North Carolina Department of Correction

Polk Youth Institution

Correction managers looking forward to new facility

George Currie

George E. Currie

Virgil Lanier

Virgil W. Lanier

Richard Jones

Richard T. Jones

Jack Woodall

Jack Woodall

"The new Polk has a rhythm and design to meet the flow of our workload," said George Currie, Polk's correctional administrator. "The old facility did not provide a systematic layout that accomodated our work."

Currie was promoted in 1993 to superintendent of Polk Youth Institution and began preparing for the transition from the old prison to the new facility. Prior to his arrival at Polk, he was superintendent of Triangle Correctional Institution in Raleigh and Orange Correctional Center in Hillsborough. He began working for the department as a correctional officer at Central Prison in Raleigh where he worked his way up to the rank of captain.

His two assistant superintendents also worked at Orange Correctional Center. Richard Jones moved to Polk about five years ago after working at Orange. Virgil Lanier moved to Polk about three years ago after working at Orange, Triangle and Sandhills Youth Center. Woodall recently arrived at the prison after working at Pasquotank Youth Institution.

"It was a big adjustment dealing with youth," said Jones who left the minimum security adult male Orange unit for Polk. "Youth are more impulsive than adults," said Lanier. "They'll fight a lot quicker and over small things."

The assistant superintendents agree the new prison provides better tools to manage the young prisoners. "At the old prison, we have 21 single cells to deal with 300 inmates. That's not enough," Lanier said. "The single cells will make it safer," agrees Jones. "Our officers will work in control centers and will be able to see the whole housing area."

The new prison's three single cell housing units each have 144 cells. The housing units were designed to provide correctional officers more control over prisoners. Officers can better control prisoners placed one to a cell in a cellblock with access to each cell and to the cellblock managed from a control station. "We'll have smaller and easier to control recreation areas," Jones said. "Each building will have its own recreation area." The smaller groups of prisoners will make it safer and easier for officers to supervise offenders.

The new prison's three single cell housing units and four dormitory housing units provide some program and activity space. "I like the surroundings," said Lanier. "We've got housing and we've got supporting functions in the same building."

"The new prison's technology will make a difference," Jones said. "The electronic perimeter will be a plus." The prison's security fences will be equipped with motion detection sensors that will alert officers in the prison's gatehouse and roving patrols to any attempted breach of security.

"We'll build some things ourselves," said Woodall. "Our maintenance staff will build the recreation yards, shelving, sidewalks, flagpoles and install sinks.

"I've spent a lot of time with the contractors," Woodall said. "We've worked all the bugs out of it and we're making sure we get what we've paid for."

George E. Currie

Virgil W. Lanier

Richard T. Jones

Jack Woodall

Correctional Administrator

Assistant Superintendent for Custody

Assistant Superintendent for Programs

Maintenance Director

Correction managers looking forward to new facility
Correction officers ready for move to new prison
Polk quick facts
Tour the new Polk Youth Institution
Polk built with new construction techniques
Tour the old Polk Youth Institution
Polk prisoner assignments
Polk Youth Institution's school