Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York

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Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York
MCC New York jeh.JPG
LocationManhattan, New York City
Coordinates40°42′47″N 74°00′07″W / 40.71306°N 74.00194°W / 40.71306; -74.00194Coordinates: 40°42′47″N 74°00′07″W / 40.71306°N 74.00194°W / 40.71306; -74.00194
Security classAdministrative facility
Managed byFederal Bureau of Prisons
WardenMarti Licon-Vitale [2]

The Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York (MCC New York) is a United States federal administrative detention facility in the Civic Center of Lower Manhattan, New York City, located on Park Row behind the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse at Foley Square. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice.

MCC New York holds male and female prisoners of all security levels. Most prisoners held at MCC New York have pending cases in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. MCC New York also holds prisoners serving brief sentences.[1]

The Los Angeles Times stated that the prison is often referred to as the "Guantanamo of New York",[3] and The New York Times stated that its administrative segregation units had severe security measures.[4]


Opened in 1975 in the Civic Center neighborhood of Lower Manhattan,[5] MCC New York was the first high-rise facility to be used by the Bureau of Prisons.[6] The jail was technically an extension of the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, to which it was connected via a footbridge.[7] Prisoners are assigned to one of 10 separate, self-contained housing units, resulting in little movement within the facility. In 2002, it was widely reported that MCC New York was severely overcrowded.[6]

Numerous high-profile individuals have been held at MCC New York during court proceedings, including Gambino crime family bosses John Gotti and Jackie D'Amico, drug dealer Frank Lucas, Ponzi scheme fraudster Bernard Madoff, terrorists Omar Abdel Rahman and Ramzi Yousef, financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and weapons trafficker Viktor Bout.[8] After being extradited to the United States, Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was housed in the facility.

On August 26, 2021, the Federal Bureau of Prisons announced that the prison would be temporarily closed in response to deteriorating conditions. At the time of the announcement, 233 prisoners were held there; they were moved to other prisons while the department addresses the prison conditions.[9]


The correctional center is housed in a 12-story high-rise building located at 150 Park Row in the Civic Center neighborhood. In 2017, it had 796 inmates, both male and female, which is far more than its design capacity of 449.[10][11] The facility has one female wing; seven General Population male wings, six of which feature cells and one is a dorm; one Special Housing Unit (SHU); and one "supermax" unit. Each unit takes up two stories. All General Population units feature a gym (no weights), a kitchen (microwaves, hot water, ice), and five TV sets (one in the gym and four in the common area). Offices, classes, and computers are located on the unit's second floor. The jail is chronically understaffed.[11]

Inmates in the 10-South wing are locked inside single-man cells 23 hours a day that are continuously monitored by CCTV cameras and have lights on at all times.[4][12] Prisoners are kept isolated: their cells are equipped with showers, and the only time they're taken outside their cells is for exercise in an indoor cage. No outdoor recreation is permitted.[12] Most 10-South prisoners are subject to special administrative measures, which severely restrict their communication with other prisoners and with the outside world.[12]

The 9-South wing is a designated SHU. It houses inmates that violated prison rules; new arrivals that have not been medically cleared for General Population yet; and inmates in Protective Custody (PC).[12] Both inmates in a cell are cuffed at the back through a food slot every time the cell door is to be opened. Inmates are escorted to the shower three times a week, always cuffed.[citation needed] The wing has leaky plumbing that results in prisoners encountering pools of standing water and sewage, and it also has rodent and cockroach infestations.[13][14]

Notable inmates (current and former)[edit]

Inmate Name Register Number Photo Status Details
Abu Hamza al-Masri 67495-054 Abu Hamza al-Masri mugshot.jpg Serving a life sentence; transferred to ADX Florence. Egyptian cleric and former associate of deceased Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden; extradited from the UK in 2012; convicted in 2014 of masterminding the 1998 kidnapping of Westerners in Yemen and conspiring to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon in 1999.[15]
Abu Anas al-Libi

