North Carolina Department of Correction news release

APRIL 13, 1998

Inmates Clean Up Schools Over Easter Break

While students are away from school this week enjoying Easter break, inmates from several North Carolina prisons will be hard at work doing some much-needed spring cleaning.

Inmates from at least 12 prisons are spending the entire week painting classrooms, waxing hallways and washing windows at more than two dozen schools across the state.

The inmates, who are part of the Governor’s Community Work Program, are only allowed to work at the schools while students are away. Under the program, squads of up to ten minimum security inmates provide free manual labor for public agencies under the supervision of a correctional officer.

Inmates from Robeson Correctional Center are cleaning several Robeson County schools this week that are coming up for accreditation. Sgt. Brenda Mitchell said the inmate crews are waxing, stripping and buffing classroom floors, sanitizing desks and doing general grounds maintenance. "We try to help out in the schools as much as possible when the students are out," she said.

Dr. Rose Marie Lowry-Townsend, principal at Pembroke Middle School in Robeson County, said she has been impressed by the inmate crews working at her school. "I’m amazed by the skills they have," she said. "Some of the inmates have professional painting and landscaping skills from previous jobs. They’ve really helped out our maintenance department a lot."

Students at Richfield Elementary School will find a welcome surprise when they return to school next week. Principal Carlin Styers said inmates from Cabarrus Correctional Center are working over Easter break, preparing the grounds and installing new playground equipment at the school. "The inmates are helping us set up brand new equipment that will be much safer for the students," she said.

Other prison work squads are painting cafeterias, building greenhouses, cleaning flower beds and trimming shrubbery at schools from the mountains to the coast.

"I am glad that we are able to help out so many schools during the students’ spring break," Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis said. "This is just another example of how the Governor’s Community Work Program benefits everyone. It helps the prison system develop new jobs for prisoners. It provides communities with free manual labor, and it allows prisoners to give something back to the community."

Inmates Work In Schools
April 13-17

Richfield - Inmates installing playground equipment at Richfield Elementary School. Call Superintendent Fred Wrangham, Cabarrus Correctional Center, (704) 436-6510.

Wadesboro - Inmates painting school breezeway at Anson Senior High School and cafeteria at Wadesboro Elementary School. Call Lt. Trevor Robinson, Anson Correctional Center, (704) 694-7509.

Durham - Inmates doing general cleaning at Riverside High School. Call Correctional Officer Dariel Turley, Durham Correctional Center, (919) 471-4341.

Maxton, Fairmont, Lumberton, and Pembroke - Inmates providing general clean-up to following schools coming up for accreditation: Pembroke Middle, Rowland Norment, Union Elementary, West Lumberton, Fairgrove Middle, Townsend Middle. Call Sgt. Brenda Mitchell, Robeson Correctional Center, (910) 618-5535.

Henderson - Inmates cleaning windows and waxing hallways in various city schools. Call Superintendent John Bryant, Umstead Correctional Center, (919) 575-7956.

Gatesville/Sunbury - Inmates assisting with Central Office Spring Clean-up at Central Middle School (Gates County Public Schools). Call Acting Superintendent Derrick E. Wadsworth, Gates Correctional Center, (919) 357-0778.

Goldsboro - Inmates doing general clean-up and waxing floors in public schools in Wayne County. Call Superintendent Ed McMichael, Jr., Neuse Correctional Institution, (919)731-2023.

Warsaw - Inmates assisting maintenance staff with painting and cleaning of Warsaw Middle School. Call Travis Outlaw or Sgt. Bethea, Duplin Correctional Center, (910) 296-0315/1166.

Clinton - Inmates assisting maintenance staff with cleaning Clinton High School. Call Travis Outlaw or Sgt. Bethea, Duplin Correctional Center, (910) 296-0315/1166.

Seven Springs - Inmates assisting janitorial staff with cleaning school during Easter break. Call Travis Outlaw or Sgt. Bethea, Duplin Correctional Center, (910) 296-0315/1166.

Beulaville - Inmates assisting maintenance staff with cleaning building at Beulaville Elementary School. Call Travis Outlaw or Sgt. Bethea, Duplin Correctional Center, (910) 296-0315/1166.

Swan Quarter - Inmates painting interior and doing minor landscaping at Mattamuskett High School. Call Sgt. Vernon W. Lee or Captain Marvin E. Biggs, Hyde Correctional Center, (919) 926-1810.

Marion - Inmates assisting in building greenhouse, cleaning flower beds, painting, washing windows and trimming shrubbery at West Marion Elementary School, April 16. Call Sgt. Perry Franklin, Marion Correctional Institution, (704) 652-4321.