North Carolina Correctional
Institution for Women
1034 Bragg Street
Raleigh, NC 27610
The North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women (NCCIW), in Raleigh, is the state’s major correctional facility for women. It houses the largest inmate population in the state and serves as the support facility for the state’s other six female prisons. The campus-style facility sits on 30 acres of a 190-acre tract of state land in southeast Raleigh.
NCCIW houses female inmates all custody levels and control statuses including death row, maximum, close, medium, minimum and safekeepers. It provides the primary medical, mental and alcohol and chemical dependency treatment for female inmates.
The facility operates a diagnostic center that serves as the point of entry into the prison system for all women sentenced as felons. Upon arrival, inmates undergo a series of diagnostic evaluations that will determine future prison assignments.
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Prisoners may attend worship services in the Chapel of the Nameless Woman and participate in Bible studies or other religious programs offered by prison chaplains, Prison Fellowship and other religious volunteers and organizations.
The prison originally served as a road camp for male inmates who worked on highway projects. Women inmates were transferred to the Bragg Street site in 1933, while women’s living quarters at Central Prison were under renovation. Inmates were initially housed in two large double-tier, barrack style cell blocks. Each building was designed to accommodate 160 inmates. Other buildings on the site were a dining hall, converted infirmary, auditorium and administration building.
Rather than return women inmates to Central Prison, the State Highway and Public Works Commission announced plans in the mid-1930s to begin the construction of a women’s prison on the cottage plan in the immediate future. The project never got beyond the planning stage. The prison eventually supported a farming and canning operation which continued through the 1950s.
Central Prison administrators managed the prison until 1938, when the women’s prison became a wholly separate and individual institution. In 1942, Mrs. Edna B. Strickland was named superintendent of the women’s prison becoming the state’s first female prison superintendent. In 1996, the superintendent’s position was elevated to that of warden and Carol Caldwell became the first female warden in the state’s history.
The first improvements to the old road camp prison were made in the late 1940s and early 1950s. A $1 million construction program added four cottage style dormitories, an auditorium, segregation unit, sewing plant, cannery, laundry, kitchen and dining hall and administration building.
In 1986, an aggressive construction and renovation plan for NCCIW began with the funding for a 28-bed infirmary and outpatient medical services building. Over the next seven years, lawmakers funded approximately $25 million to replace or renovate deteriorated buildings and as part of the prison’s master plan add buildings and support services necessitated by inmate population growth. Construction at the prison has continued into the 1990s. The funded master plan included six new dormitories, mental health facility, 48-cell maximum security building, operations building and gatehouse, security perimeter fence and lighting, as well as other infrastructure and support services construction and renovations.
In June 1975, there was an inmate riot at the prison. It began as a work stoppage in the laundry. A confrontation between correctional officers and rioters brought an end to several days of tension. It resulted in minor injuries to staff and inmates and minor property damage. After four days, the prison was returned to routine operation. An eventual result of the event was that the laundry was permanently closed.
DIRECTIONS: In Raleigh, take New Bern Avenue to Tarboro Street to Martin Luther King Boulevard and turn right. The unit will be to the left. Turn onto Coleman Street and make an immediate left into the prison’s parking lot.
From I-40, take exit #300 at Rock Quarry Road. Take Rock Quarry Road to the intersection with Martin Luther King Boulevard and turn left. The unit will be to the left. Turn onto Coleman Street and make an immediate left into the prison’s parking lot.