Khalid al-Fawwaz

Al-Libi died on January 2, 2015, while awaiting trial; al-Fawwaz is serving life in prison at USP Florence - High.[16] High-ranking Al-Qaeda operatives; indicted in 2000 on conspiracy charges stemming from Al Qaeda's 1998 bombings of two US embassies in East Africa, which killed 224 people.[17]
Joaquín Guzmán 89914-053 Booking photo of Joaquin “El Chapo“ Guzman (front).jpg Sentenced to life plus 30 years; transferred to ADX Florence.[18] Known as "El Chapo" Guzmán, who on two prior occasions was able to escape High Security Facilities in Mexico, was extradited to the United States in 2017. He was accused of being the leader of a drug cartel with thousands of members, whose earnings are estimated to be in the billions. The charge coming out of the United States Court, Eastern District of New York, asserts that he and other members of the Sinaloa Cartel have used hired assassins to carry out murders, kidnappings, and torture. Time Out New York reported in August 2018 that the Brooklyn Bridge could be closed to traffic twice a day when Guzmán is transported across the river to face trial at the Federal District Court in Brooklyn.
Patrick Ho 76101-054 Patrick Ho.jpg Convicted, Sentenced[19] Charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and money laundering.[20] Three years' imprisonment and fined $400,000 in March 2019.
Sayfullo Habibullaevich Saipov 79715-054 Pending trial Sayfullo is being held in MCC, New York on suspicion of perpetrating a terrorist attack in New York City. He is charged with Providing material support for a terrorist organization and Destruction of a motor vehicle.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi 78312-054 Serving a life sentence; transferred to ADX Florence American-Afghan man from Elizabeth, New Jersey who was convicted in U.S. District Court and New Jersey state court for use of weapons of mass destruction, bombing a place of public use, attempted murder of law enforcement officers and various other charges.
Daryl Campbell 75951-054 Now at Brooklyn MDC. Plead guilty to federal gun charges
John Zancocchio 48744-080 Released from federal custody on 07/31/2018. Racketeering charges[21]
Jeffrey Epstein 76318-054 Jeffrey Epstein mug shot.jpg Found dead in his cell on August 10, 2019; after being removed from a suicide watch.[22][23][24] Sex trafficking charges. It was the first recorded suicide at MCC in 21 years.[25]
Akayed Ullah 79827-054 Akayed Ullah.png Serving a life sentence; transferred to ADX Florence. Convicted in 2018 for terrorism in a plot to bomb the New York City Subway with explosives.
Paul Manafort 35207-016 Released from federal custody on 12/23/2020. Former Trump campaign manager, lobbyist, political consultant, and lawyer. Sentenced to 47 months in prison for lobbying violations and bank and tax fraud. Moved from FCI Loretto in June 2019. Expected to be released December 24, 2024, moved back to Loretto in August 2019. Pardoned by Trump on December 23, 2020.
Ross Ulbricht 18870-111 Ross Ulbricht.jpg Transferred to USP Florence High, and finally transferred to USP Tucson. Creator and operator of the darknet market website the Silk Road.
Michael Avenatti 86743-054 Convicted, awaiting sentencing Convicted in New York of attempting to extort Nike and honest services fraud related to his client; also facing two other pending trials relating to tax evasion, filing false tax returns and allegations of defrauding clients including Stormy Daniels.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "MCC New York". Federal Bureau of Prisons.
  2. ^ "New York warden reassigned after Jeffrey Epstein's death; two staffers placed on leave". USA Today.
  3. ^ Demick, Barbara; Patrick J. McDonnell (January 20, 2017). "Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman has a new home: The Guantanamo of New York". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Goldstein, Joseph (January 23, 2017). "Manhattan Jail That Holds El Chapo Is Called Tougher Than Guantánamo Bay". The New York Times. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  5. ^ Dugan, George (August 3, 1975). "400 Prisoners Are Transferred To New U.S. Jail on Foley Sq". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 25, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Bosworth, Mary (2002). The US Federal Prison System. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. p. 272. ISBN 9780761923046.
