Harnett Correctional Institution

Correctional Institution

1210 E. McNeil Street
Lillington NC 27546
Phone: 910-893-2751
Fax: 910-893-6432
Custody level: Medium


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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 854 adult males.

Harnett was one of 51 county prisons for which the state assumed responsibility 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 afterwards, 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 at the prison 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 854.

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 for dental and nursing staff.

In 1967, Correction Enterprises built a facility that manufactures soap and related products. Four Enterprise employees supervise 65 inmates who produce and package 18 different janitorial products. The Enterprises meat processing plant was moved from Dunn to Harnett in 1994. Eleven Enterprise employees supervise 60 inmates who 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, as maintenance and in the kitchen helping with food preparation at the prison.

In January 1991, the Division of 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.

Central Carolina College and Shaw University work with the prison to provide vocational programs such as auto mechanics, masonry, electrical wiring, welding, digital electronics, food service, small engine repair and facility maintenance. Classes in adult education and for preparing to take the GED tests are also available. Inmates may also seek two-year business administration degrees or four-year business management degrees.
Visitation: Inmate visitation at Harnett Correctional Institution is by appointment only. Visitation is held each week, 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 4:00 p.m. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays there are three visiting sessions each day, one and a half hours each with the first one starting at 9:30 a.m. and the last one ending at 5:00 p.m. Wednesdays are reserved for legal and clergy beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 2:30 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. 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 must schedule all visits by telephone, Monday through Thursday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The number for the Visitation Center is (910) 893-2614 .

DIRECTIONS: 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.