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NC Prisons Announce Harsher Penalties For Inmates Who Attack Employees

Kenneth Lassiter
N.C. Division of Prisons

North Carolina prison officials will impose tougher penalties on inmates who attack employees. The changes go into effect Friday, after a deadly year for prison workers. Five employees died in attacks at Eastern North Carolina prisons last year.

Under the policy change, inmates who attack prison workers could be transferred to a facility out of state, be put in solitary confinement and lose the ability to earn credit for time served with good behavior. Visitation privileges could also be cut for one to two years. Director of Prisons Kenneth Lassiter hopes that will be an incentive for better behavior.   

"We’re hoping that families will have an impact on communicating with offenders because they want to visit their loved one," Lassiter said. "We hope families can help some of the behavior by saying, 'hey, you need to stay on the straight and arrow because I don’t want your visiting privileges to be taken.' "   

Lassiter also says this is just one of the things he’s doing to try and create safer conditions for employees. In the first seven months of this year, the department of public safety reported 245 assaults on prison workers. Thirty-two of those attacks involved weapons and resulted in 38 lost working days.