Foothills Correctional Institution

Mailing and Street Address: 5150 Western Avenue, Morganton, NC 28655
Phone: 828-438-5585
County: Burke
Offender capacity:
858
Facility type: Male, Close/MinimumCustodies
 

VISITATION TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED

To prevent the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), prison visitation was suspended as of Monday, March 16, 2020, with the exception of legal and pastoral visits. Those visitors are subject to medical screening prior to entrance.

The health and safety of employees and offenders in our care are the top priorities of the Department of Public Safety. THIS IS NOT A STATEWIDE LOCKDOWN OF PRISONS. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have on offender families and friends. Visitation will resume when conditions are deemed safe.

For information on coronavirus and how to protect yourself, please go the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website http://www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.

For information on what other moves Prisons is making to combat coronavirus, click here

 

Visitation for regular population offenders:

Visitation appointments may be made as early as two weeks in advance, but no later than two days in advance.

Tuesday - Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Visitation for Minimum Custody Unit visits on Sunday beginning at 8 a.m. or 1 p.m., according to the first letter of the offender's last name. Note: The visiting schedules for FMCU and FCI alternate every two months.

All visitors must submit a completed application, with appropriate identification to visit an offender. Call for appointments at FCI must be made at least three days in advance of the requested visitation session and can be made up to two weeks in advance of the requested visitation session. Appointments may be scheduled Tuesday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3:45 pm by calling 828-438-6637.

Offenders housed in restrictive housing or designated as non-contact visits are not allowed visits on Saturdays. Visits for these may be scheduled Tuesday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Visitors should arrive at the Gatehouse at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled visitation time, bring proper ID, and will be subjected to a "routine" search of their personal and possessions prior to the visit.

Directions

Take I-40 to exit 103. Go to the light and turn west towards Rutherfordton onto U.S. 64. Drive about a mile and take a left onto Salem Road. Drive another mile and take a left onto Burkemont Road. Drive another mile and turn left onto Western Avenue. As you round the curve, you will see the entrance to the prison.

Sending Mail to Offenders

All Prison facilities encourage family and friends to write to offenders. For security reasons, all incoming mail is checked to see if it contains any illegal or unauthorized items. Outgoing mail from offenders may also be checked. Personal letters will not be read unless the officer-in-charge or designee has reason to believe the letter contains threats of harm or criminal activity, escape plans, or plans to violate prison rules. If the officer-in-charge decides to delay or not deliver the letter to the offender, the offender will be told in writing the reason for this action.

Incoming mail from lawyers, any legal aid service assisting offenders, and state and federal court officials must be opened in the presence of the offender before it is checked for illegal or unauthorized items. 

Letters to an offender must include the offender’s prison ID number, which is often referred to as the OPUS number. The letter should be addressed in this format:

Offender Name and OPUS Number
Prison Name
Prison Street Address or Post Office Box number
City, State and zip code of the prison location

Example: John Smith #1234567
Maury Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 506
Maury, N.C. 28554

For information regarding sending money to offenders, ordering packages for offenders and the offender telephone system, please click here
 

Overview

Foothills Correctional Institution is located on 180 acres 3.5 miles south of Morganton adjacent to Western Youth Institution. The first offenders entered the prison May 2, 1994.

Offenders in close custody are housed at the main institution between the ages of 18-25 years of age. The detached Minimum Custody Unit, located behind Western Youth Institution, houses adult minimum custody offenders.

Offenders will be sent to Foothills based on classification reassignment, promotions/demotions in custody, administrative transfer from other close security prisons, restrictive housing needs and security threat group needs.

Foothills provides 712 close security single cells. The prison is comprised of four buildings for offender housing and the administrative building that includes administrative offices, visiting area, recreation area, dining hall, vocational and academic classrooms, warehouse, programs, medical and mental health offices.

The main institution has 136 cells for restrictive housing, 192 designated for Security Threat Group Management, 234 for offenders in education and vocational programs and 150 for offenders assigned to jobs inside the prison.

The minimum custody unit received its first inmates in September 2003. The unit was renovated for offender occupancy after the IMPACT West Boot Camp program was eliminated in 2002 budget cuts. The Minimum Custody Unit also houses a chronic disease unit for the Western Region and provides 56 offenders to the Correctional Enterprise Broughton Laundry Operation.

Adult Correction and Western Piedmont Community College teachers provide education and vocational programs full-time for 200 offenders and part-time for another 100. Education offerings will include basic skill instruction for offenders who have less than an eighth grade education level and other classes to prepare offenders to take and pass the adult high school equivalency exam.

The prison's $31.3 million construction was funded in July 1990 as part of a $75 million prison construction program. The property, known locally as the Leonard farm, was donated to Adult Correction from the Department of Agriculture in March 1991. Grading work on the site began that month.

Foothills is a cashless facility in which an offender uses a debit type card to purchase canteen items from his inmate trust fund account. Foothills has a total of six canteens within the facility which are operated by offenders seven days a week. A cashless facility decreases the ability of funds to be misplaced by staff and also keeps offenders from using this as a bargaining tool while being housed with other offenders.

Foothills participates in an in-service training consortium with Western Youth Institution, Alexander Correctional Institution and several prison facilities in coordination with Western Piedmont Community College. Annually required training in courses such as firearms, self-defense, CPR and report writing is provided to all certified criminal justice staff.

The prison also provides victim sensitivity training to increase awareness of sexual victimization and to develop empathy towards the victims of sexual abuse, acceptance of personal responsibility for the offender's behavior and strategies to counter the offender's distorted thinking.

The Security Threat Group Management Unit has been in operation since July 11, 2005, at the main institution. This is an agency initiative funded by Federal Grant and matching State funds. This unit can house 192 offenders validated as Security Threat Group members. The intensive program treatment is dedicated to providing a controlled environment for disruptive offenders associated with validated gangs in North Carolina and breaking gang affiliation through renunciation and specialized programming. This program is provided to the highest level validated Security Threat Group offenders from across the state with the population age range of 18 and above.