North Carolina Department of Correction news release

December 10, 1997

North Carolina returns the last inmates from out-of-state prisons

Raleigh - As a result of the most aggressive prison construction program in state history, the last 63 inmates housed in out-of-state prisons were returned to North Carolina December 12.

The state leased out-of-state prison space to bring an immediate halt to the prison system's revolving door paroles and to provide time for construction of new prisons.

"We've taken strong steps to make sure that dangerous criminals stay behind bars where they belong," Gov. Jim Hunt said. "With our new prisons, we will now have room to house these prisoners and put them to work--cleaning up the roads, growing their own food or working on local community projects."

Since 1993, Gov. Hunt has made it a top priority to keep dangerous criminals behind bars. He oversaw the state's effort to fight overcrowding, eliminate the prison cap, reduce paroles, establish community punishment programs for non-violent offenders, add additional work crews to put more prisoners to work than ever before, and construct 15,000 beds, including work farms and boot camps. In addition, the state's new Structured Sentencing Act put truth back into sentencing which ensures offenders serve their full sentences and keeps dangerous criminals behind bars longer.

The 63 returning inmates are being reassigned to 17 North Carolina prisons. Twenty inmates like George Hoskins of New Hanover County, convicted of assault charges, will go to Warren Correctional Institution where two new 12-man road squads will be added next month. The prison already has six squads. The 59-year-old Hoskins has been working as a laundry room operator at the West Tennessee Detention Facility in Mason, Tenn. and he will be put to work at Warren Correctional Institution.

"The folks at the Department of Correction have done a tremendous job turning around a prison system that had become trapped in court cases and overcrowding," Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis said. "Now we have a system that is working, saving taxpayer dollars by bringing these inmates home and putting more than 20,000 inmates to work or in job training, to pay back communities for their serious crimes."

Beginning in December 1993, inmates were shipped to two prisons in Rhode Island, and one in Hinton, Oklahoma. In 1994, a contract was made with the West Tennessee Detention Facility and another contract with a prison in Limestone, Texas. By July of 1996, 1,705 inmates were serving time in three out-of-state prisons.