Prison Profile: Federal Correctional Institution Butner Low

By Christopher Zoukis

Official Address

Federal Correctional Institution Butner Low

Old North Carolina Highway 75

Butner, NC 27509

Phone: 919-575-5000

Fax: 919-575-5023



Inmate Correspondence Address

Inmate Name and Registration Number

FCI Butner Low

P.O. Box 999

Butner, NC 27509

(Funds can only be sent to the Federal Bureau of Prisons' National Lockbox Address listed below, not directly to the inmate at FCI Butner Low.)

Sex: Male

Security Level: Low Security Federal Prison

Location: FCI Butner Low is located in North Carolina near the Research Triangle area of Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill.  It is 5 miles off I-85 on Old Highway 75.

BOP Region: Mid-Atlantic Region (MXR)

BOP Institution Code: BUF for FCI Butner Low, BUX for Butner Federal Correctional Complex

Medical Care Level: FCI Butner Low is a Level 3/4 medical care facility.

Judicial District: Eastern North Carolina

Population: FCI Butner Low houses approximately 1,305 federal inmates.

Background: FCI Butner Low was opened in 1995.  It is part of the Butner Federal Correctional Complex.

Housing Configuration: There are four housing units at FCI Butner Low, all of which have an "A" side and a "B" side.  Prisoners are housed in either three-man, two-man, or one-man cubicles in the various housing units.  Inter-room/cell visitation is allowed within each inmate's assigned housing unit only.  A limited number of inmates, including the cell's occupant(s) are allowed in a room.  During room visitation, the door must remain open.

Health Services: The overall Federal Bureau of Prisons health care delivery system includes medical referral centers and local medical facilities.  The FCI Butner Low Health Services Department is located on the East side of the compound, next to the Lieutenant's Office.  On-site emergency care is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Inmates at FCI Butner Low who require routine medical care should attend medical sick call.  Sick call is held Monday through Friday, except Wednesdays and holidays, from 6:45 AM to 7:15 AM.  Inmates who can be treated during the sick call signup time will, others will be issued an appointment to come back and be treated.  Dental sick call works the same way, but is held Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 6:45 AM to 7:15 AM.

Inmates who feel they are experiencing a medical emergency should approach the nearest staff member and request for Health Services to be contacted immediately.  By doing so, an emergency medical response can be initiated.

Pill line at FCI Butner Low is conducted Monday through Friday from 6:45 AM to 7:15 AM, 11:30 AM, and 7:30 PM to 7:45 PM.  On weekends and holidays, pill line is held from 7:45 AM to 8:00 AM, 11:30 AM, and 7:30 PM to 7:45 PM.  Insulin line is held Monday through Friday from 6:30 AM to 6:45 AM, 11:00 AM to 11:20 AM, and 4:30 PM to 4:45 PM.  On weekends and holidays, insulin line is held from 7:30 AM to 7:45 AM, 11:00 AM to 11:20 AM, and 4:30 PM to 4:45 PM.

Food Service: Inmates at FCI Butner Low are provided nutritious, appealing meals.  Self-service meal operations for general population inmates include features such as salad bars, "heart healthy" options, and pork-free meal programs.  Specific approval procedures for special diets vary.  Medical staff can be of assistance in explaining and obtaining them.

Inmates housed in the FCI Butner Low Special Housing Unit also receive a balanced, nutritious diet.  Except for any approved special diets, inmates in these units receive the same diet as inmates in the general population, although portion controls and manner of service vary.

Psychology Services: The FCI Butner Low Psychology Department offers individual counseling and group therapy opportunities for inmates in need.  Group therapy topics include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), stress management, anger management, drug education, drug treatment groups (non-residential and residential), and many others.

FCI Butner Low also houses a fully-staffed Mental Health Hospital with full-time psychiatrists who are all medical doctors.  If an inmate feels that they need this sort of treatment, they are advised to seek a referral through a regular psychologist in the Psychology Department.

Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP): FCI Butner Low does not house a Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP).

Education Services: Many educational opportunities are provided to prisoners at FCI Butner Low.  These include basic education, post-secondary education, a wide range of occupational training programs, and leisure time activities.  By policy, with minor exceptions, all federal prisoners -- at FCI Butner Low and elsewhere -- who test below the 8th grade level on the Adult Basic Level Examination (ABLE) must enroll for 120 days in the GED program.  Inmates may ask to be released from these programs after 120 days.  All promotions in Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR) and institution work assignments beyond the entry level pay grade are contingent on successful completion of the GED literacy program.

English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) is designed to teach non-English speaking inmates communication skills that will enable them to function in an English-speaking environment.  The ESL program is mandatory for all non-English speaking inmates at FCI Butner Low.  Those mandated or in-need will be identified during Institution Admission and Orientation.  They will be tested, and, if necessary, be placed in an appropriate class.  To complete the ESL program, inmates must successfully pass the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Survey (CASAS).

The Parenting program at FCI Butner provides parenting classes which teach inmates fundamental parenting skills and assist incarcerated inmates in maintaining relationships with their children.  Activities encourage the building and strengthening of family relationships, communications, discipline, childhood development, and family support skills.

