Senate panel backs more training, less solitary confinement

FILE PHOTO: Central Prison, Raleigh, North Carolina. | -ted CC BY 2.0

RALEIGH — Reducing prisoner solitary confinement, decreasing some correctional officer work-shift lengths and reinstating an exam for officer promotions are among proposals made by a North Carolina Senate committee examining prison safety.

The Insider government news service reports the Senate panel made its final recommendations to chamber leaders on Monday after several meetings this year. The committee was created in response to the deaths of five workers in prison attacks in 2017, as well as to address problems with the recruitment and retention of correctional officers.

Report recommendations also include improving mental health service access for both officers and prisoners and re-establishing a separate Cabinet-level department for corrections separate from the Department of Public Safety.

The committee also had discussed the pros and cons of offering 8-hour work shifts compared to 12-hour shifts.