APRIL 23, 1996

Maury - A groundbreaking for a new 40-man segregation cell was held today at Greene Correctional Center.

Inmates who fight, refuse to work, use profane language, gamble, or break other prison rules will be isolated in these new single-cells when construction is complete the end of 1996.

Currently, the minimum-custody Greene Correctional Center has a four-bed segregation area for a prison housing 640 prisoners. In cases of serious conflicts, inmates are transported to Currituck or New Hanover correctional centers or to the Wilson County Detention Center under contract with the N.C. Dept. of Correction.

"These 40 new cells will go a long way towards helping manage disruptive inmates at Greene Correctional Center," Correction Secretary Franklin Freeman said. "Senator John Kerr of Goldsboro and Representative Linwood Mercer of Farmville have been particularly helpful in seeking funding from the legislature for this much-needed addition, and I thank them for their diligence."

The 1995 session of the General Assembly authorized construction of the segregation building using part of the $200 million prison construction bonds approved by voters in 1990. The 17,144 square-foot building will cost $2.6 million.

"Prison inmates do not like being isolated from the rest of the prison population, and the threat of being locked away alone goes a long ways towards maintaining an orderly prison," Greene Superintendent Russell Ginn said. "We have 300 inmates working outside the prison in jobs such as the Governor's Community Work Program, and 150 inmates working inside the prison. The isolation cells will help change the minds of those inmates who refuse to work, fail to report to work, or get in some other kind of trouble."

Other state prisons in the eastern part of the state may send unruly inmates to Greene Correctional Center when it opens next winter.