State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_148 > GS_148-4

§ 148‑4.  Control andcustody of prisoners; authorizing prisoner to leave place of confinement.

The Secretary of Correctionshall have control and custody of all prisoners serving sentence in the Stateprison system, and such prisoners shall be subject to all the rules andregulations legally adopted for the government thereof. Any sentence toimprisonment in any unit of the State prison system, or to jail to be assignedto work under the State Department of Correction, shall be construed as acommitment, for such terms of imprisonment as the court may direct, to thecustody of the Secretary of Correction or his authorized representative, whoshall designate the places of confinement within the State prison system wherethe sentences of all such persons shall be served. The authorized agents of theSecretary shall have all the authority of peace officers for the purpose oftransferring prisoners from place to place in the State as their duties mightrequire and for apprehending, arresting, and returning to prison escapedprisoners, and may be commissioned by the Governor, either generally orspecially, as special officers for returning escaped prisoners or otherfugitives from justice from outside the State, when such persons have beenextradited or voluntarily surrendered. Employees of departments, institutions,agencies, and political subdivisions of the State hiring prisoners to performwork outside prison confines may be designated as the authorized agents of theSecretary of Correction for the purpose of maintaining control and custody ofprisoners who may be placed under the supervision and control of suchemployees, including guarding and transferring such prisoners from place toplace in the State as their duties might require, and apprehending and arrestingescaped prisoners and returning them to prison. The governing authorities ofthe State prison system are authorized to determine by rules and regulationsthe manner of designating these agents and placing prisoners under theirsupervision and control, which rules and regulations shall be established inthe same manner as other rules and regulations for the government of the Stateprison system.

The Secretary of Correctionmay extend the limits of the place of confinement of a prisoner, as to whomthere is reasonable cause to believe he will honor his trust, by authorizinghim, under prescribed conditions, to leave the confines of that placeunaccompanied by a custodial agent for a prescribed period of time to

(1)        Contact prospectiveemployers; or

(2)        Secure a suitableresidence for use when released on parole or upon discharge; or

(3)        Obtain medicalservices not otherwise available; or

(4)        Participate in atraining program in the community; or

(5)        Visit or attend thefuneral of a spouse, child (including stepchild, adopted child or child as towhom the prisoner, though not a natural parent, has acted in the place of aparent), parent (including a person though not a natural parent, has acted inthe place of a parent), brother, or sister; or

(6)        Participate incommunity‑based programs of rehabilitation, including, but not limited tothe existing community volunteer and home‑leave programs, pre‑releaseand after‑care programs as may be provided for and administered by theSecretary of Correction and other programs determined by the Secretary ofCorrection to be consistent with the prisoner's rehabilitation and return tosociety; or

(7)        Be on maternityleave, for a period of time not to exceed 60 days. The county departments ofsocial services are expected to cooperate with officials at the North CarolinaCorrectional Center for Women to coordinate prenatal care, financial services,and placement of the child; or

(8)        Receive palliativecare, only in the case of a terminally ill inmate or a permanently and totallydisabled inmate that the Secretary finds no longer poses a significant publicsafety risk, and only after consultation with any victims of the inmate or thevictims' families. For purposes of this subdivision, the term "terminallyill" describes an inmate who, as determined by a licensed physician, hasan incurable condition caused by illness or disease that was unknown at thetime of sentencing and was not diagnosed upon entry to prison, that will likelyproduce death within six months, and that is so debilitating that it is highlyunlikely that the inmate poses a significant public safety risk. For purposesof this subdivision, the term "permanently and totally disabled"describes an inmate who, as determined by a licensed physician, suffers frompermanent and irreversible physical incapacitation as a result of an existingphysical or medical condition that was unknown at the time of sentencing andwas not diagnosed upon entry to prison, and that is so incapacitating that itis highly unlikely that the inmate poses a significant public safety risk. TheDepartment's medical director shall notify the Secretary immediately when aninmate has been classified as terminally ill and shall provide regular reportson inmates classified as permanently and totally disabled. The Secretary shallact expeditiously in determining whether to extend the limits of confinementunder this subdivision upon receiving notice that an inmate has been classifiedas terminally ill or permanently and totally disabled and, in the case of aterminally ill inmate, the Secretary shall make a good faith effort to reach adetermination within 30 days of receiving notice of the inmate's terminalcondition.

The willful failure of a prisonerto remain within the extended limits of his confinement, or to return withinthe time prescribed to the place of confinement designated by the Secretary ofCorrection, shall be deemed an escape from the custody of the Secretary ofCorrection punishable as provided in G.S. 148‑45. (1901, c. 472, s. 4; Rev., s.5390; C.S., s. 7706; 1925, c. 163; 1933, c. 172, ss. 5, 18; 1935, c. 257, s. 2;1943, c. 409; 1955, c. 238, s. 2; 1957, c. 349, s. 10; 1959, c. 109; 1965, c.1042; 1967, c. 996, ss. 13, 15; 1973, c. 902; c. 1262, s. 10; 1977, c. 704, s.5; 1985, c. 483; 2001‑424, s. 25.9(a); 2005‑276, s. 17.13.)