Article 4.

County Prisoners.

§ 162-31.  Repealed by Session Laws 1975, c. 166, s. 26.

 

§ 162-32.  Bond of prisoner committed on capias in civil action.

Every bond given by any person committed in arrest and bail, or in custody after final judgment, shall be assigned by the sheriff to the party at whose instance such person was committed to jail, and shall be returned to the office of the clerk of the court where the judgment was rendered, and shall have the force of a judgment. If any person who obtains the rules of any prison, as aforesaid, escapes out of the same before he has paid the debt or damages and costs according to the condition of his bond, the court where the bond is filed, upon motion of the assignee thereof, shall award execution against such person and his sureties for the debt or damages and costs, with interest from the time of escape till payment, and no person committed to jail on such execution shall be allowed the rules of prison: Provided, the obligors have ten days' previous notice of such motion, in writing; but they shall not be admitted to deny the making of the bond in their answer, unless by affidavit they prove the truth of the plea. (1759, c. 65, ss. 2, 3, P.R.; R.C., c. 87, s. 14; Code, s. 3469; Rev., s. 1341; C.S., s. 1345; 1973, c. 822, s. 3.)

 

§ 162-33.  Prisoner may furnish necessaries.

With the sheriff's approval, prisoners shall be allowed to purchase and procure such necessaries, in addition to the diet furnished by the jailer, as they may think proper. (1795, c. 433, s. 6, P.R.; R.C., c. 87, s. 8; Code, s. 3463; Rev., s. 1344; C.S., s. 1348; 1973, c. 822, s. 3; 2001-487, s. 95.)

 

§ 162-34.  United States prisoners.

When a prisoner is delivered to the keeper of the county jail by the authority of the United States, such keeper shall receive and commit such prisoner if the jail has adequate and available housing space. The keeper of the county jail shall not be subject to any pains or penalties for refusal to receive and commit a federal prisoner. The United States shall reimburse the county for the incarceration of any federal prisoner at such rate as may be agreed upon between the county and the United States. (1790, c. 322, ss. 1, 2, P.R.; R.C., c. 87, s. 1; Code, s. 3456; Rev., s. 1342; C.S., s. 1349; 1973, c. 822, s. 3; 1983, c. 219.)

 

§ 162-35.  Arrest of escaped persons from penal institutions.

Upon information received from the superintendent of any correctional or any penal institution, established by the laws of the State, that any person confined in such institution or assigned thereto by juvenile or other court under authority of law, has escaped therefrom and is still at large, it shall be the duty of sheriffs of the respective counties of the State, and of any peace officer in whose jurisdiction such person may be found, to take into his custody  such escaped person, if to be found in his county, and to cause his return to the custody of the proper officer of the institution from which he has escaped. (1933, c. 105, s. 1; 1973, c. 822, s. 3.)

 

§ 162-36.  Transfer of prisoners to succeeding sheriff.

The delivery of prisoners, by indenture between the late and present sheriff, or the entering on record in court the names of the several prisoners, and the causes of their commitment, delivered over to the present sheriff, shall be sufficient to discharge the late sheriff from all liability for any escape that shall happen. (1777, c. 118, s. 12, P.R.; R.C., c. 87, s. 15; Code, s. 3470; Rev., s. 1348; C.S., s. 1352; 1973, c. 822, s. 3.)

 

§ 162-37: Repealed by Session Laws 1983, c. 670, s. 16.

 

§ 162-38.  Where jail unfit or insecure, courts may commit to jail of adjoining county.

Whenever there is an unfit or insecure jail in any county, the judicial officers of such county may commit any persons brought before them, whether in a criminal or civil proceeding, to the jail of any adjoining county, for the same causes and under the like regulations that they might have ordered commitments to the usual jail; and the sheriffs and other officers of such county in which there is an unfit or insecure jail, and the sheriffs or keepers of the jails of the adjoining counties, shall obey any order of commitment so made. (1835, c. 2, s. 2; R.C., c. 87, s. 3; Code, s. 3458; Rev., s. 1350; C.S., s. 1354; 1973, c. 57, s. 2; c. 822, s. 3; 1983, c. 670, s. 17.)

