Harnett Correctional Institution

County: Harnett
Mailing Address: Box 1569, Lillington, NC 27546
Street Address: 1210 E. McNeill Street, Lillington, NC 27546
Phone: 910-893-2751

Inmate capacity: 988
Inmate gender: Male
Custody level: Medium

The 30-acre prison compound sits on a 198-acre site. Harnett has eight housing units divided into 29 separate dormitories. There are 34 single cells used for administrative and disciplinary segregation of inmates. The prison also has a dining hall, recreation building, education building, two vocational buildings, a chapel, six modular buildings and a medical building for dental and nursing staff.Harnett Correctional Institution in Lillington has grown from a one-dormitory prison built when the State Highway Department ran the state prisons to a medium security prison for 988 adult males.

In 1967, Correction Enterprises built a facility that manufactured soap and related products. In 2007, the Soap Plant moved to Warren CI.  The Enterprises meat processing plant was moved from Dunn to Harnett in 1994. Offenders help process millions of pounds of frozen foods and meats for use in state prisons.

Other inmates may be assigned to work on Department of Transportation road squads, prison maintenance and in the kitchen helping with food preparation.

In January 1991, the Prisons Mental Health Services began the Sex Offender Accountability and Responsibility Program at Harnett. The mental health program provides treatment for up to 46 inmates for each 20-week program cycle.  Harnett also offers a Substance Abuse Treatment Program.

Central Carolina Community College works with the prison to provide vocational programs such as Barbering, Carpentry, Electrical Wiring, Food Services, Masonry, Welding, and Facility Maintenance. Classes in adult education and for preparing to take the HI-SET tests are also available. Inmates may also seek four year degrees through UNC Chapel Hill Correspondence Courses.


Harnett was one of 51 county prisons the state assumed responsibility for with the passage of the Conner Bill in 1931. It was one of 61 field unit prisons renovated or built during the late 1930's to house inmates who worked building roads.

In the 1950s, a new dining hall was built. In 1965, construction increased the prison's capacity to 450. Soon afterward, the prison was designated to house minimum and medium custody male youth under the age of 21. In 1985, Harnett was converted into a medium security institution for adult males.

In 1988, lawmakers provided a 208-bed dormitory addition as part of a $17.4 million prison construction program. The next year, another 208-bed dormitory was provided as part of a $55 million prison construction program. Then, in 1993, a dining hall and another dormitory was added as part of the $87.5 million prison construction program.

Both 208-bed dormitories had been opened by 1992, pushing the prison's capacity to 716. With the opening of the last dormitory, the prison's population reached its current level of 988.


Inmate Visitation at Harnett Correctional Institution is by appointment only.

Visitation is held Sunday through Thursdays, with the exception of holidays. There are five 1-hour visiting sessions on Sundays, with the first one beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the last one ending at 4 p.m.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, there are three 90-minute visiting sessions each day, with the first one starting at 9:30 a.m. and the last one ending at 5 p.m. Tuesdays are reserved for legal and clergy beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at at 4:00 p.m.

Visitors who live outside a 150-mile radius from this institution are eligible for special visitation if they are unable to attend regular visitation, for a total of three hours on weekdays (two 1-1/2 hour sessions) or two hours on Sundays. (two 1 hour sessions) However, no visits will be scheduled on Fridays, Saturdays and state-recognized holidays.

Appointments for all visits can be made up to two weeks in advance, but must be made at least three days prior to the visit. Visitors may schedule visits by telephone, Monday through Thursday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., at (910) 893-2614. 



From Raleigh, take U.S. 401 south to Lillington. Once in town, stay on U.S. 401. At the third signal light, take a left onto East McNeil Street. The unit is three-quarters mile down on the right.