The North Carolina Department of Correction is made up of two major divisions of operation. These are the Division of Adult Probation and Parole and the Division of Prisons. There are also departments that constitute the support sections; these include the Human Resource Management, Central Engineering and Correction Enterprise. The selection of inmates that are to be released on parole is done by the Parole and Post Release Supervision Commission, which consists of five officials appointed by the Governor.
The total number of male inmates is 35,827 and the total number of female inmates is 2,583. The total population of offenders is 142,018, which includes 3,542 parolees, 100,066 probationers and 38,410 inmates. At this link http://www.doc.state.nc.us/dop/HOURS24.htm you will be able to go through the daily schedule of inmates.
The balance between the requirements of security and programs is maintained by Prison classification. Inmates who are newly admitted are transferred from county jails to any one of the 11 prisons that can receive them. This is where the risk assessment procedure starts. Out of the 11 prisons 7 are for adult male inmates, 2 for male youth inmates and 2 for female inmates. Immediately after they are taken into the reception centers, the evaluation and processing of the new inmates will begin.
The inmates go through a number of evaluations which include mental and medical health screenings. An individual profile is created for each inmate, by the Prison classification specialists. The profile will include previous sentences, criminal records, health, work history, skills, education, social background and of course the crime for the current sentence. As per the information collected during the evaluation process, the inmate is assigned to the prison that matches with the custody classification.
Starting from preliminary classification, continued assessment of risk and inmate behavior will determine the progression of the inmate from the initial custody level to minimum custody level and then to release. The prison manager would assign inmates to specific treatment programs, self improvement programs and work. The imamates who best comply with the rules of the prison, properly do the assigned work and partake in corrective programs will move faster towards minimum custody. However the inmates who tend to violate the rules of the prison will be moved to stricter custody. These inmates will need to work hard in order to show themselves as responsible in order to move to lesser restrictive custody.
Custody Levels of Inmates
Flowing are the custody levels to which inmates are assigned:
- Minimum III
- Minimum II
- Minimum I
The overall behavior of the inmate is the main decider of the custody level they will be assigned to. Inmates detained in Close custody present the greatest threat to public safety and the ones in Minimum III present the lowest risk.
Apart from the custodial assignments, North Carolina inmates will also be subject to other control status. These control statuses include protective, administrative, disciplinary, safe keeper, intensive, death row and maximum. The control status will further limit the privileges and freedoms. Removal from these statuses or changing the custody level is left to the discretion of top level classification officials in the Prison Division. Additional control measures are taken to protect prison staff, maintain discipline in the prison and for the safety of other inmates.
Security Levels in the Prison
Each prison in NC is designated and classified by levels of security. The different security levels are minimum, medium and close. Within a prison a specific cell area can be dedicated as maximum security area by the Director of the Prison. Security levels are distinguished by the procedures of operation, staffing, features of the prison and by the design. While minimum security is least restrictive, maximum security is most restrictive. The prison security level indicates the extent of separation created between the civilian community and the offender.