Sanford Correctional Center: Visitation, Inmate Search, Contacts, FAQs

This article discussed everything you need to know about Sanford Correctional Center: Visitation, Inmate Search, Contacts, FAQs. We have answered some of the questions about this prison like it safe? What are the rules to visit and everything that you are interested in about this facility.

Sanford Correctional Center: Visitation, Inmate Search, Contacts, FAQs
Sanford Correctional Center: Visitation, Inmate Search, Contacts, FAQs

Sanford Correctional Center is located in Lee County, in the seat of Sanford, North Carolina, located at 417 Prison Camp Rd, Sanford, NC 27330, United States. This correctional facility is a minimum security prison that houses approximately 300 adult male inmates.

The correctional facility is managed by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. The Sanford Correctional Center is located 184 feet below sea level, making it the lowest elevation of a prison which is in part because it is usually used as a minimum security prison. It was primarily used by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) which dissolved into three new entities in 2003, to incarcerate immigrants who have been detained and are close to being released.

Sanford Correctional Center was one of 61 field unit prisons renovated or established during the late 1930s to house offenders who worked on building roads. It was later turned into a training center for officers and, in the 1970s, was converted back to a prison field unit.

The General Assembly approved a program for the improvement of prison conditions. It was authorized in 1987. As part of this $28.5 million Emergency Prison Facilities Development program, Sanford was provided two 50-bed dormitories. Another two additional 50-bed dormitories were provided as part of the $87.5 million prison construction program authorized in 1993.

The prison's original dormitory continues to be in use. Two new dormitories opened in 1987, and another two opened in 1993. These four new dormitories each house 63 offenders, while the older unit houses 46.

Rehabilitation facilities at Sanford Correctional Center

The Sanford Correctional Center is one of four North Carolina prison facilities that have earned accreditation from the American Correctional Association which means the facility meets the corrections industry’s 'gold standard’.

To ensure offenders receive humane treatment, the accreditation process monitors quality-of-life standards such as sufficient space and light, rehabilitation programs, health care, and post-release plans for one year.

Most offenders at Sanford are allowed to work jobs both on and off prison grounds. Some inmates with exceptional behavior are granted work release which lets them report to a job during the day and return to the prison at the end of their shift. Inmates are housed in open dormitories and religious studies, and substance abuse treatment programs are available to them at this institution.

The work opportunities provided for inmates at Sanford Correctional Center include road crews, recycling crews, culinary duties, landscaping, and custodial work. Offenders are allowed to choose one of the following jobs:

  • Department of Transportation squads in Lee, Harnett, and Moore counties for collecting old, worn, and damaged road signs and license plates
  • Correction Enterprises Sign Recycling plant at the old Moore Correctional Center which recycles old road signs and license plates to be used by the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV)
  • Labor contracts with local governments
  • Work release jobs in Lee County

The correctional facility provides the offender workforce for the Office of Staff Development and Training located in Apex, Wake County, NC.

All other prisoners work on jobs at the facility in the kitchen or as janitors or groundskeepers. Sanford Correctional Center offers a Masonry Program through Central Carolina Community College (CCCC).

Night programs offered at the facility include Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Yokefellow Bible study, and religious services for the rehabilitation of offenders. Central Carolina Community College also provides classes for adult education and preparation for GED tests for all prisoners as well as some vocational programs to help an inmate prepare for reentering society.

How to search inmates in Sanford Correctional Center?

It is pretty simple to search for an inmate that is incarcerated at the Sanford Correctional Center as the facility’s official website is open to the public. A few things you will need to know are the inmate's first and last name, and their ID number.

When offenders are incarcerated at Sanford correctional center, they are assigned specific IDs which are used during their entire time in the prison. These ID numbers are essential to search for a prisoner if someone is planning to visit or send mail or make a call, etc. Work records and accounts are also kept based on this ID.

To find an inmate, you will need to browse Sanford Correctional Center’s database and provide the inmate's first name, last name, and ID number. If you don’t want to use the website, you can call the Sanford Correctional Center visitor Information Line at 919-776-4325. You will need to give the credentials of the prisoner that you are looking for. The facility will provide any information that you need upon receipt of the correct credentials or ID.
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You can also directly visit the facility and get the required information about the prisoner. You won’t be allowed to meet an inmate that does not know you or whom you do not have correct information about.


