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Michael F. Easley
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Theodis Beck
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North Carolina Department of Correction


For Release: Contact: Victoria Justice
Date: Nov. 5, 2006 Phone: 828-664-2002

Black Mountain women's prison to celebrate 20th anniversary

BLACK MOUNTAIN - The Black Mountain Correctional Center for Women will host its 20th Anniversary Celebration and Open House on Sunday November 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. at its center at 1449 North Fork Road in Black Mountain.

 Administrators, staff and the Community Resource Council will host the celebration.  The community is invited to attend.  Superintendent Victoria Justice will be available for media interviews before and after the celebration. Any media outlet wishing to schedule an interview should contact her at 828-664-2002 no later than Friday, November 17.

The Black Mountain Correctional Center for Women opened in September 1986 under the leadership of Superintendent Michelle Riechart.  Thirty-six female inmates were assigned to this minimum-security facility.  Church Women United became involved in the center as volunteers.  The Community Resource Council was established to help provide resources and programming to inmates, staff and administrators.  Programs initiated during this time included: the Volunteer Chaplaincy Program, Community Volunteers, Women and Children Retreat, GED training, work release, Think Smart and inmate involvement in community projects.

 From 1989 2001, Superintendent Renae Brame continued the growth and development of the Black Mountain Correctional Center for Women by overseeing the completion of the chapel/administrative building, employment of community-funded chaplain, 501C-3 status for the chaplaincy committee, and establishment of the inmate library.  Expansions included Mother/Child Retreats, increased work release locations, Think Smart, Christmas dinner provided by Church Women United, volunteers winning state awards and increased facility capacity of 80 inmates.

 Superintendent Victoria Justice has been at the Black Mountain Correctional Center for Women since 2001. During her tenure, the Community Resource Council has been granted 501C-3 status, anger management has been added as a therapeutic treatment, inmates have participated in the state pilot program New Leash on Life and the Pet Care Technician Program, and there has been horticultural collaboration between the Center and the Town of Black Mountain Beautification Committee.  Increased programming include reorganized GED, substance abuse treatment, human resources, transitional service, religious activity, community volunteer services and recreation/exercise for approximately 80 inmates.

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