United States Penitentiary - Lee

United States Penitentiary - Lee, or USP Lee, is a high-security federal prison with an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp located in Virginia. It houses a total of 1,353 male offenders, with 1,254 at the USP and 99 at the camp.

Notable incidents include inmate Edward Port walking away from the minimum-security camp on February 25, 2008. He was serving a sentence for defrauding the US Department of Agriculture of more than $400,000. He was a fugitive for over eight years, but was eventually recaptured in May 2016 after being profiled on America’s Most Wanted.

There has also been some incidents of violence, including several homicides. Inmate Quinten Corniel was killed in September 2008, and inmate Ernest Bennett was killed in January 2010, both during altercations with other inmates.

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United States Penitentiary - Lee

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting at the USP has been suspended until further notice.

Visits for the camp are scheduled from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Fridays, and 8:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays.

The maximum number of visitors an inmate may have at one time is three adults (16 and older), but there is no limit on 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:

  • 1 small size clear plastic purse (no larger than 10x10) 
  • Medication - Necessary life supportive medication ID Card 
  • Driver's License 
  • Jewelry being worn by the visitor 
  • Female hygiene items - Two sanitary napkins or tampons. 
  • Money - A total of $25.00 in change or paper currency ($1.00 or $5.00 bills). 
  • Religious headgear 
  • Only those items needed for an infant’s stay will be authorized in the Visiting Room. Allowable items are as follows: 
    • 3-Diapers 
    • 2-Plastic baby bottles containing prepared baby o formula 3/4 full 
    • 1-container of baby food (sealed) 
    • 1-empty plastic baby bottle 
    • 1-clear drinking cup 
    • 1-plastic serving spoon 
    • 1-small, clear plastic tote bag for the above contents  
    • 1-plastic zip lock bag containing baby wipes

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.

All visitors will be dressed appropriately. This requirement includes footwear and clothing appropriate for a correctional setting.

Shorts, skirts, and dresses will be at a maximum of no more than two inches above the knee to include any slits in the dresses or skirts.

The dress code is as follows:

  • No tight-fitting or stretch clothing 
  • No see-through clothing 
  • No low-cut blouses 
  • No tank tops/muscle shirts - All shirts and blouses must cover the shoulders
  • No wrap-around skirts 
  • No button up/down skirts 
  • No flip-flop style/open toe shoes 
  • No ball caps, hats, bandanas, sweat bands, do rags, or any other type of headgear is authorized with the exception of approved religious headgear. 
  • No watches of any kind 
  • No sunglasses 
  • No scarfs 
  • No grey colored sweatpants or shirts 
  • No hooded shirts or jackets 
  • No outwear/jackets, sweaters, etc. 

Visitors will not be permitted to wear pants, coats, and/or shirt that resembles the khaki-colored inmate uniform. Any visitor wearing clothes similarly-colored (brown, light brown, beige, khaki, or tan) will not be allowed to enter the visiting room.

Visitors may be denied entry based on their dress attire. This decision will not be delegated lower than the Operations Lieutenant.

All visitors will wear shoes in the Visiting Room to ensure their safety. Therefore, no open-toed shoes are allowed.

All female visitors 16 years old and older will be expected to wear an undergarment covering the breast or chest area.

Failure of visitors to recognize and adhere to these requirements will be reason to disallow the visit.

Physical Address


Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/Vd26uqmszzj

General Phone Number & Email Address

Phone: 276-546-0150
Email: LEE/[email protected]

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

For inmates at the USP:
P.O. BOX 305

For inmates at the Camp:
P.O. BOX 644

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
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 Lee.
  • 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
  • Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • GED
  • High School Diploma (via paid correspondence)
  • Post-Secondary Programs (via paid correspondence)
  • Advanced occupational education in Basic Home Construction and Residential HVAC at the USP, and the camp offers Horticulture/Gardening
  • UNICOR facility that produces clothing and textiles
  • Individualized arts and crafts programs
  • Intramural team sports

Pictures of United States Penitentiary - Lee

Careers at United States Penitentiary - Lee

If you are interested in pursuing a career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you can find available positions at USP Lee 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 Lee, the work/life balance is okay and the compensation and benefits are competitive.