AUGUST 11, 1995

LINCOLNTON - For the first time in the history of the Department of Correction, hot- bunking (inmates sleeping on the same bed in shifts) has moved one step closer to reality at Lincoln Correctional Center. Lawmakers placed $250,000 in reserve for developing a plan for hot-bunking during the 1995 legislative session.

Hot bunking will rotate inmates in shifts at the prison's sewing plant which makes inmate clothes. The law requires this pilot project be approved by the state Attorney General and the federal courts.

"Hot-bunking is another example of DOC's serious commitment to putting inmates to work," said Correction Secretary Franklin Freeman. "Gov. Jim Hunt has said on numerous occasions that he wants every able-bodied inmate put to work. Hot-bunking is another avenue for reaching that goal."

Initial plans call for hot-bunking one wing of a dormitory, about 25 inmates. An additional 25 inmates will be added pending the success of the first group. Inmates sewing during the first shift would sleep in beds during the night while third shift inmates are in the plant. Third shift workers would use the beds during the daytime while first shift inmates are working. This means that fifty inmates will use beds and space designed for 25 inmates.

DOC is scheduled to give an update on its hot bunking plans to the legislature during its short session next May.