Metropolitan Detention Center - Guaynabo

Metropolitan Detention Center - Guaynabo, or MDC Guaynabo houses both female and male offenders of all security levels. It is located in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, and the facility holds inmates who are awaiting trial or sentencing.

It is located next to Fort Buchanan and is six miles west of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico.

All inmates are housed in 2-person cells, and there are currently 1,191 inmates at the facility.

During Hurricane Maria in September 2017, over 1,200 prisoners were transferred from Guaynabo to FCI Yazoo City in Mississippi because Guaynabo MDC did not have running water or electricity. They were eventually returned to the facility in Spring 2018.

In 2010, an FBI investigation uncovered a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin, marijuana, Percocet, and Xanax to an inmate at MDC Guaynabo. Several conspirators, led by Juan Rios-Ortiz, also attempted to provide cellular telephones, chargers, and SIM cards to an inmate of MDC Guaynabo.

Rios-Ortiz worked for a company that had a contract to supply produce to the prison kitchen. He was subsequently convicted of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, and providing contraband to an inmate of a federal prison.

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Metropolitan Detention Center - Guaynabo

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Visiting Hours and Rules

The visiting hours at Guaynabo MDC are scattered over different days and times throughout the week. We will try to break this down the best we can, but to get a visiting schedule, you will need to contact the facility directly.

The length of your visit and the specific times you can visit will depend on if you are visiting a female or male offender, and what their detainment status is.

Due to the limited space available in the institution’s social visiting room area, restrictions must be placed on the number of visits, duration, frequency, and the number of occupants in the visiting room at the same time.

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

Inmates are allowed three (3) adult visitors per visit. Infants and small children, three years old and under, who can be seated on the lap of an adult will not be counted as a visitor, however, if the child is to occupy a seat in the visiting room, they will be counted as a visitor.

All adult visitors (sixteen (16) years and older) must have and present proper picture identification. Visitors must show a driver's license or official state ID that bears a photograph, including the full name, and signature of the ID holder.

If a visitor 16 years or older is not able to provide a picture I.D. they will not be allowed into the institution for their visit.

MDC Guaynabo has limited facilities for the storage of visitors’ personal property. Therefore, all visitors are encouraged to leave their personal property locked in their vehicles.

Visitors are not allowed to bring food, drink or candy into the visiting room. If any type of food, drink or candy is purchased in the visiting room, it must be consumed prior to exiting the visiting room.

Under no circumstances will inmates be allowed to receive any type of items from their social visitors. The only exception to this will be the sharing of items purchased within the visiting room. Any other item will be considered contraband and will cause the social visit to be terminated and the inmate may be subject to disciplinary action.

Visitors with babies will only be allowed to bring two (2) diapers, two (2) jars of baby food unopened, two (2) plastic bottles clear and half full, one (1) baby blanket. They will be allowed to bring two clear plastic bottles of baby formula and/or juice into the visiting room for consumption. Strollers, carriers, and baby diaper bags as well as toys are not allowed in the visiting room.

In order to uphold necessary standards of appropriate dress in the visiting room, visitors will not be permitted to wear the following articles:

  • Transparent clothing, halter tops, sleeveless shirt, blouses above the waistline 
  • Shorts, mini-skirts or dresses (shorter than 3" above the knees), culottes or spandex tights
  • Apparel of a suggestive or revealing nature
  • Sandals, slippers, or open toe shoe
  • Removable head wear such as wigs, hats and scarfs. Such items must be removed for inspection prior to being admitted into the institution
  • Jackets
  • Clothing that is similar to that issued to inmates (i.e., khaki pants, shirts, etc.) or similar to officers' uniform (i.e., combination of white and grey pants shirt), including the Tactical Teams (camouflage/black or blue BDU’s)
  • Any clothing that has too much metal that will set the metal detector off. (i.e. jumpsuit’s with metal hooks)
  • At the discretion of the shift Lieutenant or Institutional Duty Officer, children under the age of twelve (12) will be allowed to wear shorts. No bare feet will be permitted (excluding babies).

The only items visitors are allowed to bring into the visiting room are a Debit Card, two (2) female sanitary napkins or tampons, and one small clear bag to carry these items.

Physical Address


Driving Directions:

General Phone Number & Email Address

Phone: 787-749-4480
Email: GUA/[email protected]

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

P.O. BOX 2005
CATANO, PR 00963

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 this address. 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


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 a Guaynabo MDC.
  • Gather the information you'll need. Which includes the inmate’s name and number.
  • Visit to complete your payment.

Information needed to complete the 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 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

  • Literacy/GED programs offered in both English and Spanish
  • English as a Second Language
  • Adult Continuing Education Programs (ACE) in Small Business, College Board, and Advanced Math
  • High School and Post Secondary Education Programs via paid correspondence
  • Parenting Programs
  • Recreation, Leisure, Wellness, and Social Programs
  • Art and Hobbycraft Programs
  • Structured classes like Fitness, Nutrition, Human Anatomy, Exercise Physiology, and Smoking Cessation
  • Sports Clinics
  • Sewing Program
  • Drug Abuse Programs
  • Nonresidential Drug Abuse Treatment

Pictures of Metropolitan Detention Center - Guaynabo

Careers at Metropolitan Detention Center - Guaynabo

If you are interested in pursuing a career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you can find available positions at Guaynabo MDC by visiting 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 Guaynabo MDC report that it was a stressful place to work, but is still considered an above average work environment. Plenty of overtime is available that will be added on to your base salary, and the job also comes with good benefits.