Foothills Correctional Institution

Foothills Correctional Institution is a minimum/close-custody prison for male inmates that is located near Morganton, North Carolina. This facility can house approximately 858 inmates and is managed by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

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 on 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, and 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.

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 staff with 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.

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Visiting Hours and Rules


To prevent the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), prison visitation was suspended as of Monday, March 16, 2020. Visitation will resume when conditions are deemed safe.

Regular Visiting Hours

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.

Calls 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 p.m. 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.

Visiting Application

Inmates are encouraged to stay in close contact with members of their families and friends through visitation. However, Adult Correction policy and procedures regarding visitation are strictly adhered to. 

You must complete an application and have it approved before visiting your inmate. The inmate is required to send you a blank application for each adult and minor who wishes to visit. After you complete your application, you must return it to the Foothills Correctional Institution.

Click here for more detailed information about visiting an inmate at a North Carolina correctional facility.

Dress Code

All visitors must successfully satisfy the metal detection, and pat and frisk procedures. Proper identification for adults and children must be provided. All identification cards must be current. 

Bags and purses are not allowed in the visiting room. You can bring in small denomination bills and change to purchase food and drinks from the vending machines.  

You must follow the visitors dress code or you will not be allowed to visit with your inmate. All visitors are required to wear shirts and closed-toed shoes (no flip-flops or stilettos).

  • Halter tops, bare midriffs, strapless tops, tube tops, bodysuits, underwear-type T-shirts, tank tops, or sleeveless shirts or dresses that are inappropriately revealing (a sleeveless shirt or dress is considered inappropriately revealing when the female breast or lingerie can be seen), fishnet shirts, or any type of shirt or pants made with see-through fabric are NOT allowed to be worn by any visitor (male or female).
  • Visitors may wear Bermuda-length shorts provided they are not more than three inches above the kneecap.
  • Females may wear dresses or skirts, but they may not be more than three inches above the kneecap. Slits in skirts and dresses may not be more than three inches above the kneecap. Dresses and skirts for pre-teens may be shorter than three inches above the kneecap.
  • Any shirt or other articles of clothing with a picture or language that may be considered profane or offensive by current public standards or Adult Correction standards, or considered STG (gang) related will not be allowed.
  • Wave caps, doo rags, and bandanas are not allowed.
  • Slacks and pants are to be worn at or above the waist.
  • Spandex clothing is prohibited.

Physical Address

Foothills Correctional Institution
5150 Western Avenue
Morganton, NC 28655

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number


Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name, OPUS Number
Foothills Correctional Institution
5150 Western Avenue
Morganton, NC 28655

When you address inmate mail, make sure that the full name and OPUS number of the inmate appears on the envelope. For information about sending packages to an inmate, click here.

How to Call an Inmate

Inmates at the Foothills Correctional Institution can’t receive incoming calls, but they usually have access to phones during daytime hours. For complete details on how to call an inmate in North Carolina, please click here.

How to Send Money

You can send money to your inmate at Foothills Correctional Institution through JPay and MoneyGram. All North Carolina state prisons require that you be on the inmate’s approved visitor list to send funds.

The fastest way to send money with your credit or debit card is online using Or, download the JPay mobile app from the Apple App Store (for iPhones) or Google Play (for Android phones).

You can also send money by phone using your credit or debit card. Call (800) 574-5729 to speak with a live JPay call center agent 24/7.

Money Orders
Money orders must be made payable to JPay and sent with a deposit slip to: 
P.O. Box 173070
Hialeah, FL 33017

Money order deposit slip available in English here.
Hoja de Depósito para Giros Bancarios disponible en Español aquí.

To make a cash deposit, visit any MoneyGram agent location (including all Walmarts and CVS Pharmacies), and use code 1224. Visit to get a list of nearby MoneyGram locations.

Programs For Inmates

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 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 Security Threat Group Management Unit

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.

Pictures of Foothills Correctional Institution

Careers at Foothills Correctional Institution

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety is currently hiring. If you would like to work at the Foothills Correctional Institution, you can find out more information by clicking here.