Local News

N.C. Prisons Can Now Charge Inmates For Infractions

Posted March 5, 2001

— Some inmates get out of prison early for good behavior, but that may not be incentive enough. North Carolina prisons now charge inmates when they act up.

Since November, inmates pay $10 every time they get written up for breaking the rules.

"There has been a slight reduction in the number of inmate infractions," says Boyd Bennett, director of the state division of prisons.

Bennett emphasizes the main point of the new policy is to curb a growing trend of bad behavior, but charging inmates could also raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help offset the cost of the disciplinary process.

"By the time you figure in staff time to investigate the disciplinary, to have a hearing officer here for the disciplinary, and to have a hearing officer review the appeal, it can be rather extensive," Bennett says.

Rich Giroux ofNorth Carolina Prisoner Legal Serviceshas problems with charging inmates $10 per infraction.

"There's several different punishments that are already available to the prison system when a prisoner breaks a prison rule. I think that this is a little too much," he says.

Bennett also says North Carolina is not the only state charging prisoners for breaking the rules. Others states include Virginia, Florida and Minnesota.

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