OCTOBER 3, 1995

CHARLOTTE - Inmates from Lincolnton cleared brush as Correction Secretary Freeman visited their work site along Interstate 77 in Mecklenburg County today.

"This is the kind of job inmates can expect when they reach our state prisons," Secretary Freeman said. "We want these men to repay the state for their crimes and to learn the value of hard work."

Lincoln Correctional Center has four road squads where three armed correctional officers supervise up to 12 inmates in projects five days a week in Lincoln, Catawba, Gaston and Mecklenburg counties.

Inmates from Lincoln worked 3,104 hours in July and 3,807 hours in August. During August, inmates at 25 prisons worked more than 95,000 hours.

"Governor Hunt wants inmates put to work," Secretary Freeman said. "We continue to put more inmates to work and put them to work in jobs that help the state like these road squads."

In the new agreement between the Departments of Transportation and Correction, another 420 inmates were put to work on medium custody road squads. This provides more work for higher security inmates.

The medium custody inmates work under the gun. Three armed correctional officers supervise up to 12 inmates in tasks assigned by Transportation officials. The inmates dig ditches, clean up litter and clear brush. They earn 70 cents a day.

"Everyone benefits from these work assignments," Freeman said. "State roadways are safer and cleaner and inmates learn the value of work, an ethic we hope will keep them from returning to prison."bp