Intensive Supervision Officer Brett Clark is May’s Employee of the Month. He has worked for Riley County Community Corrections since 2001, when he started as an intern during his study of Criminology at Kansas State University.
As an Intensive Supervision Officer, it is Brett’s responsibility to closely monitor assigned offenders, make necessary referrals for treatment, and to ensure offenders are complying with their conditions of probation. It’s a demanding career, and one that typically sees a lot of agency turnover.
In the 22 years Brett has worked here, the Riley County community has changed dramatically, but the agency has remained surprisingly consistent. That’s largely because the current staff have impressive tenure. Director Shelly Williams, and Supervision Officers Sandi Harper, Joanna Lee, Megan Lewis, and Dan Clark, all started at about the same time Brett did.
“I’ve been blessed to work with such a great team, and it’s been that way ever since I started,” said Brett. “We don’t just punch the clock; we know and respect each other. More than that, we care about each other, and we have always been very family oriented. I’ve been offered other jobs over the years, but knowing the people you work with always have your back – it would be tough to leave that.”
Brett also says the support from the organization, including Riley County Commissioners, has made a big difference for him. Even though Community Corrections can sometimes seem siloed from the other departments, since they operate differently and receive funding from other sources, the support for their work has always been solid.
Brett was nominated for Employee of the Month because of the time and effort he devoted to developing and managing the new Drug Court program.
A little over a year ago, Community Corrections was awarded a $500,000 grant to start a Drug Court program. Drug Courts offer specialized court docket programs that help criminal offenders, juvenile offenders, and parents with pending child welfare cases who have alcohol and other drug dependency problems become and remain sober. The goal is to help participants recover from use disorder with the aim of reducing future criminal activity.
Helping build and maintain this new program required intense effort and time commitment. It’s still in the early stages, but so far, the program has a 100% success rate. The first participant graduated in February and several more are ready to celebrate completion.
“It took A LOT to get the program up and running, but it’s been wonderful for our clients and the community,” said Brett.
Helping people is why Brett chose this career path.
“We get into this profession for a reason – and it isn’t to climb a corporate ladder and get rich. We’re here to help people and I know I’ve helped a lot of individuals change their lives for the better,” said Brett.
Brett grew up in Hiawatha, Kansas and first discovered an interest in criminology while attending Highland Community College. He’s always been a busy person, working full-time at his father’s gas station, attending a full schedule of classes, and playing baseball during his first year at Highland. Now, he fills his evenings and weekends with his family and sports. He and his wife Megan have three children, a sophomore, an 8th grader, and a 6th grader, who are all active in sports. In addition, Brett coaches football, basketball, baseball, and softball, including a traveling softball team called The Twisters.
“Some people think we're crazy because we’re gone every weekend, but that’s actually what keeps us sane. We love it. My family is my rock. Plus, there are so many life lessons in sports,” Brett says.
We are proud of Brett’s accomplishments and know the community is better because of his hard work, dedication, and compassion. We hope he is here for many years to come.
“It’s been a long journey. I love this work, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.”