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Prisoners, DPS staff in projected Hurricane Florence path being moved to safety

Several hundred prisoners and N.C. Department of Public Safety staff who are in the projected path of Hurricane Florence are being moved to safer facilities.

DPS prison spokesman Jerry Higgins said Tuesday that he couldn’t give specifics about exactly how many offenders and personnel were being moved or from which facilities to protect their safety. He said that most were from smaller facilities that were minimum and medium custody security levels.

The transfers to safer facilities are taking place today and tomorrow, and Higgins said they could release more information once everyone was safe at their next locations.

“There’s been discussion since we first found out about this storm,” he said of the decision to move everyone, adding that it was a big, combined effort between a lot of agencies. “The big thing is just safety — safety for our staff, safety for our inmates and safety for the public as well.”

DPS is also working with the Department of Transportation to prepare the actual facilities in Florence’s path for a disaster. Facility maintenance is monitoring the situation and Higgins said there is extra equipment in place for their use.

“No one is going to go back there until its deemed 100 percent safe to go back,” he said.

As of 2 p.m., Hurricane Florence was about 845 miles east southeast of Cape Fear with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Inland flooding is expected along with life-threatening storm surges on the North and South Carolina coasts.


  1. Rob Schofield

    September 11, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Meanwhile, those fun people in South Carolina are, for now, leaving prisoners — even those in the storm’s path — where they are:

  2. Todd. Mcintosh

    September 11, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    My son is in tryell work prison farm they have not moved inmates as of tuesday at 8 pm. They are putting lives in danger.

  3. Harold Burwell

    September 12, 2018 at 11:21 am

    My Son Bryan is in Williamsburg FCI and the state is refusing to move forward to safety, I was told that the facility is able to withstand a category 5 storm. I’m not buying anything that is being done to make sure that he is going to be safe!!! Who is in charge of the evacuation procedure?

  4. Beth D

    September 12, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    They haven’t evacuated Pender Correctional in Burgaw, why!!!! It’s right near Wilmington, they dropped off pallets of water, a generator and fuel and told the inmates they were going to have to ride it out!! I have first hand knowledge, just spoke to my son, he’s in there for stupidity not violence. I want to know why they aren’t moving these people to higher ground when there is mandatory evacuations..they are human beings!

  5. Tanya Butler

    September 13, 2018 at 5:08 am

    What about the prisoners that are still there? Just cause people have made bad decisions isn’t a reason to just leave them in the storms path. If there is a mandatory evacuation for everyone that should include prisoners and staff also. It’s sicking the way prisoners get treated.

  6. Donna Barber

    September 13, 2018 at 5:28 am

    My husband is in carteret correctional center in Newport, where the storm is going to drop 30″of rain and hurricane force winds, this area is under a mandatory evacuation. As of last night , Wednesday, he has not been moved to a safe location, I talked with public safety of prisons in Raleigh, they told me that they were being evacuated as we speak, they lied. This is a minimum security prison, why have they not been moved to a safe place. These are our loved one’s life’s at risk, you should protect them like you do your loved one’s. Our taxes pay for their safety. Now it’s Thursday morning, to late to move prisoners. People, there is going to be catotsropic damage and flooding in carteret county. To all state officials “our loved one’s life’s are in your hands, you failed to make sure they are safe. Come on people, CARTERET COUNTY IS UNDER MANDATORY EVACUATION AND IS EXPECTED TO GET CATOTSROPIC FLOODING AND DAMAGE, LIFE’S WILL BE LOST. And our loved one’s don’t have the option to make their own decisions in prisons, so it’s your responsibility as state officials to keep them safe

  7. Dawn

    September 19, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    I appreciate that they took action and evacuated prisoners, but I am wondering what happened to the phone calls? “All offenders affected by the move will be allowed to make a free phone call to a family member over the weekend to update them on their status.”…they said. Yet I STILL have not heard from my husband in a week. He calls every day…if he was allowed to make a phone call, he would have called us. Our kids keep asking me when he is going to call again…I have no answer.

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