Instant Accessto State, County and Municipal Public Records

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What are North Carolina Inmate Records?

North Carolina inmate records are the personal and administrative records of individuals held in prisons and jails in North Carolina. Some of these records are publicly available online, while others are sealed and only available when requested by approved parties. Inmate records provide identifying details such as names, ages, genders, and booking photos of incarcerated offenders. These records also contain conviction information like inmates' past and current locations, registration numbers, custody statuses, and jail transfer data. North Carolina makes inmates' records available to the public based on the North Carolina Public Records Law but restricts access to sensitive information such as health records.

Inmate records are considered public in the United States and therefore are made available by both traditional governmental agencies as well as third-party websites and organizations. Third-party websites may offer an easier search, as these services do not face geographical limitations. However, because third-party sites are not government-sponsored, the information obtained through them may vary from official channels. To find inmate records using third-party aggregate sites, requesting parties must provide:

  • The location of the sought-after record, including state, county, and city where the inmate resides.
  • The name of the person listed in the record, unless it is a juvenile.

Facilities Operated by the North Carolina Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) oversees the operations of 57 state prisons, including two women's prisons and two prison work farms. The NCDPS has four regional prisons (Eastern, Western, Central, and South Central) offices. Each of these manages the prisons, correctional institutions, correctional centers, and work farms in its geographical zone. Check the North Carolina prison directory to visit facility pages for addresses, phone numbers, jail information, and visitation times. Besides state prisons, North Carolina also has county and city jails. These municipal jails are operated by local law enforcement, including sheriff's offices or police departments.

How Do I Send Money to an Inmate in North Carolina Prisons and Jails?

State-run prisons do not accept funds sent to inmates directly. Rather, the NCDPS partners with JPay to offer several options for sending money to individuals incarcerated in its facilities. Note that only those listed on an inmate's approved visitor list can deposit money into the inmate's accounts.

The NCDPS, via JPay, allows approved depositors to send money to inmates in North Carolina prisons through the following methods:

  • Walk-in cash deposits
  • Money orders mailed to JPay
  • Credit/debit card deposits online at
  • JPay Mobile App
  • Credit/debit card deposits over the phone

To make a cash deposit, visit any MoneyGram agent location and provide the following receive code: 1224. individuals can see a list of such locations on These include all Walmart stores and CVS Pharmacies.

When sending money by money order, mail it along with a deposit slip (Spanish version) to:

P.O. Box 173070
Hialeah, FL 33017

Make the money order payable to JPay. Funds sent by money order will be available to the receiving inmates within ten business days.

However, the quickest way to send money to inmates in North Carolina state prisons is by making credit/debit card deposits online via the JPay website. Fund transfers via JPay mobile apps are also quick. Download the mobile app for iPhones from the Apple App Store or for Android phones from the Google Play Store. Lastly, anyone can also send money to an inmate in North Carolina by calling JPay's fund transfer line at (800) 574-5729. This phone number is available 24/7.

North Carolina city and county jails have different options for accepting funds sent to inmates held in those facilities. Check the city or county website for payment methods approved by the local law enforcement agency. Usually, most North Carolina local jails allow friends and family members to deposit cash, money order, and check at a designated area in the jail's lobby or reception areas. Some also accept checks and money orders sent by mail.

How Do I Visit Inmates in North Carolina Prisons and Jails?

To visit an offender in a North Carolina correctional facility run by NCDPS, all visitors must be on the approved visitor list. Send a completed visitor application to the prison facility to apply to be on this list. Offenders are responsible for sending blank application forms to intending visitors. Each inmate is allowed a maximum of 18 visitors, including adults and minors.

Minors must also complete visitor application forms. The NCDPS regards individuals under age 16 as minors. A minor must attach a copy of the original birth certificate to the completed application, while an adult must attach an approved photo ID. Approved minors must update all applications with photo IDs upon turning 16 to remain eligible for visitation. Send completed applications to the mailing address of the prison where the inmate is currently housed. Inmates are expected to notify prospective visitors about the status of this application.

The NCDPS also requires legal, law enforcement, clergy, consular, local and state Family Services, and Juvenile Court officials to register before visiting inmates in its facilities. However, these individuals do not count towards the 18-person limit of an offender's visitor list.

Inmates are not allowed more than one visit per week. Each visitation session must not exceed two hours. These limitations do not apply to clergy, legal, and law enforcement visits. Read the handbook for family and friends of inmates to learn about other regulations of prison visitation, including dress code and visitation time.

How Do I Perform a North Carolina Prison Inmate Search?

The NCDPS provides a handy free inmate search by name tool that interested persons may use to find someone in prison. The inmate lookup tool also provides information on state prison probationers and parolees as well as escapees, captures, and absconders.

Use the North Carolina inmates search tool to find an inmate by providing the inmate's name or inmate ID number. Other search parameters provided to narrow the search include gender, race, ethnic group, age range, and birth date. The prison lookup tool is also useful for finding records of released inmates. The public can search for inmate releases by county, month, and year. The inmate search tool pulls the records on inmates released over the last three years and lists personal details such as names, offender numbers, release dates, offense types, and release types.

How Do I Perform a North Carolina Jail Inmate Search?

There is no central repository of inmate records for North Carolina municipal jails. Persons who wish to search county and city jails must visit the jail official website or visit the sheriff's office in person. Municipalities typically provide instructions on how to find out if someone is in jail on the local law enforcement website. It is also common for jails to publish updated lists of inmates currently in that correctional facility.

The Difference between North Carolina State Prisons and County Jail

North Carolina state prisons and county jails are operated by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. The county jail system is made up of 100 jails, which are operated by the sheriff's office in each county.

Prisoners in the state prison system are classified into three levels: minimum, medium, and maximum security. Those in minimum security are considered to be a lower risk to public safety, while those in maximum security are considered to be a higher risk. All prisoners in the state prison system are required to work while they are incarcerated.

The average daily population in the state prison system was approximately 35,000 in fiscal year 2018. The average length of stay for prisoners in the state prison system was 3.6 years in fiscal year 2018. In the county jail system, the average daily population was 8,000 in fiscal year 2018.

How Do I Find Out an Inmate Release Date?

Inmate release dates are among the information obtained during an inmate record search. However, this information may be unavailable if it puts the inmate in significant danger. In such cases, inmate release dates will only be available to the inmate's immediate family members, attorneys, victims, and authorized law enforcement officers.

North Carolina State Archives

State Archives

Search Includes

  • Arrests & Warrants
  • Criminal Records
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies & Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Marriages & Divorces
  • Death Records
  • Birth Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • Unclaimed State Funds
  • Relatives & Associates
  • Address Registrations
  • Affiliated Phone Numbers
  • Affiliated Email Addresses

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

Old Brunswick County Jail building

The facility is a 2-story brick jail from 1904 and is one of the stops on the Walking Tour of Southport.

  • There were over 1,240,000 reported violent crimes in the United States in 2017.
  • Between 2006 and 2010, approximately 3.4 million violent crimes went unreported.
  • Around 73 million (29.5%) of Americans have criminal records, many of which are eligible for sealing or expungement.
  • There were nearly 7.7 million property crimes in the United States in 2017. This represents a 3.6% decrease from the previous year.
  • Some newspapers have reported the cost of a public record can cost between $5 and $399,000.
  • In 2017, there were 1,920 presidential pardon requests. Of those, 142 were granted.