North Carolina Department of Correction

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North Carolina Department of Correction
New Patch for Service Protection
Seal of the North Carolina Department of Correction.svg
Logo of North Carolina Department of Correction
Common nameNorth Carolina Department of Correction
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionNorth Carolina, USA
Size53,865 square miles (139,510 km2)
Population9,222,414 (2008 est.)[1]
General nature
HeadquartersRaleigh, North Carolina

Elected officer responsible
Agency executive
  • Alvin W. Keller, Secretary of Correction
NC DOC Website

The North Carolina Department of Correction (NCDOC) is the agency responsible for corrections in the U.S. state of North Carolina. NCDOC merged with several departments in 2012, and now falls under the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.


In 1868, North Carolina adopted a new State Constitution that provided for building a state penitentiary. Inmates began building the state's first prison, Central Prison, in 1870 and moved into the completed castle-like structure in December 1884. In 1881, the state leased two tracts of land near Raleigh for inmates to farm. State law 379 enacted in 1885 provided for the allowance of good time as an incentive for inmate cooperation. In 1892 the state began running the Caledonia State Prison Farm on 7,500 acres, still in operation as of 2016.

In 1901, as demand for inmate labor dwindled from the private sector, the state legislator passed the Good Roads Policy, which legalized the use of inmate labor for the creation and maintenance of North Carolina roads. Horse drawn prison cages were moved from place to place to move the inmate labor force to areas needed for the road projects.[3]

The agency was officially formed in 1925; the system then consisted of Central, Caledonia Farm, Camp Polk Farm, and six road working road camps.[4] In March 1931, the state passed a road bill that imposed a gas tax, and consolidated responsibility for road maintenance at the state level;[5] because the state relied on convict labor for road construction and maintenance, the state prison agency and the state highway department were consolidated as a single entity, and the state now took responsibility for 51 county jails.[6]

In 1957 the two departments were again separated; the same year, North Carolina became the first state to allow inmates employed in work-release programs to work outside the prison during the day.[7]


As of February 2015, North Carolina houses about 38,000 people in 56 correction institutions.[8]


Women entering the prison system as misdemeanants are processed at the Fountain Correctional Center for Women.[9]

As of 2016 the state does not run private prisons. From 1998 through 2000, the state had contracted with Corrections Corporation of America, which owned and ran the Pamlico Correctional Institution in Bayboro, and the Mountain View Correctional Institution in Spruce Pine. North Carolina ended those contracts effective September 2000,[10] and bought both facilities two years later. Rivers Correctional Institution, in unincorporated Hertford County, North Carolina, is operated by GEO Group under contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Death row[edit]

The male death row is located at the Central Prison; the female death row is located at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women.[11] The execution chamber is located at Central Prison.[12]

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the North Carolina Department of Correction, 11 officers have died in the line of duty.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Annual Population Estimates 2000 to 2008". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2009-03-22. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
  2. ^ "Inmates Currently In Prison". NC DOC. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
  3. ^ "History of NC Prisons - Part 1".
  4. ^ "History of the North Carolina Correction System". NC DPS. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  5. ^ "STATE TO TAKE OVER COUNTY ROADS JULY 1". Williamston NC Enterprise. 20 March 1931. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Craggy Correctional Center". NC DPS. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  7. ^ "History of the North Carolina Correction System". NC DPS. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  8. ^ "NCDPS - Prisons". North Carolina Department of Public Safety. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Fountain Correctional Center for Women." North Carolina Department of Correction. Retrieved on March 3, 2011.
  10. ^ "Department of Correction to Assume Operation of Private Prisons on September 30". North Carolina Dept of Correction. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Death Row and Death Watch." North Carolina Department of Correction. Retrieved on September 1, 2010.
  12. ^ "nmate who could be 1,000th execution waits for family." Chicago Tribune. December 2, 2005. Start Page 14. Retrieved on September 1, 2010. "... panes separating the viewing room from the stark execution chamber at Central Prison."
  13. ^ The Officer Down Memorial Page

External links[edit]