Federal Correctional Institution - Sandstone

Federal Correctional Institution - Sandstone, or FCI Sandstone, is a low-security federal correctional institution that houses a total of 1,202 male offenders. It is located in Sandstone, Minnesota. 

FCI Sandstone inmates live in dormitories and are assigned to a bunk in a divided two-person cubicle.

The facility also has a high-security wing with electric fences and gun towers that is known as the “snitch unit.” This area houses high-security inmates who may not be safe in general population because they have informed on others.

The inmates in the “snitch unit” are completely segregated from the general population, but served by the same staff.

One of the most notable former inmates at FCI Sandstone is Tim Allen, star of Home Improvement and Last Man Standing.  In 1979, the actor/comedian pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and served 28 months at FCI Sandstone after getting caught with 1.4 pounds of cocaine at Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport in Michigan.

Former NHL star Mike Danton also served four years at FCI Sandstone after being convicted of conspiracy to commit murder when he attempted to hire a hitman to kill his agent, David Frost.

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Federal Correctional Institution - Sandstone

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting hours at FCI Sandstone are on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and federal holidays from  8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Visiting is on an odd/even basis for Saturday and Sunday. Odd and even is determined by the fifth digit of the register number. (The number “0" is considered an even number). Inmates having an odd register number will visit on the odd designated weekends of the month; even register numbers will visit on even designated weekends.

There is no odd/even restriction for visits during the weekdays, or federal holidays. A schedule listing the even/odd weekends will be posted in the housing units. Exception to the odd and even rule may be made only with the prior approval of the unit manager.

Inmates are limited to six (6) visits a month. Visits are limited to six (6) visitors at any one time unless prior approval is obtained.

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 and receive a hand stamp.

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 will not be permitted to take purses, wallets, briefcases, or any type of carrying case inside the Visiting Room.

You can not bring anything to give directly to an inmate.

Playing cards, toys, newspapers, magazines, chewing gum, food items, tobacco, chapstick or other such items will not be permitted.

Any document or paper needing a signature or examination by the inmate must be mailed into the inmate.

Cell phones, pagers, cameras, or electronic devices of any type are not authorized inside the institution. Unauthorized items will be stored in the visitor's locked vehicle or in a storage locker.

Visitors may bring the following items into the institution:

  • A transparent change purse no larger than 5"x8"
  • $20.00 (bills no larger than five dollar bills)

The only exceptions will be visitors with babies, who will be allowed to carry a reasonable amount of diapers, baby wipes, small baby blanket and bottles/food. These items will be closely inspected for contraband.

Diaper bags or strollers will not be allowed. Diapers and bottles will be carried in hand or in a clear plastic bag no bigger than a one (1) gallon plastic zip-lock bag.

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 visiting attire will not be allowed:

  • Tight clothing
  • Transparent clothing
  • Spandex clothing i.e (Legging/ yoga pants)
  • Tank tops
  • Halter tops/sleeveless shirts
  • Holes in clothing
  • Plunging necklines
  • Wrap-around skirts
  • Khaki colored pants or shirts Camouflage
  • Hats or Caps (May 1 thru October 31)
  • Opened toed shoes (i.e. sandals for both male & female)
  • Shorts that are more than one inch above the knee
  • Skirts that are not touching the top of knee when standing

Children under the age of 13 years old will be allowed to wear shorts. Undergarments must be worn. Any areas in question will be referred to the Operations Lieutenant for clarification.

No attire with questionable wording, i.e., gang affiliation, profanity, etc. No shirts that hang less than 3 inches below the belt line. Jackets, coats, will only be allowed during the months of October 1 thru April 30.

Any questionable clothing will be cleared through the Institution Duty Officer or the Operations Lieutenant before being allowed into the visiting Room.

Items that are not allowed include orange, camouflage, grey, and/or Khaki in color (Tan, Brown, Beige, or any color similar in appearance to inmate clothing).

Physical Address

2300 COUNTY RD 29

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

General Phone Number & Email Address

Phone: 320-245-2262
Email: SST/[email protected]

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

P.O. BOX 1000

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 they 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 Sandstone.
  • 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 who 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

  • Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP)
  • Drug Abuse Education Course
  • Drug Abuse Programs
  • Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Literacy
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • GED
  • College Program for an Associates Degree in Business
  • High School Diploma (via paid correspondence)
  • Post-Secondary Programs (via paid correspondence)
  • Vocational training in Auto and Building Trades
  • Apprenticeship apprenticeships in Culinary and Welding
  • UNICOR facility produces clothing and textiles
  • Wellness programs for healthy living, diabetic education, and fitness/nutrition

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Careers at Federal Correctional Institution - Sandstone

If you are interested in pursuing a career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you can find available positions at FCI Sandstone 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 Sandstone report that it was a great work environment with a knowledgeable and caring staff. The work/life balance is good, and the salary and benefits are excellent.