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North Carolina Inmate Search

North Carolina Inmate Search is a tool provided by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) that allows individuals to search for information about inmates currently in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction (NCDAC). The tool is available online, and anyone with an internet connection can access it.

Typically, when searching for an inmate using this tool, you can expect to find basic information such as their name, gender, race, age, and offender number. You may also see their mugshot and convicted charges.

You can also expect to see information about the inmate's current custody status, including the facility that held them, their housing unit, and their projected release date. You may also confirm if the inmate has been released or transferred to another facility.

However, when using this tool, there are limitations to anticipate.

First, this tool is primarily for state prisons and does not apply to other correctional facilities in North Carolina.

Second, not all information about an inmate is publicly available due to privacy concerns and security reasons. Some restricted information may include medical records, disciplinary records, and personal details.

Lastly, the tool is an online system and may experience technical issues impacting its performance or accuracy. The system may be down or slow, affecting the user's ability to search for an inmate.

What Are North Carolina Inmate Records?

North Carolina Inmate Records refer to official and comprehensive documents and data maintained by the NCDPS regarding individuals incarcerated in the state's correctional facilities. Some information you will get when you do a North Carolina Inmate Search is in these records.

They keep these records online so that anyone, day or night, can do an inmate search in the state.

If you request these records, you will get more detailed information than conducting an online inmate search. This information may contain the following:

  • Inmate's personal information and physical description like height and weight
  • Inmate booking number
  • Incarceration details like custody status, place of confinement, and release date
  • Crime details
  • Court dates
  • Sentencing information
  • Mugshot
  • Fingerprints
  • DNA samples
  • Evidence such as audio and video recordings
  • Police reports
  • Information about warrants
  • Trial records

In North Carolina, the law that makes certain inmate records publicly accessible is the North Carolina Public Records Law. This law gives the public the right to access and obtain copies of government records, including inmate records. But, you cannot access some protected information, such as health records, under this act.

What Are North Carolina Prison and Jail Records?

North Carolina has two major correctional facilities: state prisons and county jails.

In North Carolina, state prisons and county jails serve different functions within the criminal justice system.

NCDPS operates the state prisons in North Carolina. These facilities hold individuals sentenced to serve longer-term sentences for more serious crimes.

On the other hand, county jails operated by local county governments generally hold individuals awaiting trial or sentencing, serving shorter-term sentences, or being held on behalf of other jurisdictions.

State prisons in North Carolina are typically much more extensive than county jails, housing thousands of inmates. In contrast, county jails are generally smaller, with capacities ranging from a few dozen to several hundred inmates.

Furthermore, state prisons in North Carolina generally offer more programs and services to inmates, including educational programs, vocational training, substance abuse treatment, and mental health services. County jails may offer some of these services but generally have fewer resources.

Here are the statistical data you should learn about North Carolina Prison and Jail Records:

  • North Carolina releases an average of 12,400 prisoners annually, yet 1.0 times more are imprisoned.
  • 0.35% of persons in North Carolina are under correctional supervision, of which 12,726 are on parole, and 82,466 are on probation.
  • North Carolina's prison population is 92% male and 8% female.
  • Between 2007 and 2016, North Carolina's prison population dropped by 6%.
  • North Carolina state and municipal government prison spending rose 249% from $4.8M during 1979-1980 to $1.6B during 2012-2013.

What Are the Types of Prisons and Jails in North Carolina?

The crucial part of a successful North Carolina Inmate Search is knowing the state's complicated penal system. Here's what you should know about the different types of correctional facilities in North Carolina:

North Carolina State Prisons

North Carolina state prisons are facilities operated by the Adult Correction Division of the NCDPS.

These facilities include different security levels designed to house various offenders, such as maximum, medium, and minimum-security prisons. Some of these facilities are for specialized populations, such as women, youthful offenders, and those with mental health needs.

North Carolina State Prisons' primary purpose is to protect public safety by providing secure and dignified incarceration for criminals and providing rehabilitation and education to prepare them for successful reentry to society.

