Federal Detention Center - Philadelphia

FDC Philadelphia, or Federal Detention Center Philadelphia, is an administrative security federal detention center located in the eastern district of Pennsylvania.

FDC Philadelphia houses more than 900 male and female offenders that are undergoing pre-court and court proceedings. They do keep an average of 120 sentenced inmates that will only be incarcerated for a short amount of time to serve at the institution as orderlies.

The 12-story tall building has 628 cells and dormitories made to accommodate two or three inmates at a time. Construction of this facility included a tunnel that allows people to travel to and from the James A. Byrne United States Courthouse. It has been said to not have the outward appearance of a prison at all.

Kimberly Jones, AKA rap artist/actress lil’ Kim, was released from custody in 2006 after serving 11 months. She was convicted of conspiracy and perjury in 2005 after lying to a federal grand jury about her and her friends' involvement in a 2001 shootout in New York City, during which a bystander was wounded.

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Federal Detention Center - Philadelphia

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting hours at FDC Philadelphia are seven days per week. Visiting will be held Monday through Friday from 6:15 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Visiting on Saturday, Sunday and Federal Holidays will be from 7:15 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Visitation will be on a scheduled rotation by floor assignment. You must touch base with your incarcerated loved one to discuss specific visiting information and correct times.

Male Inmates: Wednesday through Friday will begin at 6:15 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Visitation on weekends and Federal Holidays will begin at 7:15 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Female Inmates: Sunday, 7:15 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and Monday, 6:15 a.rn. until 2:30 p.m. Visitation on weekends and Federal Holidays will begin at 7:15 a.m. until 2:00 p.m

The maximum number of persons per visit 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 or she 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 type wallet, change purse. The clear plastic bag may not be over a "gallon" size ziplock type bag
  • One and five dollar bills and coins up to $50.00 to use for vending machines in visiting area
  • Medications required to sustain life, i.e., inhalers, nitroglycerin tablets etc. 

Infant/Toddler care items:

  • Two (2) disposable diapers
  • Baby wipes must in a clear plastic container
  • One (1) plastic baby bottle
  • One (1) clear plastic Sippy cup
  • One (1) baby blanket

Visitors are not authorized to bring any item into the institution to give to an inmate. Lockers are not available to visitors for the storage of personal items not allowed in the institution. These items must 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.

  • No hats or scarves. This includes scarves around the neck or waist
  • No sleeveless tops, blouses, tank tops or jerseys
  • No sunglasses or long hair picks
  • No tube tops, midriffs, or low cut revealing clothing
  • No tight fitting clothes. (i.e., Lycra and spandex)
  • No see through clothing
  • No shorts measuring more than two inches above the knee
  • Skirts and dresses must be knee length or lower. If the dress or skirt has a split on the side it must not exceed knee level
  • No open toed shoes
  • No watches of any kind
  • If a jacket or sweater is worn in, it must remain on during the entire visit, to include children
  • No gray sweatpants or white T-shirts or any other clothing similar to inmate attire will not be allowed
  • No camouflage, dark green, or khaki pants or shirts are authorized to be worn inside the facility

The Lieutenant or Duty Officer will be contacted if an individual's dress attire is in question. At this time, a decision will be made, and the visitor will be notified by the official contacted if the visit will be approved or denied.

Physical Address


Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/cQNVcjus96w

General Phone Number & Email Address

Phone: 215-521-4000
Email: PHL/[email protected]

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

P.O. BOX 562

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 FDC Philadelphia.
  • 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 Abuse Education Course
  • Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP)
  • Literacy
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • GED
  • High School Diploma (via paid correspondence)
  • Post-Secondary Programs (via paid correspondence)
  • Parenting Program
  • Re-Entry Programs such as MoneySmart, Mock Job Fair, Resource Fairs, employment workshops, HIV seminars, Celebrate Recovery support program, financial planning, living on a budget, and other programs are also available

Pictures of Federal Detention Center - Philadelphia

Careers at Federal Detention Center - Philadelphia

If you are interested in pursuing a career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you can find available positions at FDC Philadelphia 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 FDC Philadelphia report that it was a great work environment that offers plenty of advancement opportunities. The work/life balance is good, there is job security, and the salary and benefits are above average.