 

§ 162-39.  Transfer of prisoners when necessary for safety and security; application of section to municipalities.

(a)       Whenever necessary for the safety of a prisoner held in any county jail or to avoid a breach of the peace in any county or whenever prisoners are arrested in such numbers that county jail facilities are insufficient and inadequate for the housing of such prisoners, the resident judge of the superior court or any judge holding superior court in the district or any district court judge may order the prisoner transferred to a fit and secure jail in some other county where the prisoner shall be held for such length of time as the judge may direct.

(b)       Whenever necessary to avoid a security risk in any county jail, or whenever prisoners are arrested in such numbers that county jail facilities are insufficient and inadequate for the housing of such prisoners, the resident judge of the superior court or any judge holding superior court in the district or any district court judge may order the prisoner transferred to a unit of the State prison system designated by the Secretary of Public Safety or his authorized representative. For purposes of this subsection, a prisoner poses a security risk if the prisoner:

(1)        Poses a serious escape risk;

(2)        Exhibits violently aggressive behavior that cannot be contained and warrants a higher level of supervision;

(3)        Needs to be protected from other inmates, and the county jail facility cannot provide such protection;

(4)        Is a female or a person 18 years of age or younger, and the county jail facility does not have adequate housing for such prisoners;

(5)        Is in custody at a time when a fire or other catastrophic event has caused the county jail facility to cease or curtail operations; or

(6)        Otherwise poses an imminent danger to the staff of the county jail facility or to other prisoners in the facility.

(b1)     The Department of Public Safety, Health Services Section, shall maintain records of prisoners transferred to a unit of the State prison system pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. The records shall utilize unique identifiers for each transferred prisoner and shall include all of the following information:

(1)        The date the transfer order was received.

(2)        The statutory basis upon which the order was granted.

(3)        The date the prisoner was transferred to State custody.

(4)        The State prison facility where the prisoner was transferred.

(5)        The county where the prisoner was removed.

(6)        The dates the prisoner received health services from the Department.

(7)        A list of health services provided to the prisoner and the corresponding charges.

(8)        The date the Department determined that the prisoner no longer needs health services to be provided by the State prison system.

(9)        The date and method used by the Department to notify the county that the prisoner should be transferred back to the custody of the county.

(10)      The date that the prisoner is returned to the custody of the county.

(c)       The sheriff of the county from which the prisoner is removed shall be responsible for conveying the prisoner to the jail or prison unit where the prisoner is to be held, and for returning the prisoner to the common jail of the county from which the prisoner was transferred. The return shall be made at the expiration of the time designated in the court order directing the transfer unless the judge, by appropriate order, directs otherwise. The sheriff or keeper of the jail of the county designated in the court order, or the officer in charge of the prison unit designated by the Secretary of Public Safety, shall receive and release custody of the prisoner in accordance with the terms of the court order. If a prisoner is transferred to a unit of the State prison system, the county from which the prisoner is transferred shall pay the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety for maintaining the prisoner for the time designated by the court at the per day, per inmate rate at which the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety pays a local jail for maintaining a prisoner. The county shall also pay the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety for the costs of medical care incurred while the prisoner was in the custody of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety, defined as follows:

(1)        Medical expenses incurred as a result of providing health care to a prisoner as an inpatient (hospitalized).

(2)        Other medical expenses when the total cost exceeds thirty-five dollars ($35.00) per occurrence or illness as a result of providing health care to a prisoner as an outpatient (nonhospitalized).

(3)        Cost of replacement of eyeglasses and dental prosthetic devices if those eyeglasses or devices are broken while the prisoner is incarcerated, provided the prisoner was using the eyeglasses or devices at the time of his commitment and then only if prior written consent of the county is obtained by the Division.

