N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--March 1998

Hundreds Attend Tyrrell Dedication

COLUMBIA - Hundreds of Department of Correction officials, employees, community members and friends braved high winds and cold rain Jan. 28 to attend the dedication of the state’s newest prison, the Tyrrell Prison Work Farm.

Despite the unpleasant weather, an estimated crowd of 300 to 400 individuals showed up to take a look around the new minimum security prison located on 200 acres of land near Columbia in Tyrrell County.

Dan Stieneke, director of the Division of Prisons, said, to him, Jan. 28 was a beautiful day. "No amount of rain can change my perception that this is a bright, sunny day," he said. "It is a sunny day when we are opening up a new prison."

The $9 million facility is the second prison work farm to open in North Carolina. The first was the Dan River Prison Work Farm in Yanceyville. Both facilities, built by prison work crews, are designed to emphasize inmate work.

Correctional Officers Kenneth Melton and Robbie Owens

Anthony Hathaway, superintendent of the Tyrrell Prison Work Farm, thanked the staff at Dan River for their help and support in getting the prison work farm up and running. "Dan River gave the lead, and we followed. They have been a tremendous help. But not only Dan River; every prison unit and DOC staff member has helped us, and we are grateful," he said.

The work farm will house a minimum of 500 inmates who will be put to work in the community work program, in agricultural production at the prison’s 103-acre farming operation or in other institutional jobs.

Jennie Lancaster, Patsy Woodlief, Thomas Spruill, Superintendent
Anthony Hathaway, Secretary Jarvis, Dan Stieneke and Columbia
Mayor George Owens cut the ribbon.

"Our top priority is going to be putting inmates to work," Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis told members of the community. "We’re going to be there to help you."

Jarvis said the prison will employ 175 people with the starting pay just over $20,000. "We are looking for some good quality employees. I know a lot of correction officers will like calling Tyrrell County home."

During the dedication ceremony, Hathaway publicly thanked his staff for working so hard to get the new facility ready for the dedication ceremony. "My staff has done a tremendous job in putting things together for this day," he said.

Many of Tyrrell’s correction officers were on hand for the dedication ceremony - several dressed in yellow slickers directing traffic in the rain and assisting guests as they toured the facility. Others led tours of the prison sharing their knowledge of the work farm with the guests. u

NC DOC Correction News- March 1998
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