Victim Services for Prisons, Probation, and Parole

Toll-Free Victim Services: 1-866-719-0108, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Fax: (919) 715-1256
Unit Mailing Address
4223 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4200

 

Welcome to the NC Department of Public Safety (DPS) Victim Services for Prisons, Probation and Parole (VSPPP) webpage. VSPPP assists crime victims and their families after the offenders are in custody or under the supervision of DPS, which includes offenders:

  • in a state prison*
  • on probation (supervised)
  • on parole or post-release supervision

     *For offenders in a county jail, please see NC SAVAN

 

VSPPP also works with other interested parties who are assisting a victim.  Interested parties include, but are not limited to:

  • district attorneys’ victim services staff
  • law enforcement personnel
  • social services personnel who have custody of a minor victim
  • victims’ family and friends
  • other victim services providers, etc.

 

The Victim Services Unit for Prisons, Probation and Parole assists victims of crime with:

  • victims’ rights and concerns about DPS offenders and other DPS obligations under the N.C. Crime Victims' Rights Act and other state statutes,
  • direct services and information including safety concerns, information about prison, probation and parole policies and procedures,
  • facilitating victim input to DPS staff about a DPS offender,
  • expertise and training to support DPS’ services to crime victims.

 

Victims and interested parties may choose to register with VSPPP after the offender has been sentenced to a state prison or probation and in cases when the offender is housed in a state prison prior to going to court (known as a safekeeper).

  • Registering with VSPPP allows victims to receive notifications about a DPS offender as well as other important assistance and information.
  • You must keep your contact information up to date with VSPPP to receive notifications.
  • To register, complete and send a request form (below) to VSPPP or you may call our office.  All victim/survivor information is strictly confidential and the offender will not have access to this information.

                     Victim Notification Request Form – PDF

 

VSPPP provides crime victims with information about DPS’ offenders, policies, resources and programs and helps address victims’ concerns.

Click on any topic below to learn more:

Safety concerns about an offender

Safety concerns about an offender

It is very common for crime victims to be concerned about their safety after an offender is sentenced and this leads to a number of questions, such as:

  • Where will the offender be supervised or confined?
  • What is the release date and will the release date change?
  • How are release dates calculated?
  • Will I be notified before the offender is released?
  • What happens when an offender is released from prison back into the community?
  • How can a victim provide important safety information and input to prisons, probation and parole staff?
  • How can a victim report and respond to threats or unwanted contact by offenders?
  • To which level of security will the offender be subject?

The information below is provided to help victims plan for their safety and understand the complex, state correctional system.

 

Crime victims and other interested parties may contact our offices to discuss these concerns further and seek additional assistance.

 

For offenders in a county jail, please see NCSAVAN

Prison, Probation and Parole offenders

Prison, Probation and Parole offenders

Prisons:

DPS operates the North Carolina unified state prison system while county sheriffs operate local county jails.  Within DPS, the Division of Adult Correction’s Prisons Section is tasked with operating 50+ adult state prisons.  Typically, but not always, adult criminal offenders are confined in a state prison for these reasons:

  • at the request of a county sheriff anytime an offender cannot be housed in the local county jail
    (ex. for the safety or health of an offender)
  • to serve long sentences in custody/confinement
    (typically for felonies with sentences of confinement that are longer than 18 months and DWIs)

Click here for more information about NC's Prisons

 

Probation, Parole and Post-Release Supervision:

DPS also operates North Carolina's state community corrections system which includes adult offenders on probation, parole and post-release supervision.  Within DPS, the Division of Adult Correction’s Community Corrections Section is tasked with supervising offenders in the community.  For more information about the similarities and differences between the three different types of community corrections, please see the Probation vs Parole vs Post-release supervision section.

Click here for more information about NC’s Community Corrections

 

Offender ID Numbers:

Oftentimes, DPS will have offenders with the same, or similar, names.  It is important for a victim to know the offender’s DPS ID (identifying) number to ensure the correct offender’s information is being accessed or reviewed. 

 

An offender’s DPS ID number will not change:

Even if the offender is released from DPS and then later returns to DPS custody or supervision, the DPS offender ID number will not change. Please note that if an offender has been in a local county jail, their jail ID number is not the same as their DPS ID number.

 

An offender can sometimes have both a DPS and a county jail ID number:

If a DPS offender is temporarily placed in a county jail or if a jail offender is temporarily placed in a prison, the offender will have both a DPS ID number and a jail ID number during that time.  Victims will need to register on each offender ID number to ensure they receive notifications about both the offender's status with DPS and the offender's status with the county jail.

Notifications about an offender

Notifications about an offender

You must keep your contact information up to date with VSPPP to receive notifications.

 

Why does DPS provide notifications?

The DPS’ Division of Adult Correction is mandated by the North Carolina Crime Victims’ Rights Act and the Fair Treatment for Certain Victims and Witnesses Act and other various statutes to provide certain information and notifications about a DPS offender to the victim/survivors.  The staff of VSPPP provides these services in one place to make it easier for crime victims to get the information and assistance they need.