  7. ^ Goldberger, Paul (July 26, 1975). "New Detention Center at Foley Sq. Is Hailed as Advance in Jail Design". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 25, 2022.
  8. ^ McShane, Larry (March 13, 2009). "Inside Bernard Madoff's new home: the Metropolitan Correctional Center prison in Manhattan". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on January 9, 2016. Retrieved October 16, 2009.
  9. ^ Weiser, Benjamin (August 26, 2021). "Justice Dept. to Close Troubled Jail Where Jeffrey Epstein Died". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 25, 2022.
  10. ^ "Metropolitan Correctional Center New York". Zoukis Prisoner Resources. Archived from the original on September 8, 2018. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Neumeister, Larry; Mustian, Jim; Sisak, Michael R. (August 12, 2019). "Federal New York lockup draws new scrutiny in Epstein death". Associated Press. Archived from the original on August 21, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d Theoharis, Jeanne (August 16, 2019). "The Real Scandal of the MCC". The Atlantic. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  13. ^ Watkins, Ali; Ivory, Danielle; Goldbaum, Christina (August 17, 2019). "Inmate 76318-054: The Last Days of Jeffrey Epstein". The New York Times. Retrieved August 17, 2019. Beyond its isolation, the wing is infested with rodents and cockroaches, and inmates often have to navigate standing water — as well as urine and fecal matter — that spills from faulty plumbing, accounts from former inmates and lawyers said. One lawyer said mice often eat his clients' papers.
  14. ^ Stahl, Aviva (June 19, 2018). "Prisoners Endure A Nightmare 'Gulag' In Lower Manhattan, Hidden In Plain Sight". Gothamist. Archived from the original on September 27, 2019. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  15. ^ Wald, Jonathan; Andrew Carey (October 5, 2012). "Radical Islamist Abu Hamza al-Masri extradited to U.S." CNN. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  16. ^ Jomana, Karadsheh (January 3, 2015). "Alleged al Qaeda operative Abu Anas al Libi dies in U.S. hospital, family says". CNN. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  17. ^ Weiser, Benjamin (October 15, 2013). "Terror Suspect Caught in Libya Appears in Manhattan Court". The New York Times. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  18. ^ "El Chapo trial: Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán found guilty". BBC. February 12, 2019. Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán has been found guilty on all 10 counts at his drug trafficking trial at a federal court in New York.
  19. ^ Lum, Alvin; Emma Kazryan (December 6, 2018). "Former Hong Kong minister Patrick Ho Chi-ping convicted in US court on 7 of 8 counts in bribery and money-laundering case". South China Morning Post. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  20. ^ Cheng, Kris (November 23, 2017). "All parties deny involvement after US arrests ex-Hong Kong top official Patrick Ho on multi-million dollar bribery charges". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  21. ^ DeGregory, Priscilla; Italiano, Laura (January 12, 2018). "'Boobsie,' 'Porky' among names in Bonanno mob bust". New York Post. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  22. ^ "Jeffrey Epstein dies by suicide in Manhattan jail; Death raises 'serious questions,' AG Barr says". ABC7 New York. August 10, 2019. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  23. ^ "Guards 'severely overworked' at time of Epstein's death". BBC News. August 12, 2019. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  24. ^ Leonnig, Carol D.; Davis, Aaron C. (August 15, 2019). "Autopsy finds broken bones in Jeffrey Epstein's neck, deepening questions around his death". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  25. ^ Gearty, Robert (August 12, 2019). "Epstein's New York lockup rare place for inmate suicides, suicide attempts". Fox News.
  26. ^ Flood, Brian (February 14, 2020). "Ex-CNN darling Michael Avenatti convicted of trying to extort Nike". Fox News.

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