Local News

Richmond County Opening Facility for Rehabilitation of Female Criminals

Posted June 1, 1998

— More and more women are committing crimes in the Tar Heel state. Now a new facility is opening in Richmond County to help get female offenders back on track.

There is already a facility for men there, in which days are strictly structured in a military fashion. Now, a $1.9 million facility for women has opened nearby.

Over 100 people gathered for the dedication of the new IMPACT Center. While the ribbon-cutting ceremony was traditional, the facility itself is anything but. It will serve as North Carolina's first boot camp style facility for women.

"I think it will give the courts another avenue to address the female offenders problem," said Corrections Secretary Mack Jarvis.

IMPACT stands for Intensive Motivation Program Alternative Correctional Treatment. The new facility will utilize tough military training to instill self-confidence, discipline, and a strong work ethic in its inmates.

"Women are starting to participate just like them in crime. They're starting to get involved in drug activity, child abuse, theft," said Zerita Bass of the Department of Corrections. "And so, I think there's just a great need for this IMPACT for young women."

"They just don't have any motivation," said Karen Setzer of the department. "They need to stay on the right track and I think this is going to be a good way to teach them the right things in life to do."

Each inmate's every move will be monitored, just as it is at the men's facility. No one makes a move without an order from his or her drill instructor.

Rigorous physical training will be part of the program as well.

There will be 60 women reporting to the new facility Monday for a 90 day stay.

The new IMPACT Center will house women from age 16 to 30. Such facilities give courts an alternative to sending some offenders to prisons where they would be exposed to more hardened criminals.


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