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Butner Prison

1000 Old Nc 75
Butner, NC 27509
(919) 575-4541

Interview with Charles

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Charles: 54 months.

JM: Did you spend time in a holding cell after your sentencing? If so, what was that like? If you didn't where did they they take you instead?
Charles: I was in jail for 18 months before going to trial and prison. It was horrible.

Life on the Inside
Butner Prison is a Federal Correctional Complex that is made up of four separate campuses. There is the Federal Medical Center, two medium security institutions and a low security institution. You'll find the prison complex close to what is referred to as the Research Triangle of North Carolina. This is the zone between Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

Every able bodied inmate who is sentenced to Butner is required to work at one of the many prison assignments. This could mean working on the kitchen or maintenance crews or in the warehouse. There are also factories at that prison making various products such as furniture, electronics and textiles.

Inmates are paid a nominal fee for their work which can go right to their commissary account. Speaking of commissary, it would seem that having money on the books is essential given the reviews of the food at Butner. Inmates are given three meals a day but a common complaint is a lack of taste and quantity.

Passing the Time
Beyond work details, inmates are allowed to watch television. According to one inmate, while he was at Butner the TV could only get one channel so there were never any fights over what to watch. There are also some magazines and books for inmates to read. Inmates can also enroll in GED and vocational training classes. Parenting classes are also provided for inmates who want to improve those areas where they might be lacking.

Good Behavior Policy
Earned time is then given to an inmate based on how much work they accomplish and if they stay out of trouble. For instance, an inmate who is assigned four hours of work per day and completes those four hours without incident will have two days per month taken off their time. An inmate can also receive additional earned time for completing a GED or obtaining a vocational certificate.

Visitor and Phone Policy
Inmates are given access to the phones, but the former inmate interview for this site stated that the phones never worked in his cell block. The inmate pays for charges and they are applied to his phone account.

Visits take place in the open cafeteria. Each inmate is allowed one visit per week. There is a separate area for young kids to play in while the visits are going in the cafeteria.

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