United States Penitentiary - Lewisburg

United States Penitentiary - Lewisburg, or USP Lewisburg, is a high-security federal prison with an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp located in Pennsylvania. It houses a total of 1,493 male inmates, with 998 at the USP and 495 at the camp.

Inmates at the USP are housed in one and two-person cells, while inmates in the camp are housed in dormitories.

Originally named North Eastern Penitentiary, USP Lewisburg was one of four federal prisons that opened in 1932. It was the focus of of the 1991 Academy Award-nominated documentary Doing Time: Life Inside the Big House by filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond. The one hour film described prison conditions and focused on the abolition of parole and the fears the prisoners had about re-integrating into society.

In 2009, USP Lewisburg was designated as a Special Management Unit (SMU) to house the most violent and disruptive inmates in the Bureau of Prisons. Most of the inmates are housed in the SMU, but there are about 200 inmates in general population.

Prison Insights

United States Penitentiary - Lewisburg

Go back

What Do Inmate Families Think?

Go back

What Do Former Inmates Think?

Go back

What Do Employees Think?

Go back
Sorry, there are no insights for this section of the facility yet.
Overall Score = /10
Total Respondents =

Visiting Hours and Rules

Visits for the USP are scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays.

Visits for the camp are scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Inmates in the SMU are limited to video visits, while those in general population and the camp are allowed contact visits.

The total number of visitors an inmate at the USP may have at one time is five adults and children. The total number of visitors an inmate at the camp may have at one time is four adults and children.

All visitors under the age of 18 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 and an Ion Spectrometry Device.

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.

Inmate visitors are not allowed to take any item into the Visiting Room, except an I.D. Card, a clear change purse, wallet, up to four baby diapers, two plastic milk bottles prepared with baby formula 3/4 full, one pacifier, one plastic zip lock bag containing "baby wipes".

If medication is needed by the visitor, the Front Entrance Officer will notify the Visiting Room OIC. The visitor will be instructed to surrender the medication to the Visiting Room OIC. The medication will be maintained for the visitor, should it be required; and returned upon the visitor's departure.

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 you can keep them in your vehicle.

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

Visitor clothing should be appropriate for an institutional setting and should not present possible disrespect to others who may be present in the Visiting Room. Individuals who are dressed in revealing clothing will not be allowed to enter the institution for visiting.

Shorts and skirts that cover the knee while standing up, will be permitted. Additionally, tank tops, sleeveless clothing, or see-through tops are not permitted. Shirts or blouses must cover the midriff while standing.

Children, 12 and under, are the only individuals who will be allowed to wear shorts above the knee, tank tops or sleeveless clothing.

No ball caps, hats, bandanas, sweat bands, do rags, or any other type of headgear, is authorized with the exception of religious headgear.

Visitors will be denied a visit when Supervisory Staff (Lieutenant, Duty Officer, etc.) determine a visitor's dress is inappropriate for the institutional setting.

Physical Address


Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/Cd7sJ3yWdhF2

General Phone Number & Email Address

Phone: 570-523-1251
Email: LEW/[email protected]

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

For inmates at the USP:
P.O. BOX 1000

For inmates at the Camp:
P.O. BOX 2000

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 USP Lewisburg.
  • 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
  • Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP)
  • Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP)
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • GED
  • Literacy
  • Parenting
  • High School Diploma (via paid correspondence)
  • Post-Secondary Programs (via paid correspondence)
  • Advanced occupational education in Business English/Information, Business English/Reading, Business Math, and Computer Fundamentals. The camp offers advanced occupational education in Desktop Publishing and Graphic Arts
  • Apprenticeships in Commercial Housekeeping, Electrical, HVAC, and Plumbing
  • Music program
  • Arts and Crafts include leather craft, ceramics, knitting, crocheting, painting, and sketching
  • Sports leagues for basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer, and softball

Pictures of United States Penitentiary - Lewisburg

Careers at United States Penitentiary - Lewisburg

If you are interested in pursuing a career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you can find available positions at USP Lewisburg 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.

According to reviews from employees at USP Lewisburg, it is a great place to work and has exceptional pay and benefits.