As of 2021, there were 56 state prisons in North Carolina. Note that this number may have changed since then. For an updated list, contact the NCDPS.

North Carolina Federal Prisons

North Carolina is home to several federal prisons operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP), a U.S. Department of Justice division. These prisons house inmates convicted of federal crimes and serve a year or more sentences.

As of 2023, there are four primary federal prisons in North Carolina. Each facility has its security level and inmate population, ranging from minimum-security satellite prison camps to medium-security institutions.

Here are the primary federal prisons in North Carolina:

North Carolina County Jails

In addition to state prisons, North Carolina contains county and city jails. Local law enforcement agencies, such as police departments and sheriff's offices, run these jails.

County jails in North Carolina serve as temporary holding facilities for individuals awaiting trial and those sentenced to less than a year in jail. These facilities also house individuals transferred from state or federal prisons for various reasons, such as to attend court hearings or for medical treatment.

The North Carolina county jails house inmates safely, securely, and humanely. Inmates in county jails can access basic necessities such as food, clothing, and medical care. These facilities may also provide programs and services to help them with substance abuse, education, and job training.

As of the latest statistics, there are 63 active county jails in North Carolina. Note that this number may have changed since then. Though the sheriff's offices and police departments run these facilities, the NCDPS is responsible for overseeing and regulating all county jails in the state. So, for an updated list, contact the NCDPS.

North Carolina Juvenile Detention Centers

North Carolina juvenile detention centers, operated by Juvenile Justice of NCDPS, house and provide temporary care for juveniles accused or convicted of a crime and awaiting trial or transfer to a long-term juvenile correctional facility.

Juvenile detention centers provide secure housing, supervision, education, and primary medical care to juveniles who are not yet old enough to be in adult detention facilities. Juvenile detention aims to ensure the safety and well-being of the youths in custody while protecting the community.

As of 2023, there are 13 juvenile detention centers in North Carolina. Nine of which are state-operated, while the other four are county-operated.

North Carolina Community Correctional Facilities

Aside from the facilities above, North Carolina has comprehensive pre and post-release reintegration and community correctional programs to reduce recidivism.

The primary goal of community correctional facilities is to help offenders successfully reintegrate into society by providing a structured environment that includes counseling, addiction treatment, education, and vocational training programs.

How To Perform Inmate Search in North Carolina?

The North Carolina Inmate Search tool offered by the NCDPS through the NCDAC is called Offender Search.

This tool is convenient and free to locate incarcerated individuals in North Carolina by name search.

Apart from the state prisoners, you can also search for the state prison probationers, parolees, escapees, captures, and fugitives in this database.

In addition to gender, date of birth, race, ethnicity, and age range, you can input other search factors like the offender number to reduce the results.

Use the offender number if you know it. It is the quickest and most convenient approach to getting an inmate's information. It is not necessary to enter the number with leading zeros. For instance, if the offender number is 0012345, you only need to enter 12345.

You can also use the tool to locate records of freed convicts. You can search for released prisoners by county, month, and year. Some information you will gather utilizing this system includes the names, offender numbers, release dates, crime categories, and release types.

To learn more about this tool, read the help guide prepared by the NCDAC.

Note that this tool is exclusive to state prisoners only. Therefore, you need different approaches for inmate information from other North Carolina correctional facilities.

For county jail inmates, the best approach is to contact the sheriff's office directly. Several law enforcement agencies offer websites with an inmate search function or a directory of current county jail residents. Alternatively, you can ask the NCDPS. They may own interlinked records and might steer them in the appropriate route.

For other inmates outside state prisons and county jails, you must contact or visit the in-charge agency's website or the facility itself.

How To Contact an Inmate in North Carolina?

There are two ways to contact an inmate in a North Carolina state prison: via mail or phone.

You can send mail to the inmate at the address provided on the NCDPS website. You must include the inmate's full name, ID number, and the name and address of the prison that housed the inmate.

