Site Registration | Find a Copy | Event Calendar | Site Map
The Voice of the Black Community

Local & State

NC Gov. Cooper urged to reduce inmate ranks as COVID-19 defense
Commutations and transfer bans sought
Published Tuesday, April 7, 2020 8:25 am
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

North Carolina civil rights leaders, academics and faith leaders want Gov. Roy Cooper to ban the transfer of inmates from jails like Mecklenburg Detention Center, above, to the state's prisons to limit transmission of COVID-19. They also want Cooper to grant clemency to some older inmates and those with less than three years on their sentences.

North Carolina civil rights activists want Gov. Roy Cooper to reduce the state’s incarcerated ranks and transmission of COVID-19.

On April 3, civil rights leaders including Charlotte attorney James Ferguson, state NAACP President T. Anthony Spearman, faith leaders and academics called on Cooper to use his clemency powers to release some inmates, arguing that unless the population is reduced, the coronavirus can ultimately overtake prisons, where social distancing is impossible and access to hygiene products is limited. In an environment where inmates and correction officers are in close contact, so are administrators, doctors, and staff members who return home after their shift, which provides another avenue to widespread transmission. 

“The governor could be a hero,” said Henderson Hill, a Charlotte criminal defense attorney and director of RedressNC. “The coronavirus has already hit the North Carolina prison system. Unless we quickly bring people home who no longer pose a safety risk, it will run through the prison like wildfire. That means those who are locked up, and those doctors, guards, and service providers who work in the prisons, will be impacted.

“There are so many people who can return to the community without jeopardizing public safety. There are, for example, 11,000 people who will be released within a year anyway. We elected this governor to take bold action in times of crisis. What we are asking is for him to merely be smart.”

The North Carolina Division of Prisons announced it will not take inmates from county jails and reduce transfers within the system for two weeks starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in order to limit the chances of transmission.

“We must deny this virus the opportunity to spread,” prisons commissioner Todd Ishee said in a statement. “It has gotten into three of our prisons and we must contain it there to the greatest degree possible. This is imperative for the health and safety of our staff and the men and women who are in our care.”

The activists want Cooper to release 18,000 inmates who have three years or fewer on their sentence, including 11,000 scheduled for release in the next year.  They also want inmates 55 and over released, noting their lower recidivism rate and higher vulnerability to the coronavirus, which could strain limited health care resources if they become infected. They also want the state to ban admission of county jail inmates to prisons.

“Crowded prison conditions threaten not just the health of the inmates, but also of the community as well,” the activists wrote. “Prison staff members, including corrections officers, administrators, and health care workers, work shifts within these facilities and then go home to their families and communities. If the virus spreads, uncontained, within our prisons, there will be no way to contain the effects of the outbreak within prison walls.”

A Mecklenburg County detention officer tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, the Sheriff’s Office announced Monday. The unidentified officer reported to Detention Center-Central on April 3 and screened before starting the shift.

“We are very thankful the screening process has worked and averted a potential exposure from entering our facility,” Sheriff Garry McFadden said in a statement. “We will continue to make adjustments to do whatever we can to slow the spread of this virus.”