 

How do I register for DPS offender notifications?

To ensure that you are registered with DPS’ Victim Services for Prisons, Probation and Parole, please complete a Victim Notification Request form (below).  All victim/survivor information is strictly confidential and the offender will not have access to this information.

 

Victim Notification Request Form - PDF 
 

How will I receive the notifications?

  • You will receive notifications by letter.  The registrant may also request notifications by other methods (phone, email, text and TTY) from the NCSAVAN service (NC Statewide Automated Victim Assistance and Notification).
  • On the Victim Notification Request form, please select any other notification methods and provide a 4 digit PIN (personal identification number) for security purposes that you will remember.
  • NCSAVAN also provides an Apple and Android smartphone application (VINEMobile).
  • Once VSPPP staff have received your form, they will register you to receive your notifications.  Other services and assistance will also be available to you.
  • VSPPP staff are available to answer your questions or concerns about the offender, safety concerns, additional prison, probation and parole information, any notification that you receive, or for assistance with the NCSAVAN notification service.
  • Call toll-free 1-866-719-0108, Monday-Friday during the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

Prison notifications you will receive about a DPS offender:

Click here to read the NC General Statute § 15A-836. Responsibilities of agency with custody of defendant.

Summary of Prison Notifications:

  • the projected release date of the offender
  • when an offender is assigned to minimum custody, the address of the minimum custody unit and 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
  • the victim's right to submit any concerns to the agency with custody and the procedure for submitting such concerns
  • if the offender escapes
  • when the offender is captured from escape
  • the release date, approximately 60 days before release
  • the offender’s death

 

Notifications are not made regarding an offender’s:

  • Transfers between state prisons
  • Promotions from close custody to medium custody
  • Demotions from minimum custody to medium custody or demotions from medium custody to close custody
  • Custody reviews (Custody reviews are not the same as a parole review.) See the Custody review vs Parole review section.

 

Probation & Post-release Supervision notifications you will receive about a DPS offender:

Click here to read the NC General Statute § 15A-837. Responsibilities of Section of Community Corrections of the Division of Adult Correction.

Summary of Probation & Post-release Supervision Notifications:

  • the offender’s conditions and requirements of probation or post-release supervision and any subsequent changes
  • the date and location of hearings concerning the offender’s supervision
  • the final disposition of any hearing
  • any restitution modifications
  • the offender’s movement into or out of any intermediate sanction
  • the offender's absconding supervision
  • the offender’s capture
  • the date the offender’s case is terminated or discharged
  • the offender’s death

 

Parole notifications you will receive about a DPS offender:

Summary of Parole Notifications:

Click here to learn more about the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission victim services and notifications.

Threats made by an offender

Threats made by an offender

What do I do if the offender is threatening me from a state prison?

If an offender is in a state prison and threatening you, you may take the following steps:

Document the threat.

  • Who threatened you (the offender or a third party such as the offender’s family, offender’s friend)?
  • What was the content of the threat?
  • When were you threatened?
  • How was the threat delivered (mail, telephone, letter, in-person, email, social media, etc.)?
  • Make copies of any documentation you have.

 

Decide if you would like to have our office intervene on your behalf.

  • By Prison policy, inmates are not allowed to threaten individuals.  If the incident can be confirmed, the offender can be disciplined.
  • You may request that the offender not contact you while the offender is in prison.  See the Requesting No Contact from an offender section.
  • Send copies of any documentation you have to VSPPP or contact VSPPP at 1-866-719-0108 for additional information and to discuss your options about how VSPPP can further assist you. 

 

What do I do if I have a protective order in place, but the offender is still communicating or attempting to communicate with me?

  • If the offender is currently under a court’s order not to have contact with you and the offender does so, the threat may be a violation of the court’s order.
  • Decide if you would like to contact your local law enforcement agency, magistrate, and/or district attorney’s office for additional assistance with criminal charges.  Prisons will cooperate with investigations that these agencies decide to conduct.
  • Even if you have a court order in place, you may also make a request to not have contact from the offender while the offender is in prison by completing a No Contact Request form (below).  This type of No Contact Request is through the Division of Adult Correction’s Prisons’ policy and is only applicable while the offender is confined in a NC state prison.  It is not the same thing as obtaining a civil court protective order which you can only do through the NC court system.  Find information about your local clerk of court here and information about your local domestic violence or sexual assault victim services provider here

              No Contact Request Form – PDF

  • If the offender is currently under a Prisons’ No Contact Request that you have made and contacts you, then send copies of any documentation of the contact you have to VSPPP or call VSPPP at 1-866-719-0108 for additional information and to discuss your options about how VSPPP can further assist you. 
  • You may ask VSPPP to inform Prisons staff to determine if the offender will be disciplined for having contact with you.
Requesting No Contact from an offender 

Requesting No Contact from an offender 

What do I do if the offender is contacting me and/or I do not want the offender to contact me?

