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FCI Talladega
Talladega County - Federal Prison - Alabama
FCI Talladega

Prison System: Federal Bureau of Prisons; Southeast Region

Status: Active

Offender Gender: Male

Security Level: Medium and Minimum

Total inmates: 1,101; 823 at the FCI and 278 at the camp

Security: Medium with a Minimum Security Camp

Distinguishing Feature: The Talladega FCI does not have any distinguishing physical features, but it does have a very colorful history.  In 1991, a group of inmates managed to take over the facility.  These inmates had been incarcerated after the Mariel boatlift and were scheduled to be deported to Cuba.  In order to avoid deportation, the prisoners took over the prison, taking nine staff members hostage.  This resulted in a 10-day standoff, during which prison conditions deteriorated and the inmates threatened to kill one of the staff member hostages. The FBI stormed the facility ten days later, using 200 specially trained agents with stun grenades to free the hostages and take the 121 inmates involved in the prison takeover hostage. 


As a medium security facility, the Talladega FCI has inmates from a wide variety of criminal backgrounds.  Although many of them are convicted of drug offenses or other non-violent offenses, a number of the inmates may have more violent crimes in their backgrounds.  The designation of an inmate’s required security level is based, primarily, on his or her Sentry score, but can also be impacted by other factors.  Generally, medium security inmates are considered a potential but low-risk threat to other inmates and staff and a potential but low-risk threat of escape. 

Located approximately 50 miles from Birmingham, Alabama and 100 miles from Atlanta, Georgia, Talladega FCI and its adjacent satellite camp are pretty standard-looking prisons.  The entry is red brick with plain lettering announcing that is a prison.  That same functionality is demonstrated throughout the entire prison.  The prison site is approximately 167 acres, with 38 acres behind the secure medium-security perimeter fence.  There are a total of 54 buildings, with 401,932 square feet of interior space.  The FCI has five housing units.  Four of those units are general population units.  These units have cells, common shower facilities, recreation rooms, and handicap accessible areas.  The fifth unit is a special management unit. The inmates at the satellite camp are outside of the secure perimeter.  

As a long-term prison facility, Talladega FCI places more of an emphasis on long-term prison programming than one might find at more temporary centers.  However, not every inmate at the prison will qualify for the programming, because most inmates in the special management unit will be restricted from much of the programming. Talladega emphasizes education, in accordance with Bureau of Prison policies.  ESL courses are mandatory for inmates who are non-English speakers, until they achieve 8th grade proficiency.  Inmates who enter prison without a high school diploma or proof of a GED must either earn their GED or participate in 240 hours of GED education in order to qualify for higher pay grades and be eligible to earn Good Time credit.  Other educational programs include vocational training, adult continuing education classes, and correspondence college courses.  Recreational opportunities include exercise, board games, various clubs and social groups, religious opportunities, and library use.

The most infamous incident in Talladega FCI’s history was when 121 Cuban inmates took over the prison.  The inmates, who had been detained for more than a decade after the Mariel boatlift, were scheduled to be deported back to Cuba.  They protested being deported and, when their protests seemed fruitless, organized a very complete takeover of the prison.  Most of the staff escaped, but the inmates managed to take a number of hostages.  When it became clear that negotiations were breaking down and the hostages were in danger, the FBI stormed the facility, recapturing it and taking all 121 inmates into custody.

One of the most infamous inmates at Talladega FCI is Aryan Nations member Eric Baker, who was convicted of arson for firebombing a mosque.

Physical Prison Address:


Mailing Address:

P.M.B 1000

Satellite Camp Mailing Address:

P.O. BOX 2000

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. 

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. 

Visit an Inmate  Visiting hours are 8:30am-3:00pm on Sunday, Friday, Saturday and holidays.  Because visitation may be restricted for safety and security and inmates who are being disciplined may have limited visitation, visitors can call 256-315-4100. to confirm visiting hours.    

Receive calls from an Inmate  Information on inmate phone calls, including how to get on the phone call list and make deposits into an inmate’s trust funds for phone calls can be found in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Program Statement Trust Fund/Deposit Fund Manual. 

Email an Inmate Inmates in Bureau of Prisons operated facilities have access to Trulincs.


Year Built or Opened: 1979 Warden or Supervisor: John Rathman Daily Inmate Count: 1,103 Total Capacity: 1249 Security Level(s): minimum - medium

Inmate Name & Registration Number
FCI Talladega
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 2000
Talladega, AL 35160

Phone Number(s): 256-315-4100
Fax Number: 256-315-4495
Email Address: TDG/[email protected]

565 E Renfroe Rd
Talladega, AL 35160, USA