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NC closes prisons, moves inmates as COVID-19 cases spike

By Nick Ochsner, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on

Published in News & Features

RALEIGH, N.C. — Three state prisons have been closed, with hundreds of inmates being transferred to other facilities across the state, as COVID-19 continues to spike within the prison system.

Inmates at Randolph Correctional Center in Randolph County, the minimum custody unit at Southern Correctional Institution in Montgomery County and the minimum custody unit at Piedmont Correctional Institution in Rowan County have been moved.

State prison leaders outlined the moves in a briefing to staff on Wednesday.

In the briefing, leaders said the move was due to both an increase in COVID-19 cases among inmates and the number of staff that have been out of work at some facilities.

The state has also maxed out on hospital bed capacity for inmates, the briefing said.

As a result, the state has contracted with Kindred Hospital in Greensboro to use a 20-bed wing to treat inmates.

 

The Southern CI minimum unit will be used to house inmates who need enhanced health care needs.

Staff from Randolph CC will be assigned to work at Kindred Hospital, the briefing said.

Staff from the minimum units at Southern CI and Piedmont CI will be reassigned to the other, higher-custody units at their facility, the briefing said.

For staff at Piedmont CI, the move means they will move from working on a unit with a lesser spread of COVID-19 to one where COVID-19 is widespread.

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