North Carolina Department of Correction news release

MARCH 25, 1998

Prisoner work squads sent to Rockingham and Durham counties

More than 100 prisoners are working in Rockingham and Durham counties today cleaning up debris left by last Friday’s tornadoes in central North Carolina. Five crews are working in Stoneville. Five are in Mayodan and two more in Bahama.

"This is one of the ways Gov. Hunt envisioned that the department would be able to put prisoners to work," said Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis. "We’ve provided prisoner labor at the request of county emergency services officials to help communities that suffered devastation from the storms."

One hundred prisoners from the Dan River Prison Work Farm in Yanceyville were sent to work today in Rockingham County. Correctional officers supervise the squads, each including ten minimum security prisoners. They work at the direction of county emergency services officials.

Dan River Prison provided 40 prisoners Monday and 100 yesterday to help in clean up efforts in Rockingham County.

"The work squads have helped to remove debris from downtown Stoneville and began yesterday to help tack up plastic and plyboard to cover damaged homes and businesses near Mayodan," said Dan River Prison Superintendent Wayne Moore. "The people in the communities have told our officers and prisoners how much they appreciate the help."

At the request of Durham County emergency management, two squads of prisoners from Umstead Correctional Center at Butner are going to work today for the first time near Bahama clearing debris and assisting in clean-up from damage caused by Friday’s storm.

The prison work crews are part of the Community Work Program established in 1994. Correction officers supervise squads of up to ten minimum security prisoners in short term manual labor projects. The program provides a ready work force to respond to emergencies. In the past, the crews have helped communities clean up after flooding, snow and hurricanes Fran and Bertha.