1,000-BED POLK YOUTH INSTITUTION DEDICATED
Butner - The new, 1,000 bed Polk Youth
Institution was dedicated Aug. 6 after several decades of pushing for a
after prison's dedicaiton.
|Talk of replacing Camp Polk started 30 years
ago. As plans progressed, Polk Youth Centerís administration began asking
potential new hires if they would be willing to relocate.
Despite community clamor to close what was considered an eyesore next to the stateís new art museum, it wasnít until 1993, when Gov. Jim Hunt called a special crime session, that the General Assembly appropriate money for the new Polk Youth Institution. Facility Maintenance manager, Mike Pierce, located the Granville County property after looking at Johnston County.
Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis said the work
for Polkís employees has just begun. "We canít turn these people out as
bad as we received them. As taxpayers, we canít continue to build these
mega-prisons. Itís just not fair to the state of North Carolina."
|Jarvis said that having worked for the Department
of Correction through five decades, he has witnessed a dramatic change.
"I remember the dark cells and people talking about the ball and chain
days. Weíve come a long way into a more reasonable, productive era."
Assistant prisons director, Patsy Woodlief, talked about the Supermax facility under construction at Polk. "This is a new concept in correctional design. It is a tribute to our goal to protecting the public, correctional employees and other inmates."
Superintendent Currie said he and his staff have a tremendous challenge ahead of them, and that he has a group of dedicated and committed employees, a group that he sees as one of the best supporting staffs in the state.
Assistant superintendent, Virgil Lanier said the people of Granville County have made them feel very welcome.
About 300 people came to the dedication ceremonies which were held on a picture-perfect day. Tours of the prison and refreshments followed the ribbon-cutting.
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