North Carolina Department of Correction news release

JANUARY 26, 1998

Dedication ceremonies planned for state's Tyrrell Prison Work Farm

COLUMBIA - State Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis will dedicate the state’s new Tyrrell Prison Work Farm Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 11:30 AM.

"We believe this new prison will bring $7 million to Tyrrell County in the first year of operation," Secretary Jarvis said. "The starting pay for most of the 175 jobs at the prison will be just over $20,000."

This is the second prison work farm to open in North Carolina. Both facilities were built by inmate construction crews supervised by the department’s engineering staff. The two prisons are the largest prison construction projects built with inmate labor since inmates built the state’s first prison in Raleigh in the 1890s.

The new prison work farm and the Dan River Prison Work Farm in Yanceyville were designed to emphasize inmate work. Once in full operation, the new prison will put inmates to work in the community work program, farming and in jobs at the prison.

"We want to put people to work," Superintendent Anthony Hathaway said. "We can do a lot in the community. I think that benefits the community and the inmates. When we change attitudes, we can change people."

In the Community Work Program, a correctional officer supervises a squad of up to ten inmates in short term, manual labor projects for public agencies. In the past year, this program provided 1.6 million hours of free labor for local governments and public agencies across the state.

The prison's farming operation will provide produce grown in fields and greenhouses by the prison. Broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes and peppers will be grown in the fields. The greenhouses will provide a year round supply of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Other inmates will be put to work in prison jobs as cooks, bakers, janitors and maintenance staff.