• 66°

Judge won’t order more controls upon NC prison system

By Gary D. Robertson, Associated Press

A North Carolina judge refused on Friday to place more controls upon the state prison system after inmate advocates argued it wasn’t doing what he previously ordered to protect the incarcerated against COVID-19.

Superior Court Judge Vince Rozier wrote there wasn’t enough evidence to issue additional enforcement orders upon the Department of Public Safety and its leaders.

Rozier has been presiding over a lawsuit about health and safety within state prisons during the pandemic. The judge already ordered in June the mass testing of all prisoners. He also said at the time the state should expand the factors that would allow offenders at risk for the virus to be released sooner.

Lawyers for prisoners told Rozier last month that prison officials have failed to adequately address sanitary conditions and that the criteria for the release of prisoners hadn’t been expanded enough. They also made allegations that some prisoners were facing retaliation by prison officials for speaking about poor conditions.

A state attorney representing the department said in a hearing that its leaders were acting in good faith to comply with his previous order, and that many problems being alleged were either isolated or untrue.

The prisoners’ advocates, which included the state NAACP and Disability Rights North Carolina, had also requested that Rozier appoint an outside expert to ensure his previous injunction was carried out.

Rozier said last month he was considering a third party to act as a liaison on safety matters. The special master idea was contained in the motion that Rozier denied on Friday, and he made no reference in his three-page order to a liaison.

More than 2,300 prisoners in state prisons have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with 11 virus-related deaths, according to the Department of Public Safety website. About 31,500 state offenders are currently incarcerated, compared to about 35,000 before the pandemic.

READ ABOUT MORE NEWS AND EVENTS HERE.

RECENT HEADLINES:

Boozy bust: Driver pulled over with 20 jugs of ‘moonshine’

Dare commissioners agree on price tag for new College of The Albemarle campus

News

NCDOT expects parts of NC 12 to remain closed through Tuesday afternoon

News

North Carolina’s unemployment rate falls to nearly half of lockdown’s peak

Crime

Arrest made in Saturday shooting on Knotts Island

News

NC 12 on Hatteras Island to reopen at 5 p.m., NCDOT advises ‘extreme caution’

News

NC 12 on Ocracoke back open, ferry service resumes

News

Overwash causes closure of parts of NC 12 on Hatteras and Ocracoke

News

Running out of storm names, Atlantic season goes Greek

News

Regional COVID-19 case count update

News

Permit for water treatment system issued for Chemours site

News

Duck Town Council reviews promotions and contracts

News

Mascot name change presentation brought to Dare Board of Education

News

Dare County warns about coastal flooding and NC 12 impact

News

Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative linemen travel to Alabama to assist with Hurricane Sally damage

Crime

UPDATED: Body found in Virginia believed to be missing North Carolina man, suspect charged

Hyde

NCDOT: Bigfoot Slough dredging tentatively scheduled for next week

News

Cooper: North Carolina can elementary schools move to Plan A in October

News

ARHS reports additional COVID-19 related death in Bertie County

News

Unsettled weather visits Outer Banks

News

Four positive COVID-19 cases reported at Peak Resources

News

Additional COVID-19 related death reported in Pasquotank County

News

NC lieutenant governor: Reopen schools without mask mandate

News

Some North Carolina voters mistakenly get two absentee ballots

Currituck

Currituck County Board of Education names Lutz as superintendent

Lifestyles

Constitution Week begins Thursday