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.
BEN BAER AWARD
The Ben Baer Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a significant service in the field of parole or community corrections.
- 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.
- Nominee must have brought credit or honor to the profession of parole.
- 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.
American Probation and Parole Association Conference Hosted in Omaha
In February 2023 the American Probation and Parole Association held its first Winter Regional Training Institute in Omaha, Nebraska. DPS was proud to send a great representation of both attendees and over 10 presenters. While attendees were soaking up knowledge from different sessions, the presenters were hard at work presenting on various topics such as: the Adult Interstate Compact, Crime Victim Advocacy, Performance Improvement, Group Facilitation, and Transitional Living Facilities. DPS is grateful for the opportunity to share our knowledge with other agencies who work towards the common goal of helping change the lives of clients while cultivating safe communities.
Governor Ricketts Toured Parole Client PREP House
In December 2022 the Board of Parole was honored to have Governor Ricketts tour the new PREP House created for clients on parole. The program will work with clients on parole who are having difficulty adjusting to their community by providing structured support, programs, and services. We are grateful to Governor Ricketts for his support. Please look for an official grand opening this summer.
Nicole Miller honored at 2022 COE Summit on December 12th at the Cornhusker Hotel.
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.
Parole’s Annual All Staff Meeting a Success
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.