Rutherford Correctional Center

Mailing Address: Box 127, Spindale, NC 28160
Street Address: 549 Ledbetter Road, Spindale, NC 28160
Phone: 828-286-4121 
County: Rutherford
Offender capacity: 236
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.


Take I-40 to U.S. 64 South (Rutherfordton) exit. After approximately 30 miles, turn left at light onto Hudlow Road. Travel approximately two miles, go through the caution light, turn right onto Ball Park Road, then left onto Ledbetter Road. The prison is approximately one mile on the right.


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.


Rutherford Correctional Center, near Spindale, is a minimum security prison for adult males. It has provided offenders to work on North Carolina highways since 1932. Following recent expansions, the prison has provided additional offender highway labor in Cleveland, Polk and Rutherford counties. Additionally, Rutherford provides offenders to the community through the community work program. In an effort to enhance skills within the public, there are selected offenders assigned to private industry through the work release program.

The prison provides substance abuse treatment through DART aftercare, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Rutherford was one of 51 county prisons established in 1931 and dedicated on August 18, 1932 under the direction of Rutherford's first superintendent and previous sheriff of Rutherford County, W.C. Hardin. The original facility, still in use today, consisted of an administrative office, kitchen and dormitory that cost $25,000. 

The General Assembly provided for two 50-bed dormitories at Rutherford as part of the $28.5 million Emergency Prison Facilities Development program authorized in 1987. Both dormitories opened in September 1988. Lawmakers approved a 50-bed dormitory in the $87.5 million prison construction program authorized in 1993.

The chapel at the facility was built with the assistance of the 096 Prison Ministry.