Central Prison

Address: 1300 Western Boulevard, Raleigh, NC 27606
Phone: 919-733-0800
County: Wake
Offender capacity: 1104
Facility type: Male, Close, Medium and Minimum Custodies


To prevent the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), prison visitation was suspended as of Monday, March 16, 2020, with the exception of legal and pastoral visits. Those visitors are subject to medical screening prior to entrance.

The health and safety of employees and offenders in our care are the top priorities of the Department of Public Safety. THIS IS NOT A STATEWIDE LOCKDOWN OF PRISONS. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have on offender families and friends. Visitation will resume when conditions are deemed safe.

For information on coronavirus and how to protect yourself, please go the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website http://www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.

For information on what other moves Prisons is making to combat coronavirus, click here


Visitation is by appointment only during scheduled times and in a non-contact setting. Visits are limited to: 1) a maximum of two adults, 2) two adults and one child, or 3) one adult and two children.

Visits are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Only approved persons on an inmate's visitation list can visit; they must schedule appointments in advance by calling 919-743-4170.  

Family Visitation Schedule

Day                 Time                                                               Units
Sundays          8:30 - 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.              4-Hospital, 5-Regular, 6-Mental Health

Wednesday     9:30 - 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.              Control Status visits only for units 1, 4, 6

Fridays            8:30 - 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.              3-Death Row, 4, 6

Saturdays        8:30 - 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.              2-Processing/Safekeeping, 3, 4, 6

Visitation procedures: Visitors must check in at the prison’s Visitor's Center and present a valid, authorized photo identification. Approved visitors will be issued a numbered, laminated pass to wear into the main building. Photo ID and this pass will be checked before visitors are permitted into the actual Visitation Center by elevator.

Offenders are separated from visitors by plexiglass in individual booths which provides some privacy. A correctional officer will assign visitors to one of 23 booths upon arrival and will collect the laminated passes at the end of the visit.

Special visits: Visits for inmates in Central Prison Hospital or outside medical facilities also must be scheduled through the Visitor's Center. These visits are subject to time limitations and possibly other restrictions imposed by medical staff based on the inmate's condition.

Legal Visits: Legal visits are scheduled separately and subject to different policies than family visits. Attorneys for offenders may email their request to Central_Prison_Visiting@ncdps.gov or fax their required credentials to 919-743-2438 at least 72 business hours in advance of scheduling a visit. Legal visits are scheduled for Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.


Take I-40 to I-440 to the southwest part of Raleigh. From I-440, take the Western Boulevard exit into Raleigh. The prison is at 1300 Western Boulevard.

Sending Mail to Offenders

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, and state and federal court officials must be opened in the presence of the offender before it is checked for illegal or unauthorized items. 

Letters to an offender must include the offender’s prison ID number, which is often referred to as the OPUS number. The letter should be addressed in this format:

Offender Name and OPUS Number
Prison Name
Prison Street Address or Post Office Box number
City, State and zip code of the prison location

Example: John Smith #1234567
Central Prison
1300 Western Boulevard
Raleigh, NC 27606

For information regarding sending money to offenders, ordering packages for offenders and the offender telephone system, please click here


Central Prison in Raleigh has been in continuous service since 1884. It serves as the admission point into prison for adult male felons sentenced to 20 years or more, and is the main medical and mental health center for male offenders. It also houses special populations, including death row and safekeepers. 

While security requires that certain offenders remain in their cells, there are more than 260 offender job assignments that include working in the kitchen, laundry or canteen. Offenders also work as barbers, janitors and clerks.

Offenders can attend substance abuse group therapy meetings, Bible studies or worship services.