Wake County parole officers' 'pizza party' contest shut down
Posted January 8
Raleigh, N.C. — A controversial “pizza party” contest involving Wake County parole officers was recently shut down by the state’s probation director.
Officers received a flyer promoting a “quick dip confinement” for people in violation of their parole—without going before a judge—in order to win a pizza party.
“We had not been made aware,” said State Probation Director, Anne Precythe. “We empower our management to make decision, and in this particular case the best decision was not made and we’re looking into that.”
All 16 units received the flyer promoting the schedule, which was supposed to run from Jan. 1 to Feb. 29.
Officials said they shut the contest down immediately once they received word of the competition.
Precythe said the “quick dip” is one of many tools officers have to respond to a parolee’s negative behavior.
“We should not be focusing on solely using that tool,” she said. “We should be focused on using the tools that really help the offender being on supervision.”
An anonymous employee sent the flyer to WRAL News and said the “unethical” contest was met with verbal protest.
Precythe said her department will use the controversial contest as a teachable moment.
“We have done many incentive programs for our staff to encourage the utilization of tools,” she said. “During the course of supervision, this should not have happened for the quick dip, solely for the quick dip.”
Disciplinary action has not been taken against the employee who started the contest, but retribution is being considered, Precythe said.