The North Carolina Department of Public Safety now uses the OPUS system to make searching for inmates easier.

Offender Population Unified System uses a shared data approach that eliminates the problem of conflicting data which can occur when similar data is collected by multiple sources, usually because of the same IDs assigned to new prisoners when some inmate is released and stored on separate files.

In OPUS, data is collected and entered by the appropriate source and stored in a common database which is available to anyone who needs it and has been given the authorization to access it. OPUS uses a new method of sequential 7-digit DOC number instead of the 15-character "smart" number which was used in the old system. Any offender record entered into OPUS will have the new number only as previous offenders in the old NC prison system are assigned a unique 7-digit DOC number at the time of conversion.

What type of facilities is available at Sanford Correctional Center?

Sanford Correctional Center provides many facilities for inmates, from education to rehabilitation. It also provides ample work opportunities both on and off-site. In terms of prison conditions, Sanford has a very good standard for both inmates and officers. Following are some of the major facilities available at Sanford Correctional Center.

  • Adult Education and GED: Central Carolina Community College provides short-term courses for prisoners. It also has two-year courses for awarding degrees or certificates. CCCC helps in GED test preparation and provides books for completing education.
  • Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation: Programs are offered at Sanford for those seeking help for drug or alcohol abuse. These inmates are monitored and provided adequate consultation and therapy.
  • Religious Facilities: Prisoners can take part in Bible readings and other similar programs that help them reconnect with religion. They are provided consolation and advice on how to better themselves and work to repent and redeem themselves.
  • Skill Courses: To reenter society or opt for a work program in prison, inmates can select courses to learn skills that would later help them get a job after their release. Prisoners are also referred to authorities where they can easily find work based on the merits of their skill after parole or release.
  • Inmate Account: Family members can set up prepaid inmate accounts using Global Tel*link which helps the prisoners during their sentence. If the inmates are working, they can save their money in their accounts.
  • Money Transfer: You can send money to the inmate a few different ways, either with a certified check, money order, personal check, or cashier's check. A certified check is the fastest way to get the money to the inmate at the Sanford Correctional Center.
  • Phone Calls and Mails: Inmates can use the money in their accounts to make phone calls and send mail to their families. They can receive both calls and mail in the same way.

Is Sanford Correctional Center dangerous?

Sanford Correctional Center is one of the safest prisons for both inmates and officers. As it is a minimum security prison, it means the prisoners here aren’t felons but criminals.

A felony is a more serious offense that gets harsher punishment like imprisonment for more than one year or death. A crime is less serious and is punishable by a fine, probation, or incarceration for less than one year with chances of parole for those that get more time.

The prison is also known to have good conditions, which means prisoners aren’t forced into rebellion or disobedience. They have no incentive to cause problems for the officers either because good behavior gets rewarded by job opportunities off the site which gives inmates a chance to get out during the day. Moreover, guards ensure that in-relations among prisoners aren’t problematic either, so no one gets hurt. Various rehabilitation and help services are provided for those seeking therapy and consultation to better themselves.

Visiting Hours of Sanford Correctional Center

Prisoners who are visited often by their families are likely to exhibit good behavior and find it easy to reenter society upon release. Sanford Correctional Center allows visits by family and friends, essentially all of the people that have been listed in the prisoner’s visitation list.

The list can be updated every month, and one or two new names can be added if the inmate likes. This privilege may be taken away if the prisoner has problematic behavior. They can also end up quarantined, with their right of visitation revoked completely.

Visitation at Sanford Correctional Center is allowed on Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors are expected to submit their North Carolina Inmate Visitors Application which is sent to them by the inmate himself. Inmates are allowed to send a maximum of 18 visiting applications to whomever they please. The applicants are subsequently listed in the visitor's list of the inmate. Inmates can change their visitation list every six months if they want. No more than three visitors are permitted per visitation period.

Visiting hours are 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm, and utilize a rotating schedule. It is recommended to get there early as there might be a line. Inmates at the Sanford Correctional Center are also allowed to receive visits on New Year's day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, and Christmas day. The visiting schedule rotates monthly and is based on the first letter of the inmate’s last name, so before visiting, you will need to call for the current schedule.