(4)        Transportation and custody costs associated with the transfer of prisoners receiving health care outside of the prison facility. The county shall reimburse the State for services provided to the prisoner at the same mileage reimbursement rate and hourly custody rate that are reimbursed pursuant to the Statewide Misdemeanant Confinement Program.

(5)        Cost of sick call encounters at the rate charged to State prison inmates.

(c1)     If the prisoner is transferred to a jail in some other county, the county from which the prisoner is transferred shall pay to the county receiving the prisoner in its jail the actual cost of maintaining the prisoner for the time designated by the court. Counties are authorized to enter into contractual agreements with other counties to provide jail facilities to which prisoners may be transferred as deemed necessary under this section.

(c2)     Whenever prisoners are arrested in such numbers that county jail facilities are insufficient and inadequate for the safekeeping of such prisoners, the resident judge of the superior court or any superior or district court judge holding court in the district may order the prisoners transferred to a unit of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety designated by the Secretary of Public Safety or the Secretary's authorized representative, where the prisoners may be held for such length of time as the judge may direct, such detention to be in cells separate from those used for imprisonment of persons already convicted of crimes, except when admission to an inpatient prison medical or mental health unit is required to provide services deemed necessary by a prison health care clinician. The sheriff of the county from which the prisoners are removed shall be responsible for conveying the prisoners to the prison unit or units where they are to be held, and for returning them to the common jail of the county from which they were transferred. However, if due to the number of prisoners to be conveyed the sheriff is unable to provide adequate transportation, the sheriff may request the assistance of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety, and the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety is hereby authorized and directed to cooperate with the sheriff and provide whatever assistance is available, both in vehicles and manpower, to accomplish the conveying of the prisoners to and from the county to the designated prison unit or units. The officer in charge of the prison unit designated by the Secretary of Public Safety or the Secretary's authorized representative shall receive and release the custody of the prisoners in accordance with the terms of the court order. The county from which the prisoners are transferred shall pay to the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety the actual cost of transporting the prisoners and the cost of maintaining the prisoners at the per day, per inmate rate at which the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety pays a local jail for maintaining a prisoner, provided, however, that a county is not required to reimburse the State for transporting or maintaining a prisoner who was a resident of another state or county at the time the prisoner was arrested. However, if the county commissioners shall certify to the Governor that the county is unable to pay the bill submitted by the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety to the county for the services rendered, either in whole or in part, the Governor may recommend to the Council of State that the State of North Carolina assume and pay, in whole or in part, the obligation of the county to the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety, and upon approval of the Council of State the amount so approved shall be paid from the Contingency and Emergency Fund to the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety.

(c3)     When, due to an emergency, it is not feasible to obtain from a judge of the superior or district court a prior order of transfer, the sheriff of the county and the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety may exercise the authority hereinafter conferred; provided, however, that the sheriff shall, as soon as possible after the emergency, obtain an order from the judge authorizing the prisoners to be held in the designated place of confinement for such period as the judge may direct. All provisions of this section shall be applicable to municipalities whenever prisoners are arrested in such numbers that the municipal jail facilities and the county jail facilities are insufficient and inadequate for the safekeeping of the prisoners. The chief of police is hereby authorized to exercise the authority herein conferred upon the sheriff, and the municipality shall be liable for the cost of transporting and maintaining the prisoners to the same extent as a county would be unless action is taken by the Governor and Council of State as herein provided for counties which are unable to pay such costs.

