N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--April 1997

Orange Visiting Area Gets Facelift

Hillsborough - Grants from two community groups will allow the community resource council to help spruce up the visiting area at Orange Correctional Center.

The prison's resource council received $6,000 from the Triangle Community Foundation and $4,000 from the Orange County Partnership for Young Children to improve the prison's visiting area.

"Continuing strong family ties is an important tool in helping offenders see the need to make a change in their lives," said Mike Thumm, Orange Correctional Center superintendent. "Our resource council worked hard on this project because they believed in the importance of families and wanted to help these children."

The visiting center is in the back left corner of the prison compound. Old cement tables have been moved and the site has been prepared for fill dirt.

Superintendent Mike Thumm at prison's new visiting area. The final step will be filling in the play area with sand.

The project will put inmates to work and require the assistance of the Department of Transportation to move the fill and sand needed for the visiting area. Inmates will landscape the area and build tables and benches. The grant funds will provide playground equipment for pre-schoolers and elementary school students.

The prison houses 176 inmates. During typical Sunday visitation, as many as 100 people may be in the visiting area. At a family day event sponsored by a prison ministry last year, there were 75 children between the ages of two and twelve.

The project was initiated by new resource council member Tim Heninger who has served as a Yokefellow and community volunteer sponsor. Heninger proposed the project and sought the grants to renovate the playground.

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