How to contact Sanford Correctional Center?

You can use one of the following three methods to contact Sanford Correctional Center and receive any information you might need.

Visiting the Facility: The simplest way is to go visit the facility and go to their information center, which will assist you in any way they can. You can learn everything there, from visitation hours, dress code, prisoner accounts, etc. The address is Sanford Correctional Center, 417 Advancement Center Road, Sanford, NC 27330.

Phone Number: You can contact Sanford Correctional Center by calling (919)-776-4325. You can call anytime to learn what you need to know about a specific inmate or prison policy. It is recommended to always call the facility before a visit to make sure things are operating normally and there isn’t a problem that might hinder or delay your visit. You can also learn about their schedule for the day by making a call beforehand.

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Visiting the Website: Visit the official website of Sanford Correctional Center to find information on the inmate you are searching for. You can navigate through their database to reach a particular inmate. The mailing address for letters to an inmate is supposed to look like this:

Inmate Name, ID Number

Sanford Correctional Center

Box 2490

Sanford, NC 27330


How to send money to the inmates in Sanford Correctional Center?

You can use a couple of methods to send money to inmates; certified check, money order, personal check, or cashier's check. Cashier’s check is the fastest way to get money to an inmate. The other money transfer methods take around 30 days to reach the inmate. These methods require clearance during which the inmate cannot have access to that money.

Is Sanford Correctional Center a pre-release unit?

Sanford has pre-release programs which help incorporate inmates into society and ease the transition and reentering process. From vocational courses to off-site jobs, Sanford has many opportunities for prisoners.

Who is the warden at Sanford Correctional Center?

Melanie Shelton is the warden at Sanford Correctional Center. She is an Air Force veteran, having served 12 years, and also a member of the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation, the State Employees Association of North Carolina, and the American Legion.

Is Sanford safe for workers?

Sanford is considered very safe for officers. Since Sanford is minimum security, it is rare for any inmates to cause problems for guards here.

Is Sanford Correctional Center violent?

No, Sanford remains one of the best correctional centers in North Carolina due to its good work environment and excellent living standards. There is no in-fighting or violence in the facility.

What are some rules to follow when visiting someone at Sanford Correctional Center?

Visitors must fill out their applications; incomplete applications are not entertained. Visitors must also attach a copy of their ID, which can be a driver’s license or state ID.

Minors are required to attach a certificate of their birth when visiting an inmate. The facility does not allow tobacco, cell phones, cameras, recording devices, and other electronics. Visitors are searched before they are allowed to proceed with their meeting. Once on the facility grounds, their car may also be subject to a search; canines are also involved.

What is the dress code at Sanford Correctional Center?

Hats, bandanas, and any other clothing that hides the faces are prohibited. Tight-fitted clothing or clothes that expose too much skin are also prohibited.

Sleeveless shirts or see-through clothing are not allowed. Visitors must wear shoes, skirts with knee length, and pants above the waist. Clothes with offensive symbols or language are also prohibited. It is better to bring a spare set of clothes with you if you aren’t sure about a particular dress.

Sanford Correctional Center Photos

Sanford Correctional Center images or pictures
Sanford Correctional Center Pictures/images
Pictures of Sanford Correctional Center
Pictures of Sanford Correctional Center

Sanford Correctional Center Reviews by Inmates

Sanford Correctional Center has received careful accreditation from ACA which means it has been scrutinized as thoroughly as possible to determine whether the inmates are kept in good condition or not.

Unlike most correctional facilities, Sanford has a clean, open atmosphere which means inmates live in a healthy environment. They have access to medical facilities as well, which monitor their physical as well as mental health. Inmates that serve time in Sanford Correctional Center have little to complain about.

Sanford Correctional Center, Sanford, North Carolina

Sanford is a minimum security prison with ample opportunities for the correction of inmates. It provides many facilities for education, jobs, and rehabilitation. Inmates with good behavior can enjoy even better facilities.

They can be visited by family, receive and send letters, and use the telephone to connect with their loved ones. Sanford is a safe facility with a good standard of living which means inmates can serve their time without getting into trouble. Families can get information about the inmates easily without going through much of a hassle.

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