Most United States Penitentiaries (USPs) are high-security facilities, which have highly secured perimeters with walls or reinforced fences, multiple and single-occupant cell housing, the highest staff-to-inmate ratio, and close control of inmate movement. The most restrictive facility in the federal prison system is ADX Florence, the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, which holds inmates who are considered the most dangerous and in need of the tightest controls. USP Atlanta, USP Leavenworth, USP Lompoc, and USP Marion are medium-security facilities. USP Marion contains a highly restrictive Communication Management Unit, which holds inmates under stricter controls. Many USPs include minimum-security satellite camps on the same property and under the same administration as the higher-security unit(s).
Federal correctional institutions (FCIs) are medium- and low-security facilities, which have strengthened perimeters (often double fences with electronic detection systems), mostly cell-type housing, a wide variety of work and treatment programs, and a higher staff-to-inmate ratio and greater internal controls than low-security FCIs. FCI Terre Haute contains a more restrictive section designated as a Communication Management Unit for inmates considered high-security risks.
In August 2016, Justice Department officials announced that the FBOP would be phasing out its use of contracted facilities, on the grounds that private prisons provide less safe and less effective services with no substantial cost savings. However, under the Trump administration in 2017, the Justice Department rescinded this phaseout, stating that it would re-implement its usage of private correctional facilities. Those facilities are:
Federal prison camps (FPCs) are minimum-security facilities, which have dormitory housing, a relatively low staff-to-inmate ratio, and limited or no perimeter fencing. These institutions are work- and program-oriented. Many are located adjacent to larger institutions or on military bases, where inmates help serve the labor needs of the larger institution or base.
Administrative facilities are institutions with special missions, such as the detention of pretrial offenders; the treatment of inmates with serious or chronic medical problems; or the containment of extremely dangerous, violent, or escape-prone inmates. Administrative facilities include Metropolitan Correctional Centers (MCCs), Metropolitan Detention Centers (MDCs), Federal Detention Centers (FDCs), and Federal Medical Centers (FMCs), as well as the Federal Transfer Center (FTC), the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners (MCFP), and the Administrative-Maximum (ADX) U.S. Penitentiary. Administrative facilities, except the ADX, are capable of holding inmates in all security categories.
This template pertains only to agencies that handle sentenced felons (with sentences over 1-2 years). In many states, pre-trial detainees, persons convicted of misdemeanors, and persons sentenced under state law to fewer than one year are held in county jails instead of state prisons.