Adult Continuing Education (ACE) classes provide inmates at FCI Butner Low the opportunity to participate in programs which encourage intellectual and social growth.  Classes offered through Vance-Granville Community College and Durham Technical College are Word I, Word II, Keyboarding, PowerPoint, and Excel.  Classes are also taught by inmates in various subject matters.  Instructional strategies utilized for the ACE courses consist of lectures, videotaped presentations, and group discussions.

Advanced Occupational Education: FCI Butner Low offers Building Trades, HVAC, and Office Systems Technologies advanced occupational education programs.  All advanced occupational education programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, run 12 months, require students to possess either a GED or high school diploma, and, upon program completion, result in a certificate being issued from Vance Granville Community College.

Vocational Training: FCI Butner Low does not offer any vocational training programs.

Apprenticeship: FCI Butner Low offers a Quality Assurance apprenticeship program.  The program is accredited by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Apprenticeship, runs 24 months, requires students to possess either a GED or high school diploma, and results in a certificate being issued by the U.S. Department of Labor upon program completion.

Library Services: The Education Department at FCI Butner Low maintains a Leisure Library operating 6 days a week.  The Leisure Library has numerous books available for circulation and reference to include magazines, newspapers, career planning, multi-cultural studies, parenting, fiction, and non-fiction selections.

Law Library Services: The FCI Butner Low Law Library houses TRULINCS law library computers which provide the majority of the required legal material to the inmate population.  However, some of the material is still only available in hard copy.  An inmate who needs to use the law library services must contact the FCI Butner Low Library Coordinator to establish a law library account.  Reference and legal materials cannot be checked out and must be used in the law library only.

UNICOR: The FCI Butner Low UNICOR facility produces clothing, textiles, and industrial products, and handles fleet management and vehicular components.  It employs 422 incarcerated UNICOR workers.  This number includes totals for all Butner, NC UNICOR facilities.

Commissary: FCI Butner Low houses an institutional commissary which the general population has access to.  The commissary stocks electronics, clothing, food, cosmetics, shoes, over-the-counter medications, copy cards, postage stamps, and more.  Inmates are allowed to spend up to $320 each month at the commissary.  Stamps, select over-the-counter medications, and copy cards do not count against the spending limit.  Inmates are allowed to shop once a week at the commissary on a designated day.

Recreation Services: The FCI Butner Low Recreation Department offers both indoor and outdoor activities.  These include a music program (both for individuals and bands), individual arts and crafts projects, painting, drawing, and intramural team sports to include baseball, volleyball, and basketball.  A track is also available for inmates in general population.

Visitation Information: Inmates at FCI Butner Low are allowed to receive visitors on Thursday and Friday from 2:30 PM to 8:00 PM and on Monday, Saturday, Sunday, and federal holidays from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  Visitation is based upon a point system in order to allow equal access to the visiting facilities and to reduce overcrowding.  Inmates are allotted a total of 12 visiting points each month.  Two points are deducted for visits on weekends and one point is deducted for visits on weekdays.  No points are deducted for visits on federal holidays.  Normally, only a total of five visitors (not including children) will be allowed to visit an inmate at FCI Butner Low at any given time.  Allowance of more than five visitors must have prior approval from the respective Unit Manager.

Inmates assigned to the Vance and Durham housing units at FCI Butner Low are allowed to receive visits on the first and third weekend of each month, while inmates assigned to the Wake and Grandville housing units at FCI Butner Low are allowed to receive visits on the second and fourth weekend of each month.  During normal weekdays (Monday, Thursday, and Friday), inmates in all housing units may receive visits.  Fifth weekends will rotate between the two pairs of housing units.  Visiting will be open to all inmates on days recognized as federal holidays.

Inmates who are housed in the FCI Butner Low Special Housing Unit (SHU) generally have visitation privileges, but they are divided by the security level at which the inmate is assigned.  On Monday, medium and high security inmates can visit from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM and low and minimum security inmates can visit from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM.  On Thursday and Friday, medium and high security inmates are allowed to visit from 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM and low and minimum security inmates can visit from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM.

For additional visitation information about FCI Butner Low, see Institutional Supplement BUX-5267.08D (Visiting Regulations).

Directions to Prison: From Raleigh to FCI Butner Low: Take U.S. 70 West to the U.S. 70 bypass.  Follow the bypass for 2.1 miles until the Geer Street Exit (185 North sign).  Turn right on Geer Street and proceed 1.7 miles to Club Boulevard.  Turn left on Club Boulevard and proceed .3 miles to the Interstate 85 onramp.  Take Interstate 85 North 9 miles to Exit 189.  Turn left on Central Avenue.  Proceed straight on Central Avenue to Veazey Street.  Turn right on Veazey Street.  Proceed to the stop sign and at the stop sign turn left onto Old Highway 75.  Proceed 1 mile until FCI Butner Low.

From Durham to FCI Butner Low: Take Interstate 85 North to Exit 189.  Turn left onto Central Avenue.  Proceed straight on Central Avenue to Veazey Street.  Turn right onto Veazey Street.  Proceed to the stop sign and turn left onto Old Highway 75.  Proceed 1 mile to FCI Butner Low.

National Lockbox Address

Federal Bureau of Prisons

Inmate Name and Registration Number

P.O. Box 474701

Des Moines, IA 50947-0001

*Information compiled from multiple Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) documents, Freedom of Information Act requests, and personal interviews with federal inmates.*

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