If you do not want to have contact from an offender in a state prison, you may take the following steps:

  • You may request that the offender not contact you while the offender is in prison.  If the offender is contacting you and threatening you, see the Threats made by an offender section.
  • Complete a No Contact Request form (below):

               No Contact Request Form – PDF

  • When we receive your form, a VSPPP staff member may contact you to clarify any information and discuss your options with you or you may contact VSPPP at 1-866-719-0108 for additional information. 
  • If the offender is currently under a court’s order to not contact you and the offender does so, the contact may be a violation of the court’s order.
  • Decide if you would like to contact your local law enforcement agency, magistrate, and/or district attorney’s office for additional assistance with criminal charges.  Prisons will cooperate with any outside investigation that these agencies decide to conduct.
  • If the offender is currently under a Prisons’ No Contact Request that you have made and contacts you, you may ask VSPPP to inform Prisons staff to determine if the offender will be disciplined for having contact with you.
  • Please note that if you request not to have an offender contact you by telephone, any telephone numbers that you block will also block any other DPS inmate from calling you.
Location of an offender

Location of an offender

In which state prison will the offender be confined?

  • After sentencing, the offender will initially be housed in the local jail of the county in which the offender was convicted.
  • DPS will schedule a time to pick up and transport the offender from the jail to an appropriate prison.  For the security of the inmate and the public, information about the day an inmate will be transferred to a DPS prison and the name of the prison are not disclosed until after the inmate has arrived at the prison.
  • The offender is first sent to one of several prisons that has a diagnostic center for intake and processing.
  • Diagnostic centers evaluate the inmates’ physical and mental health, temperament, education and family, work and criminal histories.  It can take up to six weeks before processing is completed and the inmate is classified and sent to another prison.
  • The offender will be confined in a prison according to bed space, custody level, the inmate’s program needs and other factors.  An inmate may request to be transferred to a prison close to their home, however, this is not a guarantee that the transfer will be granted.
  • An offender can be transferred between state prisons many times while serving their sentence.  DPS does NOT notify victims about each transfer.
  • You may click here to check on the offender’s location either in prison or the county of community supervision.

 

While the offender is in prison, will he/she be allowed outside of the prison?

DPS inmates may be allowed outside of the prison for a number of reasons:

  • for medical care that cannot be provided by DPS
  • for a funeral or to visit a critically ill family member
  • for certain jobs and programs
  • for a permanent and total disability or terminal illness
  • to be held by a county jail for confinement while awaiting a court hearing
  • for more information about transfers of state inmates see the Transfers of an offender section.

What do I do if I am afraid because the offender is confined in a state prison near me?

You may click here to check on the offender’s location either in a NC state prison or the NC county of community supervision

As explained in the Transfers of an offender section, inmates are transferred between state prisons for a number of reasons.  If you have safety concerns because you believe that the offender is in a prison very close to you, you may submit a request that the offender be moved to another state prison facility in NC, however, this does not guarantee that the offender will be moved. 

  • NC General Statutes states: 148-5.1. Confining inmates away from victims.  If a victim or immediate family member of a victim requests that, for the safety of the victim or family member, an inmate be confined outside the county where the victim or family member resides or is employed, the Department shall make a reasonable effort to house the inmate in a facility in another county. If the inmate is not so housed in another county, the Department shall notify the victim or family member in writing. (2001-433, s. 10; 2001-487, s. 120.)
  • A victim or their immediate family member may make a request to have the offender transferred by completing the Opposition to Inmate Location form (below):

               Opposition to Inmate Location form – PDF

  • If DPS cannot transfer the offender, VSPPP will notify you of this.  In the event that the offender can be transferred out of that county at a later time, VSPPP will notify you again.  This is the only time a victim will be notified of an offender’s transfer.  Notifications are NOT made for general transfers of state prison inmates.

 

What do I do if I am afraid because the offender is living in the community near me?

Offenders who are supervised in the community on probation, parole or post-release supervision are not subject to NC General Statute 148-5.1 as state prison inmates are.