Dear Governor Cooper,
Before you consider ever letting anyone out of prison/jail early, please speak with the victims of the crime/crimes that were committed. As the mother to the the very young victim in the case of Steven Griguts 1609878, listed in above comments, please don't take the defendant's mother's words over the victim's mother's words.
Posted on June 1, 2020
Dear Sir,
My brother is currently incarcerated at Catawba Correctional. He meets the requirements to be released early: Release date of Dec 2020, was on work release,home plan has been confirmed, has multiple health issues even though the medical is not being considered since he's only 40 years of age. It should be considered since he's been hospitalized multiple times for the chronic bronchitis. The system let him down once when he was at Lincoln Correctional by not getting him the proper medical care after a steel beam was dropped on his hand while on his DOT job. He was brought back to prison instead of being rushed to the hospital which they passed to get back to prison. Needless to say after many hours sitting at the prison he and his dangling finger was taken to the hospital where the doctor had to let him know that due to the time lapse, they had to partially amputated finger. Don't let the slow releases be a second fail.
Praying sister!!
Posted on May 21, 2020
To Governor Cooper and anyone else that involved in the Covid-19 post release supervision program for prisoners. My son is an inmate an inmate at Orange County # 0605142. He has a year and a half to go. He has worked outside the prison that he has attended. He was released to go to work at CRV in Roberson County when at Lumberton correctional. He was released to go to work at Polk correctional when he was at Dan River work farm in Blanch NC. He was released to work release work at Steve's Garden Market and Butchery in Graham NC until coronavirus outbreak. Please consider him for early release. He is a 1st offender, No prior record. He has good behavior. This virus is getting worst in the months to come. Please consider him to come home. you can monitor him through the post release supervision program. He's not a violent person. He has a fiance, 4 daughters, and a 5 yr.old son that needs his father. So please let him come home.
Posted on May 19, 2020
Please allow my son 0861068 to come home. He is non violent and has learned his lesson well. Both parents are in their seventies and mother has several health issues. He will be living with his parents to help them on the farm. Please. Do not just look at any of these letters and throw them away. Pass them on to the Governor . He seems to be a caring man. I would appreciate a response fro someone acknowledging my letter of help. Thank you.
Posted on May 17, 2020
Dear Todd Ishee. My fiancé is Ricky Ricardo Owens #0591808 he has not been in any trouble and is nonviolent. And also his release date is 12/24/2020. Can you please let him out due to this deadly disease, please I don't won't anything to happen to him. They can't really social distance in there.. please I beg of you. Also he is in Forsyth correctional center..Thank You..
Posted on May 12, 2020
My fiance is at Hyde Correctional #0630370 and is very concern about the new inmates coming from Southern Corrections his release date is April 2022 please let him come home to his family. I do not want him to get sick even though he is taking all precautions to not get the virus. I ask you to please consider him to be released. THANK YOU
Posted on May 9, 2020
My Fiancé offender number 0665245 is currently serving time at Dan River Work Farm with a release date of 12/16/2021. Social distancing is barely being practiced at this facility due to overcrowding. I would greatly appreciate it if you would consider him for early release
Posted on May 6, 2020
To whom this may concern my huaband opus#364476 is an inmate at Gaston co with cova-19 pandemic asking for help with release the only thing holding is the immigration hold why keep a person detained. We are all forgin to this land its time to look beyond citizenship were not seeing or caring why people come to the us take time to understand someone stories and help i've been pray and asking for help. Everyone derseves a second chance. He prays and ask to lord to keep his family self and his well being to see his family. My god with the world going like this live in your present. The lord wants us to trust him get out hearts love one another. In the name i decree that he will be released if we can make a change. No matter the circumstance noting is impossible in the name of Jesus. Please help with the release of my husband on immigration hold. god loves all thnak you.
Posted on May 3, 2020
Hello My Name is Crystal Swayney and my boyfriend Edward Dwayne Taylor is incarcerated in Mountain View correctional institution he is suppose to be scheduled for release August 24th 2020 which he would've been able to work down to May 20 2020 had the Corona virus not happened so I was wondering if at all possible could he be one of the ones released early please take him into consideration his inmate Id Number is 1553094. Thank you crystal Swayney
Posted on May 3, 2020
Cont'd from prior post
DeWane Lively #419687
Onslow County Jail
Posted on April 30, 2020
My finace is incarcerated in Jacksonville, NC at Onslow County Jail. He has been there already for 2 months just waiting to be seen by a judge. He has not had an opportunity to prove his innocence due to the virus and is currently held on an exceptionally high bond. Also his health isn't the greatest and he is immune compromised, therefore I sent the courts his medical records. I want you all to be fair and just by releasing him as he awaits a court date. There is no sense is detaining him there jeopardizing his life when he can be home safe with his wife and children. There have been others released on more serious charges. We've already buried our grandmother due to the covid-19 virus please release my husband.
Posted on April 30, 2020
My fiancé is inmate #1175759. He is currently being held at Forsyth Correction, where 194 cases have been confirmed and 5 deaths have been reported. He has abided by all rules instructed and he has been taking construction classes, NA and AA classes per instructed by his case worker. His release date is May 2022. Last year he lost his oldest brother, first cousin, and his step father is currently going through chemotherapy. At a time like this, we need our family to be close and healthy. Although he has a felony charge, according to his case worker it is considered non-violent. Please allow him to come home. We pray everyday for his early release and with the scare of Covid-19, our family cannot stop worrying about the health of our loved ones in this time.