(d)       Whenever a prisoner held in a county jail requires medical or mental health treatment that the county decides can best be provided by the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety, the resident judge of the superior court or any judge holding superior court in the district or any district court judge may order the prisoner transferred to a unit of the State prison system designated by the Secretary of Public Safety or the Secretary's authorized representative for an initial period not to exceed 30 days. The sheriff of the county from which the prisoner is removed shall be responsible for conveying the prisoner to the prison unit where the prisoner is to be held, and for returning the prisoner to the jail of the county from which the prisoner was transferred. The officer in charge of the prison unit designated by the Secretary of Public Safety shall receive custody of the prisoner in accordance with the terms of the order. Prior to the conclusion of the 30-day period, the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice shall conduct an assessment of treatment and venue needs. The assessment shall be conducted by the attending medical or mental health professional and shall assess the medical and mental health needs of the prisoner and make a recommendation on whether the prisoner should remain in the custody of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety or if the prisoner should be returned to the custody of the county. To extend the order beyond the initial 30-day period, the sheriff shall provide the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice assessment and any other relevant information to the resident judge of the superior court or any judge holding superior court in the district or any district court judge who shall determine whether to extend the transfer of the prisoner to a unit of the State prison system beyond the initial 30-day period. If the judge determines that the prisoner should remain in the custody of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, the judge shall renew the order and include a date certain for review by the court. Prior to the date of review, the Division shall conduct a reassessment of treatment and venue needs and the sheriff shall provide the reassessment and any other relevant information to the court, as described in this subsection. If the judge determines that the prisoner should not remain in the custody of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, the officer in charge of the prison unit designated by the Secretary of Public Safety shall release custody of the prisoner in accordance with the court order and the instructions of the attending medical or mental health professional. The county from which the prisoner is transferred shall pay the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety for maintaining the prisoner for the period of treatment at the per day, per inmate rate at which the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety pays a local jail for maintaining a prisoner, and for extraordinary medical expenses as set forth in subsection (c) of this section.

(e)       The number of county prisoners incarcerated in the State prison system pursuant to safekeeping orders from the various counties pursuant to subsection (b) of this section or for medical or mental health treatment pursuant to subsection (d) of this section may not exceed 200 at any given time unless authorized by the Secretary of Public Safety. The Secretary may refuse to accept any safekeeper and may return any safekeeper transferred under a safekeeping order when this capacity limit is reached. The Secretary shall not refuse to accept a safekeeper because a county has failed to pay the Department of Public Safety for services rendered pursuant to this section.

(f)        If, after 10 days of receiving notification and request for transfer from the Department of Public Safety pursuant to G.S. 148-19.3(a), the sheriff fails to assume custody of the county prisoner from the State prison facility to which the prisoner was assigned, then, in addition to the actual cost of transporting the prisoner and the cost of maintaining the prisoner at the per day, per inmate rate at which the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety pays a local jail for maintaining a prisoner, the county shall be liable to the State for an additional per day, per inmate rate not to exceed twenty dollars ($20.00) for each day the sheriff fails to assume custody of the prisoner, unless the sheriff has obtained an extension of the order because the inmate cannot be safely housed in the local jail. The section chief of the Health Services Section may waive up to 10 days of the additional per day rate if the sheriff provides documentation of extenuating circumstances.  (1957, c. 1265; 1967, c. 996, ss. 13, 15; 1969, cc. 462, 1130; 1973, c. 822, s. 3; c. 1262, s. 10; 1983, c. 165, ss. 1-4; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 1014, s. 198(a)-(c); 1989, c. 1, s. 7; 1991, c. 535, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 983, s. 1; 2002-126, s. 17.1; 2011-145, s. 19.1(h), (i); 2012-83, s. 60; 2017-186, s. 2(kkkkkkkkk); 2019-171, s. 1.)

 

§ 162-40.  When jail destroyed, transfer of prisoners provided for.

When the jail of any county is destroyed by fire or other accident, any judicial officer of such county may cause all prisoners then confined therein to be brought before him. Upon the production of the process under which any prisoner was confined, such judicial officer shall order his commitment to the jail of any adjacent county. The sheriff or other officer of the county deputized for that purpose shall obey the order; and the sheriff or keeper of the common jail of such adjacent county shall receive such prisoners consistent with those provisions of G.S. 162-38. (1835, c. 2, s. 1; R.C., c. 87, s. 2; Code, s. 3457; Rev., s. 1351; C.S., s. 1355; 1973, c. 57, s. 3; c. 822, s. 3; 1983, c. 670, s. 18.)