  • An offender’s home plan is investigated by the offender’s probation/parole officer (PPO).
  • If the PPO believes that the home plan is not appropriate, the PPO may deny the home plan.
  • You may contact VSPPP if you have concerns about where an offender is planning to live and request that VSPPP staff share your concerns with the PPO.  This will be considered by the PPO and, where possible, an alternative home plan may be established.
  • Please note that the PPO must balance the housing needs of the offender with victim and community safety as well as with the possibility of the offender being homeless.  If the offender is or becomes homeless, then supervising the offender is much more difficult and options for supervision conditions such as electronic house arrest may not be possible.
Transfers of an offender

Transfers of an offender

  • Click here to check on the offender’s location either in a NC state prison or the NC county of community supervision
  • Click here to check the location of an offender whose community supervision was transferred to another state
  • Click here to check the location of a federal inmate
  • Click here to check the location of a county jail inmate

 

For state prison inmates:

  • Notifications are not provided for general transfers.
  • If an offender requests to be transferred to another state’s prisons, see the Interstate movement of offenders section.
  • If an offender requests to be transferred to another country’s prisons, the International Prisoner Transfer system requires a victim’s input be requested before making a decision to transfer the inmate to another country.
  • If an offender is transferred due to a permanent and total disability or due to a terminal illness, NC General Statutes requires a victim’s input be requested before making a decision to transfer the inmate to a nursing home, hospice or other palliative care location.  For more information regarding these extensions of the limits of confinement, please see NC General Statute 148-4. Control and custody of prisoners; authorizing prisoner to leave place of confinement.

 

For offenders who are on probation, parole or post-release supervision, notifications are provided about transfers of an offender’s county of supervision or if the offender requests to be transferred out of state.

  • Offenders may request to have their community supervision transferred to another county within NC.
  • Offenders may also request to have their community supervision transferred to another state.  See the Interstate movement of offenders section.
Escape or abscond of offenders

Escape or abscond of offenders

If the offender escapes:

If an offender escapes from a state prison and you are registered with VSPPP, the prison unit will make attempts to contact you within two hours of the escape.  In addition, you will receive a letter notifying you about the escape.  VSPPP also recommends that you are registered with the NCSAVAN service to receive notifications about escapes by automated telephone, text, email or TTY message.

 

If the offender absconds:

Absconded means that, while an offender is being supervised in the community (probation, parole, post-release supervision), the offender has not reported to his/her probation-parole officer (PPO) and/or the PPO is unable to locate the offender and is willfully avoiding supervision.  When the PPO has determined that the offender has absconded and enters this information into the computer system, VSPPP will send you a letter and, if you are registered with NCSAVAN, you will also receive an automated telephone, text, email, or TTY message.

You must keep your contact information up to date with VSPPP to receive notifications.

Prison custody classifications (close, medium, minimum)

Prison custody classifications (close, medium, minimum)

Please note that notifications are not provided for promotions or demotions between custody levels, except for promotions to Minimum Custody.

Custody classification is a determination of how much security will be needed to ensure inmates remain safely confined and/or managed. The custody classification level depends on the seriousness of the crime, willingness of the inmate to obey rules and regulations, and perceived potential for attempting escape.  Custody classifications are solely under the authority of Prisons and cannot be changed except by Prisons.

 

There are three custody levels offenders can be assigned to and each prison or unit within a prison is operated based on these levels.

Close Custody (most restrictive):

  • Close Custody is for inmates who need extra security and are under armed, constant supervision. Close custody housing is generally made up of single cells and divided into cellblocks. Case management, work assignments, basic education, counseling and other programs are available to inmates in close custody.


Medium Custody (less restrictions):

  • Medium Custody is less restrictive than close custody and inmates are under armed, constant supervision. Medium custody prisons have all programs and activities operating within the unit. Programs include academic and vocational education, substance abuse treatment, psychological and self-improvement programs, varied work assignments, as well as case management services. When working outside the prison, inmates are supervised by armed personnel.


Minimum Custody (least restrictive):

  • Minimum Custody is the least restrictive and has the most privileges of the custody grades. Inmates who have been promoted to minimum custody must be within five years of their release date. Inmates convicted of felony crimes, under certain conditions, can be considered for promotion to minimum custody once they are within 60 months of release or within 60 months of their parole eligibility date.

 

There are three levels within Minimum custody that an offender may promote:

  • Level I: Inmates may work on the grounds or away from the prison as long as a correctional officer or agent of DPS is with them.
  • Level II: Inmates may work on the grounds or away from the prison with an assigned supervisor from another government agency and may be eligible to go out on a short-term pass with an approved volunteer in the community.
  • Level III: Inmates may be away from the prison for specific programs such as work release, jobs, home leaves, school or other kinds of training not supervised by correctional staff during the approved pass.
Custody review  vs  Parole review

Custody review  vs  Parole review

A custody review is not the same thing as a parole review.  Often times victims who use the DPS Offender Search tool will see the date for the next custody review and assume that this is the date an offender is going to be reviewed for parole.  This is not the case.

Custody reviews are conducted routinely every six months by Prisons staff for all inmates to address security and behavior of the inmates in state prisons.  Offenders remain housed in a state prison.

