Columbus Correctional Institution

Address: 1255 Prison Camp Road, Whiteville, NC 28472
Phone: 910-642-3285
County: Columbus
Offender capacity: 584
Facility type:
Male, Medium Custody


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

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


Visitation is by appointment only. All visitors must submit a completed application, provided by the offender, with picture identification to visit an offender.To make an appointment, all visitors should call the Visitation Office at 910-640-1879. If the line is busy, please call back later during the scheduled visiting hours. Appointments will not be accepted by calling the main prison telephone number, and messages will not be accepted.

Registration begins 30 minutes prior to a visiting period. Visitors must be registered no later than 15 minutes prior to the visiting appointment time or the appointment will be terminated. The visitor will need to call to reschedule a visit for another day and time. There cannot be any more than three visitors per visit (including children).

A valid photo identification card must be presented by anyone 16 years and older to visit an offender. All visitors are required to conform to the standards of dress as described in the Visitation Rules. For more information about visitation, please click here. For information regarding offenders located at Columbus CI or any state prison, please click here

Regular population offender visitation, including special visits, is by appointment Sunday through Thursday. Appointments must be made at least three days in advance and no more than 14 days ahead of the visit. The visitor must call Monday through Thursday between 9 - 10:30 a.m. or noon - 4:30 p.m. to schedule an appointment. Each offender will be allowed only one visit per week. 

Visitation on Sundays will be for one-hour blocks: 8-9 a.m.; 9:30-10:30 a.m.; noon-1 p.m.; 1:30-2:30 p.m.; 3-4 p.m. Monday – Thursday sessions are two-hour blocks: 8:30-10:30 a.m.; noon-2 p.m.; 2:30-4:30 p.m. Visitation will not occur on holidays

Special Visits: Extended visits are available by appointment with staff approval to those visitors who live more than 500 miles from Columbus CI and may be scheduled no more than once every six months. These visits are limited to immediate family.

Legal Visits: Legal visits will be by appointment only Monday through Thursday. The legal visitor must call Monday through Thursday between 9-10:30 a.m. or noon-4:30 p.m. to schedule an appointment. In addition, the legal visitor must provide a document on company letterhead 24 hours before the scheduled visit, indicating the name of the attorney/agency, the offender requesting to visit, and the date and time of the visit.

Non-Contact Visits: Offenders who are in restricted housing or have been restricted to non-contact visitation can visit Monday through Thursday by appointment only. The visitor must call at least 48 hours in advance to schedule an appointment. Only two adults, or one adult and one child, will be allowed to visit during a one-hour visiting session. The schedule is daily from 9-10 a.m., 1-2 p.m., and 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Offender Mail: Offender mail should be sent to P. O. Box 8, Brunswick, N.C. 28424. Letters to offenders should be addressed so that the full name and OPUS number of the inmate appear on the envelope. The person sending mail should be identified in the return address. 


From Highway 74/76, take U.S. 701 Bypass south towards Whiteville. Travel about 3.2 miles and turn left onto N.C. 130 east. Travel 1.6 miles to Brunswick. In Brunswick, turn right on State Road 1170 (Poplar Street). Go 1.5 miles down Poplar Street and the prison is on the left.

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
Columbus Correctional Institution
1255 Prison Camp Road
Whiteville, NC 28472

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


Southeastern Community College works with the prison to provide vocational classes in computer repair, human resources/development, brick masonry, heating/air conditioning and plumbing. Classes for adult education and preparation for the GED are available. Offenders may take a course on substance abuse.

Offenders work in a number of jobs. They may work on Department of Transportation road crews, maintenance or kitchen help at the prison. Correction Enterprises has a sewing/tailoring plant that provides additional job training. 

The prison's original dormitory, built in the late 1930s, is still in use. In the 1970's, offenders under the supervision of correction engineers built a recreation building and a 28-cell unit to house offenders placed in administrative or disciplinary segregation.

The General Assembly provided dormitories with 312 beds as part of a $75 million prison construction program in 1990. Another 208-bed dormitory was provided as part of a $62.1 million prison construction program in April 1994.