Medium-security federal prisons are also referred to as Federal Correctional Institutions (FCIs). Medium-security prisons have strengthened perimeters, an even higher staff-to-inmate ratio, and greater control over inmates.

Medium-security institutions are nearly as crowded as low-security federal prisons, holding about 30 percent of the Bureau’s population. Housing in medium-security facilities tends to consist of two- or three-person cells with locking doors. Some mediums house inmates in larger cells that hold up to twelve inmates.

Due to the nature of the population housed at the medium-security level, violence is more prevalent than in lower security settings. Levels of violence tend to vary significantly from medium to medium, however. Some medium-security institutions are run in a manner comparable to a federal penitentiary, while some are more laid back.

Inmates designated to a medium-security federal prison may have a history of violence. History of escape, in-prison alcohol and substance abuse, and a lengthy disciplinary record will not preclude an inmate from being placed in a medium-security federal prison. Inmates designated to a medium generally must have less than 30 years left to serve, but often have more than 20 years remaining on their sentence.

Medium Security Prisons | Federal Correctional Institution

Medium-Security Federal Correctional Institutions | Medium-Security Prisons

According to the FBOP, medium-security federal prisons “[h]ave strengthened perimeters (double-fenced with electronic detection systems), mostly cell-type housing, a higher staff-inmate ratio than low-security FCIs, and greater internal controls

Medium-security federal facilities hold around 29 percent of the inmate population. Mediums, unlike lows, vary significantly in terms of prison culture. Some mediums are exceptionally easy and laid-back Others are hard yards where gangs are visible and violence is occasional or even regular.

For a prisoner to be housed in a medium, they must have less than thirty years remaining on their sentence. Occasionally lifers are assigned to a medium due to waivers by the regional director. A history of violence, escape, in-prison alcohol and substance abuse, and a lengthy disciplinary record will not preclude a prisoner from placement in a medium-security federal prison.

Most of these facilities are very crowded with two- or three- cells supplemented by six-, ten-, or twelve-bed rooms, sometimes converted from day rooms or TV viewing areas. When President Obama visited a medium-security federal prison in El Reno, Oklahoma – the first time a sitting president visited a federal prison. 6 – he noted, “This is an outstanding institution within the system and yet they’ve got enormous overcrowding issues.” His visit was intended to draw attention to the dire need for criminal justice reform.

At many mediums, prisoners convicted of sex offenses (and others who are deemed unsavory) might have difficulty remaining in general population. The FBOP does have several medium-security facilities where such offenses are not as problematic due to onsite Sex Offender Management Programs along with residential and non-residential sex offender treatment programs.

List of Medium-Security Prisons | Medium-Security Federal Correctional Institutions

  • FCI Allenwood Medium (PA)
  • USP Atlanta (GA)
  • FCI Beaumont Medium (TX)
  • FCI Beckley (KY)
  • FCI Bennettsville (SC)
  • FCI Berlin (NH)
  • FCI Butner Medium 1 (NC)
  • FCI Butner Medium 2 (NC)
  • FCI Coleman Medium (FL)
  • FCI Cumberland (MD)
  • FCI Edgefield (SC)
  • FCI El Reno (OK)
  • FCI Estill (SC)
  • FCI Fairton (NJ)
  • FCI Florence (CO)
  • FCI Forrest City Medium (AR)
  • FCI Gilmer (WV)
  • FCI Greenville (IL)
  • FCI Hazelton Secure Female Facility (WV)*
  • FCI Hazelton (WV)
  • FCI Herlong (CA)
  • FCI Jesup (GA)
  • USP Leavenworth (KS)
  • USP Lompoc (CA)
  • FCI Manchester (KY)
  • FCI Marianna (FL)
  • USP Marion (IL)
  • FCI McDowell (WV)
  • FCI McKean (PA)
  • FCI Memphis (TN)
  • FCI Mendota (CA)
  • FCI Oakdale 2 (LA)
  • FCI Otisville (NY)
  • FCI Oxford (WI)
  • FCI Pekin (IL)
  • FCI Petersburg Medium (VA)
  • FCI Phoenix (AZ)
  • FCI Pollock (LA)
  • FCI Ray Brook (NY)
  • FCI Schuylkill (PA)
  • FCI Sheridan (OR)
  • FCI Talladega
  • FCI Terre Haute (IN)
  • FCI Three Rivers (TX)
  • FCI Tucson (AZ)
  • FCI Victorville Medium 1 (CA
  • FCI Victorville Medium 2 (CA)
  • FCI Williamsburg (SC)
  • FCI Yazoo City Medium (MS)

*Prisons housing only female inmates.

**Facilities housing both male and female inmates.