danbury federal correctional institution

Danbury Federal Correctional Institution: A Historical Overview

When it comes to discussing the American prison system, one name that frequently emerges is the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution (FCI). Established in 1940, the Danbury FCI is a low-security prison located in Danbury, Connecticut. Over the years, it has gained notoriety for its notable incidents and appearances in popular culture. In this article, we will delve into the history, facilities, inmates, and more at Danbury FCI.

1. Inception and Facilities

The Danbury Federal Correctional Institution consists of three main components: the FCI itself, a satellite prison (FSL), and a camp (FPC). Each of these units operates with varying levels of security. As of the latest available data, the FCI houses 816 inmates, the camp accommodates 191, and the satellite prison holds just 71 individuals.

1.1 Housing

At the FCI, there are two types of housing – dormitories and cells. This diversity allows the institution to house approximately 946 male inmates. Meanwhile, the satellite camp primarily utilizes dormitory-style housing and is designed to hold around 155 female inmates.

See also  Aliceville Federal Correctional Institution

1.2 Infrastructure

Danbury FCI boasts an extensive infrastructure with 55 buildings, including 14 residences for staff members. This vast setup is necessary to cater to the needs of both inmates and staff.

2. Inmate Profile

Danbury FCI primarily houses individuals who have committed non-violent offenses such as burglaries, drug-related crimes, or property offenses. Interestingly, when it first opened its doors, the prison exclusively held male offenders. However, in 1944, the institution underwent a significant policy change by incorporating female inmates. Recent developments suggest a potential return to its original all-male inmate policies.

3. Notable Incidents and Pop Culture References

3.1 The Deadly Fire of 1977

One of the most tragic incidents in Danbury FCI’s history occurred on July 7th, 1977. At 1:15 A.M., a deadly fire broke out in the laundry room, sparked by an inmate’s clothing. Due to the room’s combustible materials, the fire quickly spread. Unfortunately, the delay in evacuation resulted in the loss of five lives due to smoke inhalation. This incident prompted a comprehensive reevaluation of fire safety protocols within the federal prison system.

3.2 Michael Rudkin

A notable figure associated with Danbury FCI is Michael Rudkin. A former correctional officer at the facility, Rudkin was discovered to be engaging in sexual relations with a female inmate in 2008. Further investigation revealed that he had similar relations with multiple female inmates. Consequently, Rudkin was imprisoned and later found guilty of hiring a hitman to target the inmate with whom he had a sexual relationship, his ex-wife, her new boyfriend, and the Office of Inspector General agent assigned to his case. This ultimately extended his sentence to 90 years.

3.3 Celebrity Inmates

Danbury FCI has also made appearances in various forms of media and has hosted its share of notable inmates. Singer and actress Lauryn Hill served a three-month sentence here for not reporting her income and failing to pay taxes for five years. George Jung, known for his involvement with the Medellin Drug Cartel and cocaine smuggling, was also incarcerated at Danbury. His life story is depicted in the 2001 film “Blow.” Additionally, Piper Kerman, the author of “Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison,” spent 13 months at Danbury for money laundering. Her book and the subsequent Netflix series, both based on her experiences, shed light on the environment within FCI Danbury.

See also  Coleman I United States Penitentiary

4. Visiting Danbury FCI

Visiting loved ones at Danbury FCI requires an understanding of the facility’s visiting hours and rules.

4.1 Visiting Hours

The visiting hours at Danbury FCI vary depending on which facility you intend to visit. The FCI permits visits on Sunday, Monday, Friday, Saturday, and federal holidays, from 8:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. For the camp and FSL, visiting is restricted to weekends and holidays during the same hours.

4.2 Point System

Danbury FCI employs a point system to determine visitation frequency. Inmates at the institution receive 9 points per month, while those at the camp receive 12 points. Weekday visits deduct 1 point, while weekend and holiday visits subtract 2 points.

4.3 Visitor Limitations

Visits may be limited to two hours when the visiting room becomes overcrowded. Additionally, visitors traveling less than 200 miles have their visits shortened first. Each inmate is allowed up to 3 adults and 5 children at once.

4.4 Permitted Items

Visitors can bring specific items into the prison, which must be kept in a small clear bag. These items include life-supporting medication, a visitor locker key, and money not exceeding $30. Female visitors are also allowed to bring up to 2 feminine hygiene products. If visitors are bringing children, additional items like diapers, bottles with formula/milk, a small baby blanket, wipes, and a pacifier are authorized.

4.5 Security Measures

Adult visitors may be subject to random pat-downs before entering the visiting room. These pat-downs are conducted as a security measure. Visits to inmates housed at the hospital require prior approval and are supervised by a staff member. Physical contact between inmates and visitors is limited to the beginning and end of each visit.

See also  Butner Federal Medical Center

5. Contact Information

For those who wish to get in touch with Danbury Federal Correctional Institution, the facility’s contact details are as follows:

  • Physical Address: Danbury Federal Correctional Institution Route 37 Danbury, Connecticut 06811
  • Telephone: (203)-743-6471
  • Inmate Mailing Address: Inmate Name, ID Number Danbury Federal Correctional Institution Route 37 Danbury, Connecticut 06811

In conclusion, Danbury Federal Correctional Institution holds a unique place in the American prison system due to its rich history, notable incidents, and appearances in popular culture. Understanding its facilities, inmate profile, and visitation rules is essential for those connected to or interested in this institution.


1. Is Danbury FCI a male-only facility?

No, while Danbury FCI originally housed only male inmates, it began admitting female inmates in 1944. However, there have been discussions about returning to an all-male inmate policy in the future.

2. What were the consequences of the 1977 fire incident at Danbury FCI?

The 1977 fire incident led to a reevaluation of fire safety protocols within the federal prison system. Unfortunately, five inmates lost their lives due to smoke inhalation during this tragic event.

3. Who is Michael Rudkin, and what is his connection to Danbury FCI?

Michael Rudkin was a correctional officer at Danbury FCI who was discovered to be engaged in sexual relations with multiple female inmates. He was later imprisoned and found guilty of hiring a hitman, resulting in a 90-year sentence.

4. Can visitors bring personal items when visiting Danbury FCI?

Visitors can bring specific items, including medication, a visitor locker key, and limited cash, all kept in a small clear bag. Female visitors are allowed to bring feminine hygiene products, and those bringing children have additional allowances.

5. How can I contact Danbury Federal Correctional Institution?

You can reach Danbury FCI at the following address and telephone number:

  • Physical Address: Danbury Federal Correctional Institution Route 37 Danbury, Connecticut 06811
  • Telephone: (203)-743-6471

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