United States Penitentiary - McCreary

United States Penitentiary - McCreary, or McCreary USP, is a high-security facility with an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp. There are a total of 1,437 male offenders incarcerated at this facility located in Kentucky -  1,299 at the USP and 138 at the camp.

Inmates at the USP are housed in one or two-person cells. In the camp, prisoners are housed in dormitories.

Notable inmates include Tim Durham, an American lawyer and financier, who is serving a 50-year sentence for conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud after cheating his clients out of $200 million in a Ponzi scheme. And, Corey Hamlet, the leader of the Grape Street Crips in Newark, NJ, who is serving a life sentence for six murders and ten attempted murders.

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United States Penitentiary - McCreary

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Visiting Hours and Rules

The visiting hours for the USP and the camp are on Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal Holidays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

A maximum number of five adults may visit an inmate at one time. There is no limit on children, but they must be accompanied by an adult.

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.

An appropriate amount of diapers, clear baby bottles, sanitary supplies, and a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag with no more than $40.00 in change is permissible.

Only unopened store bought containers of baby food will be permitted into the Visiting Room. No other food items to include juice or water bottles will be permitted into the institution.

No diaper bags will be allowed into the Visiting Room.

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 not allowed in the institution. These items can also be returned to the visitor's 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.

All visitors will dress appropriately and refrain from any actions which may affect the sensibilities of others. Violations may result in the termination of visits.

Visitors wearing sexually provocative clothing will be prohibited admission to the Visiting Room. Female visitors wear a brassiere and other undergarments without exception. These items must be made of a material that will allow the visitor to pass the screening process.

Female visitors may not wear skirts ending more than two inches above the knee, halter tops, sleeveless shirts, tank tops, backless shirts/dresses, bodysuits, hip huggers, wrap-around skirts, or see-through clothing or open toe shoes (i.e., flip flops) .

Adult visitors (male/female) will not be permitted to wear shorts, sweat pants, athletic jumpsuits, or khaki colored clothing.

Any individual not appropriately dressed will be asked to leave the institution.

Physical Address

PINE KNOT, KY  42635

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number & Email Address

Phone: 606-354-7000
Email: MCR/[email protected]

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

For inmates at the USP:
P.O. BOX 3000

For inmates at the Camp:
P.O. BOX 3000

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 McCreary USP.
  • 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

  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Drug Education Course
  • Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP)
  • Parenting
  • Adult continuing education (ACE) classes
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • GED
  • High School Diploma (via paid correspondence)
  • Post-Secondary Programs (via paid correspondence)
  • Vocational training in Office Clerk, Residential Wiring, and Web Page Designer. The camp also offers Master Gardener
  • McCreary USP offers apprenticeships in HVAC, Painter, Cook, and Electrical. The camp offers Auto Mechanic, Cook, Landscape Management, Landscape Technician, Powerhouse Mechanic, and Welding
  • UNICOR facility conducts Automated Data Processing (ADP), processing patents for the US Patent Office.

Pictures of United States Penitentiary - McCreary

Careers at United States Penitentiary - McCreary

If you are interested in pursuing a career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you can find available positions at McCreary USP 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 McCreary USP say that it is a challenging, yet productive work environment, and there is never a dull moment. The work/life balance is above average, and the salary and benefits are outstanding.