Federal Correctional Institution - Mendota

Federal Correctional Institution - Mendota, or FCI Mendota Is a medium-security facility with an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp. Located on 960 acres. The FCI houses 835 male inmates and the camp houses another 70 male inmates, for a total count of 905 inmates. 

FCI Mendota was opened in 2012 offering many job opportunities to the local community. This facility is managed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and is under the day-to-day supervision of Warden Rafael Zuniga.

This Institution, located in central California, is said to have a total construction cost upwards of $300 million upon its completion.

One of the most notable inmates in the facility’s short history is Frankie Maybee, who was convicted for participating in an incident involving a group of Hispanic men that were threatened and allegedly ran off a road in 2010.

He was one of the first individuals sentenced under the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Currently, he is serving an 11-year sentence and is scheduled for release in 2021.

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Federal Correctional Institution - Mendota

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting hours at FCI Mendota and the adjacent camp are are from 8:15 a.m. to  3:00 p.m on Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays.

The maximum number of visitors an inmate may have at one time is six, excluding infant children that remain on your lap.

Getting on the Approved Visit List

Authorized visitors who can visit an inmate include family, friends, and associates. You can't visit an inmate unless he puts you on the visiting list.

Everyone must fill out a visitor form, and they must have a relationship with the inmate prior to incarceration. If a potential visitor does not have a prior relationship with the inmate, their request will be reviewed by the warden.

Once the inmate requests to add someone to their visit list, a correctional counselor will provide them with a visiting form, and the inmate is responsible for mailing these out and letting the potential visitor know that they need to fill out the form and return it to the institution staff.

The unit team will do a background check and determine if a visitor application is approved. They make their decision based on constructive and security factors. The process takes about a week, and the unit staff will notify the inmate when the requested visitor is approved or refused.

It is the inmate’s responsibility to notify the visitor of the decision, and the process is the same for both adult and minor visitors.

Basic Visit Procedures and Rules

If you are 16 years of age or older, you must bring a valid photo ID with you to the visit, like a state or federal ID card, driver's license, or current passport. Birth certificates are not valid forms of ID.

All visitors are subject to a visual and pat search by an officer. You will also be scanned by a metal detector.

Any item you bring into the facility will be opened and searched by a staff member, and anyone who refuses a search of themselves or their property will not be allowed to visit with the inmate.

Visitors may bring the following items into the institution:

  • One small clear plastic bag or change purse, no larger than 6x6
  • 25.00 dollars in coins, one and five dollar bills for vending machines
  • Photo Identification
  • Essential medication; limited to the amount needed during the visiting period, and will be controlled by the Visiting Room Officer

Visitors with infants may bring the following items (per child):

  • 4 diapers
  • 2 plastic baby bottles containing mixed formula ¾ full
  • 2 sealed plastic jar of baby food
  • 1 plastic serving spoon
  • 1 small clear plastic tote bag or diaper bag
  • 1 plastic Ziploc bag containing baby wipes
  • 1 change of infant clothing
  • 1 receiving blanket

Visitors are not authorized to bring any item into the institution to give to an inmate. Lockers are available to visitors for the storage of personal items, or they can return the items to their personal vehicle.

Cell phones, pagers, cameras, or devices of any type are not authorized inside the institution.

Visitors should dress within the bounds of good taste and should not wear clothing which would offend others who may be present in the visiting room.

The following items are NOT allowed to be worn to visits.

  • Shorts(unless on a child under the age of 12)
  • Items revealing any part of the buttocks or crotch area
  • Sheer clothing
  • Tank tops
  • Halter tops
  • Midriff tops
  • Strapless tops
  • Strapless dresses
  • Spandex style
  • Bib overalls
  • Hooded clothing
  • Camouflage clothing
  • Sweat gear in gray color
  • Khaki or tan color (any clothing)
  • Orange color (any clothing)
  • Green color (any clothing)
  • Plain T-shirts in gray , khaki , green , orange , white , red and yellow colors
  • Medical Scrubs
  • Clothing resembling staff uniforms
  • Hats
  • Watches

Dresses should be no higher than the bottom of the knee. No bare feet (including babies), open toe shoes, flip flops, slip on shoes with no backs, or sandals, are allowed in the institution.

At the discretion of the Operations Lieutenant or IDO, clothing resembling the style or color of inmate clothing (i.e., khaki, white, gray or camouflage in color clothing) and revealing clothing will not be allowed to be worn into the institution.

