Nearly 25 female inmates are in danger of losing the place they call home. “I became a grandmother last night. If I was anywhere else, I wouldn’t have been able to talk to my children and hear my grandson cry. These women, this staff, they care about what happens to our lives,” said inmate Zoritta Wood.
Zoritta looks back on what she calls one bad decision that managed to change her life forever. Dabbling in illegal drugs landed her in prison, and eventually the women’s correctional facility. “When you’re dealing with tragedies, when you’re dealing with things that befall your life, and you don’t know where to turn,” she said.
With more than eighty days left in her sentence, Wood, along with other inmates, are on edge; waiting to find out if the facility will lose funding, and have to shut its doors. “We’re not going to be working together anymore. We’re going to be strung out in different places. It’s not going to be the same, it’s just sad,” said program supervisor Christina Dillon.
The facility that once had 36 inmates now is down to 25. Those spots can’t be filled because they’re frozen in the state’s budget. Zoritta Wood wants legislators in Raleigh to know that this facility saved her. “This program changes women’s lives. It builds futures, not only that but it helps our children.”
And what does the future hold for Wood?
It is looking bright thanks to the support and redemption she said she received at the Wilmington Residential Facility. “I graduated last May with honors and a degree in diesel mechanics.”
Wood hopes to pursue a career in truck driving and mechanics.
The deadline for the state budget has been extended to next week. The facility expects to hear word from Raleigh next Friday, July 31st. If it does close down, the staff members will be placed in jobs similar to what they are in now. The inmates would be transferred to another similar facility in North Carolina.
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