Johnston Correctional Institution

County: Johnston
Mailing and Street Address: 2465 US 70 West, Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone: 919-934-8386 

Inmate capacity: 612
Inmate gender: Male
Custody level: Minimum
Year opened: 1938

Johnston Correctional Institution, near Smithfield, is an adult male minimum security prison in dormitory-style housing. Johnston Community College works with the prison to provide vocational classes in masonry, horticulture and food service technology. JCC also provides academic classes in Adult Basic Education and General Equivalency Diploma (ABE/GED). GED testing is available. Human Resource Development and college correspondence courses are also available. 

Offenders may also take part in self-help programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and DART aftercare. Substance abuse treatment is provided through NCDPS alcohol and chemical dependencey programs and other substance abuse programs including “Big Book Study” and “Twelve-Step Program.” Cognitive behavior programs include “Thinking for a Change.”  Offenders may also perticiapte in the Men's Service Club and various religious services.


Visitors must schedule visits by telephone by calling 919-934-0549, Tuesday through Friday from 9 -11 a.m. and 1 - 4 p.m. Appointment requests for Saturday and Tuesday will not be made after 2 p.m. of the preceding Wednesday. Visits must be scheduled no later than three days in advance and not more than two weeks in advance. Appointments for visits will not be taken by phone on Saturday. No visits will be scheduled on holidays.

For visitors already approved on the offender’s visitation list, a Visitation Appointment Request form may be completed during visitation to request a future visit. The form must be completed legibly in its entirety and must be submitted to the visitation officer within the first 15 minutes of an ongoing visit. The visitor will be notified before leaving whether the request is approved or rejected.

Visiting Schedule for Offenders in Regular Population:

Tuesday through Friday
1st Session                8:30  – 10:30 a.m.
2nd Session               1:30  – 3:30 p.m.

1st Session                8:30 –  10 a.m.
2nd Session             11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
3rd Session                2 – 3:30 p.m.

NOTE: Tuesday through Friday will consist of  two-hour visits, and Saturday will consist of one-and-a-half-hour visits. All visits will be by appointment only. There will be no visits scheduled on holidays.

SPECIAL VISITS will be granted to visitors traveling 200 miles or more. These visits will have to be arranged by visitation staff.  


Johnston Correctional Center was established in 1938 when the State Highway Department operated the prison system. In 1966, Johnston Correctional Center converted to a Youth Center for minimum security males under the age of 21. At that time, some of the offenders continued to work on road crews, but agreements were reached with Johnston Community College to begin providing vocational programs. In 1979, Johnston Correctional Center became a medium security prison for adult males.

Originally, Johnston Correctional Center housed inmates in two dorms with a capacity of 100 to 200. In 1981, offendersbuilt a 28-cell unit for administrative and disciplinary segregation.

In 1988, lawmakers provided two dorms for Johnston Correctional Center as part of a $17.4 million prison construction program. In 1989, another dorm was added as part of a $55 million prison construction program. In 1993, another dorm was added as part of an $87.5 million prison construction program. In 1990, construction was completed of two dorms, a food services section, recreation building, administrative building, multi-purpose building, and chapel. In 1991, a third dorm and vocational building were completed. In April 1995, a fourth dorm was added, increasing operating capacity to 644.

In 1998, a modular food service building was added with classrooms and fully equipped kitchen. In 1999, Johnston Correctional Center was reclassified as an institution. In May 2000, offenders housed at Johnston Correctional Institution began work on a 208-person dorm at N.C. Correctional Institution for Women. Special security measures were implemented to address the uniqueness of having male offenders working at a female facility. The state saved $880,000 in the $4 million project by using inmate labor.

Johnston Correctional Institution was approved to house an additional 12 offenders as part of the construction project, increasing operating capacity to 652. After the construction project was completed, a study was conducted in the 100 building, which resulted in the removal of 12 beds, leaving operating capacity at 640. During the 2013 legislative session, Johnston Correctional Institution was reclassified as a minimum security facility housing adult male offenders.

Offenders work in the prison as maintenance workers, food services workers, janitors, canteen operators, clothes house operators, barbers, library clerks, teacher's aides, and chaplain clerk.


From Goldsboro: Take US Hwy. 70 West to Selma for approximately 23 miles. Cross over the Neuse River Bridge and the prison is located on the left. Take a left on Turnage Road and take a left to access the unit.

From I-95 Southbound:
Take US-70 to exit 97. Turn right at the stoplight onto US 70 West. Go approximately 5 miles and the prison is located on the left. Turn left into the median on Turnage Road and take first left to access the prison.

From I-95 Northbound:
Take the US-70 to exit 97. Turn left at the stoplight onto US-70 West. Go approximately 5 miles and the prison is located on the left. Turn left into the median on Turnage Road and take 1st left to access the prison.

From Raleigh:
Take Interstate 40 East. Merge onto US-70 East via exit 309 toward Clayton/Smithfield/Goldsboro. Go approximately 18.2 miles and the prison is located on the right. Take a right on Turnage Road and a left to access the prison.

GPS address:  510 Turnage Road, Smithfield, NC 27577 (note:  the 2465 US Hwy 70W address will not work in a GPS).