 

§ 162-40.1.  Reimbursement for transfer of prisoners.

The county receiving prisoners pursuant to G.S. 162-38, 162-39 and 162-40 shall be reimbursed at the usual jail fee rate for each 24 hours of confinement or part thereof by the county from which the prisoner is transferred. (1983, c. 670, s. 19.)

 

§ 162-41.  Repealed by Session Laws 1977, c. 711, s. 33.

 

§§ 162-42 through 162-44: Repealed by Session Laws 1983, c. 670, s. 20.

 

§ 162-45.  Repealed by Session Laws 1977, c. 711, s. 33.

 

§ 162-46: Repealed by Session Laws 1979, c. 760, s. 4.

 

§ 162-47.  Repealed by Session Laws 1977, c. 711, s. 33.

 

§ 162-48: Repealed by Session Laws 1983, c. 670, s. 20.

 

§ 162-49.  Repealed by Session Laws 1977, c. 711, s. 33.

 

§ 162-50.  Penalties.

Upon a finding that the sheriff, personally or through his lawful deputies, has willfully failed or neglected to perform any duty imposed by this Chapter, or has made any false return, he shall be subject to damages of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00), and such damages recovered shall be paid to the person aggrieved. Nothing in this section bars an independent action for damages by the person aggrieved. (1983, c. 670, s. 21.)

 

§§ 162-51 through 162-54.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 162-55.  Injury to prisoner by jailer.

If the keeper of a jail shall do, or cause to be done, any wrong or injury to the prisoners committed to his custody, contrary to law, he shall not only pay treble damages to the person injured, but shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. (1795, c. 433, s. 6, P.R.; R.C., c. 87, s. 8; Code, s. 3463; Rev., s. 3661; C.S., s. 4407; 1983, c. 631, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 1098; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

 

§ 162-56.  Place of confinement.

Persons committed to the custody of a sheriff shall be confined in the facilities designated by law for such confinement, and shall not be confined in any other place. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit or limit the authority of a sheriff to house prisoners committed to his custody in quarters, approved by the Department of Health and Human Services, other than the county jail. (1795, c. 433, s. 4; R.C., c. 87, s. 16; Code, s. 3471; Rev., s. 3660; C.S., s. 4408; 1983, c. 631, s. 2; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a).)

 

§ 162-57.  Record to be kept; items of record.

The superintendent or other person having charge of prisoners shall keep a record showing, the name, age, date of sentence, length of sentence, crime for which convicted, home address, next of kin, and the conduct of each prisoner received. (1927, c. 178, s. 2; 1983, c. 631, s. 3.)

 

§ 162-58.  Counties may work prisoners.

The board of commissioners of the several counties may enact by resolution all necessary rules and regulations for work on projects to benefit units of State or local government by persons convicted of misdemeanors or felonies and imprisoned in the local confinement facilities or satellite jail/work release units of their respective counties. The sheriff shall approve rules and regulations enacted by the board. Prisoners working under this section shall be supervised by county employees or by the sheriff. The rules enacted by the board of county commissioners and approved by the sheriff shall specify a procedure for ensuring that county employees supervising prisoners pursuant to this section be provided with notice that the persons placed under their supervision are inmates from a local confinement facility or a satellite jail/work release unit. (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 841, s. 1; 2002-159, s. 54.)

 

§ 162-59.  Person having custody to approve prisoners for work.

