North Carolina Department of Correction news release

Prisoners put to work helping farmers

AUGUST 28, 1998

Officer Pittman

Comment 1
16 seconds

Comment 2
34 seconds

Farmer Andrae Richardson

11 seconds

CLAYTON — Prisoners from Goldsboro spent today propping up tobacco plants Hurricane Bonnie knocked down in Johnson County this week.

Farmer Andrae Richardson said the wind flattened some of the plants in his 50-acre tract of tobacco outside Clayton. To harvest the tobacco, Richardson said he needs the stalks upright. That requires going down each row of tobacco, standing the stalks upright and packing dirt around the bottom.

The nine inmates from Neuse Correctional Institution working in Richardson's field are part of hundreds helping farmers, local governments and public agencies who suffered damage from Hurricane Bonnie.

"What we are doing is taking a row each, and we are going down and coming up," said Correctional Officer James Pittman. "We're just going to set up as much as possible so that they can get the harvester in here."

Pittman said his crew of inmates work every day as part of the Community Work Program. Today they are helping farmers as directed by State Agriculture officials under the State of Emergency, declared by Gov. Jim Hunt.

"For me this is a blessing," Richardson said. "Yesterday I looked at it and just shook my head and now God answered my prayers. It's like sending angels to help me."


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