  • Prison Administration is charged with managing the inmate population. One way in which Prisons does this is through the assignment of inmates to custody levels.
  • Custody classification is a determination of how much security will be needed to ensure inmates remain safely confined and/or managed. The custody classification level depends on the seriousness of the crime, willingness of the inmate to obey rules and regulations, and perceived potential for attempting escape.  See the Prison custody classifications (close, medium, minimum) section.
  • While information from victims is helpful information for Prisons staff, victims cannot prevent the routine review of an inmate’s custody level nor the promotion or demotion in custody level.  In addition, custody levels are not an indicator of a release date.  Release dates are determined by sentencing laws.  Custody reviews occur regularly and separately from parole reviews.  And, Parole is only applicable if the offender committed their crime before 10/1/1994; otherwise, an inmate's minimum release date is pre-determined and cannot be changed except by the courts.

Notifications about custody reviews are not provided.

Parole reviews, unlike custody reviews, are conducted by the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission (PRSPC) for consideration of a conditional release from prison to live in the community and be supervised by a probation/parole officer before an offender’s sentence is complete.

  • Not all offenders are eligible to be paroled.
  • Most offenders are not eligible to be paroled if the they committed the crime after 10/1/1994.
  • To find out if an offender is eligible for parole, please contact VSPPP staff at 1-866-719-0108.
  • Parole reviews are conducted annually or every two or three years depending on the crime.
  • Parole is earned and is not automatic.
  • Parole provides an opportunity for the offender to live in the community supervised by a probation/parole officer and if the offender cannot abide by the conditions set by the PRSPC, parole laws permit the PRSPC to return the inmate to prison to continue serving their sentence (revoke parole).
  • A victim’s input is an important part of the information that the PRSPC considers when deciding to parole and offender.  Written input may be provided by victims at any time by writing to:

                                           NCDPS – Victim Services
                                           4223 Mail Service Center
                                           Raleigh, NC 27699-4200

  • A victim can call 919-716-3010 four months prior to the parole review date to schedule a parole meeting.
  • Up to five people can attend the parole meeting, which last 30 minutes, and you will need to bring a picture ID with you.
  • The parole meeting is with one Commissioner and the offender will not be present.


Notifications about parole reviews are provided only if you are registered with VSPPP to receive notifications.  NCSAVAN does not provide notifications about parole reviews.

Sentencing laws, calculations and releases of offenders

Sentencing laws, calculations and releases of offenders

Many factors contribute to how long a sentence will actually be including:

  • the date the offender committed the crime and therefore which laws effect the offender’s sentence
  • case law from the courts
  • sentence credits or penalties
  • whether the offender is eligibile for parole or not

 

In NC, there are several important sentencing laws that impact an offender’s sentence:

  • Fair Sentencing Act (effects sentences of crimes committed between 7/1/1981 and 9/30/1994)
  • Structured Sentencing Act (effects sentences of crimes committed on or after 10/1/1994)
  • Justice Reinvestment Act (passed in 2011 and the various changes have varied effective dates)

 

Fair Sentencing Act

  • Applies to offenders who committed felony crimes on or after 7/1/1981 and before 10/1/1994.
  • Offenders sentenced to prison are eligible for parole.
  • Sentence length is reduced greatly by “good time” credits.
  • Length of parole is set by the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission (PRSPC).
  • Offenders who are granted parole must live by the rules and conditions of their parole as set by the PRSPC. If an offender on parole does not live up to these rules and conditions, the parole may be revoked, and the offender will be returned to prison to continue serving their sentence.

 

Structured Sentencing Act

  • Applies to offenders who committed felony crimes on or after 10/1/1994.
  • Offenders sentenced to prison are NOT eligible for parole, except misdemeanor DWI.
  • Each felon will receive a minimum sentence and a maximum sentence.  By law, the offender will serve 100 percent of the minimum sentence and any jail credit ordered by the judge is counted towards meeting the minimum sentence.  The offender will have a maximum release date and minimum release date, and cannot be released before the minimum release date minus any jail credit.
  • To replace parole, the NC Legislature established Post-Release Supervision for offenders, which is a period of time being supervised in the community following the completion of the minimum sentence.
     
  • B1-E Felons: serve 6-9 months post-release supervision
  • F-I Felons: serve NO post-release supervision
  • Some sex offenders: serve 5 years post-release supervision
  • The date an offender is released on post-release supervision is set by law and is not decided, nor can it be changed, by the PRSPC.  However, the conditions under which the offender will be supervised are set by the PRSPC, and the PRSPC may revoke the offender’s supervision.

 

Justice Reinvestment Act

  • Offenders sentenced to prison are NOT eligible for parole, except misdemeanor DWI.
  • For crimes committed on or after 2/2/11, period of post-release supervision were changed to:
    • B1-E Felons: serve 12 months post-release supervision
    • F-I Felons: serve 9 months post-release supervision
    • Some sex offenders: serve 5 years post-release supervision
  • The date an offender is released on post-release supervision is set by law and is not decided by the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission.  However, the conditions under which the offender will be supervised are set by the PRSPC, and the PRSPC may revoke the offender’s supervision.
  • Adds the Advanced Supervised Release program:
    • For offenders sentenced on or after 1/1/12
    • Establishes another, different set of minimum and maximum sentences than those of Structured Sentencing
    • Is an option for judges to use in place of minimum and maximum sentences of Structured Sentencing

 

Do inmates get credit for working and/or good behavior while in prison?