Physical Address

MENDOTA, CA  93640

Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/qNEWKqE7i822

General Phone Number & Email Address

Phone: 559-274-4000
Email: MEN/[email protected]

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

For inmates at the FCI:
P.O. BOX 9

For inmates at the Camp:
P.O. BOX 9

There is no limit on the amount of mail that inmates receive, but all correspondence must have the inmate’s complete name, registration number, facility name, and address.

You can only send cards or letters to these addresses. Paperback books, newspapers, and magazines must come directly from the publisher via a subscription or mail order.

Inmates cannot receive packages through the mail, with the exception of a package of release day clothing. You can't send the release day package until 30 days prior to the scheduled release date.

How to Call an Inmate

Federal inmates are not allowed to have cellphones and they can't receive inbound calls. They can make outbound calls during approved hours, and they must pay for them with the money that is on their personal account or call collect.

Inmates will use TRULINCS to call to both landline and cell phones. This is also how inmates are able to send and receive emails. Your number must be added to the contact list for approval.

All phone calls are limited to 15 minutes, and will be monitored and recorded.

How to Send Money

Sending money is one of most important things you can do for an inmate. The prison will issue each prisoner the minimum amount of clothing and hygiene items, and provide them with three meals a day. But, it is extremely difficult for prisoners to have any level of comfort when living with just the items that are prison-issued.

Inmates can receive outside funds while incarcerated at a BOP-managed facility, which are deposited into their commissary accounts.

Postal Service

For federal prisoners, you can send money through the United States Postal Service by MONEY ORDER to the following address:

Federal Bureau of Prisons
Inmate Name
Eight-Digit Register Number
Post Office Box 474701
Des Moines, Iowa 50947-0001

Send the funds to the address above. Replace the second line with the inmate's valid, full committed name. Replace the third line with the inmate's eight digit register number.

Never send money directly to the prison. If you are using the postal service, you must always send your money order to the bureau of prisons using the above address.


You can send an inmate funds electronically using MoneyGram's Express Payment Program.To send funds using this method, please read and follow these steps carefully:

  • Wait until an inmate has physically arrived at FCI Mendota.
  • Gather the information you'll need. Which includes the inmate’s name and number.
  • Visit moneygram.com to complete your payment.

Information needed to complete MoneyGram payment:

  • Account Number: Inmate's eight-digit register number with no spaces or dashes, followed immediately by the inmate's last name (example: 12345678DOE).
  • Company Name: Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • City & State: Washington, DC
  • Receive Code is always: 7932
  • Beneficiary: Inmate's full committed name

Western Union

If you would like to see a sample Western Union form click here. On their website, they have a special form for sending money to inmates, and you go directly to it by clicking here.

You will need to know the inmate’s full name and number, and you can pay with a debit or credit card at westernunion.com. Remember, any time you send money to an inmate you must always include their name and registration number on everything.

There are a few things that inmates can spend their money on. This includes phone calls, emails, and commissary.  The commissary is the prison store, where inmates can buy things like beverages, meals and snacks, OTC medications, stationary, personal hygiene items, clothing, or other miscellaneous products.

Please be aware that prisoners have their own economy inside the prison walls just like we do in the real world. Inmates that have a lot of money can do a lot of things both legal and illegal. Prisoners can potentially use the money in their account to buy things for other inmates in exchange for drugs and paraphernalia. This activity is illegal and can get an inmate in a lot of trouble.

Is important to keep track of how much money you are sending your incarcerated loved one, and watch out for any suspicious behavior.

The monthly spend limit at FCI Mendota is $360 per inmate.

​Programs For ​Inmates

  • Drug Education Class
  • Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • GED
  • Non credit education courses in Parenting, Language Lab and Career Resources.
  • High School Diploma (via paid correspondence)
  • Post-Secondary Programs (via paid correspondence)
  • Vocational training in Building Trades, Automotive, Warehouse, Recycling, and Computer Literacy
  • Health and Wellness Activities
  • Structured music classes in basic guitar, advanced guitar, basic drums, advanced drums, music theory, advanced music theory, and accordion. 

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Careers at Federal Correctional Institution - Mendota

If you are interested in pursuing a career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you can find available positions at FCI Mendota by visiting USAJobs.gov. The salaries at the facility begin around $40,000 and can go up into the six-figure range, depending on the position.

Reviews from employees at FCI Mendota report that management did not positively reinforce or support the employees. However, if you are seeking a long-term career with the BOP, there are opportunities for advancement and the salary and benefits are considered to be the best part of the job.