North Carolina officials take measures to make prisons safer after prison escape incident in Pasquotank

RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina Department of Public Safety announced Friday a few steps they’re taking to correct some of the issues that led to an attempted inmate escape at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution on October 12.

Among these steps are the permanent closing of the Pasquotank sewing plant, where the riot initiated, and a conduct review of all inmates currently assigned to work in Correction Enterprises operations.

Correction Enterprises employs about 2,500 inmates statewide, teaching job skills in 17 different industries, while producing goods and providing services for government agencies, says NCDPS.

Prisoners were working in this program when the riot started.

“As we continue to mourn our colleagues and friends and pray for those critically injured, we not only must seek justice for the perpetrators, we are taking steps to try to ensure that this sort of tragedy never happens again,” said North Carolina Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks.

Officials with NCDPS also say that these safety measures will make use of more review systems and technology to monitor inmates.

A big portion of this for NCDPS is the forming of a advisory committee. This committee will comprise of representation from Prisons operations, Adult Correction Special Operations and Intelligence, Legal, State Highway Patrol and Emergency Management.

Officials with the department also say they have requested the National Institute of Corrections conduct an independent and comprehensive review of the safety and security operations at Pasquotank Correctional Institution, as well as all aspects of Correction Enterprises’ safety protocols to include staffing patterns, inmate worker placement assessments, training and operational procedures.

“I am committed to conducting a complete and thorough investigation of the events that occurred to make the prison environment safer for our staff, visitors to our facilities and the inmates we house. I also want to express my gratitude for the quick response and thorough attention to this case by the State Bureau of Investigation, the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office,” added Secretary Hooks in her announcement of measures implemented.

Previously, Secretary Hooks and her department implemented a few post riot steps last Friday on Oct. 13.

These steps included reviewing safety of all Correctional Enterprises operations at all state prisons, increase the number of correctional officers, review emergency procedures and conduct a complete facility search of Pasquotank Correctional Institution to look for contraband at the prison.

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