College News

HCI, CCCC open inmate barber school

HCI, CCCC open inmate barber school

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Harnett Correctional Institution, in Lillington, dedicatedrnits new Central Carolina Community Col ... (more)

HCI, CCCC open inmate barber school

click to enlarge ⊗

Harnett Correctional Institution, in Lillington, dedicatedrnits new Central Carolina Community Col ... (more)

HCI, CCCC open inmate barber school

click to enlarge ⊗

Harnett Correctional Institution, in Lillington, dedicatedrnits new Central Carolina Community Col ... (more)

HCI, CCCC open inmate barber school

click to enlarge ⊗

Harnett Correctional Institution, in Lillington, dedicatedrnits new Central Carolina Community Col ... (more)

HCI, CCCC open inmate barber school

click to enlarge ⊗

Harnett Correctional Institution in Lillington dedicated itsrnnew Central Carolina Community Colle ... (more)

10.20.2008Curriculum Programs

LILLINGTON — Frank Brunson, neatly attired in his blackrnbarber’s jacket, gently massaged moisturizer into Ahmad Simmons’ face asrnSimmons reclined in a barber chair.

“You have to know the muscles, you have to work with thernmuscles as you massage,” Brunson explained with a knowledgeable air. Herncontinued working with the yellow lemon cream, readying Simmons’ skin for morernfacial care.

Brunson was working at one of 10 barber chairs in anrnimmaculate, newly opened 2,700-square-footbarber school. It’s no ordinary school. When he and the 19 other men inrnhis barbering class complete a day of training, they don’t go home — theyrnreport back to their dormitories.

This barber school is located within the razor-wire fencingrnand steel gates of Harnett Correctional Institution in Lillington, a facilityrnof the North Carolina Department of Corrections Division of Prisons. The schoolrnis in a former HCI maintenance building, renovated to create the modern schoolrnand shop.

While Brunson and his fellow student inmates practiced theirrnskills inside, outside in the fresh air and bright sunshine of the Oct. 14rnautumn day, dignitaries gathered for the dedication of the School of Barbering,rnthe first in the Department of Corrections Division of Prisons system. Thernprogram is run and taught by Central Carolina Community College.

“This is a history-making event,” said Bill Tyson, therncollege’s provost for Harnett County. “At HCI, the college has developed arnnumber of programs and skills that give our students the chance to get jobs whenrnthey get out. I expect barbering to follow the lead of the other programs here.rnWe’ve broadened the possibilities for our students at HCI. We’ve given themrnanother way to work while they’re here and another way to make it when they’rernreleased.”

When the student inmates successfully complete theirrnrigorous, eight-hour-a-day program, the N.C. Board of Barber Examiners willrnaward provisional licenses to them. They will then be assigned by the Divisionrnof Prisons to provide barbering services to inmates. When they have servedrntheir time and are released back into society, they can appear before the boardrnto determine their eligibility to become licensed barbers. This is thernstudents’ dream, their hope, their goal.

“This program is instrumental for guys trying to reorientrnthemselves into society,” said student inmate Myron White. He’s serving timernfor armed robbery, which will keep him at HCI until 2011. He’s looking forwardrnto re-entering society as a giver, not a taker. With a tinge of regret in hisrnvoice, he added, “If I had had opportunities like this on the outside, I’mrnpretty sure I wouldn’t have ended up here.”

Barbering is a prestigious offering at HCI. Each of thernstudents is required to have a GED or high school diploma before being acceptedrninto the college-level program. Some earned them through Central Carolina C.C.rnwhile at HCI. Each also has to meet Department of Corrections standards forrnenrollment.

The program is the same as the college’s barbering programrnat its West Harnett Center, except that the students behind the fences at HCIrndon’t get to shave with razorblades until well into their training. In thernmeantime, they practice their shaving technique with razors minus the blades.

The college began its first classes at HCI in 1966. DanielrnThomas, the college’s director of correctional education at HCI, oversees thernGED and adult high school programs, as well as vocational training: masonry,rncarpentry, welding, electronic servicing, automotive services, electrical, foodrnservice, small engine and equipment repair, business administration, and now,rnbarbering.

About a dozen years ago, Tyson wanted to start a barberingrnprogram at HCI, but it didn’t happen. Then, three years ago, everything camerntogether, he said. The N.C. Board of Barber Examiners felt the time was right;rnthe Department of Corrections, Division of Prisons, and HCI administrationrnstrongly supported the idea; CCCC trustees approved it; and the college’srnadministrators, staff, and faculty were ready to supply the program. Tyson creditedrnArthur Clark, DOC education specialist, as the “engineer that drove the train,”rncoordinating all the planning to bring the project to completion.

Bonnie Boyette, chief of program services for the Divisionrnof Prisons, was one of the dedication program speakers. She said that many ofrnthose that come into the prison system lack education, a work ethic, and thernskills to make a living.

“Without education, they cannot succeed when they get out,”rnshe said. “This program means so much. Through successful partnerships, we’rerncoming together to make things different for our inmates.”

During the dedication, Pat Chavis, region director for thernDivision of Prisons, presented service plaques to those individuals andrnagencies that were instrumental in establishing the HCI School of Barbering.rnDr. T. Eston Marchant III, president of Central Carolina C.C., received arnplaque honoring the college for its support of and dedication to HCI’srneducational programs. Jerry McQueen, DOC program director, was honored for outstandingrnservice; Mike Hall, director of maintenance, for outstanding achievement; andrnArthur Clark, for outstanding leadership.

Representatives from the college, N.C. Board of BarberingrnExaminers, DOC, Division of Prisons, and HCI spoke at the dedication. Followingrnthe comments, a red, white and blue ‘Central Carolina Community College BarberrnSchool/Barber Shop’ banner for the facility was unveiled. Then, Joseph Hall,rnHCI administrator, wielded a large pair of scissors to cut a red ribbon,rnofficially dedicating the school.

Inside, the student inmates saw none of the ceremony, butrnthey didn’t have to, to know how important the program is to them.

“I owe a new life to the Department of Corrections andrnCentral Carolina Community College,” said Brunson, who gets out in 2012. “I’mrnalmost 50. When I was young, I decided to be a gangster when I should have beenrna professional boxer. This program gives us a chance to get back into societyrnand get back what we lost — trust. It’s a chance to say to society, we’re sorryrn— let us talk to society’s children so they don’t make the mistakes we did. Irncan never repay what I owe the DOC and CCCC, but to go out and do the rightrnthing.”