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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Genesee County - Federal Prison - New York
Buffalo Federal Detention Facility

Prison System: U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement

Status: Active; opened in 1997

Offender Gender: male and female

Inmate Capacity: 665

Security Level: Maximum; Holds Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 detainees

Distinguishing Feature: Neither a prison nor a jail, the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility is an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Detention Center, which holds non-U.S. citizens who are accused of being in the United States illegally.   

As a detention facility that holds people prior to their hearings in an immigration court, the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility is designed as a short-term holding facility.  Furthermore, detainees may be eligible for pre-hearing release from the facility on an immigration bond.  For additional information on immigration bonds, contact 585-344-6500 and speak to the immigration officer handling the deportation case.  

Detention centers hold a wide variety of detainees; some have committed no crimes other than either illegally entering the United States or staying in the United States after the expiration of a VISA.  Other detainees may be in the facility because their illegal status was discovered in the course of another criminal investigation. In addition, the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility serves as a 24-hour processing center for the U.S. Marshals Service and can hold approximately 300 additional temporary USMS prisoners.  Therefore, the population of the facility can vary widely from day-to-day.

It is difficult to describe living conditions at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility or any other ICE facility.  Unlike U.S. citizens who are sentenced to jail or prison sentences, aliens are not considered entitled to all of the rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.  Therefore, living conditions may not have to meet the same standards as other types of detention facilities.  Immigrations and Customs Enforcement sets a standard for their detention centers and has a venue for detainees to complain about conditions, but investigations by the American Civil Liberties Union has uncovered allegations that detainees who request the complaint forms are discouraged, sometimes with physical violence, from actually filing any type of complaints.   The lack of access to phones and the expense of those calls when they do have access prevent many detainees from complaining to their attorneys or to their consulates.  Detention centers appear to have some of the same issues with sexual assault as prisons and jails, but reporting is an issue.  In fact, the language and cultural barriers that one would expect in detention centers housing non-U.S. citizens can make it very difficult for detainees to complain about problems.  Moreover, because detainees are often moved long-distances away from the location where they were apprehended, they may have limited contact with friends or family and be unable to locate adequate legal representation. 

However, the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility is a neat and clean facility.  Its kitchen is sanitary, the detainees receive clean bedding and towels, access to showers appears regular, and detainees can receive visitors multiple times per day.  Past complaints have suggested that the amount of food served at meals is inadequate. 


The Buffalo Federal Detention Facility is not a long-term punishment facility and does not offer any meaningful programming for detainees.  Detainees do have access to a legal library, medical care, a barber shop,   

The Buffalo Federal Detention Facility opened in 1997 to provide ICE detention services to the western part of New York and also to provide services to the U.S. Marshals Service.  The facility is operated by a contract security company

For information about detainees held at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility, you must contact the facility at 585-344-6500 between 8am and 4pm.  You need to have the individual’s biographical information, including full name (first, last, and hyphenated names), date of birth, and country of birth. If the detainee has any known aliases, providing those can make finding information on the detainee easier.  

Send Money to an Inmate  Detainees can receive funds to deposit into their accounts; sending cash is discouraged. 

Visit an Inmate   Visitation at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility is liberal, but visits are limited to an hour.  Clergy may visit at any time, but must pre-schedule visits.  Other visitors may visit: Mon.-Fri. from 9am-11m, 1pm-3pm, and 6pm-8pm; Sat.-Sun. 9am-11am and 1pm-3pm. Visitors must be checked in 30 minutes prior to the end of the visitation block. 

Locate an inmate at Buffalo Federal Detention Facility

Inmate Mailing Address:     

Last 4 Digits of Detainees Alien #
4250 Federal Drive Batavia
New York, NY 14020


Year Built or Opened: 1997 Warden or Supervisor: Director Michael T. Phillips Total Capacity: 665 Security Level(s): level I, II, and III

4250 Federal Drive
Batavia, NY 14020

Phone Number(s): (585) 344-6500

4250 Federal Drive
Batavia, NY 14020

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