Christopher Nichols Named Warden at Gaston Correctional Center

Raleigh

The Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice has named Christopher Nichols as the new warden of the Gaston Correctional Center in Dallas, North Carolina.

Nichols, 39, had been a captain at Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville.

“Warden Nichols is a true leader with hard-earned experience working with both close and minimum custody offenders and whose skills and abilities will serve him well in his new role,” said Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons. “He is an excellent addition to the team of men and women who run our prisons with compassion, care and commitment.”

In his new position, Nichols is responsible for all operations at the Gaston Correctional Center, which houses minimum custody male offenders and is a designed reentry facility.

Dating to the 1930s, the facility offers offenders programs such as Character Education, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, DART Aftercare, Think Smart, and Bible Study.

Offender work opportunities include Department of Transportation and community work crews, municipality crews, work release, and in-prison job assignments such as kitchen, maintenance, and janitorial.

The prison works in conjunction with Gaston Community College to offer adult basic education and high-school equivalency classes. A human resource development program at the facility teaches offenders skills such as resume writing and job interview skills.

Gaston Correctional was one of 51 county prisons the state assumed responsibility for in 1931 and was renovated in the late 1930s to house offenders who worked for the Department of Transportation constructing highways. The facility's original housing units are still in use today.

A veteran employee to state government, Nichols began his career with the Department of Public Safety in 2007 as a correctional officer at Alexander Correctional.

He was promoted to sergeant in 2007, then to lieutenant in 2014, and then to captain at the facility in 2018.

Nichols was a member of the Prison Emergency Response Team and Rifle Team for many years, and he is trained in riot and hostage situations.

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