Federal Correctional Institution - McDowell

Federal Correctional Institution - McDowell or FCI McDowell, is a medium-security federal prison for male offenders located in West Virginia. It also has an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp. There are currently 1,344 total inmates at the facility, with 1,279 at the FCI and 65 at the camp.

Inmates at FCI McDowell are housed in two-person cells, and those at the camp are housed in dormitories.

FCI McDowell opened in 2011 and is one of the newest correctional facilities in the Bureau of Prisons. Notable former inmates include Tony F. Mack, the former mayor of Trenton, New Jersey, who served 58 months for bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and extortion.

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Federal Correctional Institution - McDowell

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting hours at FCI McDowell are from 8:00 a.m. to  3:00 p.m on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and federal holidays.

At the camp, visiting hours are on Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

The maximum number of visitors an inmate may have at one time is five, including children. Anyone under the age of 16 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.

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:

  • One clear change purse no larger than 8 x 12
  • No more than $20 in $1 bills and coins
  • Photo ID
  • Two diapers (Diaper bags are not allowed)
  • One unopened package of baby wipes
  • Two jars of baby food and one container of formula (in factory sealed containers only)
  • Two clear baby bottles
  • One change of clothes for infants under 3 years of age
  • One blanket
  • Life saving medication which will be placed at the Visiting Officer's desk for distribution

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. These items must be returned to the visitor's personal vehicle.

Cell phones, pagers, cameras, watches, 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.

The following restrictions on clothing will be strictly enforced:

  • Tops will cover the upper body, including stomach, chest/breasts, and back
  • Tank tops are not permissible
  • Clothing made of see-through material will not be permitted
  • Dresses, skirts, or tops that wrap around the body, and/or any dress or skirt with a slit above the top of the knee will not be permitted
  • Skirts, shorts or dresses must not be shorter than two inches above the mid-knee for persons over 10 years of age
  • Tight or form fitting dresses such as knit, Spandex, or any other material that is form fitting will not be permitted
  • Clothing with suggestive or offensive words or pictures will not be permitted
  • Any pantyhose type leggings, Spandex, leotards, etc., or pants with holes, will not be permitted unless the lower body is covered by an appropriate length dress/skirt
  • Beach style footwear (i.e., flip flops, shoes without a back strap, etc.) may not be worn. Footwear with rolling wheels are not permitted
  • Any clothing accessible to the inmate population through the commissary such as sweat pants, sweat shorts, and plain white t-shirts are not permitted
  • Any khaki or tan colored pants, shirts, jackets or coats are not permitted
  • No head-wear such as hats, visors, head wraps or headbands (with exception to religious head-wear) will be permitted
  • Sun glasses, or any hooded jackets or shirts will not be permitted in the visiting room
  • Any clothing not noted above that is deemed inappropriate for wear in a correctional facility will not be authorized. Provocative and/or excessively revealing attire will not be permitted in the correctional facility.

Physical Address

WELCH, WV  24801

Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/hwUukEkpo4x

General Phone Number & Email Address

Phone: 304-436-7300
Email: MCD/[email protected]

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

For inmates at the FCI:
P.O.BOX 1009
WELCH, WV 24801

For inmates at the Camp:
P.O.BOX 1009
WELCH, WV 24801

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 FCI McDowell.
  • 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.

The monthly spend limit at FCI McDowell is $360 per inmate.

​Programs For ​Inmates

  • Drug Abuse Education Course
  • Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP)
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Literacy
  • High School Diploma (via paid correspondence)
  • Post-Secondary Programs (via paid correspondence)
  • FCI McDowell has vocational training in Carpentry, Masonry, and Residential Wiring. The camp offers Business Marketing
  • FCI McDowell offers apprenticeships in Dental Assistant and the camp offers Welding. Both the FCI and Camp offer Cook, Electrical, HVAC, Plumber, and Teacher Assistant
  • Physical fitness and weight loss
  • Intramural team sports
  • Arts and crafts

Pictures of Federal Correctional Institution - McDowell

Careers at Federal Correctional Institution - McDowell

If you are interested in pursuing a career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you can find available positions at FCI McDowell 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 FCI McDowell say that this isn’t the greatest place to work. The work-life balance is below average, but the salary and benefits are considered to be the biggest perk of being employed with the Bureau of Prisons.