• 32°

Judge won’t order more controls upon NC prison system

By GARY D. ROBERTSON

Associated Press

RALEIGH (AP) — 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.

___

Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

Comments

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds