Federal Correctional Institution, Talladega

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FCI Talladega
Image of the Federal Correctional Institution, Talledega.jpg
Location Talladega, Alabama
Status Operational
Security class Medium-security (with minimum-security prison camp)
Population 1,049 (277 in prison camp)
Managed by Federal Bureau of Prisons

The Federal Correctional Institution (FCI Talladega) is a medium-security United States federal prison for male inmates in Alabama. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice. The facility also includes an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp that also houses male offenders.

FCI Talladega is located approximately 50 miles from Birmingham, Alabama and 100 miles from Atlanta, Georgia.[1]

Notable Incidents[edit]

1991 Inmate Rebellion[edit]

On August 21, 1991, 121 Cuban inmates who had been incarcerated since the 1980 Mariel boatlift rioted and took over the facility in an effort to block their deportation to Cuba. Most of the prison staff who were on duty at the time escaped, but seven staff members, seven men and two women, were forced to barricade themselves in a room with mattresses. A ten-day standoff ensued, during which federal negotiators conducted two face-to-face meetings with the inmates, who released a sick hostage in exchange for a chance to speak with a reporter. However, the inmates repeatedly threatened to kill the other hostages if their scheduled deportation to Cuba was not cancelled. Sanitary conditions were rapidly deteriorating inside the prison and some hostages, using hand signals during a food delivery and medical visit, conveyed their fear to prison officials earlier that the inmates were discussing specific plans "to throw a hostage from the roof and to stab one or more hostages." Based on that information, US Attorney General William P. Barr, FBI Director William S. Sessions, and Bureau of Prisons director J. Michael Quinlan authorized the FBI Hostage Rescue Team to storm the facility.

At 3:43 AM on August 31, 1991, several loud explosions were heard inside Cell Block Alpha, the section of the prison where the hostages were being held. A team of about 200 specially trained agents had converged on the cell building at a number of points using explosives to break open doors. Once inside, they detonated a number of stun grenades, devices that issue a huge flash and shockwave intended to temporarily incapacitate anyone caught in the blast. By 3:46 AM, the agents had freed the hostages and taken all 121 inmates into custody.[2][3]

Notable Inmates (current and former)[edit]

Inmate Name Register Number Photo Status Details
Eric Ian Baker 18692-075 Serving a 15-year sentence; scheduled for release in 2021.[4] Member of the white supremacist group Aryan Nations; pleaded guilty to arson in connection with the 2008 firebombing of the Islamic Center of Columbia in Columbia, Tennessee; two accomplices were also sentenced to prison.[5][6][7]
Clarence Heatley 39015-054 Serving a life sentence. Leader of the Preacher Crew, a New York City street gang; pleaded guilty in 1999 to racketeering and conspiracy for directing gang members to commit murders, narcotics trafficking, extortion, robberies and kidnappings in the Bronx and Manhattan.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FCI Talladega". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Smothers, Ronald (31 August 1991). "U.S. Agents Storm Prison In Alabama, Freeing 9 Hostages". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ FBI — Hostage Rescue Team: Held to a Higher Standard
  4. ^ "Huntsville, Alabama Corrections Officer Job Description". Correctional Officer Edu. correctionalofficeredu.org. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Associated Press (November 3, 2008). "2 plead guilty to firebombing Tennessee mosque". USA Today. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Carey, Clay. "Columbia man sentenced in mosque bombing". Kingsport Publishing Corp. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Tennessee Man Sentenced to 183 Months in Prison for Burning Islamic Center". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Weiser, Benjamin (February 6, 1999). "Gang Leader, in Plea Deal, Admits to Role in 13 Killings". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 

Coordinates: 33°25′14″N 86°08′24″W / 33.42056°N 86.14000°W / 33.42056; -86.14000