In Memory of Correctional Officer Joseph Lloyd Greinke

In Memory of Correctional Officer Joseph Lloyd Greinke

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety informed residents that its agency had lost another corrections officer to the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, the US has lost hundreds of corrections officers to COVID19. Prison and institution environments provide an opportunity for the virus to spread like wildfire and impact the lives of prisoners, guards, their families, and the surrounding communities.

On Friday, November 20, 2020, Correctional Officer Joseph Lloyd Greinke died due to complications of the virus. The NCDPS has lost several officers to the virus in a short amount of time. This demonstrates that these environments are significantly more dangerous. Officer Greinke continued to work in civil service, protecting his community despite the risk to himself or his family. Greinke was 34 years old.

Greinke began his adult life in civil service. He is a veteran of the military. Greinke was a member of the US Marine Corps and completed multiple tours in Iraq. When he returned home, he wanted to continue his work in civil service and became a sworn law enforcement officer with the NC Department of Corrections. Greinke served with the department for nearly five and a half years. His most recent assignment was at the Pender Correctional Institution in Burgaw, North Carolina. (Wikipedia, 2021)

North Carolina Department of Public Safety- Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, North Carolina

The North Carolina Department of Corrections was reformed in 2012 to become the oversight agency of the Department of Public Safety. This agency oversees all correctional facilities in the state of North Carolina, both adult and juvenile corrections. The state of North Carolina has no privately run facilities.

Initially established in 1925, today, the department has grown extensively and has more than 20,500 employees. These employees have continued to perform their duties despite the grave risk to their lives. The agency’s jurisdiction covers 53, 865 square miles, and it provides services of protection to more than 10 million residents.

Pender Correctional Institution

The Pender Correctional Institution was the most recent assignment for Officer Greinke. Pender is a medium-security prison that can accommodate about 740 male inmates. The facility is divided into six dormitories. These dormitories enclose more than a hundred inmates each. You can only imagine what would happen to those inmates should the virus enter the facility.

The Pender prison offers a variety of vocational training options for inmates and works manufacturing uniforms. GED education and counseling are offered. Substance abuse treatment and other needs are met for the inmates in hopes of helping them achieve a better life on their return to society.


Correctional Officer Joseph Lloyd Greinke leaves behind one child. Unfortunately, this child will join the hundreds of thousands of children in the US who have lost a parent or primary caregiver to the virus. Community efforts will be needed to address these children’s unique needs as they work towards their future. Honor guards will help the Greinke family navigate the funeral arrangements and provide honors for the sacrifice made by Officer Greinke.

Months after the passing of Officer Greinke, his wife, Danielle Greinke, came back to leave a message to her husband. They had been together since they met in high school. “It’s been months, and I still feel a loss for words. I listen to our songs and look at our photos, but it feels so unreal. I miss laughing about the day we met when you accidentally slammed me into the wall in homeroom and how that moment our journey began. You were my best friend. I miss your perfect laugh and how your face would light up every time I would video call. My heart goes out to everyone whose life you impacted. You gained your wings much too soon; Heaven must have needed a hero. I’ll always love you.”