Posted on April 29, 2020
Kenneth wray #0820853 he has less than 11 months and we as his family have been praying and waiting on his release date but do this Outbreak we may never and thats in there or out here but please give his Wife and family of e a chance at life again to spend and yes he is a non violent offender we will gladly accept all the responsibility our youngest is 9 middle child 12 and the oldest is on his way College i know when life throws us lemons we suppose to make Lemonade but everyone wasnt raised or came from a stable home if u have the say so along with God himself give him the second or third chance to be here with us next April 2021 is a long time from now as well as the last 4 years so time served God forgives and u should Prevail its just 11 months early one less inmate and the numbers well u know the $$ sign will subtract itself 2020 a new vision we all just got read Our rights
.Sincerly a wife mother friend that is Concerned He is in Avery Mitchell correctional Ms.Norman is the case manager let ur family be blessed and safe just as well as God has kept us as in Kenneths family safe ....Just asking for a Favor not a Handout......
Posted on April 28, 2020
Mr Cooper will you please let my husband out of prison he been there going on a year on May 9 he's released date is October 2022 he have a non violets crime can you please send him home to he's family please Sir he's name is Zavious A Wells 0838448 he is a pedimont correctional institution can you please seen him home to he's family he made a big mistake in is sorry for it could you please seen him home well thanks so much My oldest sonTirece L Banks Jr got into trouble he's my oldest son he is been held in jail in prison since he was 18 years old he's released date is April of 2022 will you please let him come home to he's family he has 2 kids a 2 year old daughter in a 4 year old son please seen him home well thanks in most of all I have a brother he name Travis O Black he's released date is in 2023 he has been locked up for Almost 15 years can you please send him home to he's family we don't want anything to happen to him haven't seen him in all them years cause he is so far away please thanks again
Posted on April 28, 2020
My husband was just recently transferred to Burke CRV because Johnston Correctional Center was shut down, he got moved to Johnston to be closer to home after his brother passed away; I am struggling to stay afloat with me not being able to work, he is a carpenter and would still be working if he was home, he has asthma COPD and a few other medical problems I fear the worst everyday, im all he has and he isn't doing well being even further from home again we live in brunswick county he has 1 year left on his 3 year sentence.. Please send him home ALIVE AND WELL.. Roger D King (0853716) he is a productive member of society and holds no danger to the community.. Please ease our minds and send our loved ones with under a year home...
Posted on April 27, 2020
Travis well is scheduled to be released on October 11 2020 he has served all but 150 days of his 8 years 9 months. He was recently moved to Wilkes county to finish out on work release. There is no movement being made! He has 2 stints in from a heart attack and has diabetes! He has already been approved for his home plan on parole! He is afraid that he will get this virus and not get to come home at all!
Posted on April 25, 2020
My son is in craggy correctional (1114899)he is a non violent offender and had his sentences run concurrent but they didn't give him anytime for the time he was already serving in prison which he would have come home on the 21st of April if they had. Please with everything that is happening let him put his post release date is Oct. 7 of this year on post release he could do the e try few months added to that. He has a place to go his probation officer knows of the family health problems so please consider letting him out he was also told in there that he had hepatitis c he can can screened and medical attention out here so please release him and other non violent offenders that have release dates this year.
Posted on April 24, 2020
Dectorious Alexander (1086172) is currently at Tabor City Correctional. He is set to be released in November 2020. He has medical issues and if he was to catch this virus he has a greater chance of dying than a normal healthy person.
Posted on April 21, 2020
Mr. Cooper Please tell me how I'm supposed to stay home when I can't get there. It was taken from me six years ago when the person who gave me there heart was sentenced to 8-11 years for petty felony's that took place over a long period of time. He said here's my heart don't bend it break it or loose it. We'll he took mine as well you keep saying stay home well if you would release him since home is where the heart is I'd stay home. His name is Michael Timothy Crane #0500193 in Mountain View Correctional Spruce Pine NC. He's non violent and has less then five years left. Let me ask you one thing How can one stay home if they can't get to it. Every second he's been away I've been in Hell. I've been in the hospital more then I've been out. I have a mental illness and have almost ended my life to many times. With him I'm better with him I'm free with him I'm no longer in Hell and am home. Please send me Home... Heaven can't wait please Mr Cooper give my home back.... GOD BLESS you ?
Posted on April 18, 2020
It seems Governor Cooper doesn't care, because if he did prisoners that could be released would already have started doing so. At this rate by the time they let any of the prisoners go they will all be infected with the virus. So do they plan on letting out thousands of prisoners with the covid-19 it absolutely makes no sense for them to keep talking about it and doing nothing
Posted on April 18, 2020
My son Steven griguts 1609878 Mountain View correctional in spruce pine is in prison. He is bipolar and is not getting his medicine. He has never committed a violent crime. I am 63 years old and my husband are at home retired 24/7. Please release him in my care under house arrest. We can make sure he goes fir therapy. His mental health is at stake. He was in Charlotte jail in solitary confinement just so people wouldn't beat him up. He is a young boy. They never had evidence on him when he took the plea. I worked for city government as a HR administrator. My husband has copd and is disabled. I need my son home to help with my yard and repairs. He will not be allowed to leave. He can wear an ankle
Monitor. Please save his mental health. My husband and I are so worried He will get the virus. He is also diabetic. Please release him

