North Carolina Department of Correction news release
Prisoners worked 2 million hours along highways in 1996
JANUARY 30, 1997
RALEIGH -- North Carolina prisoners worked more than two million hours last year along state highways and roads for the Department of Transportation.
"Digging out ditches and helping DOT employees patch potholes is the kind of hard work we expect of prisoners," Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis said. "Well-maintained roads provided with the help of prisoner labor benefits everyone."
Medium custody prisoners are supervised by armed correctional officers in tasks for the state Department of Transportation. In 1996, 27 state prisons worked medium custody road squads 1,036,637 hours.
Minimum custody prisoners also work for the Department of Transportation. DOT employees are trained as agents and supervise the minimum custody squads. Last year, DOT employees worked minimum custody prisoners from 39 units 1,708,896 hours.
"Our squads get daily assignments from the county offices of the Department of Transportation," said Pat Chavis, superintendent of the medium security Lumberton Correctional Center. "It may be cleaning out ditches or clearing overgrowth. Sometimes they pick up litter. One crew clears drainage ditches along I-95."
Three medium security prisons including Chavis's unit, the Brown Creek Correctional Institution at Polkton and Pender Correctional Institution at Burgaw have road squad assignments for up to 96 prisoners.
Brown Creek put five road squads to work in 1993, shortly after it opened. With the addition of a new dormitory last year, the prison increased the number of road squads to eight. Five work in Anson County, two in Richmond County and one in Montgomery County.
"Our correctional officers do a professional job supervising the prisoners on these squads," said Rick Jackson, Brown Creek's superintendent. "They make sure the inmates get their work done."
The road squads work under a contract between the departments of Correction and Transportation. Jackson says callers sometime ask about obtaining inmate labor for other public projects and he refers them to the Anson Correctional Center. Anson, a minimum security unit, works prisoners in the Governor's Community Work Program. They provide short-term, manual labor for public agencies.
Alexander, Scotland and Yadkin correctional centers, were converted last year from medium to minimum security units to increase the efficiency of operations. The three prisons now work prisoners in the community work program. Citizens can recommend public works projects by calling the inmate work hotline at 1-800-661-7161.
This year two new medium security prisons will put more inmates to work in road squads. Hyde Correctional Center will have four squads and Warren Correctional Institution will have ten.
MEDIUM CUSTODY ROAD SQUADS WORKED 1,036,637 HOURS IN 1996
|Alexander Correctional Center*||16||10866.25||Alexander, Caldwell|
|Avery Correctional Center||24||11582||Avery|
|Brown Creek Correctional Institution||96||96384||Anson, Montgomery, Richmond|
|Caswell Correctional Center||76||68930.25||Alamance, Caswell, Orange, Person|
|Columbus Correctional Center||84||112133.25||Brunswick, Columbus|
|Craggy Correctional Center||48||51385||Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison|
|Currituck Correctional Center||36||25933||Camden, Currituck, Pasquotank|
|Davie Correctional Center||12||10303||Davie, Rowan|
|Franklin Correctional Center||24||22584||Franklin, Granville, Vance, Warren|
|Harnett Correctional Institution||36||30064.5||Cumberland, Harnett, Lee|
|Hoke Correctional Institutiton||24||12959.25||Hoke, Moore|
|Iredell Correctional Center||16||9138.25||Iredell, Rowan|
|Johnston Correctional Center||48||67371||Johnston, Wake, Wayne|
|Lincoln Correctional Center||48||27816||Catawba, Gaston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg|
|Lumberton Correctional Center||96||65489||Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Robeson|
|Odom Correctional Institution||32||24965.5||Bertie, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton|
|Pender Correctional Institution||96||120902||Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender|
|Randolph Correctional Center||72||67460.75||Chatham, Guilford, Randolph|
|Rockingham Correctional Center**||28||15624||Rockingham, Stokes|
|Sampson Correctional Center||20||26380.5||Duplin, Sampson|
|Scotland Correctional Center*||12||10983.5||Scotland|
|Stanly Correctional Center||24||23813.5||Davidson, Montgomery, Stanly|
|Union Correctional Center||36||41627.25||Mecklenburg, Union|
|Washington Correctional Center*||24||191||Beaufort, Chowan, Hyde, Perquimans, Tyrell, Washington|
|Wayne Correctional Center||48||55686||Wayne|
|Yadkin Correctional Center*||12||8590.25||Surry, Yadkin|
|Yancey Correctional Center||16||17474||Madison, Mitchell, Yancey|
|*converted from medium to minimum security|