COVID dangers at N.C. prisons highlighted on NY Times front page

Jan 08, 2021

The New York Times exposed the dangers of COVID outbreaks facing N.C. correctional officers in a front-page article in last Saturday’s issue. In the article, SEANC Executive Director Ardis Watkins called for the transfer of inmates or staff between correctional facilities as well as jails be halted until the pandemic is under control.

“The nature of the job is, ‘anything could happen, including getting killed.’ But what they’re not used to is knowing that going to work might mean their family can get a disease that they could die from,” she said.

Watkins also pointed out, “People don’t see the prison system. They don’t think about it. In this pandemic, the work that’s done that is so dangerous is not being valued. So that frustration is growing. They feel like, as usual, they’re forgotten and left behind.”

SEANC continues to fight for increased safety for all state employees during the pandemic. If you have any concerns at your worksite, please reach out to us at