Inmates can send and receive as much mail as they want to. When mail arrives, a supervisor will open and check it for illegal items.

Another option to contact an inmate in North Carolina state prisons is to make a phone call. Inmates can make outgoing phone calls but cannot receive incoming calls. You can set up an account with Global Tel Link (GTL), which provides phone services for North Carolina state prisons, to receive calls from the inmate.

You can also create a prepaid inmate phone account by dialing 1-800-483-8314.

GTL AdvancePay ConnectNetwork will charge a fee for each call in addition to per-minute pricing. You may significantly lower your prisoner phone expense by assigning a local number to your account.

Note that there may be restrictions on when and how often you can contact an inmate, depending on their custody level and the specific prison that manages the inmate. You should check the NCDPS website for more information or contact the particular prison for details.

The methods used to contact an inmate in state prison are comparable to other correctional facilities in North Carolina. But it is ideal to contact the facility directly to inquire about their specific rules and procedures for inmate communication.

How To Visit an Inmate in North Carolina?

Generally, visiting arrangements are the same for inmates in county jails and state prisons in North Carolina.

If you plan to visit an inmate in an NCDPS-operated correctional institution in North Carolina, you must be on the official visitor list of the offender. You can include yourself on the list by submitting a completed visiting application to the correctional institution. Offenders are accountable for mailing applicants blank application forms.

A minor applicant (under 16 years old) must provide a copy of the original birth certificate along with the application, while an adult must submit a valid picture identification. When minors reach the age of 16, the approved juvenile must renew their applications with picture identification to stay eligible for visits.

Send the completed applications to the address of the facility that detained the inmate. Inmates must inform potential visitors of the application's progress.

Each inmate can often have up to 18 adult and minor visitors.

They can have one visit every week, and each visit must not exceed two hours.

However, these restrictions do not apply to visits by clergy, attorneys, and law police. You can check the Handbook for Family and Friends of Offenders to learn more about other prison visiting requirements, such as the dress code and visitation hours.

For inmates outside state prisons and county jails, it is best to contact or visit the website of the facility that housed the inmate for specific visiting rules and procedures.

How To Send Money to an Inmate in North Carolina?

State prisons in North Carolina do not accept money delivered directly to inmates. Instead, the NCDPS collaborates with JPay to provide ways to transfer money to inmates housed in its institutions.

Here are the methods on how you can send money to inmates in North Carolina:

Walk-in Cash Deposits

You can deposit cash through walk-in to any MoneyGram location, like a CVS or Walmart—the receiving code is 1224. You must pay the applicable fee in cash or with a debit card to make the deposit.

Mailing Money Orders to JPay

This way of transferring payments does not incur any processing fees. Postage and the cost of obtaining a money order are the only fees you will pay. However, it is also the slowest way to send money to an inmate.

Money orders usually arrive in the inmates' accounts in up to 10 business days.

In this method, you must fill out a money order payable to JPay along with a deposit slip. Then, send them to the JPay mailing address written in the form.

Online Deposit Through the JPay Website

The easiest way to send money to North Carolina state prison inmates is via the JPay website using a credit or debit card.

Deposit Through JPay Mobile App

Transfers of funds using JPay mobile applications are similarly practical. Download the iPhone app from the Apple App Store and the Android version from the Google Play Store.

Phone Deposit

Finally, you can send money to a North Carolina inmate by phoning the financial transfer line of JPay at (800) 574-5729. This phone number is accessible at all times. You can use a debit or credit card to pay for the transaction.

It is worth noting that only individuals on the inmate's authorized visitation list can deposit money into an inmate's account.

Also, prepare the information you obtain from a North Carolina Inmate Search, like the inmate's name, identification number, and the current facility that housed the inmate, to make sending money possible.

Though the process for sending money to an inmate in a state prison in North Carolina is comparable to other correctional facilities, it is still best to contact the appropriate facility to verify the method.


Counties in North Carolina