Marion Correctional Institution

Marion Correctional Institution is a minimum and close-custody prison for adult male inmates that is located in Marion, North Carolina. Managed by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, this facility can house approximately 793 inmates.

Marion Correctional Institution currently operates as a combination close/minimum custody facility with 96 segregation beds. This facility houses adult male felons and is operated under the Unit Management concept. Offenders are assigned based on classification, reassignment, demotion in custody, administrative transfer from another close custody prison or segregation housing needs, and program needs.

Marion CI was established as a result of a $200 million prison construction bond referendum approved by voters in 1990. It was funded in two stages. The first 520 cells were funded in July 1991 and reauthorized in July 1992 as part of a $30 million construction project in the $103 million prison construction program. During the 1994 special session, the General Assembly provided $5,358,900 for construction of a 192-cell housing unit addition.

In 1991, the McDowell County Commissioners purchased 125 acres formerly known as the Carl Holland Farm in the Rocky Pass community and donated the property to the state for construction of the prison.

Grading of the site began in March 1992 and construction was completed in January 1995. Offender housing assignments began in June 1995. Marion was originally designed as a 660-bed medium security adult male prison, but was redesigned as a close and medium security prison with a capacity for 930 offenders because the state needed more high-security prison cells.

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Marion Correctional Institution

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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 is by appointment only. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 828-659-8559. Appointments can be made Monday-Friday, between 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., excluding state-observed holidays. Appointments can be made up to 10 days in advance, but no less than 48 hours prior to the scheduled visitation time. The following schedule will be used:

Monday - 8:30 a.m. Phase 1 Upper D-Unit; 1:30 p.m. Phase 1 Lower D-Unit

Tuesday - 8:30 a.m. SRG & ADMIN; 1:30 p.m. SRG & ADMIN

Wednesday - 8:30 a.m. MSU -  Non-Contact only

Thursday - 8:30 a.m. Phase II Upper F-Unit; 1:30 p.m. Phase II Lower F-Unit, Upper E-Unit Restrictive Housing 

Friday - 8:15 a.m. Phase III Lower H-Unit; 1:30 p.m. Phase III Upper H-Unit and Upper E-Unit  .

Saturday - 1:30 p.m. Regular Population

Sunday - 1 - 3 p.m. MSU - No Appt. needed

Offenders housed at the Minimum Custody Unit will have visits on Sunday from 1-3 p.m. No appointment is necessary to visit at the Minimum Custody Unit.

Visits will not occur on holidays. In the event the scheduled visitation day falls on a holiday, an alternate day will be selected. Adequate notice will be given to offenders and posted throughout the visitation area.

Visiting Application

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 Marion Correctional Institution.

Click here for more detailed information about visiting an inmate at MCI.

Dress Code

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.

Bags and purses are not allowed in the visiting room. No cell phones, cameras, or other electronic recording devices, and no glass or metal objects are allowed. 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

Marion Correctional Institution
355 Old Glenwood Road
Marion, NC 28752

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number


Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name, OPUS Number
Marion Correctional Institution
355 Old Glenwood Road
Marion, NC 28752

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 Marion Correctional Institution do have access to phones, but they can’t receive incoming calls. 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 Marion 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

The computer training center for the Western Region is on site. McDowell Technical Community College provides academic and vocational classes. Courses include adult education and preparation for the GED, and horticulture. Offenders may also participate in the Outreach Program through the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and earn college credits.

In an effort to assist offenders in bettering themselves, Cognitive Behavior Intervention classes are offered. Offenders may participate in courses such as Character Education, Reasoning and Rehabilitation, and Thinking for a Change. These courses offer offenders a different way of thinking their way through problems and offer them alternative thought processes to moral dilemmas.

Minimum custody offenders at Marion can participate in the Father Accountability Program. This program lets offenders see how important the role of a father is to children and in the family. Offenders completing this course should return to their families as better and more responsible fathers.

Offenders are afforded the opportunity to work on site or back in the community, where they provide needed services surrounding our prisons. Labor contracts are provided for governmental agencies to secure inmate labor and enhance services for the public. Offenders on work release have the opportunity to earn a wage working at a business in the local community. This allows offenders to develop job skills prior to release while paying any court-mandated fines and providing for their families.

The New Leash on Life Program rescues dogs from the animal shelter that otherwise would be euthanized and puts them through an extensive eight-week obedience training program provided by trained offenders. Once the dogs have “graduated,” they are adopted by families.

Many of the programs are offered with the assistance of community volunteers. These programs include structured recreational activities, Prison Fellowship, Yokefellows, substance abuse counseling, anger management, religions programs/activities, and self-improvement programs. Volunteers undergo training prior to being allowed to work with offenders. 

Pictures of Marion Correctional Institution

Careers at Marion Correctional Institution

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