N.C. Budget Proposal Includes Closing Five State Prisons

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory recently put forth his proposed state budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, which includes closing five state prisons.

The $20.6 billion budget plan was revealed to the public in mid-March. While the bulk of the plan focuses on education, another portion seeks to close a handful of prisons in the state. The plan would save $20.3 million during the 2013-2014 fiscal year and $34.1 million for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, according to Kim Genardo, communication’s director for the governor’s office.

The facilities that are included in the budget are Wayne Correctional Facility, Bladen Correctional Facility, Duplin Correctional Facility, Robeson Correctional Facility and Western Youth Institution. If the budget is accepted, the majority of the closures will take place this year, while Wayne Correctional Facility has a slated closure date of Feb. 1, 2014.

The closures would eliminate 685 jobs and inmates would have to be relocated to other facilities as a result. The closures and selection of these five prisons is due to declining prison populations and a need to close old and costly prisons, according to Genardo.

“[The N.C. Department of Public Safety] supports the governor’s budget. The prison closures are a carefully measured response to a reduction in the inmate population. Should the closures be included in the final budget, we will do everything we can to assist the affected employees,” said Kieran Shanahan, secretary for the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

There are currently 66 state prisons in N.C. and 61 if the closures take place. If the facilities close, inmates will be transferred to other state facilities. As to which facilities the inmates will be transferred, Genardo said that no facilities have been confirmed to-date, but in order to place the inmates in the appropriate location it will depend on custody level and treatment requirements.