He just wants to watch church services online at home and listen to
Christian music. He grew up in the church. Thank you for your consideration. He has 4 years to go which sounds like he is eligible soon. My heart is crushed and we can't have visits. I am all
Alone in NC and we have no other family where with us. I will keep him in the house and I can take him to probation and therapy. I am now retired. Just so I can do this. Please grant me this.
Posted on April 18, 2020
My son is at Pisgah Tank. He is a non violent inmate. He has a little less than 3 years. They shipped prisoners there that have the covid-19 and I am very concerned for the safety of my son. Some of the officers there did not report for duty today.My son's name is Darrell Mashburn his opus # is 0532483.Please let him out. I am 72 and high risk with this virus due to my health problems.Thank you and God bless you and keep u safe.
Posted on April 17, 2020
Let my daddy come home. He has 2 weks left. Dont let him get sick. His id is #0705187 bring my daddy home to me and my sisters and my mom.
Posted on April 16, 2020
My fiancé Dexter Martin #0873179 is in Hyde Correction. He has less than 2 years. He has 2 beautiful girls who loves him dearly and can't wait to see there daddy. I pray Mr. Cooper you release him soon. He is a nonviolent offender and haven't got into any trouble. He has a very supportive family and we all are ready for him to come home. Please release him before COVID-19 takes control.
Posted on April 15, 2020
The father of my child is incarcerated at Warren correctional institution.David Turner needs to be released. He has elderly parents who would like to spend their days with their only child. He has a newborn son whom he has Nv touched. He has less than a yearS and is a non violent offender. Thank you Governor for reading this and I trust that you will do what's best for our community.Your work is difficult I know...but I believe in you.
Posted on April 14, 2020
Dear Sir. My Fiancé Ricky Owens is in Forsyth correctional center. And only have 8 months left. He get out on December 24 2020. None violent charge. Please be considerate and let him come home to his family please...
Posted on April 14, 2020
Todd Ishee Gov Cooper best regards, thank you for all you two are doing as well as everyone else higher up. Please hurry up and do something. Morrison stopped classes last week, 2 weeks ago. This is discouraging, people working for the law can lie and get away with it because they work for the state and us lower people are forced to fork out more money or go to jail based off their lies. My other half is in there his probation officer lied saying he missed an appointment that he was incarcerated for from the PO putting him in there, and got away with it. Still working. Meanwhile this going on covid 19 and my other half Mom is home alone. I cant get to her being she lives in another county and my license is not linked to her address. What happened to releasing probation violators in those 90 day programs, Burke is closed and sending leftover violators to Morrison???? Release Morrison. Dont bring more people to expose and overcrowd than it already is. Sorry not sorry. He has 41 days til his release date.
Posted on April 14, 2020
They stopped transfers tuesday at 6 PM but still having transfers being done. Morrison Correctional institution just had 30 brought from Burke CRV, another individual I know in prison was lied to about where he was being taken to and ended in the facility with the most cases. Morrison Correctional institution is a prison and a CRV probation 90 day program camp. The teachers arent even there, the program has been stopped. Why are they not releasing just the probation violators this is beyond ridiculous. Not even feeding them enough every other day if not every day on lock down, and get lied to when we call to check on them when we havent heard from in 3 days. If the program is down and teachers not there what is it doing for them being there, probation violators not prisoners sentenced. Still prisoners are people too with families. Some of them are in for 5 years or more supporting their family the only way they knew how because jobs wouldn't hire them and years without a job not many are willing to give a chance. Not everyone in there is there for violence, even animals have a heart.
Posted on April 14, 2020
I am encouraging the governor to release inmates.My son is a non violent inmate and his release date is within the guidelines.I feel he is at very high risk due to trauma he suffered last year and still has many many serious health issues from this .I feel his body would be weaker and he would be less likely to fight covid 19.Please dont deny these inmates safety Please have mercy on all these inmate .
Posted on April 14, 2020
I am urging governor cooper to please release all non-violent inmates with a release date of this year. My fiance (#1520854) is currently in Pender correctional is due to be released in November 2020. He is a nonviolent offender serving time on a probation violation. He is from PA so he has done his sentence all alone. He only has 7 months left and everyday we are more and more scared that he might not make it home to us. We have 2 young sons together. One that he hasn't been able to meet. He has done classes and stayed out of trouble. Please please release him and all of the non-violent offenders with 2020 release dates!
Posted on April 14, 2020

Leave a Comment

Send this page to a friend

Upcoming Events

read all

Jazzin' & Bluzin' With the Seniors

Dapper Street Presents Jazzin' & Bluzin' With


Nazareth Child & Family Connection BBQ

The Fun Fest BBQ Dinner will be held June 5-6


Taste of Charlotte Festival

The Taste of Charlotte Festival, June 5-7, 2020,

Latest News

read all

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule: Protests 'are only the beginning'

Supports players in push for social justice

City leaders launch "front porch" conversations on police violence

Listening sessions at Government Center

Gantt Center hosts program on police brutality, social injustice

'Unmasked' live streamed today at 6 p.m.