WARRENTON - Opening a new prison and closing five old prisons has been a lot of work for Warren Correctional Institution Superintendent Ted Smiley and Division of Prisons Central Area Administrator Robert Parrott.
Granville, Halifax, Person and Vance correctional centers have closed. The new Warren Correctional Institution is months away from opening. Smiley, Parrott and their staffs have worked to reassign employees, inmates and equipment.
|While the physical plant has been under construction, Smiley has put together the prison's administration, regulations and staffing. "We were establishing post orders, writing operating procedures, ordering equipment and hiring 160 staff," Smiley said.|
A warehouse on the edge of Warrenton is filled with equipment for the prison. Desks, bookcases, chairs, phones, computers and other equipment are stacked high filling the storage area. A lot of time has been invested to make sure needed equipment is ready to go into the prison as soon as its handed over to the department.
Closing five prisons means closing five businesses each with 50 or so workers--some who have been there for ten or even fifteen years. It means reassigning equipment that has accumulated over 50 years. It means reassigning 30 to 40 inmates from each prison.
"The area maintenance force were the real champions along with folks like Donna Scarboro (Warren Correctional Institution's administrative officer) who identified equipment, got it properly assigned and moved," said Parrott. "Everyone in our area worked together in getting this accomplished in the best way."
They've worked hard to help staff. All employees from the five prisons being closed have been reassigned. They had the opportunity to work at Warren Correctional Institution, one of the other nearby new prisons, or at existing prisons that had vacancies. Helping staff through the transfer process and the ensuing paperwork was a big job.
Superintendent Smiley is molding 160 of the seasoned staff from the five 50-year old units into a team that will efficiently operate the new institution with brand new computer technology and the tradition of fair, but firm supervision.
"Teamwork has been important," said Scarboro who had praise for the support they had received from other prison managers and for Smiley's leadership. "He's a dedicated person. His personality, his way of dealing with staff, his way of dealing with inmates, I can't say enough good about him."
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