James B. Hunt, Governor
Theodis Beck, Secretary
Patty McQuillan, Public Information Director

Correction News
September 1999

Department of Correction
214 W. Jones Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603 (919) 733-4926

DOC offender information added to SAVAN

Hyde sergeant a life-time crabber

Horton named head of Fountain

Bostic named superintendent of Raleigh Correctional Center

Master statistician Ken Parker retires

Officer and staff safety a top priority for DCC

Working third shift has its advantages

Spotlight on third shift at Southern Correctional Institution

Officer suffers heart attack, dies

Closing of Iredell Correctional Center comes as a shock to staff and inmates

Blanch Correctional Institution closes its gates for good

Internal Audit opens three regional offices

News Briefs


Seven small field units close up shop
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An officer secures the door of the bus transporting the last inmates from Blanch.
By the end of this month, seven more prisons across the state will have closed their doors for good. Inmates will have been transferred, staff will have been reassigned to positions in other facilities, good-byes will have been said and tears will have been shed.

The latest casualties in the budget reduction effort include Stanly Correctional Center which closed July 1; Goldsboro Correctional Center which closed Aug. 1; Blanch, Yadkin and Nash correctional centers which closed Sept. 1; and Stokes and Iredell correctional centers which are scheduled to be officially closed by Oct. 1.

Directed by the governor and the General Assembly to reduce its budget by $25 million,the Department had few

other options than to close several of its small field units. These units were targeted for closure as a result of a 1991 government audit committee that said the 1930s-era prisons are inefficient to operate because of their small size.

These seven prisons are the most recent additions to a growing list of small prisons that have recently been shut down by the Department.

"The small prison field units have been an important part of the heritage of this Department. Many of our senior managers have developed their professional skills working at these facilities," said Deputy Secretary Dan Stieneke. "Although unfortunate, efficiency needs dictate that we move in a direction of larger more economical prison institutions. As we make this change, we are keenly aware of the personal hardships on affected staff and are dedicated to doing everything we reasonably can to offer these experienced correctional staff members positions within the Department."

Personnel staff spent much of this year preparing for the closures. With help from the divisions, they were able to freeze vacant positions in order to have jobs available for the employees affected by the closures. They then surveyed the employees to determine their wishes and where they would be willing to work. Don Rouse, employee relations specialist, said their goal was to keep the employees in their same classification and as close to their previous location as possible.

"For the most part, it’s been a success," Rouse said. "Out of more than 850 positions, there were only 12 people that we couldn’t offer positions to because they didn’t meet the minimum qualifications."

While staff at all seven prisons handled the closing of their facilities differently, saying good-bye and locking the doors for good was difficult for them all. Included in this issue are the stories of two of the facilities and how they dealt with the closings. u


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