North Carolina Department of Correction -- Inmates Work

North Carolina Prison Inmates at Work

Today's N.C. prison inmates work on the farm, on road crews and in prison construction. 

More than 2,000 minimum and medium custody inmates from more than 60 prisons work on the state's roads, clearing right-of-way, picking up litter and patching potholes. 

Roadside cleanup in Rockingham County
Medium custody inmates work under the supervision of armed correctional officers. Minimum custody inmates work under the direction of Department of Transportation employees.
Inmates at the state prison farms at Caledonia and Odom Correctional Institutions raise crops and cattle that supply food to prison kitchens around the state. Inmates learn operation of farm machinery and innovative farming methods. Inmates also work in farming operations at the Dan River Prison Work Farm at Yanceyville and Tyrrell Prison Work Farm in Tyrell County.
Inmates under the supervision of correction engineers continue to work on construction projects. They have completed two prison work farms and a female boot camp housing unit in Richmond County.

They have completed on a prison industry sewing plant at Columbus Correctional institution and a green house for the Dan River Prison Work Farm. Inmate crews are also building wall panels and constructing several new houses in Tarboro and Kinston for victims of Hurricane Floyd.

Inmate laying block in construction of Dan River Prison Work Farm

More than 6,000 inmates work inside the prisons preparing meals in the kitchen, keeping buildings and grounds clean and providing labor required in prison operations.
Correction Enterprises operates 37 prison industries that employ 2,000 inmates. Enterprise employees train unskilled inmates to make t-shrits, license tags, highway signs, street signs and highway paint. They learn to make office furniture, janitorial supplies, beds and lockers. Inmate works in sewing plant

Inmates clean up tire dump in Onslow County

In the Governor's Community Work Program, correctional officers supervise minimum custody inmates in short-term, manual labor jobs for local government. The program was piloted in 1994 at Greene Correctional Center. More than 1,300 inmates from 43 state prisons now work in the program.

Prisons can also contract with local governments to provide inmates to work on longer term projects. Some counties use inmates to work in recycling projects, while others perform clerical duties.

Work release provides employment for 1,100 nearing release from prison. They work for businesses in the community developing skills and contacts that will help in getting a job after release. Money earned by the inmates helps defray the costs of their imprisonment, pays restitution to victims and helps support their family.

Inmates being processed into prison, being segregated for violating rules or receiving medical care are assigned jobs as soon as they enter the regular inmate population. Many inmates lack the education and skills needed to make a living after they leave prison. More than 2,800 inmates are in education and vocation classes that will prepare them for future jobs in prison and after their release.

Inmates sent to N.C. prisons should expect to work. General Statute 148-26 declares that:
all able-bodied prison inmates shall be required to perform diligently all work assignments provided for them. The failure of any inmate to perform such a work assignment may result in disciplinary action. Work assignments and employment shall be for the public benefit to reduce the cost of maintaining the inmate population while enabling inmates to acquire or retain skills and work habits needed to secure honest employment after their release.