No prisoner shall perform work pursuant to G.S. 162-58 unless the prisoner has been approved for the work by the person having custody of the prisoner. The decision to approve a prisoner for work shall be based on the prisoner's history of violence, if any, past criminal convictions, and current sentence. For purposes of this section, the person having custody of the prisoner is the sheriff, except that when the prisoner is confined in a district confinement facility the person having custody of the prisoner is the jail administrator. The person having custody of the prisoner may use his discretion to revoke his approval at any time and to return the prisoner to the local confinement facility or satellite jail/work release unit. Neither the person having custody of the prisoner nor any jailer may be held liable for the actions of any prisoner, including those actions committed during and after the escape of a prisoner, while the prisoner is outside their supervision pursuant to this section. (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 841, s. 1.)

 

§ 162-59.1.  Person having custody to approve prisoners for participation in education and other programs.

The person having custody of a prisoner convicted of a misdemeanor offense may approve that prisoner's participation in an adult high school equivalency diploma program or in any other education, rehabilitation, or training program. The person having custody of the prisoner may revoke this approval at any time. For purposes of this section, the person having custody of the prisoner is the sheriff, except that when the prisoner is confined in a district confinement facility the person having custody of the prisoner is the jail administrator.  (2001-200, s. 1; 2014-115, s. 28(h).)

 

§ 162-60.  Reduction in sentence allowed for work, education, and other programs.

(a)       A prisoner who has faithfully performed the duties assigned to the prisoner under G.S. 162-58 is entitled to a reduction in the prisoner's sentence of four days for each 30 days of work performed.

(b)       A prisoner who is convicted of a misdemeanor offense and housed in a local confinement facility and who faithfully participates in an adult high school equivalency diploma program or in any other education, rehabilitation, or training program is entitled to a reduction in the prisoner's sentence of four days for each 30 days of classes attended, up to the maximum credit allowed under G.S. 15A-1340.20(d).

(c)       The person having custody of the prisoner, as defined in G.S. 162-59, is the sole judge as to whether the prisoner has faithfully performed the assigned duties under G.S. 162-58 or has faithfully participated in an adult high school equivalency diploma program or other education, rehabilitation, or training program under subsection (b) of this section. A prisoner who escapes or attempts to escape while performing work pursuant to G.S. 162-58 or while participating in an adult high school equivalency diploma program or other education, rehabilitation, or training program shall forfeit any reduction in sentence that the prisoner would have been entitled to under this section.  (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 841, s. 1; 1993, c. 538, s. 36; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(b); 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 767, s. 2; 2001-200, s. 2; 2014-115, s. 28(i).)

 

§ 162-61.  Liability of county.

The county working prisoners pursuant to G.S. 162-58 shall remain liable for emergency medical services for those prisoners pursuant to G.S. 153A-224 while the prisoners are working. The county working the prisoners shall be liable to third parties for injuries incurred by the third parties through the negligence of the working prisoners to the same extent as the county is liable for the actions of its employees. Chapters 96 and 97 of the General Statutes shall have no application to prisoners working pursuant to G.S. 162-58. (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 841, s. 1.)

 

§ 162-62.  Legal status of prisoners.

(a)       When any person charged with a felony or an impaired driving offense is confined for any period in a county jail, local confinement facility, district confinement facility, or satellite jail/work release unit, the administrator or other person in charge of the facility shall attempt to determine if the prisoner is a legal resident of the United States by an inquiry of the prisoner, or by examination of any relevant documents, or both.

(b)       If the administrator or other person in charge of the facility is unable to determine if that prisoner is a legal resident or citizen of the United States or its territories, the administrator or other person in charge of the facility holding the prisoner, where possible, shall make a query of Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the United States Department of Homeland Security. If the prisoner has not been lawfully admitted to the United States, the United States Department of Homeland Security will have been notified of the prisoner's status and confinement at the facility by its receipt of the query from the facility.

(c)       Nothing in this section shall be construed to deny bond to a prisoner or to prevent a prisoner from being released from confinement when that prisoner is otherwise eligible for release.

(d)       Repealed by Session Laws 2010-97, s. 12, effective July 20, 2010.  (2007-494, s. 1; 2010-97, s. 12.)