  • An inmate sentenced under the Structured Sentencing Act will receive “earned time” when they are assigned to a job or a fulltime program. For an inmate assigned to a job or a full-time program, earned time can help reduce the sentence down from the maximum release date to the minimum release date. An inmate’s sentence cannot be reduced below the minimum amount of time that was ordered by the judge.
  • Inmates sentenced under the Fair Sentencing Act will be able to reduce the amount of time they spend in prison by working or participating in certain programs. Inmates working or assigned to a program will receive “gain time.” Different amounts are awarded based on the type of job or program the offender is assigned. Inmates sentenced under the Fair Sentencing Act are also awarded “good time” – one day of credit for each day of good behavior while in prison. The credit is applied when the inmate begins serving a sentence. Good time is to be taken back when the inmate receives disciplinary action.
  • “Merit time” may also be awarded under the Fair or Structured Sentencing acts as additional time credits to inmates who work more than 40 hours a week, work in bad weather or work under emergency conditions.
  • Projected release dates are subject to change if inmates are removed from a job or program assignment for any reason such as transfer, disciplinary or completion of a program.

 

How else can an offender be released before his sentence is completed?

  • If a judge orders the sentence to be vacated
  • If a court orders the offender to be resentenced to a shorter sentence
  • If the NC Legislature re-writes sentencing laws
  • If new case law is established
  • If extensions of the limits of confinement are granted by DPS
  • If an offender is eligible for parole
Social media use by offenders (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

Social media use by offenders (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

DPS offenders in state prisons are not allowed to use the internet nor social media while they are in prison.  If you believe the offender has a social media account which they are operating or have someone operating on their behalf, contact VSPPP for assistance 866-719-0108.  For more information about Prisons’ policy on social media, click here.

DPS offenders on probation are allowed to use the internet and social media.  If a victim has concerns about the offender’s use of the internet, they may contact VSPPP at 1-866-719-0108.

 

Visiting an offender

Visiting an offender

Prisons has policy outlining the rules for visitation with an inmate.  The policy can be found here.

 

There are a variety of factors which may be a part of a victim’s decision to meet or visit with the offender who committed the crime against them such as the type of crime, the relationship between the victim and the offender before the crime and the impact the crime has had on the victim.  A victim is in not in any way obligated to visit or meet with an offender and the visit will be considered by Prisons only if it is at the request of the victim.  An offender must agree to the visit, but the victim should not feel obligated nor be pressured to see the offender.  All visits with inmates are subject to the approval of the Prison staff.

 

Regular visitation:

  • If a victim of the offender’s crime would like to visit the offender outside of the Victim Offender Dialogue (VOD) process (described below), a completed Visitor Application must be submitted by the victim.
  • Please know that no one is under any obligation to visit an offender, nor should an offender pressure anyone into visiting.
  • Visitation decisions are made at the discretion of the prison facility based on the need for safety and security of visitors, staff and inmates.
  • Prison facilities’ staff must ensure the safety of the visitors, staff or inmates and visitation may not be allowed, allowed only through a controlled setting, or not allowed at all.  Visitation is a privilege, not a right, for the offender and visitor.
  • Prison facilities can allow a victim to visit with the offender either through regular visitation or through a structured and arranged process.
  • For victims who would like to request a special visit for a Victim Offender Dialogue, at this time, DPS does not have a VOD program.  If you are interested in participating in a VOD and would like your request to be considered for the future, you may contact VSPPP to discuss this further at 1-866-719-0108.
Supervised vs Unsupervised Probation

Supervised vs Unsupervised Probation

Probation is a sentence ordered by the Court instead of imprisonment that allows the offender to remain in the community as long as the offender follows certain conditions and reports either to the Court or to a probation/parole officer.  If the offender does not follow the conditions, the Court can revoke the probation and impose a sentence of imprisonment in a county jail or state prison.

 

Supervised probation:

This type of probation is ordered by the court and the offender is to be supervised by a probation/parole officer.  The probation/parole officer is responsible for monitoring the offender’s adherence to the probation conditions.

 

Unsupervised probation:

This type of probation does not require supervision by a probation/parole officer.  The offender will report to the court as directed by the Court.

 

Community Service:

Some offenders are ordered to provide service to the community as a condition of their probation.  Community Service can be ordered in either supervised or unsupervised probation.  DPS is charged with monitoring the offender’s community service hours in both supervised and unsupervised probation cases.

Probation vs Parole vs Post-release supervision

Probation vs Parole vs Post-release supervision

Probation:

Probation is a sentence ordered by the Court instead of imprisonment that allows the offender to remain in the community as long as the offender follows certain conditions and reports either to the Court or to a probation/parole officer.  If the offender does not follow the conditions, the Court can revoke the probation and impose a sentence of imprisonment in a county jail or state prison.  Probation may be supervised by a probation/parole officer or the probation may be unsupervised.

