N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--September 1998

Spotlight on Randolph Correctional Center
Randolph: A prison with a unique population

Randolph Correctional Center Superintendent Raymond Smith said, "This has always been a strong unit for community participation. Volunteers are here every night of the week and fight for positions." That's good considering the make-up of Randolph's prison population.

Not only does Randolph's house demoted escapees, but the prison has a 54-man health ward for inmates with special needs. Some are in wheelchairs, some have cancer, others multi-heart problems. The prison psychologists started an anger-stress management program for geriatric inmates 65 years and older, many of whom are veterans who were heavy alcohol or substance abusers. A large number of the older inmates are in prison on their first offense. Many have no family, or their children may be aging and unable to visit because of medical problems of their own.

"They feel like a neglected population with not a lot to offer," Smith said. "This new program helps them cope."

Raymond Smith has been superintendent of Randolph Correctional Center since 1995.
Lt. Brian Smith left Sandy Ridge Correctional Center in 1998 to accept a promotion at Randolph.
Officer Lisa Wilkins said, "You have to show respect in order to get it back."

Randolph Correctional Center has three dental chairs open Monday through Friday and sometimes Fridays for Randolph and Caswell Correctional Center inmates. Beth Nelson is a certified dental assistant.

Jeff Purvis has been the maintenance officer for Randolph Correctional center for nearly a decade. He is working with the Community Resource council on a Sept. 11 gold tournament to benefit the local soup kitchen, a part of the State Employees' Combined Campaign.
"I got a short-term job with DOC and 22 years later I'm still here," said Assistant Superintendent Terry Harvel who is originally from Tampa, Fla.
Program Supervisor Tammy Wall came from the Rockingham prison when it closed in 1996. she supervises the 30 inmates who are attending the ABE-GED school. "Some inmates are not even capable of taking these classes," Wall said. "They need the basic skills just to function in society."
A former Highway Patrol dispatcher, Officer Jerry Wright said, "This was something I felt like I could make a difference in." He tries to help inmates solve their problems which in turn helps the people of North Carolina.

When she left St. Anthony's Hospital in Oklahoma, betty Nichols was Mother Superior. the former nun retired from her medical job at Burlington Industries before deciding she needed to continue working. She turned 72 in august and said she loves working at the 34-man
With a stern tone and with a swift gait, Food Services Assistant Angela Bennett is all business at meal times, even with a baby due the end of December. "I worked in a day care before this," Bennett said. "It's kind of the same. You have to be stern, otherwise they (the inmates) will run the show."

Working on the scheduled for the next pay period, Lt. Danny Hayes is in charge of third shift. He is also in charge of maintaining the 105 weapons at Randolph more guns than most field camps have. Hayes was sent to the armorer school in Raleigh which is reportedly a very tough school.
The community pays the salary of Chaplain William Wilson Thompson. One inmate said, "He's got time for everyone, 227 of us. That's what makes him what he is."

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