Federal Correctional Institution - Terminal Island

Federal Correctional Institution - Terminal Island, or FCI Terminal Island, is a low-security federal facility located in Los Angeles. Currently, the FCI houses a total of 914 inmates.

Inmates are housed in different structures, including dormitories and one or two-person cells.

FCI Terminal Island was opened in 1938 at the southern end of Terminal Island, adjacent to a Coast Guard base. During the 1940s, the US Navy took control of the prison and used it as a receiving station before turning it into a barracks for court-martialed soldiers. In 1950, the Navy deactivated the facility and turned it over to the state of California.

During the 1980s, FCI Terminal Island was part of a corruption scandal that resulted in six employees being indicted for charges of bribery, cover-ups, marijuana sales, and other corruption.

One of the employees indicted was Charles DeSordi, the prison’s chief investigator of crimes. He is the highest-ranking federal prison official to ever be indicted.

Former notable inmates include Al Capone, Henry Hill, Timothy Leary, and Charles Manson.

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Federal Correctional Institution - Terminal Island

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Visiting Hours and Rules

The following information is for visits with inmates in general population only. The rules are different for those in special housing units or special custody status. Please contact the facility directly to get information about visiting prisoners who are not in general population.

Visiting hours at FCI Terminal Island are as follows: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and all Federal holidays from 8:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M.

Inmate visiting days will be scheduled based on the first letter of their last name. Letters A-L will visit on odd numbered visiting days and letters M-Z will visit on even numbered visiting days.

Letters A-Z will visit on Mondays and Federal Holidays. If on the same weekend, Saturday and Sunday both fall on odd days, letters A-Z may visit on that Sunday.

The maximum number of persons allowed to visit an inmate at one time is five, including children.

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, military ID, 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 are not authorized to bring any item into the institution to give to an inmate. Personal items not allowed in the institution must be returned to the inmate visitor's personal vehicle.

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

Visitors are authorized to carry the following items into the Visiting Room:

  • Change purse (clear plastic only, no longer than 8 inches)
  • $25 (in coins)
  • Heart Medication and diabetic medication (Diabetic medications i.e. insulin, will be left at the Visiting Room Officer’s desk)
  • Minimal jewelry worn (engagement/wedding ring), no watches
  • Sealed infant formula, plastic baby bottles, (8 oz. bottle, two of each), baby diapers (three each). Baby wipes are not authorized in the Visiting Room
  • No stroller or diaper bags are allowed in the Visiting Room, only clear plastic bags
  • A lite jacket or sweater, no heavy outer coat or scarf 

All visitors who wish to enter the institution must dress appropriately. Attire considered unacceptable is listed below. However, this list is not all inclusive.

  • Garments which reveal portions of the upper torso, cleavage and undergarments (i.e., halter top, midriffs, etc.)
  • Sleeveless garments (i.e., tank tops, spaghetti strap dresses), which do not completely cover the top of the shoulder
  • Athletic garments (i.e., tights, sweat pants, jogging suits, sports jersey, etc.)
  • Spandex or form fitting (i.e., jegging, yoga pants, tights) garments
  • Shorts
  • Skirts/dresses above the knee
  • Khaki, tan, or light brown, colored shirts or pants or other garments that resemble inmate attire
  • Fatigues, camouflaged and or military designed garments
  • See-through garments (able to see skin tones or the outline of undergarments)
  • Hats, scarves and heavy outer coats
  • Non-prescription sunglasses
  • Hooded jackets or hooded sweaters
  • Hospital Scrubs
  • Any jeans with holes or rips
  • Plain white T-Shirts, no team logo (colleges included) or inappropriate design
  • Flip flops, sandals, house slippers and all open toe shoes
  • Watches of any kind
  • Underwire bras or bras with metal clasp
  • Heeled footwear and platform type soles (Stiletto heels, Pumps, Wedges, etc.)

Other attire deemed questionable may prevent visitors from entering the institution. Questions regarding visitors dress will be referred to the Operations Lieutenant or the IDO for final resolution.

The above does not apply to children six years or younger.

Limited locker storage will be made available for those visitors who are dropped off for visiting and do not have a vehicle to secure the unauthorized items in. The lockers are located in the visiting waiting area for small items, i.e., cellphones, keys, handbags, etc.

Larger items such as strollers, medical devices (wheelchairs), may not be left in the visiting waiting area or Front Lobby.

Physical Address

SAN PEDRO, CA  90731

Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/kwbHB7qifwP2

General Phone Number & Email Address

Phone: 310-831-8961
Email: TRM/[email protected]

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

PO BOX 3007

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 Terminal Island.
  • 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.

​Programs For ​Inmates

  • Drug Education Classes
  • Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP)
  • Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP)
  • Literacy
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • GED
  • High School Diploma (via paid correspondence)
  • Post-Secondary Programs (via paid correspondence)
  • Advanced occupational education in Carpentry, CFC, Electrical Home Wiring, Home Inspection, Plumbing, and Welding
  • Apprenticeships in Baking, Cooking, AutoCAD, Cabinet Making, Dental Assistant, Electrical, Electrostatic Powder Paint Machine, Engraver, HVAC, Industrial Truck Mechanic, Machine Setter, Maintenance Repairer, Material Coordinator, Pipefitter, Plumbing, Production Planner-Shipping Clerk, Quality Control, Stationary Engineer, and Tool and Die (Machinist)
  • UNICOR facility that produces office furniture and industrial products
  • Leisure, wellness, and social programs

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Careers at Federal Correctional Institution - Terminal Island

If you are interested in pursuing a career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you can find available positions at FCI Terminal Island 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 Terminal Island report that it was a learning experience with a lot of life lessons and teamwork. The work/life balance is excellent, and the salary and benefits are above average.