October 2000

Spotlight on: 
Pasquotank Correctional Institution

By Pamela Walker

ELIZABETH CITY- When you walk into the halls of Pasquotank Correctional Institution you will notice the friendly, yet professional staff. The 900-bed facility, which was dedicated March 27, 1996, houses close and minimum custody adult males.

When Ernest Sutton was appointed correctional administrator of the facility in June 1999, he said his biggest challenge was that it was a fairly new institution with a predominately young and inexperienced staff. "I wanted to learn about the staff and their priorities and have them get to know me," said Sutton. "My top priority was to build morale. The staff has done an outstanding job of bonding and being a part of the team." Sutton added he supports positive leadership and made copies of "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" by John Maxwell available to his staff and inmates as a model of the institution’s leadership format.

Pasquotank Correctional Institution was built using the same design as Foothills and Marion correctional institutions in western North Carolina. The prison is comprised of one large building, which includes inmate housing, visiting area, recreation area, dining hall, warehouse, vocational and academic classrooms, programs, medical and mental health offices and administrative offices and a separate satellite building which houses the minimum custody inmates.

Inmates work in kitchen, janitorial and maintenance duties in the prison. Minimum-security inmates work in community work squads, Department of Transportation squads, Albemarle Food Bank, and for Pasquotank County recycling.

"We have several programs for inmates that I am proud of," said Sutton. The College of the Albemarle provides a variety of programs, which include cooking, electrical installation, carpentry, and HVAC courses. ABE and GED educational programs are also provided.

Van Barnes and Joseph Marrow

Van F. Barnes, left, is assistant superintendent of custody and operations. He has worked for the Department nearly 32 years. Barnes has indicated that he will probably never leave, because he is having so much fun. His job responsibilities include overseeing the operation of the 900 inmates and 400 correctional staff at Pasquotank. Joseph Marrow, right, is the medical administrator for Prison Health Service. Marrow is contracted to provide medical services to inmates at both Pasquotank and Hyde Correctional Institution.

Thomas Strahan and Gary Cook
Thomas Strahan, right, is assistant superintendent of programs. He oversees all academic, vocational, medical, dental and site services programs. Gary Cook, left, is institutional classification coordinator and is responsible for the overall coordination of classifications, DCC activities, transfers and releases.

Ernest Sutton
As correctional administrator for Pasquotank, Ernest R. Sutton tries to provide all the training and support his staff needs for running a secure, team-oriented facility. Sutton oversees the entire operation of Pasquotank. He started working for the Department in 1971 as a program assistant I in what was then called the Region R office in Currituck County. Two years later he was promoted to program assistant II at Creswell in Washington County. He was later promoted to programs supervisor and then in 1978 superintendent of Creswell. In 1987 he became interim superintendent at Currituck Correctional Center and then became superintendent in 1988. He was promoted to correctional administrator of Pasquotank in June 1999.

Linda Tilley and Linda Chambers

As accounting technician II, Linda R. Tilley, seated, handles requisitions/purchase orders, budget monitoring and is backup for the trust fund clerk. She has worked at the facility since December 1994. Linda C. Chambers, standing, is an accounting technician I and has worked at Pasquotank since November 1995. Chambers handles inmate trust accounts on the cashless inmate banking system, enters usage orders for the warehouse and assists mailroom staff.
Capt. Dennis Daniels
Capt. Dennis M. Daniels works in special affairs for the facility. Daniels conducts internal investigations for both staff and inmates, monitors security threat groups, works as a facility intelligence officer and facility safety officer. He also monitors keys, weapons and tools. In addition, Daniels is a firearms, pepper spray and general instructor.
David Mansingh and John Young
David Mansingh, right, is a clinical chaplain I and John Young, left, is the community funded chaplain for the facility. They provide religious services to a multi-cultural population. Mansingh is known for getting people to smile by telling jokes.
Marie Sharpe
As personnel assistant V, Marie Sharpe is responsible for personnel activities for 405 positions at the institution. Sharpe is also the facilities health benefits representative.
Tommy Castelloe
Tommy Castelloe serves as unit manager for Pasquotank’s largest unit. His duties encompass the management of 232 close custody inmates in their daily activities. While fellow staff say the task is daunting, he handles it with poise!
Robert Rentkewicz
Some call Officer Robert D. Rentkewicz a jack of all trades because he does a little bit of everything at the facility. Rentkewicz was employee of the month at Pasquotank in February 2000.
Quentin Ferrel
Quentin Ferrel is assistant unit manager for Unit V, the minimum custody component at Pasquotank. Routinely Futrell schedules all the unit sergeants, approves the schedule for the unit officers of all three shifts and is the operations officer for safety and security.
Cynthia Lister and Felix Taylor

Cynthia Lister, left, is administrative secretary II. She plans, coordinates, organizes, and directs the administrative functions of the administrator’s office. Lister is the liaison for the administrator to the institution and the public. Her motto is ‘First impressions last the longest.’ Felix Taylor, right, is a correctional training specialist II. Taylor coordinates all the basic and in-service training for 405 employees. He is the site security coordinator for computer operations and supervises DCI network activities.

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