AUGUST 6, 1996
RALEIGH - Another 714 inmates will go to work soon as part of the Governor's
Community Work Program which has been praised by communities who use free inmate labor to
tackle public works jobs.
The new state budget provides for 51 crews of inmates to be added in the next year to the
program that has put more than 1,000 inmates to work for North Carolina communities. Prison
managers plan to add the job assignment at some minimum security prisons and expand it at
"There's demand for this program across the state," said Correction Secretary Franklin
Freeman. "It provides communities free labor for public works projects and it teaches inmates
they must give something back to their community."
Counties, towns and schools contract with prisons to provide short term, manual labor.
Correctional officers supervise crews of up to 14 minimum custody inmates in a variety of tasks.
In recent weeks, community work program inmates have been put to work cleaning up
communities that were damaged by hurricane Bertha and helping school officials to ready buses
and buildings for the start of the new school year.
"We've used inmate labor to clear debris caused by hurricane, tornado and ice storm,"
Freeman said. "Whether picking up litter, cutting brush or painting public buildings, inmates have
worked hard and done a good job."
The new crews will be added to the existing program. There are currently 33 prisons with
90 community work crews working a total of 1,260 inmates.