Thursday, 15 March 2012 17:03

Prison breaks ground on long-awaited chapel


PENDER COUNTY, NC -- Nearly 800 inmates call the Pender Correctional Institution home. Although it's just a temporary stop for most, prison leaders and the community have come together to build what they hope will make a lasting impression.

Published in Prisoner Support
Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:28

Inmate conditions at N.C. prison troubling

View of an empty cell in a North Carolina prison

In cells like this, a critical report said, mentally ill inmates were naked, left in filth and improperly strapped down at Central Prison in Raleigh. GERRY BROOME - AP

New building will be good but fix any systemic problems as well.

The findings of an internal review of conditions for mentally ill inmates at North Carolina's Central Prison - conditions made public last week - are stomach-churning, no matter what excuses or reasons officials offer. Gov. Bev Perdue rightly called them unacceptable.

We echo the comments she made when told of the neglect and unsanitary situations an internal review documented: "Nobody expects really luxurious treatment for any prisoners; they're there for a reason. But we also expect there to be very decent, humane, healthy conditions for the prison population."

What were those conditions?

Published in Current Events
Monday, 12 September 2011 17:56

Old man of death row dies at 83

BY JOSH SHAFFER - Staff Writer

RALEIGH -- John Henry Fleming was nearing 70 when he arrived at Central Prison, a house-builder and former church deacon who strangled his girlfriend's father.

Fleming had never learned to read or write. He'd never made it past the fourth grade. He spent his final 14 years in the state's most notorious cell block, the oldest man on death row.

But on Sunday, Fleming beat the executioner's needle, dying of natural causes at 83.

In one way, Fleming's aging body accomplished what North Carolina could not. The state hasn't put a prisoner to death since 2006, and execution remains in limbo here, stalled by legal challenges.
Published in Current Events

By Brian Fresko

Published: Friday, May 20, 2011 at 8:31 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 20, 2011 at 8:31 a.m.
North Carolina Prisons Inmates are exposed to on hand top education during rehabilitation proccess.
Matt Born
Thomas Crossland washes purple carrots during a basic horticulture class at the New Hanover Correctional Facility Thursday.

North Carolina - Some people never understand lettuce blossoms until they come to prison.

Behind the wire fences and locked gates at the New Hanover County Correctional Center, a minimum-security facility inmates and staff call "the camp," there lies a koi pond flanked on both sides by elevated soil beds filled with an array of organically grown produce – carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers and even medicinal herbs. Toward the rear of the garden, a greenhouse contains even more plants surrounded by benches and lined with rows of germinating seeds.

On Thursday, Garrett Toelle, inmate No. 1179312, spotted a pea pod dangling off a plant and picked it. He split it open and handed it to a reporter, saying it would taste better than any pea found in the grocery store.

Published in Prisoner Support
Thursday, 05 May 2011 13:33

Prison Call Center Answers Tourism Calls

April 29, 2011
By Linda Dobel
TMCnet Contributor


Callers to 1-800-VISIT-NC are typically hoping to learn what the state of North Carolina has to offer as a vacation destination. When Teresa Culpepper answers one of those 100 or so calls per day with, “Thank you for calling North Carolina Tourism. How may I help you?” most callers will not realize that she and the other women in the 1-800-VISIT-NC call center are serving 15 years to life in the maximum security women’s prison in Raleigh, North Carolina.

These women who are the voice of 1-800-VISIT-NC may know more about the state of North Carolina’s attractions than most others, but they may never get to visit them,’s WFMY News 2 reported today.

Published in Current Events