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Johnston Correctional Institution

County: Johnston
Inmate capacity: 612
Inmate gender: Male
Custody level: Minimum
Staff size: 240
Year opened: 1938

Mailing and Street Address
2465 US 70 West 
Smithfield, N.C. 27577 
Phone: (919)934-8386 
Fax: (919) 934-9150
Facility # 4230 
Courier # 01-66-37


Johnston Correctional Institution, near Smithfield, is an adult male minimum security prison.

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 inmates 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, inmates built a 28-cell unit for housing inmates in 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 kitchen, 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 March 1992, Correction Enterprises Paint Plant moved from Central Prison to Johnston Correctional Center. 6 Enterprise employees supervise 50 to 80 inmates who manufacture traffic paint and interior and exterior paints used by state and local governments. Other inmates work in the prison as maintenance workers, kitchen workers, janitors, canteen operators, clothes house operators, barbers, library clerks, teacher's aides, and chaplain clerk.

In 1998, a modular Food Service Building was added with classroom and fully equipped kitchen. In 1999 Johnston Correctional Center was reclassified as an Institution.

In May 2000, inmates 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 inmates 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 inmates 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 our operating capacity at 640 inmates.

Effective January 1, 2014, Johnston Correctional Institution converted to minimum custody. 

Johnston Community College (JCC) 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 (HRD) is also offered.  College correspondence courses are also available.

Inmates may also take part in self-help programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and DART aftercare. “Drug, Alcohol, Chemical Dependency Program” (DACDP) and other substance abuse programs including “Big Book Study” and “Twelve-Step Program” are available for inmates. Cognitive behavior programs include “Thinking for a Change”.  Inmates have a “Men's Service Club”. Various religious services are also available.



Visitors must schedule visits by telephone by calling (919) 934-0549, Monday thru Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Appointment requests for Sunday and Monday will not be made after 2:00 p.m. of the preceding Thursday. Visits must be scheduled no later than three (3) days in advance and not more than two (2) weeks in advance. Appointments for visits will not be taken by phone on Sunday.

No visits will be scheduled on holidays.

For visitors that are already approved on the inmate's visitation list a Visitation Appointment Request form may be completed during visitation to request a future visit with an inmate. The form must be completed legibly and 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 visitation whether the request is approved or disapproved.

Visiting Schedule for Inmates in Regular Population:

Monday thru Thursday
8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

NOTE: Monday thru Thursday will consist of (2) hour visits and Sunday will consist of (1) hour visits. All visits will be by appointment only. There will be no visits scheduled on holidays.


From Goldsboro: Take US Hwy. 70 West to Selma, N.C., approx. 23 miles you will cross over the Neuse River Bridge. The prison is located on the left. Take a left on Turnage Rd. and take a left to access the unit.

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

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

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

« this page last modified 07/03/14 »