Roanoke River Correctional Institution
Street Address: 2787 Caledonia Drive, Tillery, NC 27882
Mailing Address: Box 137, Tillery, NC 27887
Offender capacity: 1038
Facility type: Male - Medium and Minimum custody
Roanoke River Correctional Institution (formerly Caledonia Correctional Institution) is located in Halifax County. About 5,500 acres of farmland are under cultivation on Correction Enterprises farm, which includes a poultry-laying operation and row crop/vegetable operation that plants corn, wheat and soybeans. In addition, the offenders farm 300 acres of sweet corn, collard greens, sweet potatoes, squash, cucumbers and melons.
The on-site cannery processes and cans crops grown on the farm for distribution to prison kitchens across the state. The operation is 12,770 square feet and has the capability of canning about 500,000 gallons of commodities per year.
Programs and Activities
- Adult Basic Education / GED
- Commercial Cleaning
- Electrical wiring
- Food Service Technology
- Small Engine Repair
- Food services
- Janitorial services
- Canteen operators
- Laundry/clothes house
- Group studies
- Worship services
Roanoke River Correctional Institution (formerly Caledonia Correctional Institution) is located in Halifax County on approximately 7,500 acres purchased by the state in 1899. It has been operated since 1892 as a state prison farm.
About 5,500 acres of farmland are under cultivation at Roanoke River CI. Correction Enterprises manages the farm, which contains a poultry-laying operation and row crop/vegetable operation that plants corn, wheat and soybeans. In addition, the offenders farm 300 acres of sweet corn, collard greens, sweet potatoes, squash, cucumbers and melons.
Offenders also work in the prison's cannery. The cannery processes and cans crops grown on the farm for distribution to prison kitchens across the state. The operation is 12,770 square feet and has the capability of canning about 500,000 gallons of commodities per year.
Offenders work on crews at the prison farm. They may also be assigned to maintenance or janitorial duties at the prison. Offenders may work on labor contracts and manual labor jobs for local governments. Other offenders work in the prison in food service, barbers, grass cutters and recreation clerks.
Halifax Community College works with the prison to provide vocational classes like cooking, block masonry, small engine repair, electrical wiring, commercial cleaning and plumbing. Offenders may participate in classes for adult education and preparation for the GED. Offenders may also take part in self-help programs on substance abuse, stress, Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, DART aftercare, minimum custody readiness and self-improvement.
With the intent of putting offenders to work, the General Assembly leased the Caledonia farm in 1890. Nine years later, the property was purchased for $61,000. Roanoke River flooding damaged the farm in 1901 and 1902. In 1919, the prison farm was auctioned in parcels that raised $497,000. However, the auction did not raise more cash because most of the land was purchased on credit.
Flooding problems continued to plague the area, and most of the farm was repossessed by the state within five years of the auction. About 600 offenders were returned to the prison and housed in temporary wooden shacks. They cleared the land for farming. In 1925, construction began on a brick dormitory that was completed two years later.
Roanoke River CI's main building originally housed men and women. Eight downstairs dormitories housed men, and two upstairs dormitories housed women. In 1976, 144 additional cells were built that currently house medium custody adult males. Another 142 cells built in 1980 are used to house medium custody inmates.
In 1987, the General Assembly provided for creation of the prison with a 208-bed dormitory as part of a $28.5 million Emergency Prison Facilities Development program. Another 208-bed dormitory was added by lawmakers as part of a $55 million prison construction program in 1989.
Roanoke River Minimum sits on a 20-acre site about a quarter-mile from the main prison complex. It houses minimum custody inmates in two buildings, each with four dorms, connected by a central multipurpose area. There are six additional buildings, including an administrative building, program support building, dining hall, vocational building and multipurpose building.
On Oct. 4, 4021, the facility's name was changed to Roanoke River Correctional Institution.