Columbus Correctional Institution

Columbus Correctional Institution is a medium-security state prison for male inmates that is located in Whiteville, North Carolina. This facility is managed by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, and it can house 584 inmates.

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.

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Columbus Correctional Institution

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Visiting Hours and Rules


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 are the top priorities of the Department of Public Safety. THIS IS NOT A STATEWIDE LOCKDOWN OF PRISONS. They apologize for the inconvenience this may have on offender families and friends. Visitation will resume when conditions are deemed safe.

Regular population offender visitation at Columbus Correctional Institution, 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

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. 

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.

Click here for more detailed information about visiting an inmate at Columbus Correctional Institution.

Physical Address

Columbus Correctional Institution
1255 Prison Camp Road
Whiteville, NC 28472

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number


Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name, OPUS Number
Columbus Correctional Institution
1255 Prison Camp Road
Whiteville, NC 28472

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. 

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. 

For information about sending packages to an inmate, click here.

How to Call an Inmate

Inmates at the Columbus Correctional Institution can’t receive incoming calls, but they do have access to phones during daytime hours to make outgoing calls. For complete details on how to call an inmate in North Carolina, please click here.

How to Send Money

NCDPS partners with JPay to offer several options for sending money to offenders in NCDPS prison facilities. Electronic, telephone, and walk-in options make money available in the offender's account on the next business day. The traditional method of mailing a money order remains a cost-free option.

Money orders must be sent with a deposit slip to JPay at the address below. NCDPS prison facilities do not accept or process money orders.

Send money online with your credit or debit card at It's the quickest and easiest way to get your loved one the funds they need.

JPay Mobile App
Download the JPay mobile app from the Apple App Store (for iPhones) or Google Play (for Android phones) and send money wherever you happen to be!

Toll-Free Phone
You can send money by phone using your credit or debit card. Call (800) 574-5729 to speak with a live JPay call center agent 24/7.

Money Orders
Money orders must be made payable to JPay and sent with a deposit slip to: 
P.O. Box 173070
Hialeah, FL 33017

Money order deposit slip available in English here.
Hoja de Depósito para Giros Bancarios disponible en Español aquí.

To make a cash deposit, visit any MoneyGram agent location (including all Walmarts and CVS Pharmacies), and use code 1224. Visit to get a list of nearby MoneyGram locations.

All North Carolina state prisons restrict depositors into JPay to only those identified as approved visitors for that offender.

Programs For Inmates

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. 

Chaplaincy Services

Prison chaplains supervise religious activities, facilitate the work of religious services volunteers, and address religious issues of all faiths.

Work Programs

Inmates work in a wide variety of jobs inside and outside prison facilities.

Educational Programs

Inmates may receive educational training through Academic/Vocational Education, Study Release, Think Smart, or Domestic Violence Education programs.

Transitional Services

Includes information on Community Leave, the Community Volunteer Program, the Home Leave Program, the Mutual Agreement Parole Program (MAPP), the Transitional Aftercare Network, and Work Release.

Prison Life Programs

Includes prison orientation, counseling and treatment, religious programs, the Napoleon Hill Project, Sex Offender Accountability and Responsibility (SOAR), Domestic Violence Education Program (DVEP), STOP and Change Direction Domestic Violence Education, and Treatment Program, parenting programs

Offender Family Services

When a family member or friend has been sentenced to prison or supervision, this often presents a very difficult and confusing time for all who are involved. Offender Family Services can help families understand and navigate the system.

Pictures of Columbus Correctional Institution

Careers at Columbus Correctional Institution

If you are interested in a career with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and would like to work at the Columbus Correctional Institution, you can find out more information by clicking here.