April, 12 2012
Chief of Programs Elaborating and Implementing Unit
Department of Penitentiary Institutions
Minister of Justice
” During the PDO in Washington DC we studied about the political system in US, American culture and lifestyle, the basics of the election process in US and other important things we should know about USA.
While in Raleigh, North Carolina, my host put together a full schedule of activities:
- On April the 4th, together with Elena Dragalin, we had an appointment with MALCOLM RAY HUNTER Jr, executive director of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation.The Center for Death Penalty Litigation is a non-profit law firm located in Durham, North Carolina. Their staff include lawyers, social workers, mitigation investigators, public information officers, and paralegals. Together, they provide direct representation to death sentenced inmates of North Carolina's death row and consultation assistance to virtually every lawyer practicing capital litigation in the state. We will discuss the legal system in US, and in North Carolina, including death sentences.
- On April the 5th, I visited Duke University of Durham, North Carolina - a very old university where I learned about the American educational system.
- On April the 6th, Mihai Bologan, my host family and I went on a tour to visit the Appalachian Mountains and it was really amazing. We visited a very nice place called "Grandfather Mountain", and a cave inside the mountain, where we saw stalactites and stalagmites.
- On April the 8th, we celebrated EASTER the American way. It was like a party organised by a Romanian couple in Rakleigh, we gatheret around 40 people and organised a picnic in the garden.
- On April the 9th,ELena Dragalin and I had a meeting with the Secretary of Justice from North Carolina. We spoke about the RM-NC partnership, about the legal system in USA."
9-15 April 2012
"The second week was really memorable for me because it was very productive. My host organization "Moldova AID" arranged several interesting and very helpful meetings for me, which gave me the opportunity to see and to understand how the US prison system works from inside.
- On April, 9, I visited the Department of Justice, where we had a meeting with the Secretary of Justice, Mr Reuben F. Young, Chief Deputy Secretary, Gerald A. Rudisill and Chief
Deputy Secretary, Linda Hayes. At the meeting they talked about the legal system of North Carolina in general the and penitentiary system in detail. We spoke about the partnership
between North Carolina and Republic of Moldova, and ways in which the Department of
Justice and Ministry of Justice from Republic of Moldova could interact and
- On April, 10, Moldova AID in collaboration with the Department of Justice, NC,
organized a visit to the Central Prison from North Carolina. My first impression
was that the prison was huge, I had never seen such a big prison complex before, so for me it was like a cultural shock. We met with the Deputy Warden of Central Prison, Michael A. Munns, a professional manager with experience in the prison system. He gave us a tour of the prison and explained how it works. It took us around 3 hours to see the entire prison. One of the most memorable things that I saw there is the Executional Chamber, the room in which a legal execution is
carried out. North Carolina is one of the States in USA where the death penalty is still in place.
The same day I had the opportunity to visit the Wake Correctional Center, which is a kind of open prison. I had the opportunity to speak with Keneth L. Royster, Superintendent of the Wake
Correctional Center and Lateisha Thrash, Asistent of Superintendent, responsible
for programs inside the Correctional Center. They explained the mission of the
institution, the activities the inmates are involved in, etc. One thing that they told
me and was a real surprise for me is that at the moment the roads and highways in US are
made by inmates.
Another thing that surprised me was that North Carolina Prison System has its own
complex of enterprises that make goods for the system, so again, the costs for food,
prison maintenance are covered by the inmates, including the
furniture from different offices from the Department of Justice.
On April, 11, I had an appointment at the Department of Labor, where I met Allen McNeely, Director of Occupational Safety and Health Division and his assistant Kevin D. Bearegard.
On April, 12, my host organization arranged a visit to the Federal Court of NC and the Federal Probation Office. During the day I had the unique opportunity to see how the Federal Probation Office works and to work together with the federal probation officer. Also I had the opportunity to speak to William A. Webb, US Magistrate Judge. We spoke about the legal system of US and Republic of
Moldova, the differences between the federal and state court. At the end of the meeting he invited me to attend a hearing process in the US Federal Court, that was a really unque an interesting experience for me. Julie W. Rosa, US probation officer, John A. Wasco, senior US probation officer
and Marianna G. Burnette, US probation officer explained how the electronical supervision works. I also
visited the US Marshall office.
- On April, 13, I went to one of the most important Universities from NC and USA, University of North Carolina, School of Law, where a had an appointment with Mr. Thomas A. Kelley, Director of Clinical Programs, and Tamara Birckhead, assistant professor of Law.
- On April, 15, together with Moldova AID and Elena Draglin we organized an Easter party. We invited all the students from Moldova and Romania that study in North Carolina. It was a really nice atmosphere, we discussed about the American life style and traditions, about the electoral process in USA.