Wilkes Correctional Center

Mailing and Street Address: 404 Statesville Road, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659
Offender Capacity: 268
Facility Type: Male, Minimum Custody


The Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice will resume limited visitation at all state’s prisons effective Oct. 1, 2020 with significant restrictions due to the pandemic. Visitation was suspended in all state prisons on March 16, 2020, with the exception of legal and pastoral visits, to help prevent the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The health and safety of employees and offenders in our care are the top priorities of the Department of Public Safety. For information on coronavirus and how to protect yourself, please go the NC Department of Health and Human Services website.

To learn what else Prisons is doing to combat coronavirus, click here.

For more information on visitation, click here.


From Raleigh: Interstate 40 West to Winston-Salem. Take Exit 188 (US 421 Yadkinville) to Wilkes County. Take Exit 282 (NC 115 North Wilkesboro) Turn right at the top of the exit. Go about 2.5 miles and the facility is located on the left.

From Western NC: Take I- 40 East to NC 16 North (Newton-Taylorsville exit) Stay on NC 16N through Taylorsville and exit onto US 421 South in Wilkes County. Go to the second exit (282, NC 115 N. Wilkesboro-Statesville).Turn left onto NC 115 North. Go about 2.5 miles and the facility is located on the left.

From the South: Take I- 77 North to Exit 73. Follow US 421 North to Wilkes County. Take Exit 282 (NC 115 North Wilkesboro) Turn right at the top of the exit. Go about 2.5 miles and the facility is located on the left.


The N.C. Department of Public Safety has changed the way offenders receive mail. To help keep contraband out of prisons, all mail to offenders must be sent through a private company, TextBehind.

You must address mail to offenders in this way, or it will be returned:

Offender Name and OPUS Number
Prison Name
P.O. Box 247
Phoenix, MD 21131


John Doe #1234567                      Jane Doe #7654321
Polk Correctional Institution          N.C. Correctional Institution for Women
P.O. Box 247                                P.O. Box 247
Phoenix, MD 21131                        Phoenix, MD 21131

IMPORTANT: The return address (at the top left of the envelope) must contain both the full first name and the full last name of the sender. Do not use initials. TextBehind will return mail that does not provide the sender's full first and last names.

The state’s prisons for women have been using TextBehind since February 2020.

Here’s how it works:

  • Offender mail is addressed and delivered to TextBehind.
  • TextBehind will make digital copies of the contents.
  • TextBehind will forward the digital files to the prison.
  • The prison will print acceptable pages and deliver them to the offender.

You may also download the TextBehind app to send mail by a smartphone or computer, avoiding paper mail sent via the U.S. Postal Service.

Offenders will continue to receive all acceptable contents of the mail you send — letters, photos, cards, artwork, etc. For more information about TextBehind, including a short video, click here.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.

TextBehind will not accept packages or legal mail. For more information on sending packages or legal mail, see the FAQs. You can also contact the prison where the offender is currently assigned.

All Prison facilities encourage family and friends to write to offenders. For security reasons, all incoming mail is checked to see if it contains any illegal or unauthorized items. Outgoing mail from offenders may also be checked.

Personal letters will not be read unless the officer-in-charge or designee has reason to believe the letter contains threats of harm or criminal activity, escape plans or plans to violate prison rules. If the officer-in-charge decides to delay or not deliver the letter to the offender, the offender will be told in writing the reason for this action.

Incoming mail from lawyers, any legal aid service assisting offenders, or state and federal court officials must be opened in the presence of the offender before it is checked for illegal or unauthorized items.

For information regarding sending money to offenders, ordering packages for offenders or about the offender telephone system, please click the links.


Wilkes Correctional Center has been in continuous service since 1938. It serves as a “work”/transitional unit, which means the majority of the offenders leave the facility each day for incentive wage work assignments in the Wilkes County area. Incentive wage work assignments are also available at the prison in the food service, clothes house, janitorial, landscaping, maintenance, canteen and recreation areas. Other offenders who are nearing their release date participate in the work release program, leaving the facility to work for businesses in the community.

Wilkes Community College partners with the prison to provide full-time Hi-Set courses that allow offenders to earn their High School Equivalency. Part-time classes in Basic Computer Skills, Thinking for a Change, Charter Education & Ethics and college correspondence classes are available.

Offenders can attend substance abuse group therapy meetings, transitional services, father’s accountability and Bible studies, or worship services.

Wilkes CC was one of 51 county prisons for which the state assumed responsibility with the passage of the Conner Bill in 1931. It was one of 61 field unit prisons renovated or built during the late 1930's to house offenders who worked building roads. The prison's original dormitory is still in use.