State of Nebraska
BOARD OF PAROLE
The week of April 2-8, 2017, was a time for communities across the country to remember victims in observance of the Office for Victims of Crime’s (OVC) National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. In furtherance of the Nebraska Board of Parole’s mission and vision, we want to increase community awareness of the mechanisms that are available to victims and other concerned citizens to help keep them safe.
Nebraska Department of Correctional Services/Board of Parole Victim Notification
For inmates incarcerated in the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, victims may request to be notified in specific circumstances. Please refer to the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services’ website which provides information on the circumstances for which victims can request notification (http://www.corrections.nebraska.gov/victimnotification.html).
The Nebraska Board of Parole also provides information regarding Victim Rights in connection with parole decisions and parole administration on this website under “Victim Information” as well as Frequently Asked Questions to assist victims and other concerned citizens (https://parole.nebraska.gov/victim-rights).
For more information on how to register for victim notification through the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services/Board of Parole, please contact the Central Records Office (402) 471-2654.
VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday
VINE provides another avenue for victims to anonymously check on an offender’s custody status. Victims can call a toll-free number, visit the VINE website (www.vinelink.com) or utilize the VINEmobile™ app. They can also register for automated notification regarding changes in status in a format of their choice—phone, email, text, or TTY (hearing impaired service). A link to VINE can also be found under the “Victim Information” section of this website under the Victim Information Notification Everyday tab. The VINE service number is (877) 634-8463.
Interstate Compact Offender Tracking System (ICOTS) VINEWatch Notification System ICOTS VINEWatch was launched by the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision and is an automated victim notification system for victims to obtain information regarding the status of offenders who relocate from one state to another. The alerts provide interested victims notifications that correlate to various processes for offenders managed in ICOTS. These notifications are communicated via email, text, and telephone. For text messages, standard text message rates apply and are the recipient’s responsibility. The notifications can be tailored by the victim to receive the notifications they want to receive. For more information regarding ICOTS VINEWatch, please contact Tom Verplank, Administrative Parole Officer, in the Nebraska Interstate Compact Office, (402) 479-5650.
The Nebraska Board of Parole and Director of Parole Supervision, Julie Micek are pleased to recognize Parole Staff for attending the 9th Annual UNO School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Scholarship & Awards Luncheon held at the Scott Conference Center in Omaha, on March 3, 2017. The ceremony recognized those individuals in our communities who exemplify their commitment to serve within the criminal justice communities to better serve our constituents. Award recipients included Joe Jeannette – US Attorney’s Office, Mary Newman – Deputy Chief, Omaha Police Department, Chris Sweney – Douglas County Corrections Center, Derek Vaughn – Judge, Fourth Judicial District and Paul Yakel – Coordinator, Douglas County Adult Drug Court. The Master of Ceremonies was Bill Wakefield, Ph.D. In attendance from the Office of Parole Supervision included Director of Parole Supervision and Services Julie Micek, Program and Fiscal Analyst Dr. Jennifer Miller, Omaha Supervisor Rachel Prescher, Master Social Worker Katie Bloom, Senior Parole Officers Ben Hohnstein, Jeff Beran, Michelle Goodman, Stacy Brickey and Terry Ricketts. The Office of Parole Supervision continues to encourage attendance and participation in such events recognizing the challenging efforts of all who dedicate themselves to making our communities safe.
PENNER RECOGNIZED FOR COMPLETING NEBRASKA STATE GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP CERTIFICATE PROGRAM
On February 6, 2017, Parole Supervisor Quintin Penner was one of 32 state employees honored for completing the Nebraska State Government Leadership Certificate program. It is a yearlong leadership development curriculum that involves a huge commitment of time and energy from the candidates. The Leadership Certificate program was created by the Department of Administrative Services in an effort to better prepare aspiring leaders for the unique challenges of leading in the public sector. The group meets at least once a month for formal training, but also stays connected through online learning and community of practice activities in-between the formal events. Certificate candidates receive training in such topics as effective communication for leaders, Personnel rules and labor issues, ethics in government, motivating Generation Y, and project management for the unofficial project manager. Quintin said the final seminar, customer centered government through process improvement, had the greatest impact on him personally. He said that the focus on how many steps and/or people are involved in any given process represents the single biggest opportunity to improve our agency. Time saved benefits all stakeholders by reducing both tangible costs and personnel hours. Congratulations, Quintin, on this important accomplishment.
Don't Let the Events of the Past Define Your Future........
Several months ago the Nebraska Correctional Youth Facility (NCYF) hosted what the facility referred to as the NCYF Summer Event. It was during this event that a parole client, Orlando Neal, was one of the featured speakers. He shared his personal story with the audience, youthful offenders currently serving a sentence with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. In fact, he was at one point during his incarceration an offender at this facility. His message was one of hope and of not letting the events of the past define their futures. One of our Nebraska Parole Board members attended this event. Not only was he impressed by the parole clients's accomplishments but also his aspirations and his desire to help the youthful offenders present to realize that they have the ability to change the direction of their lives - it's up to them. In speaking with Mr. Neal afterward, the Board member shared that he spoke highly of his Parole Officer. We do not always hear about the positive impact a Parole Officer has made in the life of a parole client so we want to take this opportunity to recognize not only this parole client's Parole Officer Vicki Austin, but all our Parole Officers for their commitment to the clients we serve. We also want to wish Mr. Neal much success as he continues to work toward his goals for the future. He is not letting the events of his past define his future.
Our Parole Administrator and Deputy Parole Administrator spent some time traveling across the State, the end of the July to get an overview of the various region offices. The goal of this trip was to visit the regional offices to see if there were any important concerns and needs for these areas across the State. Time was spent meeting with staff and potential interested parties to collaborate and develop ideas to aid in providing additional services and programming to help clients in these areas and to work within the communities.
During July it was also Parole Officer Appreciation Week. It was an important week to help recognize the importance of our Parole Officers in remembering how the work that they do is appreciated.