Guide to Prisons

Victims Guide to North Carolina Prisons

The North Carolina Prison system is responsible for the housing, treatment and well being of those convicted by the courts of North Carolina and sentenced to serve active time in prison. The prison system initially classifies and houses inmates by gender, type of conviction (felony or misdemeanor), and type of custody (close, medium or minimum).

Introduction to Prison Custody and Classifications

Basic Information For Victims

When offenders are sent to prison, they are classified and assigned to one of the following custody levels: close, medium, minimum I, II, and III. The classification levels are in descending order with close being the most secure and minimum III the least restrictive. Once an inmate is promoted to minimum III custody he/she may be allowed to participate in one or more community-based programs such as supervised leaves in the community, work release or home passes.

Victims' Rights Enabling Legislation

Effective July 1, 1999, North Carolina's Crime Victims' Rights Act (N.C.G.S. §15A-836) requires the prison system to provide written notification about certain events during the offender's incarceration to victims and survivors who have requested notification. Individuals with safety concerns or a vested interest in the case (ex. Division of Social Services) may also register.

The prison system is required to provide registered victims with the following notification:

  1. The projected date by which the defendant can be released from custody. The calculation of the release date shall be as exact as possible, including earned time and disciplinary credits if the sentence of imprisonment exceeds 90 days.
  2. An inmate's (initial) assignment to a minimum custody unit and the address of the unit. This notification shall include notice that the inmate's minimum custody status may lead to the inmate's participation in one or more community-based programs such as work release or supervised leaves in the community.
  3. The victim's right to submit any concerns to the agency with custody and the procedure for submitting such concerns.
  4. The defendant's escape from custody, within 72 hours, except that if a victim has notified the agency in writing that the defendant has issued a specific threat against the victim, the agency shall notify the victim as soon as possible and within 24 hours at the latest.
  5. The defendant's capture, within 24 hours.
  6. The date the defendant is scheduled to be released from the facility. Whenever practical, notice shall be given 60 days before release. In no event shall notice be given less than seven days before release.
  7. The defendant's death.

Although the 1999 N.C. Crime Victims' Rights Act defines who is to receive notification (N.C.G.S. §15A-830), Adult Correction voluntarily exceeded the legislature's mandate by providing the notifications described above for all victims regardless of the crime or when the crime occurred. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of those who have requested notification to notify the Victim Unit for Prisons, Probation and Parole of any changes in address or telephone number. Without this information, Adult Correction is unable to provide notification to those who have requested it.

Please send correspondence to:

Mailing Address
4223 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C.    27699-4223

Victim Input Procedures

Community-Based Programs

Victims who have concerns about an inmate being placed on a community-based program such as work release or home leave, should send a letter to the Office of Victim Services stating their objections. Concerns expressed will be considered by the appropriate agency when, and if, the inmate is reviewed for community placement. Please send correspondence to:

Mailing Address
4223 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C.    27699-4223

Harassment by an Inmate

If an inmate is harassing you by mail, telephone or by a third person, contact the Office of Victim Services at 1-866-719-0108 (toll free). If you have received unwanted mail, please try to save the letter and the envelope that it was sent in. Having these items helps prison staff as they work to stop the unwanted contact. Please send correspondence to:

Mailing Address
4223 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C.    27699-4223

Safety Concerns regarding the Location of the Inmate

If you are the victim or next of kin and you have safety concerns related to the location of the offending inmate, please contact the Victim Unit for Prisons, Probation and Parole at 1-866-719-0108 (toll free).

Unit Mailing Address
4223 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C.    27699-4223

Street Address
512 N. Salisbury Street 
Raleigh, N.C. 27604

Toll-Free Victim Services: 1-866-719-0108, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Fax: (919) 715-1256