 

Parole:

Parole is the conditional release from prison to community supervision before an offender’s prison sentence is completed.  The Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission has all authority to decide whether or not to release an offender on parole, except for one type of parole called 90-day mandatory parole.  Once paroled, the offender is supervised by a Probation/Parole Officer from Community Corrections.  If the offender does not abide by the conditions of parole, the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission has all authority to send the offender back to prison to continue serving his/her sentence and the offender may or may not be paroled again by the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission.

 

Post-Release Supervision:

Post-Release Supervision is similar to parole, except that the offender’s prison sentence is completed and both the date and decision to release an offender on post-release supervision is not made by the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission.  The offender’s date of release to Post-Release Supervision cannot be changed and is set by sentencing laws.  As with parole, an offender released to post-release supervision will be supervised by a Probation/Parole Officer from Community Corrections.  If the offender does not abide by the conditions of post-release supervision, the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission has all authority to send the offender back to prison for only certain amounts of time, however, the offender must eventually be released.

Parole meetings about an offender

Parole meetings about an offender

Parole reviews are conducted by the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission (PRSPC) for consideration of a conditional release from prison to community supervision before an offender’s sentence is complete.  A parole review is not the same thing as a custody review, for more information see the Custody review vs Parole review section.

  • Not all offenders are eligible to be paroled.
  • Most offenders are not eligible to be paroled if they committed the crime after 10/1/1994.
  • To find out if an offender is eligible for parole, please contact VSPPP staff at 1-866-719-0108.
  • Parole reviews are conducted annually or every 2 or 3 years depending on the crime.
  • Parole is earned and not automatic.
  • Parole provides an opportunity for the offender to live in the community supervised by a probation/parole officer and, if the offender cannot abide by the conditions set by the PRSPC, the parole laws permit the PRSPC to return the inmate to prison to continue serving their sentence (revoke parole).
  • A victim’s input is an important part of the information that the PRSPC considers when deciding to parole and offender.  Written input may be provided by victims at any time by writing to:

                                                    NCDPS – Victim Services
                                                    4223 Mail Service Center
                                                    Raleigh, NC 27699-4200

  • A victim can call 919-716-3010 four months prior to the parole review date to schedule a parole meeting.
  • Up to five people can attend the parole meeting, which last 30 minutes, and attendees will need to bring a picture ID with them.
  • The parole meeting is with one Commissioner and the offender will not be present.


Notifications about parole reviews are provided only if you are registered with VSPPP to receive notifications.  NCSAVAN does not provide notifications about parole reviews.

Restitution payments by an offender

Restitution payments by an offender

Offenders in Prison most often make restitution payments if they are assigned to a work release job.  Work release jobs pay prevailing wages for that job from which the offender may make those payments.  Offenders who are working inside a Prison or on medium custody work crews are paid significantly less and restitution payments may or not be paid from these wages.

 

Offenders on probation, parole or post-release supervision are expected to make monthly payments towards restitution when employed.  The offender makes payments to the Clerk of Court in the county of conviction and the Clerk of Court documents the payment and sends a check to those persons who are owed restitution.

 

In either case, prison or community supervision, please contact the Clerk of Court in the county of conviction to ensure that your mailing address is up to date so that you will receive any checks for restitution.  Click here for a list of Clerks of Court.

 

For more information about civil options for restitution, please click here for the Civil Justice for Victims of Crime North Carolina brochure.

Conditions or requirements of offenders in the community 

Conditions or requirements of offenders in the community 

Offenders who are on parole or post-release supervision are supervised under conditions set by the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission (the PRSPC).  The PRSPC can change the conditions as well as revoke the offender’s parole or post-release supervision for failure to abide by the conditions.

Offenders on probation may be subject to the following regular conditions and some may only be changed by the judge or the probation/parole officer may have delegated authority to change or add some conditions.  For information about other conditions, please see Community Corrections Policy Manual Section .0300 Terms and Conditions of Probation:

Regular conditions of probation apply to each defendant placed on supervised probation unless the presiding judge specifically exempts the defendant from one or more of the conditions in open court and in the judgment of the court. It is not necessary for the presiding judge to state each regular condition of probation in open court, but the conditions must be set forth in the judgment. G.S. 15A- 1343(b). The regular conditions of probation are in every circumstance valid. G.S. 15A-1342(g).

