North Carolina Department of Correction news release

Prisons prepare for hurricane recovery

AUGUST 26, 1998

RALEIGH – Prison managers are working to help North Carolina communities threatened by Hurricane Bonnie.

"This is a big storm and according to the weather reports I’ve heard, it will take some time to move through North Carolina, " said Dan Stieneke, state director of prisons. "After the weather clears and emergency management agencies are able to assess their community’s needs, we’ll receive their requests through state emergency management and put prisoners to work helping them as soon as possible."

North Carolina prisons will send minimum security community work squads, minimum security Department of Transportation squads and medium security Department of Transportation squads to help clean up communities and clear highways. Coastal and eastern North Carolina prisons work hundreds of prisoners at these tasks daily and they could be quickly assigned to hurricane clean up work.

In the days after Hurricane Fran crashed through North Carolina in 1996, more than 2,000 inmates were put to work clearing debris. Shortly before Fran, Hurricane Bertha struck eastern North Carolina. At the direction of Emergency Management and state Agriculture, correction employees supervised more than 800 inmates who cleared debris for communities and helped farmers whose crops could be salvaged.

Earlier this year, state prisoners cleaned up after the tornado in Mayodan and Stoneville. Other prisoners worked in western North Carolina helping communities clean up after February snow storms and January flooding.

"Gov. Hunt has asked that we do everything possible to keep our citizens safe and prepare for a speedy recovery," said State Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis. "Our employees stand ready to help and state prisoners will be there to help clean up."


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