Federal Detention Center - SeaTac

Federal Detention Center - SeaTac, or FDC SeaTac is an administrative facility for all security levels that is located on the south side of Seattle, Washington, near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. FDC SeaTac houses both male and female offenders and it currently has a population of 688 prisoners, with most being pretrial detainees and holdover inmates who are involved in proceedings in the Western District of Washington.

The facility was opened in 1997 and is sectioned off into two-person cells or two-person dormitories.

The most notable event that occured at FDC SeaTac is the wrongful death lawsuit filed against the detention center by Taweesin Jaime Ngerntongdee, the son of Roxanna Brown.

Brown was the director of the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum, and she was being held at the facility after her arrest for multiple counts of wire fraud when she entered the United States to give a lecture in 2008.

The case against Brown was immediately dropped after staff found her dead in her cell. Brown died of peritonitis caused by a perforated ulcer, and even though she asked for medical care, a guard told her she would have to wait until the next morning. The federal government settled the case for $880,000.

Prison Insights

Federal Detention Center - SeaTac

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

Visiting hours at FDC SeaTac are as follows:

Sunday 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Monday 2:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Friday 2:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
HOLIDAYS 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

All inmates will be allowed social visits for a period of two hours. The time period will begin when the inmate arrives in the Visiting Room. All inmates will be allowed only one visit a day. 

Pre-trial, Holdover, and ICE inmates will be subject to visiting on Odd and Even calendar days, according to their Register Number. The fifth number of the register number will be the determinate for which day.

All inmates whose register number’s fifth number is odd will be authorized to visit on odd calendar visiting days. All whose fifth number is even, will be authorized to visit on even calendar visiting days.

Examples are: Register Number 01234-086 may visit on Even visiting days (i.e., May 2) Register number 12467-086 may visit on Odd calendar visiting days (i.e., May 15.)

Cadre inmates will be allowed to visit on all available social visiting days, Friday through Monday. Cadre inmates will be restricted to the two hour time limit on these days.

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 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 will not be allowed to take any personal items into the Visiting Room except for their identification. All personal items with the exception of wallets, purses, money etc., will be locked in the visitor’s vehicle. Those items which should not or cannot be locked in the visitor’s vehicle will be placed in a locker located in the Front Lobby.

Persons utilizing the public transportation system will be allowed to utilize the lockers in the Front Lobby to store personal items for the duration of their visit.

Visitors may not bring anything into the institution to be given to an inmate.

Visitors are permitted to bring in infant care items limited to:

  • one pacifier
  • one diaper
  • five diaper wipes
  • one bottle with contents or toddler sippy cup(clear plastic)
  • one infant size blanket

No infant toys of any kind are allowed in the Visiting Room. The diaper wipes can be held in a clear ziploc type bag. The ziploc type bag can be up to the one gallon size bag.

Only medication needed for the immediate preservation of life of a visitor will be allowed into the institution (i.e., asthma inhalers, nitroglycerin tablets, etc.)

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.

Any clothing that is suggestive, provocative or reveling is not suitable for the visiting room environment. All visitors, regardless of age, will have to abide by these rules. Clothing that is questionable in regards to taste will be brought to the attention of the Operations Lieutenant.

The following items ARE NOT permitted in the visiting room for social visits:

  • Halter, tank or tube tops
  • Open toe or heel shoes
  • Sandals
  • White, Brown, or Orange t-shirts
  • Sleeveless Shirts
  • Spandex Garments
  • Shirts/blouses with plunging necklines
  • Low cut tops
  • Shorts
  • Jogging or Sweatsuits
  • Skirts or dresses shorter than 2 inches above the knee
  • Suggestive/Revealing or Transparent-see through clothing
  • Spandex/form fitting clothing
  • Clothing w/offensive wording or signs/logos
  • Hats, caps or shirts with hoods
  • Khaki colored clothing
  • Coats, jackets, gloves or scarves (any type of outdoor apparel)
  • Bagging or sagging clothing

Physical Address

SEATTLE, WA  98198

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

General Phone Number & Email Address

Phone: 206-870-5700
Email: SET/[email protected]

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

P.O. BOX 13900

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 SeaTac.
  • 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 diplomas and post-secondary programs are available through paid correspondence programs

Pictures of Federal Detention Center - SeaTac

Careers at Federal Detention Center - SeaTac

If you are interested in pursuing a career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you can find available positions at FDC SeaTac 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 SeaTac report that it was a great work environment and they learned a lot. The work/life balance is on the low end of each review, indicating mandatory over time and short lunches. The salary and benefits are considered above average.