  • Commit no criminal offense in any jurisdiction.
  • Remain within the jurisdiction of the court unless granted written permission to leave by the court or a probation officer.
  • Report as directed by the court or his probation officer to the officer at reasonable times and places and in a reasonable manner, permit the officer to visit him at reasonable times, answer all reasonable inquiries by the officer and obtain prior approval from the officer for, and notify the officer of, any change in address or employment.
  • Not abscond by willfully avoiding supervision or by willfully making the defendant’s whereabouts unknown to the supervising probation officer. G.S. 15A –1343 (b) (3a).
  • Satisfy child support and other family obligations as required by the court. If the courts require the payment of child support, the amount of the payments shall be determined in G.S. 50-13.4(c).
  • Possess no firearm, explosive device other deadly weapon listed in G.S. 14-269 without written permission of the court.
  • Pay a supervision fee as specified.
  • Remain gainfully and suitably employed or faithfully pursue a course of study or of vocational training shall that will equip him for suitable employment. 
  • Notify the probation officer if offender fails to obtain or retain satisfactory employment.
  • Pay any costs and/or fines ordered by the court, and make restitution or reparation as provided in subsection(d).
  • Pay the State of North Carolina for the costs of appointed counsel, public defender, or appellate defender to represent him in the case(s) for which he was placed on probation.
  • Attend and complete an abuser treatment program if (i) the court finds the defendant is responsible for acts of domestic violence and (ii) there is a program, approved by the Domestic Violence Commission, reasonably available to the defendant, unless the court finds that such would not be in the best interest of justice.
  • Submit at reasonable times to warrantless searches by a probation officer of the probationer’s person and of the probationer’s vehicle and premises while the probationer is present, for purposes directly related to the probation supervision, but the probationer may not be required to submit to any other search that would otherwise by unlawful.
  • Submit to warrantless searches by a law enforcement officer of the probationer’s person and of the probationer’s vehicle, upon a reasonable suspicion that the probationer is engaged in criminal activity or is in possession of a firearm, explosive device, or other deadly weapon listed in G.S.14-269 without written permission of the court. 
  • Not use, possess, or control any illegal drug or controlled substance unless it has been prescribed for him or her by a licensed physician and is in the original container with the prescription number affixed on it; not knowingly associate with any known or previously convicted users, possessors, or sellers of any such illegal drugs or controlled substances; and not knowingly be present at or frequent any place where such illegal drugs or controlled substances are sold, kept or used.
  • Supply a breath, urine or blood specimen for analysis of the possible presence of prohibited drugs or alcohol when instructed by the defendant’s probation officer for purposes directly related to the probation supervision. If the results of the analysis are positive, the probationer may be required to reimburse the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety for the actual costs of drug or alcohol screening and testing.
  • Waive all rights relating to extradition proceedings if taken into custody outside of this State for failing to comply with the conditions imposed by the court upon a felony conviction. (effective for offenses committed on or after 12/01/16)
  • Submit to the taking of digitized photographs, including photographs of the offender’s face, scars, marks, and tattoos, to be included in the probationer’s records. (effective for offenses committed on or after 12/01/16)

 

Conditions of community supervision may be adjusted to encourage the offender to continue with good behavior or to penalize the offender for bad behavior.  Who may adjust the conditions is dependent on a number of factors.

Interstate movement of offenders 

Interstate movement of offenders 

 When would an inmate be moved to a prison out of state?

  • North Carolina is a participating member of the Interstate Corrections Compact agreement. For an inmate to transfer from North Carolina to a specific state or to North Carolina from another state, N.C. and the other state must have an agreement or contract in place. N.C. has many partner states as well as being in an agreement with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
  • Despite North Carolina being a participant in the I.C.C. no inmate from our state or another wishing to transfer to N.C. is entitled to participate in the program.
  • Generally, transfers as a part of the I.C.C. must meet at least one of the following conditions:
    • To provide for the personal safety of an inmate subject to an identifiable threat of harm after consideration of all available housing alternatives.
    • To provide for effective pre-release program assignments for inmates in minimum or medium custody within three years of an established release date at the time of transfer.
    • In any case where the Secretary of Public Safety issues a finding that such a transfer is in the best interest of the State of North Carolina, the Department, the inmate and criminal justice objectives. (This category could include instances where the inmate does not have family in the state they are currently incarcerated in.)

 

When would an offender on community supervision move to another state?

  • If an offender on community supervision requests to be supervised by another state, they may be allowed to under the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision Compact.
  • For more information regarding the transfer of offenders on probation, parole or post-release supervision:

          Click here for the Interstate Compact Transfer Guide

          Click here for more information about Interstate Compact Transfers

 

Victims may contact VSPPP for more information about offenders who are transferred to another state.

Death Row offenders

Death Row offenders

Offenders on death row are prohibited from contacting a victim or surviving family members according to NC General Statute 148-10.2.  If you have been contacted by a death row offender, please call VSPPP for assistance at 1-866-719-0108.

 

 

If you are the victim or surviving family member of a victim and would like additional information about the execution process, including how witnesses to an execution are selected, click here or call VSPPP at 866-719-0108.

 

 

The last execution of a death sentence in NC was in August 2016.  At this time, several legal issues are being decided before any more executions can be carried out. 

 

For more information about death row in North Carolina, click here.