Bringing The World Home To You

© 2023 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton 94.1 Lumberton 99.9 Southern Pines
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Public Safety Officials: NC Prison Officers Are Getting More Threats From Prison Gangs

Concertina wire surrounding a prison
Kate Ter Harr
Flickr Creative Commons

Corrections officers from North Carolina prisons could carry concealed firearms while off duty without a permit under a legislative proposal that seeks to help them protect themselves from a growing number of threats from prison gangs.

The state’s roughly 12,000 corrections officers would be exempt from the North Carolina’s conceal-carry law, according to a bill approved by a Senate committee on Tuesday morning. Lawmakers are responding to reports from state prisons officials, who say there has been an increase in threats from gang members claiming to know personal details of the lives of corrections officers and their families.

"This is one measure that we can take to ensure police officers can protect themselves and their families when they’re off duty," said Sen. Shirley Randleman (R-Wilkes), who sponsored the bill.

Officials at the state Department of Public Safety have been lobbying for legislative support to improve work conditions for prison corrections officers. Gov. Pat McCrory said in his State of the State address that an officer is assaulted in a state prison or jail roughly once every 11 hours. In his budget proposal, McCrory asked law makers to set aside money to raise pay for corrections officers, whose starting salary is $29,000.

Jorge Valencia has been with North Carolina Public Radio since 2012. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Jorge studied journalism at the University of Maryland and reported for four years for the Roanoke Times in Virginia before joining the station. His reporting has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, and the Baltimore Sun.
More Stories