chair Rosalyn Cotton, Director Julie Micek, Assistant Director Ken Quinn, Legal Counsel Nicole Miller, and Statewide Operations Manager Sue Olson.
The course was led by Marianne Chance-Worthington, who is a consulting Leadership/Coaching specialist from ‘Work-Warrior Inc’. Marianne met with the ten officers and supervisors as a group and one-on-one throughout the year to help them define a project that they felt could benefit the agency and its clients, and to help them hone and plan their projects. The projects ranged from a peer-mentoring project to self-defense training.
Graduates of the Leadership Academy are: Parole Officer Amy Bethards, Parole Officer Cheryl Bicknase, Parole Officer Caitlin Cassidy, Parole Supervisor Tracy Felker, Parole Officer Jennifer Green, Parole Supervisor Blair Hofeldt, Parole Officer Oscar Lopez, Parole Officer Heather Schultze, Parole Officer Clayton Wells, and Parole Officer TylerAnn Zoubek.
Several projects have come to fruition and will be utilized by DPS officers and supervisors in their regular duties. DPS hopes to have another Leadership Academy in the future to offer this opportunity to more staff.
In August, staff from the Division of Parole Supervision (DPS) were invited to present at the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) 47th Annual Training Institute in Chicago. On August 28th, Parole Officer Heather Schultze, Parole Officer Russ Schultze and Director Julie Micek presented Put Me In (To) Coach: Building Group Facilitators in Community Supervision. During this session, they discussed the lessons learned implementing the cognitive behavioral group CBI4NE1.
On August 29th, Acting Parole Supervisor Heather Roberson and Training Supervisor Denny Campbell presented Targeted Coaching for Performance Improvement: A Structured Approach. During this session, they discussed the performance coaching model that DPS has developed and refined over the past 5 years.
Both presentations drew large audiences and were very well received. Director Micek addressed the agency following the event: “It has been a dream of mine that our staff would go to a national conference and present our work. I was so proud to stand next to our team and watch all of our hard work pay off. We offered and shared what we know works and all of the evidence-based principles we have embraced. A big thank you to all the people who have been involved in these projects behind the scenes. Many of you have worked to collect data, write protocols and do the less than glamorous work that makes us look so good.”
DPS staff will deliver 4 presentations at the APPA Regional Training Institute in Omaha in February, 2023.
The University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) hosted a large career fair on October 4, 2022. The Nebraska Division of Parole Supervision (DPS) had the opportunity to send a team to represent DPS and Parole Officers Martin Warneke, Sarah Krohn, Emily Waggoner, and Jordan Wall stepped up to the plate. According to Officer Krohn, the event was well-attended and well-organized. The team was able to provide information about careers in Parole to many UNO students seeking careers post-graduation. Interest levels among the students were high, and the team had many engaging conversations about what serving on the Parole team entails. The team was also able to make connections both with UNO staff and other service providers in the community. The event was high-volume, and yet managed in a way that allowed for a relaxed environment. UNO staff made sure that our team was welcomed and equipped for the event.
From all accounts, future events would be extremely positive opportunities for Parole to reach a quality pool of young, qualified candidates for future openings within DPS and to build collaborative relationships with other agencies
In September Director Julie Micek, presented at the 5th World Congress on Probation and Parole in Ottawa, Canada. Ms. Micek along with William D. Burrell and Wade Warren, presented on the implementation of evidence-based practices within an agency setting. The presentation was titled: Implementation, Fast & Slow: The Tale of Evidence-Based Practices in Two Agencies. The conference attendees included people from over 20 countries. The conference focused on best practices and shined a light on what parole and probation agencies are doing around the world to work with justice involved individuals. The Board of Parole and the Division of Parole Supervision were honored to represent Nebraska at this prestigious conference and share the knowledge that the agency has gained in focusing on the principles of evidence-based practices.
Parole Officer Don Nevins represented the Lincoln Regional Parole Office at Saratoga Elementary School’s “Treat Street” event on Thursday, October 27, 2022, 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., in Lincoln. Officer Nevins was one amongst several groups that participated in giving out candy to students. Officer Nevins stated, “I enjoyed participating with Saratoga on this event and handing out candy to the many kids who attended. It was a great event for the Saratoga community.” The Lincoln Regional Parole Office looks forward to participating with Saratoga on future events.
The Division of Parole Supervision wishes to recognize our Parole Officers and Parole staff who have served our country. Our gratitude and thanks to the dedicated men and women of Parole who served to protect our freedom and the freedom of others must always be at the forefront of the foundation of this great country. Often their sacrifice goes unnoticed, yet these men and women understand what it means to serve and stand proud in the defense of others. We would also like to express our sincere thanks to the families of those who served. Their support was invaluable to those that wore the uniform, and all too often worked to ease the hardship their loved ones endured. These steadfast supporters waited with great patience and concern until their loved ones returned home.
Our Parole staff continue to be in the service of others, striving to ensure the safety of our communities. Parole staff also work with clients who have served in the military. Additionally, we are grateful for the service some of our clients have given for our country. Many, many thanks to all who have served.
The Nebraska Division of Parole Supervision (DPS) has been working closely with state and federal agencies over the last year to evaluate best practices for providing services to victims and survivors of crime. One resource that has been pivotal in our process to seek best practices is the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). Through building this relationship with NIC, DPS was introduced to the National Association of Victim Assistance in Corrections (NAVAC), a non-profit organization focusing on post-conviction victim advocacy and victim-informed program development.
During the week of September 12, 2022, NAVAC held its 15th annual conference in Manchester, New Hampshire, where DPS’s Victim Specialist Kelsey and Data Analyst Alix were fortunate enough to attend. Presentations included victim-offender dialogues, victim rights, restitution, exonerations, notifications, crisis intervention, tips for self-care, police comfort dogs, and more. Attendees discussed current practices within their program and collaborated with one another to talk about future goals of advocacy across the country. The attendees also discussed effective strategies for expanding post-conviction victim services and targeting various nation-wide systemic issues that could use improvement. DPS is grateful for the expertise shared by the NAVAC board members and attendees as we continue to build our victim services unit; we look forward to continuing to grow our network of resources and partnership opportunities in the future.
The primary goal of DPS victim services is to ensure crime victims and survivors are supported and heard throughout the parole process.
For more information, please visit: https://parole.nebraska.gov/victim-rights
Pictured: Liberty with Concord, NH Police Department; Flossy with the South Carolina Department of Corrections Division of Victim Services