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Central Prison is a prison operated by the North Carolina Department of Correction (NCDOC) in Raleigh, North Carolina. The prison, west of Downtown Raleigh, is on 29 acres (12 ha) of land and is bounded by a double wire fence with a razor ribbon on top. NCDOC describes the original building as "castle-like."
Inmates built the prison for 14 years, and granite quarried from an area outside of what would become the east wall of the prison was used to build the facility. The prison's construction was completed in December 1884; the prison, built for $1.25 million, was the first prison in North Carolina. A three story prison industries building, housing the state license plate fabrication shop and a complete print shop, was built in the 1940s. An acute care infirmary hospital with wards for 86 patients, operating rooms, X-ray laboratories, and a pharmacy opened in the 1960s. Two mental health wings with 144 single bed rooms opened in the 1970s. The state placed the prison under extensive renovations in the 1980s. The first phase had a price of $28.8 million. The first phase included a custody control and administration building, a maximum security housing building with 384 single cells, a central services building, and central plant utility systems. The $8.6 million second phase included a three story working resident building, which had 192 single cells for inmates assigned to jobs within the boundaries of the prison.