North Carolina Department of Correction News - April 1999

Chester selected to head Craven

VanceboroDavid W. Chester is the new superintendent of the 542-man medium custody state prison, Craven Correctional Institution. He replaces Wilford Shields who retired Nov. 30.

Chester has been an employee of the department since 1974. Most recently, he was the superintendent of Hyde Correctional Institution.

"David Chester is a calm, thoughtful and fair manager in prison operations," said Acting Secretary Joe Hamilton. "He has always been an excellent role model for staff and inmates, and will do well at Craven Correctional Institution."

Chester was born in New Jersey, served as a squad leader with the 82nd Airborne Division for three years, was president of the Class of 1965 for the Greensboro Police School and graduated with high honors in history from Guilford College in 1970. He completed his master’s degree and advanced graduate study in government at the University of Virginia before he started working in the Department of Correction’s Western Area Office in 1974. There, Chester directed inmate programs in work release, vocational and educational training, and community volunteers.

He also worked part time as an instructor in criminal justice at Wilkes Community College.

In 1982, Chester was promoted to superintendent at Eastern Correctional Institution in Maury and was charged with opening the 500-bed medium and close custody prison. He transferred to Wayne Correctional Center in 1987 and helped develop the first substance abuse treatment center for the Division of Prisons. He was then promoted as an Eastern Area district manager, responsible for the day-to-day operation of 10 prisons.

Chester has numerous awards and is involved in many professional activities. He is an adjunct instructor in criminal justice at East Carolina University. He has served on correctional and criminal justice advisory boards at Pitt, Lenoir, Wayne and Beaufort community colleges. He is past president of the Ayden-Grifton Kiwanis Club.

Chester, interested in conservation issues, is a member of the Sierra Club. He enjoys ballroom dancing, bicycling, hiking, swimming and scuba diving. He and his wife, Betty, live in Greenville and have two children, 28-year-old Beth and 19-year-old Chris. u

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