Secretary of Adult Correction Todd Ishee has named Lamont Howell as the new warden of Johnston Correctional Institution in Smithfield.
Howell had been the associate warden of custody at the prison since 2021 and has recently served there as the acting warden.
“Warden Howell has led a life of service to our prisons and to our country. He is an exceptional leader with almost two decades of correctional experience,” said Ishee. “He has a proven track record as an outstanding professional whose care and compassion is admirable.”
In his new position, Howell is responsible for all operations at Johnston Correctional, which houses minimum custody male offenders.
A veteran employee of state government, Howell began his correctional career in 2005 as a correctional officer at Maury Correctional Institution in Hookerton.
He was promoted to sergeant at that prison in 2008 and promoted again in 2013 to assistant unit manager. He made lieutenant in 2015, was promoted to captain in 2017, and was named associate warden at Sanford Correctional in Sanford in 2020.
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Howell served for eight years as a recruiter and a sergeant. He is a graduate of Lenoir Community College with an associate degree in criminal justice.
The prison he now leads emphasizes programs to prepare offenders for their return to society on the completion of their sentences.
Johnston Community College works with the prison to provide vocational classes in masonry, horticulture, electrical wiring, and food service technology. JCC also provides academic classes in Adult Basic Education and High School Equivalency Diploma (ABE/GED). Human Resource Development and college correspondence courses are also available.
Offenders may also take part in self-improvement programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Substance abuse treatment is provided through alcohol and chemical dependency programs and other substance abuse programs including “Big Book Study” and “Twelve-Step Program.” Cognitive behavior programs include “Thinking for a Change.”
Offenders work in the prison as maintenance workers, food services workers, janitors, canteen operators, clothes house operators, barbers, library clerks, teacher's aides, and chaplain clerk. Offenders at the prison also provide the labor force for Correction Enterprises' Chase Laundry in Goldsboro and various offender construction programs.
Johnston Correctional was established in 1938 when the state highway department operated the prison system.