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
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 17:56

Man Turns to Crime for Prison Health Care

June 20, 2011, 6:55 pm


As if conjured up by a presidential speechwriter to star in an anecdote about America’s dysfunctional health insurance system, James Verone, an unemployed 59-year-old with a bad back, a sore foot and an undiagnosed growth on his chest, limped into a bank in Gastonia, North Carolina, this month and handed the teller a note, explaining that this was an unarmed robbery, but she’d better turn over $1 and call the cops. That, he figured, would be enough to get himself arrested and sent to prison for a few years, where he could take advantage of the free medical care.

Published in Current Events

May 28, 2011 

The Facebook page reads: "We are inmates in the federal prison system who are looking for someone to talk to. We have e-mail capability so we may chat."A few caveats: "You must be educated and (non-ghetto) please." Oh, and only women need reply. Welcome to 21st-Century prison life, a world where those on the inside can communicate with those on the outside via cyberspace.

Published in Prisoner Support

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