Johnston Correctional Institution

Correctional Institution

2465 US 70 West
Smithfield NC 27577
Fax: 919-934-9150
Custody level: Medium
Occupancy: 1938


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The Johnston Correctional Institution, near Smithfield, is an adult male medium security prison with a maximum operating capacity of 644.

Johnston Correctional Institution was established in 1938 when the State Highway Department operated the prison system. In 1966, Johnston Correctional Institution 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 Institution became a medium security prison for adult males.

Originally, Johnston Correctional Institution housed inmates in two dorms with a capacity between 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 Institution 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 Institution. Eleven Enterprise employees supervise 80 inmates who manufacture traffic paint and interior and exterior paints used by state and local governments. Other inmates work on Department of Transportation road crews or 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 Institution 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 12 additional inmates as part of the construction project increasing operating capacity to 656. After the construction project was completed, a study was conducted in the 100 building which resulted in the removal of 16 beds leaving our operating capacity at 640 inmates.

Johnston Community College works with the prison to provide vocational classes in masonry, electrical wiring, plumbing, heating and air conditioning/refrigeration repair, computer science, digital electronic repair, horticulture, and food service. Johnston Community College also provides academic classes in adult education and preparation for GED and GED tests are available. College Correspondence Courses are also available.

Inmates may also take part in self-help programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, narcotics Anonymous, DART aftercare, anger management, stress management, communication skills training, and sleep hygiene. Substance abuse programs include “Big Book Study” and “Twelve-Step Program”. Cognitive behavior programs include “Thinking for a Change”. Ethics programs include “Character Education” and “Napoleon Hill” programs. 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 am to 4:00 pm, and visits must be scheduled no later than three (3) days in advance and not more than two (2) weeks in advance. No visits will be scheduled on holidays. 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 Inmate in Regular Population

Monday thru Thursday
8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 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.