Federal Medical Center, Lexington
|Location||Fayette County, Kentucky|
|Security class||Administrative facility (with minimum-security prison camp)|
|Population||1,950 (330 in prison camp)|
|Opened||1935 (designated as federal prison in 1974)|
|Managed by||Federal Bureau of Prisons|
The Federal Medical Center, Lexington (FMC Lexington) is a United States federal prison in Kentucky for male inmates requiring medical or mental health care. It is designated as an administrative facility, which means that it holds inmates of all security classifications. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice. The facility also has an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp for female inmates.
The site opened on May 15, 1935 on 1,000 acres (400 ha) under the name "United States Narcotic Farm" then changed shortly after to "U.S. Public Health Service Hospital". In 1967 it changed its name again to "National Institute of Mental Health, Clinical Research Center". Its original purpose was to treat people that "voluntarily" were admitted with drug abuse problems and treat them, with mostly experimental treatments; it was the first of its kind in the United States. The 1,050-acre (420 ha) site included a farm where patients would work.
Throughout the life of the institution as a prison/hospital, approximately two-thirds of those sent to the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital were considered volunteers. While many traveled to the institution on their own to volunteer for treatment, other so-called volunteers were in fact motivated to go there in lieu of federal sentencing. The remaining one-third of the prison’s population - which at its peak capacity as a prison/hospital housed 1,499 men and women - were there due to federal charges either directly or indirectly related to drug use.
In 1974, the institution became a federal prison but maintained a "psychiatric hospital" title until 1998, the year 2 inmates killed another with a fire extinguisher. Most psychiatric patients were subsequently moved to other federal medical centers, although the change in mission was due to the psychiatric function being transferred to a new Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts, and not the homicide.
- In Nelson Algren's novel The Man With the Golden Arm and the 1955 screen adaptation, the main character Frankie the Machine, a morphine addict, returns to his Chicago neighborhood after being detoxed at the Lexington Medical Center.
- In William S. Burroughs' book Junkie, the autobiographical main character spends a period of time at "Lexington", where he checks himself in voluntarily in order to quit his heroin addiction.
Notable Inmates (current and former)
† Inmates released from custody prior to 1982 are not listed on the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.
|Inmate Name||Register Number||Status||Details|
|Susan Rosenberg||03684-016||Released in 2001 after her sentence was commuted by President Bill Clinton; served 16 years of a 58-year sentence.||Political activist and former member of the May 19th Communist Organization, a terrorist group which carried out bombings of government facilities and bank robberies in the 1980s; convicted of possessing explosives in 1984.|
|Silvia Baraldini||05125-054||Transferred to an Italian prison in 1999 while serving a 40-year sentence.||Political activist from Italy; convicted of racketeering in 1982 for taking part in two armored truck robberies, as well as for aiding convicted murdered Assata Shakur escape from prison.|
|Kinde Durkee||57860-112||Serving an 8-year sentence; scheduled for release in 2020.||Former campaign treasurer for 400 Democratic candidates, including US Senator Dianne Feinstein; pleaded guilty to mail fraud for siphoning $7 million in campaign funds and using the money to subsidize her private business.|
|Mark Williams||66101-066||Serving a 16-year sentence; scheduled for release in 2025.||Former Philadelphia Police officer; convicted in 2011 of drug trafficking conspiracy and Hobbs Act violations for masterminding the gunpoint robbery of heroin and money from a drug dealer, and subsequently attempting to sell the heroin and launder the money.|
|Wayne Kramer||Unlisted†||Held at FMC Lexington in the 1970s; served 2 years.||Guitarist and co-founder of the Detroit rock band MC5; convicted of selling cocaine to undercover police officers.|
|Red Rodney||Unlisted†||Held at FMC Lexington in the 1970s; served 27 months.||Bop and hard bop trumpeter; convicted of fraud and theft for impersonating an Army officer in order to steal $10,000 from the Atomic Energy Commission of San Francisco.|
- List of U.S. federal prisons
- Federal Bureau of Prisons
- Incarceration in the United States
- Abraham Wikler, an associate director of the center, known for his conditioning-based theory of addiction
- Marie Nyswander, an employee of the center who later became known for her research on methadone treatment of heroin addicts
- Thomas R. Kosten and David A. Gorelick (January 2002). "The Lexington Narcotic Farm". American Journal of Psychiatry 159 (22): 22–22. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.159.1.22. PMID 11772684.
- "Treasurer Who Defrauded Feinstein, Others, Sentenced". Huffington Post. November 28, 2012.
- "Ex-Inmate Musician Returns To Jail With Guitars". Huffington Post. March 4, 2012.