Federal Prison Camp - Yankton

Federal Prison Camp - Yankton, or FPC Yankton is a minimum-security federal prison camp for male offenders. FPC Yankton made the list of Forbes Magazine’s "Americas 10 Cushiest Prisons" in 2009.

Located in Yankton, South Dakota, this facility was once the campus for Yankton University before being converted over to a federal prison camp in the late 1980’s. It only houses inmates who do not have a history of escape, violence, sexual crimes, or major medical or psychiatric problems.

The population of 498 male inmates live in dormitories sectioned into cubicles. Each cubicle is made to house between four to twelve prisoners.

The most notable inmate at FPC Yankton is former Mormon bishop Shawn Merriman, who pleaded guilty in 2009 to mail fraud after he masterminded a Ponzi scheme that defrauded 67 people of $20 million between 1995 and 2009. He is currently serving a 12-year sentence, and is scheduled to be released in 2020.

One notable former inmate is John McTiernan, a Hollywood film director who directed Predator, Die Hard, and The Hunt for Red October. He pleaded guilty in 2006 to making false statements to the FBI and a federal judge, and served 328 days in 2014.

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Federal Prison Camp - Yankton

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Authorized visiting times at FPC Yankton are Fridays from 4:30 P.M. to 9:15 P.M., and Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal Holidays from 8:15 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.

The maximum number of visitors an inmate may have at one time is six, 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 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:

  • Identification, keys, money for vending machines, feminine hygiene products, diapers and bottles for immediate baby care and asthmatic inhalers. A visitor’s cardiac medication and asthmatic inhalers, which are in original containers, may be kept by the visitor. No other medication is allowed. Visitors should carry no more than one change purse (approximately 5" X 8"), which is clear plastic. 

Wallets and purses are not permitted in the visiting area. Unauthorized items will be stored in the visitor’s locked vehicle.

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.

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

Visiting is an extremely important family function and dress code requirements are necessary to maintain the dignity of those involved. Appropriate dress is required and must be in good taste. Excessively provocative, immodest or revealing attire is reason to deny visiting.

Visitors over the age of 12 years old will not be allowed into the institution in skirts, shorts, or dresses exceeding above the top of the kneecap in length.

See-through clothing, halter tops, tube tops, sleeveless shirts, tank tops, and any kind of top that reveals the midriff area of the anatomy, radically low-cut shirts or blouses, revealing (front) and backless clothing are prohibited. No skin-tight clothing or spandex clothing is allowed.

All visitors are required to wear footwear that covers the entire foot. Sandals, flip-flops, and open-toed footwear is prohibited.

All visitors are also required to wear undergarments (including bras for females).

Visits may be denied for non-compliance by the Visiting Room Officer, following his/her consultation with the Operations Lieutenant and/or Institution Duty Officer. The Operations Lieutenant and Duty Officer will decide if the infractions warrant termination of the visit.

Physical Address

YANKTON, SD  57078

Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/Hjkw2ZrvDty

General Phone Number & Email Address

Phone: 605-665-3262
Email: YAN/[email protected]

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

P.O. BOX 700

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 FPC Yankton.
  • 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)
  • Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP)
  • CHOICES drug awareness program
  • Literacy
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • GED
  • High school diplomas and post-secondary programs are available through paid correspondence programs
  • Advanced occupational education in Accounting, Business and Financial Administration, Science, and AWS Certified Welding.
  • Apprenticeships in Baker, Boiler Operator/Mechanic, Building Maintenance, Carpentry, Cook, Dental Assistant, Electrician Maintenance, Human Services Direct Support Professional, HVAC, Industrial Housekeeper, Landscape Management Technician, Landscape Technician, Painting, Plumbing, Refrigeration Mechanic, and Tape Recorder Repair
  • Intramural sports
  • Music program

Pictures of Federal Prison Camp - Yankton

Careers at Federal Prison Camp - Yankton

If you are interested in pursuing a career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you can find available positions at FPC Yankton 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 FPC Yankton report it isn’t the best work environment and offered little to no advancement. The work/life balance is bad, and the salary and benefits are considered average.