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Thursday, April 10, 1SC0
County to renovate the Orange County jail in
Hillsborough, said Joe Bradshaw, assistant county
The jail, which was built in 1925, has problems which
include faulty plumbing and lighting fixtures. "It's just
dilapidated and old," said Orange County Sherriff
The jail was designed to hold 40 prisoners but
averages 18 now, because part of the jail cannot be
used due to its age, Knight said.
An architect is working on a plan for the
renovations, but a problem lies in getting money to
finance the renovations, Bradshaw said. The county
defeated a bond referendum last November which
would have helped financed the renovations, he said.
North Carolina's Correction Center for Women, in
Raleigh, is also overcrowded but this is not a
problem, said Kenneth Harris, the center's
The state has field units throughout North Carolina
for male inmates, Harris said, so men usually are
imprisoned near their home.
But women from acrossthe state are sent to the
correction center for women because it is the only
major institution in the state for women. So, many
women are in prison far from their home, Harris said.
This is a special problem for the correction center,
he said, because many women have to deal with
adjustment problems and being away from home. But
Harris said this is one of the few problems at the
'Were very concerned about it (the
Joan Little case) because it reflects
poorly on jails throughout the
Even without overcrowding, a riot is still a possibility
anywhere in the nation, Garrison said. But North
Carolina prison officials say inmate cooperation has
helped keep order and control in North Carolina's
"I wouldn't want to underestimate the value of
inmate cooperation," Kautzky said.
But Shadbolt said inmate cooperation varies a great
deal. "It's (prison) not a summer camp," he said. Some
inmates want to take advantage of all available
opportunities while others simply want to sit around
and play cards, Shadbolt said.
An example of inmate cooperation in the state is the
restitution program which Gov. Jim, Hunt recently
Restitution payments are made by inmates, as well as
by persons on parole and probation, to the victims of
their crimes. During January, about $333,000 was
collected in restitution in the state and more than
13,000 individuals and businesses benefited from this
The state also collected about $231,000 in fines in
January from persons on parole and probation. Fines
are paid to the courts, which pass the money on to the
general funds of the counties for distribution to the
Prison officials expect more than $3 million to be
paid in restitution in 1980.
A victim compensation bill, which is similar to
restitution, was defeated in the state in 1977 but will be
presented again in 1981, said Brent Hackney, Gov.
Hunt's deputy press secretary.
The governor said in a January press conference that
"he would support it (victim compensation),"
The programs that the North Carolina prisons offer
inmates vary according to custody level and the
location of the prison, Shadbolt said. For example,
more resources are available to a prison in an urban
setting, such as Raleigh, than to one in a rural setting,
It happened in '68
Very few people in North Carolina
remember April 16, 1968. That was the
date of the state's last prison riot, which
left six inmates dead and 77 other
persons wounded. When the whistle
blew at 12:30 p.m. that day, signaling
the end of the noon meal break, 450
inmates gathered in the prison's
southwest yard instead of returning to
work. After the inmates began to burn
a building and threatened prison
officials with handmade weapons, the
violence began in earnest and lasted
into the morning hours of April 17. V.L.
Bounds, North Carolina's
commissioner of corrections, at the
time said a whole series of demands led
to the riot. Foremost among these
demands, Bounds said, was the release
of certain inmates he had earlier
placed in closed confinement at the
Photo courtesy of N C Stale Archive
Throughout the state, the prison system offers
inmates 19 industries to work in. These industries
include a paint plant, a mattress plant, a sewing plant, a
furniture plant and a meat processing plant.
"The idea is to put them (inmates) to work to occupy
their time," Shadbolt said. And in time, he said,
inmates learn skills which they can use when released.
The state pays inmates an incentive wage which
varies from 75 cents to $1.10 a day, depending on the
inmate's skill level, Shadbolt said. Most of the money is
put in the inmate's trust fund and each inmate is
allowed to have no more than $15 in his possession at
one time, he said.
The prison system offers inmates other programs
such as the work-release and study-release programs
at minimum-custody prisons. These programs allow an
inmate to leave the prison during the day to work or
attend school. These programs help prepare the
inmate for society, Shadbolt said.
The state's prison system has begun to stress
inmate individuality, Shadbolt said, which helps
the inmate gain self-esteem.
The "I Can" motivational training program, founded
at Sandhills Youth Center in June, 1978, is one such
program. The course is designed to help the inmate
become more aware of himself, focus on the
importance of helping others and then set specific
goals in these areas.
"I can see an improvement in people who take the
course," said F.D. Hubbard, Sandhills Youth Center
"We try to give them (inmates) confidence," he said.
Many inmates have talent and ability but just need
motivation and confidence to bring it out, he said.
"Through the course, we want to excite young men
about themselves and others," Hubbard said. "It (the 'I
Can' course), or any other program, doesn't stop
crimes but it gives them (inmates) the tools that would
help them deal with their fellow man, whether it be his
peers or his supervisor," he said.
If America's prisons are to do their jobs and return to
rehabilitation and reform, they must continue to focus
on the prisoner himself, as well as the prison he must
live in. Only then will the nation be rid of shocking
news of inhumanity and violence in these institutions.
It appears that North Carolina is on the right track.
Phil Wells is a staff writer for The Daily Tar Heel.
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