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FCI Danbury
Fairfield County - Federal Prison - Connecticut
Federal Correctional Institution, Danbury

Opened: 1940

Supervised by: Maureen Baird

Total inmates: 933; 732 at the FCI and 201 at the camp

Security: Low Security with Minimum Security prison camp

Physical Prison Address:

DANBURY, CT  06811

Contact Info

Phone Number: 206-870-5700

Fax Number: 206-870-5717

Email Address: SET/[email protected]

Prison System: Federal Bureau of Prisons; Northeast Region

Status: Active, opened in 1940

Employees: 200

Offender Gender: Male at the main campus; Female at the satellite facility

Security Level: Low at the main campus; Minimum at the satellite camp.

Danbury FCI is probably best known for being the prison where Piper Kerman served her one-year sentence for charges related to drug trafficking.  After Kerman was released from prison, she wrote a memoir about her experience.  Orange is the New Black became a bestseller and was the source material for a TV series by the same name.  While the TV series is set in a different prison, Kerman’s book is set at Danbury and describes her experiences with daily life in the prison.  Since the book was released, Danbury was converted from a women’s prison to a men’s prison, though its satellite camp continues to house female inmates.

Most of the inmates at both the male low-security main facility and the female minimum-security prison camp are incarcerated for drug crimes, with burglary, larceny, and property offenders comprising the rest of the population.  While some offenders may have violent criminal histories, neither facility is a prime location for violent offenders.   

Male inmates at the FCI Danbury main prison live inside of a double fences with an electronic detection system.  They may live in cells or dormitory-style housing.  Female inmates at the satellite camp live in dormitory style housing.  All inmates are expected to work while in prison and the assignment of work duties is based on a combination of seniority and demonstrated skill and willingness to work once assigned to jobs in the prison environment.  The prison complex is large; it is approximately 348 total acres and contains a total of 55 buildings, including 14 staff residences.  Former inmates at Danbury have described it in conflicting ways.  Many inmates described the staff as being relatively friendly and compared Danbury favorably to other federal prison facilities.  Other inmates have described the prison as being extremely run-down and described how the prison officials would scramble to make the facility acceptable when they knew they would be facing some type of review or inspection.  Most inmates have disagreed with representations that Danbury was ever a “country club” type of facility. 

The prison is supposed to offer a variety of different prison programs, though many former inmates suggest that programming is actually limited.  The inmate admission and orientation handbook provides an in-depth overview of prison programming.  Inmates who do not already have a GED or high school diploma must satisfactorily complete a GED program or complete a sufficient number of GED hours in order to earn Good Conduct Time.  Non-English speaking inmates who do not function at an 8th grade level or above in English proficiency will be required to take ESL until they function at or above an 8th grade level.  Inmates may take occupational education programming that can result in certificates or associates degrees.  Inmates may be apprentices in various trades and can take adult continuing education classes as well as correspondence college courses.  Parenting programs are available for inmates.  Other programs include: art and hobby craft programs, wellness programming, intramural sports leagues, and music programs.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons does not maintain a prison industries program.  Inmates at Danbury FCI are assigned to prison work units.   

Built in 1940, Danbury FCI has a long history.  The most noteworthy incident was probably a fire in 1977, which resulted in the deaths of 5 inmates.  Danbury FCI was also where corrections officer Michael Rudkin engaged in a sexual relationship with an inmate, which has been classified as “consensual” in much of media, but is illegal and considered a form of sexual abuse.  He was convicted for the sexual relationship and then attempted to hire a hitman to kill his lover, his ex-wife, and his ex-wife’s new boyfriend.    

Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black, may be one of the most famous former residents of Danbury FCI, but she is only one of many notable inmates or former inmates.  Others include: Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Guidice, Lauryn Hill, and Leona Helmsley.         

Mailing Address:

DANBURY, CT  06811

Find an Inmate The Bureau of Prisons maintains an inmate locator service.

Send Money to an Inmate  All money at for prisoners in federal prisons must be processed through a central processing facility in Des Moines.  More information about inmate accounts can be found in the inmate handbook.  

Purchase Commissary Items for an Inmate  Prisoners can purchase their own commissary items with funds in their inmate trust accounts; this link will take you to a list of items available in the prison commissary.  Commissary purchases are limited to $265 per month.

Visit an Inmate  Visitation hours at Danbury FCI are: 8:30am-3:30pm on Sundays, Mondays, Saturdays, and holidays.  Because visitation may be restricted for safety and security and inmates who are being disciplined may have limited visitation, visitors can call 203-743-6471 to confirm visiting hours. 

Receive calls from an Inmate  Information on inmate phone calls, including how to get on the phone call list, can be found in the prison’s handbook. Danbury FCI uses the Trufone system. 

Email an Inmate Inmates in Bureau of Prisons facilities, including Danbury FCI have access to Trulincs, a system that permits electronic correspondence that is similar to email or text messaging.


Year Built or Opened: 1940 Warden or Supervisor: Maureen Baird Daily Inmate Count: 933 Security Level(s): minimum

FCI Danbury
Federal Correction Institution
Route 37
Danbury, CT 06811

Phone Number(s): 206-870-5700
Fax Number: 206-870-5717
Email Address: SET/[email protected]

Route 37
Danbury CT 06811

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