North Carolina Department of Correction news release

Prisoners worked 2 million hours along highways in 1996

JANUARY 30, 1997

RALEIGH -- North Carolina prisoners worked more than two million hours last year along state highways and roads for the Department of Transportation.

"Digging out ditches and helping DOT employees patch potholes is the kind of hard work we expect of prisoners," Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis said. "Well-maintained roads provided with the help of prisoner labor benefits everyone."

Medium custody prisoners are supervised by armed correctional officers in tasks for the state Department of Transportation. In 1996, 27 state prisons worked medium custody road squads 1,036,637 hours.

Minimum custody prisoners also work for the Department of Transportation. DOT employees are trained as agents and supervise the minimum custody squads. Last year, DOT employees worked minimum custody prisoners from 39 units 1,708,896 hours.

"Our squads get daily assignments from the county offices of the Department of Transportation," said Pat Chavis, superintendent of the medium security Lumberton Correctional Center. "It may be cleaning out ditches or clearing overgrowth. Sometimes they pick up litter. One crew clears drainage ditches along I-95."

Three medium security prisons including Chavis's unit, the Brown Creek Correctional Institution at Polkton and Pender Correctional Institution at Burgaw have road squad assignments for up to 96 prisoners.

Brown Creek put five road squads to work in 1993, shortly after it opened. With the addition of a new dormitory last year, the prison increased the number of road squads to eight. Five work in Anson County, two in Richmond County and one in Montgomery County.

"Our correctional officers do a professional job supervising the prisoners on these squads," said Rick Jackson, Brown Creek's superintendent. "They make sure the inmates get their work done."

The road squads work under a contract between the departments of Correction and Transportation. Jackson says callers sometime ask about obtaining inmate labor for other public projects and he refers them to the Anson Correctional Center. Anson, a minimum security unit, works prisoners in the Governor's Community Work Program. They provide short-term, manual labor for public agencies.

Alexander, Scotland and Yadkin correctional centers, were converted last year from medium to minimum security units to increase the efficiency of operations. The three prisons now work prisoners in the community work program. Citizens can recommend public works projects by calling the inmate work hotline at 1-800-661-7161.

This year two new medium security prisons will put more inmates to work in road squads. Hyde Correctional Center will have four squads and Warren Correctional Institution will have ten.



Alexander Correctional Center*1610866.25Alexander, Caldwell
Avery Correctional Center 2411582 Avery
Brown Creek Correctional Institution9696384 Anson, Montgomery, Richmond
Caswell Correctional Center76 68930.25Alamance, Caswell, Orange, Person
Columbus Correctional Center84112133.25 Brunswick, Columbus
Craggy Correctional Center 48 51385Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison
Currituck Correctional Center 36 25933 Camden, Currituck, Pasquotank
Davie Correctional Center12 10303Davie, Rowan
Franklin Correctional Center 24 22584 Franklin, Granville, Vance, Warren
Harnett Correctional Institution 36 30064.5Cumberland, Harnett, Lee
Hoke Correctional Institutiton2412959.25 Hoke, Moore
Iredell Correctional Center 169138.25Iredell, Rowan
Johnston Correctional Center 4867371 Johnston, Wake, Wayne
Lincoln Correctional Center4827816 Catawba, Gaston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg
Lumberton Correctional Center 9665489Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Robeson
Odom Correctional Institution 3224965.5Bertie, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton
Pender Correctional Institution 96120902Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender
Randolph Correctional Center 72 67460.75 Chatham, Guilford, Randolph
Rockingham Correctional Center** 2815624Rockingham, Stokes
Sampson Correctional Center 20 26380.5Duplin, Sampson
Scotland Correctional Center*1210983.5Scotland
Stanly Correctional Center24 23813.5Davidson, Montgomery, Stanly
Union Correctional Center36 41627.25 Mecklenburg, Union
Washington Correctional Center* 24 191Beaufort, Chowan, Hyde, Perquimans, Tyrell, Washington
Wayne Correctional Center 48 55686Wayne
Yadkin Correctional Center*128590.25Surry, Yadkin
Yancey Correctional Center1617474Madison, Mitchell, Yancey
*converted from medium to minimum security