SEPTEMBER 29, 1997
The opening of new prisons and the expansion of the Governor's community work program has increased the number of state prisoners in work or job training programs to 20,531.
"We're putting more and more inmates to work, providing important manpower that benefits North Carolina communities and helps prison operations," said Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis.
Six new prisons opened this year creating new work assignments for kitchen, janitorial and maintenance workers. The Hyde Correctional Center and Warren Correctional Institution will provide new inmate road squads to clear highway rights-of-way and dig out drainage ditches for the Department of Transportation.
The Dan River Prison Work Farm in Yanceyville will put 13 squads of inmates to work in the Governor's Community Work Program. Once it reaches full operation, the prison work farm will have the state's largest number of inmates assigned to the community work squads. Correctional officers will supervise squads of up to 14 inmates working for public agencies in Caswell and seven neighboring counties.
When the North Piedmont Correctional Center for Women opens, female inmates will be put to work on community projects in Lexington. The Governor's Community Work Program begun in 1994 now provides work for more than 1,100 inmates daily.
"Work is punishment, but it is also restitution and rehabilitation," said Jarvis. "We punish inmates by requiring them to work, but through their labor they also repay the state and learn new skills they can use when they leave prison."