The NCLBC shall exercise unified political power for the betterment of people of color and consequently, all North Carolinians.

State lawmaker criticizes prison management, calls for change

December 6th, 2017

Pasquotank County prosecutors will seek the death penalty against four inmates accused in a botched prison escape in October. The attempt led to the death of four employees, and nine others were injured.

State Rep. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, says the incident, and another where a Bertie Correctional Institution officer was killed, highlight the need for a management shakeup in the state prison system.

Steinburg laid out his concerns and demands for change in an op-ed published this week in the North State Journal.

In a conversation with WRAL News, Steinburg said Wednesday that he is fired up about the dangerous conditions for prison officers and what he considers mismanagement in the system.

He has been talking with dozens of employees in the prison system who feel overworked and under-supported by the Department of Public Safety.

“They have been sharing information with me about what amounts to a ‘secret society’ that exists within a closed circle of management. It protects the misdeeds of those in power from ever being reported. This includes inmates,” he wrote in the op-ed.

“Officers are disrespected and demoralized, while putting their lives on the line every day. And for what? The problem is no one in management listens, or seems to even care…this should no longer be tolerated.”

Public Safety Secretary Eric Hooks responded with a statement saying a thorough review of the prison system is underway.

Hooks said he’s taking the employee information, as well as other information very seriously, and he’s looking forward to working with the General Assembly to make prisons safer.

Steinburg sits on a legislative review panel looking into this issue. The next meeting is Jan. 18.

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