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Spotlight on Craven Correctional Institution

Craven Correctional Institution, located in Vanceboro, N.C, is the state’s largest prison processing center.  Prisoners from eastern North Carolina jails enter the state prison system by first going through processing at the 700-bed prison.  Inmates are tested, evaluated and interviewed to determine appropriate assignments regarding prison placement, custody level, jobs and programs.

More than 5,000 inmates are processed at Craven each year.  At any given time, the prison houses between 550-700 offenders.  Most offenders stay at Craven for only 15 days, but the facility houses more than 200 full-time offenders.  A staff of approximately 350 people make sure that the facility operates with maximum efficiency.


A member of the Department since 1974, David Chester has been the superintendent at Craven since April 1999.  He also served as superintendent at Wayne Correctional Center from 1987-89 and Eastern Correctional Institution from 1982-87.  A native of Camden, N.J., Chester enjoys scuba diving, bicycling, ballroom dancing, reading and participating in civic activities.


The administrative staff handles the budget, personnel issues, maintenance, training and other areas critical to the safe and efficient operation of the facility.  Standing, left to right are:  Phyllis Dombos, personnel assistant; Carol Williams, processing assistant; Linda Hollowell, account technician.  Sitting, left to right:  Nancy Smith, administrative officer; Lynette Harrison, personnel technician.


Intake officers operate the gateways to the North Carolina prison system.  They educate offenders about prison rules and regulations, issue prison clothing, guide offenders through various analyses and take photographs and fingerprints.  The officers also conduct searches and remove contraband.  “Once it passes through intake, it can get into the unit,” says Officer Nelson Santiago.  “This is the first stop right here.”

Back row:  Sgt  Joseph Dematty, Gregory Gibson, Calvin Daniels, Gregory Goins, James Lewis and Suriel Rosario.

Middle row, standing left to right:  Cpt. Faye Daniels, Nelson Santiago, Korrey Bell and Gloria Lecraft.

Front row, kneeling left to right:  Sgt. Ray Biggs and Officer Jack Harris.


The correctional health care team includes, left to right, Geraldine Moore, RN; Cami Kingsbury, nurse supervisor and Coreen Weldon, health care technician.  In addition, Craven employs one full-time doctor, two nurse practitioners and a post-release outreach nurse for HIV.  Kingsbury says chronic diseases are becoming more of a concern as older inmates stay in prison longer.  Last year, for example, two prisoners needed heart and lung transplants.  The healthcare staff closes the lapse in treatment between local jails and prisons.  “Our goal is stabilizing the patient before we send him to the unit,” says Kingsbury.


Left to right:  Carol  McCloskey, staff nurse;  Diana Sittniewski, PNII; and Loretta Mays, PNII.

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