The least restrictive federal prisons are classified as minimum security and are also known as camps. While the Bureau operates some stand-alone Federal Prison Camps (FPCs), most minimum-security federal prisons are instead satellite camps. A satellite camp is located adjacent to a higher-security institution, and the campers provide services for the main institution.

Minimum-security federal prisons are different than higher-security prisons in many ways. Perhaps most significantly, there are often no barriers between the camp and the outside world. No fences, no walls — federal prisoners housed in camps can simply walk away if they choose. Due to the near-certainty of recapture and the wealth of negative consequences associated with an escape from federal prison, very few campers ever walk away.

Most minimum-security federal prisons house inmates in dormitory-style settings. Violence is nearly unheard of in federal prison camps. Across the Bureau, between 220 and 250 “less serious” assaults (i.e., fights) were reported each month in 2017. Less than 5 percent of those fights took place in a camp.

Only prisoners with the lowest security point total and a custody assignment of OUT will be housed in a minimum-security federal prison. Camp inmates are generally low-level, nonviolent offenders who do not have a significant history of institutional disciplinary violations or escape. Inmates with more than ten years remaining on their sentence will not be housed in a camp. Sex offenders and other inmates the Bureau considers high risk are prohibited from placement in a camp.

Minimum Security Prisons | Federal Prison Camps

Federal Prison Camps | Minimum-Security Federal Prisons

Many minimum-security federal prisons are also called Federal Prison Camps (FPCs). “[T]hese facilities feature dormitory housing, limited or no perimeter fencing, and a relatively low staff-inmate ratio. Some are located next to military bases, making it possible for inmates to help serve the labor needs of the base. Many FBOP facilities have a small, minimum-security camp adjacent to the main facility. These satellite prison camps provide inmate labor to the main institution and to off-site work programs.

Federal Prison Camps are the lowest security custodial prisons in the FBOP. They tend to house very low-level, nonviolent offenders (around 17 percent of the federal prison population). Camp inmates do not have a significant history of violence, escape, or institutional disciplinary violations, and are usually relatively close to release. Only individuals with less than ten years remaining on their sentences are housed there. Sex offenders and other high-risk inmates are not eligible for camp placement.

Former Wall Street lawyer Matthew Kluger, who was transferred to Morgantown, West Virginia after the time remaining on his sentence dropped below ten years, noted the difference. “Here no one is big and tough,” he said. “This is like Camp Cupcake. These are people who have no interest in losing their ability to be in a place that looks this nice and that has no fence. So even people who are not good people tend to behave themselves here. I’ve seen a couple of fights, but they’re more like middle school fights” with a few lazy swings and very little blood.

Kluger also made an interesting note about the staff. Other facilities, he felt, were staffed by individuals who had taken their shot at the FBI or other governmental agencies. When they didn’t make the cut, they took the second-best choice at a prison. In the camp, however, the staff were nearly all from the local area. The camp jobs were very good compared to other choices, so the staff had a very different attitude.

Only the most trusted inmates are housed in FPCs because the camps aren’t fenced. The freedom of movement is significant, so access to the library, email, sports facilities like the track, the basketball court, and the gym, along with the cafeteria is much easier. Inmates exercise much greater control over their own movements. Visitation is also much easier as inmates are rarely subjected to a visual search after meeting with friends or family. Visitors also have a much easier time signing in and out during their trips.

Also at the lowest level of security are community confinement centers (CCCs). These facilities house inmates close to release, generally with less than a year remaining, in a halfway house environment. Because these facilities serve a special mission, inmates from all security levels might be placed there. CCC inmates might also include those sentenced to community confinement by the federal courts.

Community Confinement Centers also include restitution centers, community treatment centers, mental health facilities, alcohol or drug rehabilitation centers, or other types of specialized facilities. They may help inmates with employment searches, vocational training, educational programs, and other approved programs they can pursue during their nonresidential hours

 

List of Minimum-Security Prisons | Federal Prison Camps

  • FPC Alderson (WV)*
  • FCI Aliceville Camp (AL)
  • FCI Ashland Camp (KY)
  • USP Atlanta Camp (GA)
  • USP Atwater Camp (CA)
  • FCI Bastrop Camp (TX)
  • FCI Beaumont Camp (TX)
  • FCI Beckley Camp (WV)
  • FCI Bennettsville Camp (SC)
  • FCI Berlin Camp (NH)
  • FCI Big Sandy Camp (KY)
  • FCI Big Spring Camp (TX)
  • FPC Bryan (TX)*
  • FCI Butner Camp (NC)
  • USP Canaan Camp (PA)
  • FMC Carswell Camp (TX)*
  • FCI Coleman Camp (FL)
  • FCI Cumberland Camp (MD)
  • FCI Danbury Camp (CT)*
  • FMC Devens Camp (MA)
  • FCI Dublin Camp (CA)
  • FPC Duluth (MN)
  • FCI Edgefield Camp (SC)
  • FCI El Reno Camp (OK)
  • FCI Englewood Camp (CO)
  • FCI Estill Camp (SC)
  • FCI Fairton Camp (NJ)
  • FCI Florence Camp (CO)
  • FCI Forrest City Camp (AR)
  • FCI Fort Dix Camp (NJ)
  • FCI Gilmer Camp (WV)
  • FCI Greenville Camp (IL)*
  • FCI Hazelton Camp (WV)
  • FCI Herlong Camp (CA)
  • FCI Jesup Camp (GA)
  • FCI La Tuna Camp (TX)
  • USP Leavenworth Camp (KS)
  • USP Lee Camp (VA)
  • USP Lewisburg Camp (PA)
  • FMC Lexington Camp (KY)*
  • FCI Lompoc Camp (CA)
  • USP Lompoc Camp (CA)
  • FCI Loretto Camp (PA)
  • FCI Manchester Camp (KY)
  • FCI Marianna Camp (FL)*
  • USP Marion Camp (IL)
  • USP McCreary Camp (KY)
  • FCI McDowell Camp (WV)
  • FCI McKean Camp (PA)
  • FCI Memphis Camp (TN)
  • FCI Mendota Camp (CA)
  • FCI Miami Camp (FL)
  • FPC Montgomery (AL)
  • FCI Morgantown (WV)
  • FCI Oakdale II Camp (LA)
  • FCI Otisville Camp (NY)
  • FCI Oxford Camp (WI)
  • FCI Pekin Camp (IL)
  • FPC Pensacola (FL)
  • FCI Petersburg Camp (VA)
  • FCI Phoenix Camp (AZ)*
  • USP Pollock Camp (LA)
  • FCI Schuylkill Camp (PA)
  • FCI Seagoville Camp (TX)
  • FCI Sheridan Camp (OR)
  • CI Taft Camp (CA)
  • FCI Talladega Camp (AL)
  • FCI Terre Haute Camp (IN)
  • FCI Texarkana Camp (TX)
  • AUSP Thomson Camp (IL)
  • FCI Three Rivers Camp (TX)
  • USP Tucson Camp (AZ)
  • FCI Victorville Camp (CA)*
  • FCI Williamsburg Camp (SC)
  • FPC Yankton (SD)
  • FCI Yazoo City Camp (MS)

*Prisons housing only female inmates.

**Facilities housing both male and female inmates.