North Carolina Department of Correction news release

November 14, 1997

North Piedmont Correctional Center for Women to be dedicated

Lexington - State Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis will dedicate the new North Piedmont Correctional Center for women Wednesday, November 19 at 11 AM.

"With the help of the people in the community, this prison will provide the opportunity for female inmates to turn their lives around," Secretary Jarvis said. "We've already had excellent community support for this prison."

In recent weeks, prison managers conducted five training sessions to prepare more than 120 people to serve as volunteers in the prison. Volunteers will lead religious services, classes and programs for inmates.

"We want to create an atmosphere where women want to be rehabilitated and where volunteers feel comfortable helping us motivate them to change," said Superintendent Anne Harvey. "Our employees are proud of the new facility and have worked hard to prepare for the opening."

The new minimum security state prison provides needed space for the fast growing female inmate population. While female inmates account for only six percent of the state prison population, their number has grown at a rapid pace, up from 850 in 1987 to 1,964 today.

  12/31/94 12/31/95 12/31/96 11/11/97
Female NC prison population 1,202 1,780 1,898 1,964
Total NC prison population 23,837 29,495 30,924 32,250

The prison currently houses 45 inmates. That number will gradually increase to fill the prison's 140 beds.

Female offenders will be put to work in two community work squads, in work release jobs and in jobs at the prison. A correctional officer will supervise each community work squad of ten inmates in short-term, manual labor jobs for local governments and public agencies. Businesses may help prepare inmates for employment after prison by hiring inmates in the final stage of minimum security who qualify for work release. Other inmates will be put to work in prison jobs as cooks, bakers, janitors and maintenance staff.

The prison has a staff of 44.