Washington state has only two types of federal correctional facilities. First, there is one federal prison in Washington (called a detention center), and then there is also one residential reentry management field office. Federal prisons hold felons who have broken federal laws inside Washington or have been moved there through the federal penal system.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons (FOB) is the government agency that runs all federal facilities. They also supervise all federal inmates and maintain all Washington federal prison inmate records. They have an extensive website with a page for each facility and details for friends and family of inmates. Anyone searching for a person incarcerated in federal prison can easily perform a Washington federal prison inmate search using the offender locator feature on the FOB website. Along with confinement, the FOB provides inmates with recreation, visitation, phone calls, and mail service.
The FOB claims they are “an agency like no other.” Their mission states: “We protect public safety by ensuring that federal offenders serve their sentences of imprisonment in facilities that are safe, humane, cost-efficient, and appropriately secure, and provide reentry programming to ensure their successful return to the community.” They supervise 177,224 inmates with a recidivism rate of 34% and a staff of 35,972 employees.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons was established in 1930 by the Department of Justice to centralize and consolidate all federal correctional administration.
FDC Sea-Tac is an administrative security federal detention center. This facility holds 737 male and female offenders. They allow visitation on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
RRM Seattle is a Residential Reentry Management (RRM) field office that acts as a liaison between the FOB and state and federal law enforcement, the U.S. Marshall’s Service, the courts, and community organizations.
McNeil Island is located in Washington in south Puget Sound. The federal government has owned it for many years. Before 2011, they had a federal prison there called McNeil Island Corrections Center. The most notable inmate ever held there (from 1909–1912) was Robert Stroud, the “Birdman of Alcatraz.” Charles Manson was also held there briefly from 1961 to 1966 for trying to cash a forged government check. Another notable inmate was Alvin Karpis, who was the FBI’s Public Enemy #1 in 1936. He was captured in after committing numerous bank robberies and kidnappings.