North Carolina Correctional Association: Professional Development And Community Service Key.
The organization, which is divided into seven regional subdivisions, reaches out to the community and correctional colleagues in a number of ways, such as participating in a state-run mentoring program, awarding scholarships to people seeking a college education and providing disaster relief to those in need.
"We want to make a difference in the community," says Herman Avery, NCCA past president. "We want to put something back in the community where we are working." Last year, Avery organized NCCA members to volunteer in the Governor's One on One Program, which partners mentors with at-risk youths. Now, more than 100 members are involved. "We see these young men and women in trouble and we want to do something to try to eliminate some of society's ills," adds Avery.
NCCA President Steve Goodrum adds, "Our volunteers are trying to work with these youths and lead them in a different direction from where they are heading."
In addition to at-risk youths, NCCA assists college students with its scholarship fund. Eligibility requires applicants either to be NCCA members or the spouse, dependent or nominee of a member. Four $500 scholarships were awarded this year to help offset the expense of college. "Hopefully, in the future, we can increase the amount," Goodrum says. "I think one way of promoting education is helping someone gain an education even with this small token," he adds. "Every little bit helps."
Also this year, NCCA members provided security to the U.S. Women's Open. In return for the four hours of work NCCA donated, Goodrum, who served as the security committee chairman, received a monetary donation for the cause of his choice.
In addition to each region's annual fund-raisers, Goodrum says he would like to organize an activity in which all members could get together and work, such as Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds affordable homes for those in need. He hopes the community effort will help local families, as well as attract more members. "Hopefully, they'll want to be involved in something like this," he added.
NCCA, which was established in 1979 as the North Carolina Chapter of the American Correctional Association, also emphasizes professional development of its members who are corrections and criminal justice professionals, law enforcement personnel, retirees, college students and professors, volunteers and interested citizens. NCCA also has a chapter of Women Working in Corrections, which prides itself on preparing women in corrections and acting as mentor to those starting criminal justice careers.
Each of NOCA's seven regional groups holds at least one professional development workshop per year to include two to four speakers. "We expect the regions to put on quality workshops," Goodrum says. If the regional workshops are approved by NCCA's state board, then correctional employees statewide may use training leave to attend them.
NCCA hosts its three-day annual conference, which usually attracts between 350 and 450 attendees, in the fall. At this time, each regional subdivision recognizes someone as its member of the year and NCCA presents the overall person of the year with the H.G. (Gus) Moeller Award. "Hopefully, we'll get more people involved and get more members this year. We want them to see what we are all about," Goodrum says.
Michele D. Buisch is senior editor of Corrections Today.
* Founded: NCCA began as the North Carolina Chapter of the American Correctional Association in 1979. In 1983, the chapter became NCCA and was organized into seven regional subdivisions.
* Objectives: NCCA strives to exert a positive influence on the shaping of state an national correctional policies and issues. It also promotes professional development and interagency understanding.
* Leadership: NCCA's state executive board comprises a president, president-elect, treasurer, secretary, parliamentarian and past president.
* Membership: NCCA currently has 678 members.
* Publications: NCCA publishes a quarterly newsletter called The Compass.
* Conferences: NCCA hosts its annual conference in the fall.