United States Penitentiary Marion

Marion Illinois Federal Prison, popularly known as United States Penitentiary (USP Marion), is a medium-security male federal correctional facility in Williamson County, Illinois. The facility features a main medium-security entity and a satellite prison camp that holds minimum security male inmates.

Marion Prison is located about 9 miles south of Marion City, 120 miles from St Louis, Missouri, and 300 miles south of Chicago in the southern parts of Illinois. It was built and opened in 1963 to replace the Alcatraz Island maximum-security federal prison in San Francisco. The facility was the first American correctional facility to introduce a control unit after unwarranted violence led to the death of two officers.

USP Marion was built to hold about 500 most dangerous inmates transferred from Alcatraz. The administration was looking to establish a safe and orderly environment for the inmates to rehabilitate while cutting off the frequent abuses experienced at Alcatraz. Consequently, a behavior modification program called Control and Rehabilitation Effort (CARE) was rolled back in 1968. This program entailed locking up inmates in control units for between 23 to 24 hours a day. This eliminated contact with other inmates, the prison staff, and the outside world.

Currently, the facility holds about 1366 inmates in the main facility and 235 in the satellite camp. The inmates are held in one-person, two-person, and three-person cells in the main unit and dormitories at the Camp. While incarcerated at the facility, they are offered several rehabilitation programs that include the following:

  • Drug Abuse Education Course
  • Psychological Services
  • Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP)
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • GED
  • High School Diploma (via paid correspondence)
  • Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP)
  • Adult continuing education (ACE) classes
  • Post-Secondary Programs (via paid correspondence)
  • Inmates receive advanced occupational education in Building Trades, Certified Production Technician, and Information Processing.
  • The main facility offers apprenticeships in Electrical, HVAC, Painting, and Residential and Commercial Plumbing, while the Camp offers Electrical, Wastewater Treatment, and Water Treatment.
  • UNICOR facility is an Electronics Cable Factory that produces cables and assembles cars among other functions. Inmates can have work programs on site.

How to Locate an Inmate at USP Marion

USP Marion is a federal facility under the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). As such, the inmates housed here can be traced through an inmate locater on the BOP website. Once you are on the site, you just enter your inmate of interest’s name or BOP inmate ID number. To speed up the search, you can proceed to add a date of birth, race, or the timeline within which they have been incarcerated. While it is advisable always to use the official site to locate an inmate, there are also other credible authorized sites through which you can access this information.

Can you send a Mail/ Package to an Inmate at Marion Prison?

Inmates in all federal facilities, including USP Marion, are allowed to receive mails from their loved ones. However, these mails are intensely inspected to prevent the entry of contrabands or other illegal items. The mails are expected to have an inmate’s complete name, registration number, the facility’s name, and of course, the right address.

There is no set limit on the number of mails an inmate can receive or send. Newspapers, magazines, and paperback books are also allowed but are expected to be sourced directly from the publisher via mail order or a subscription. Inmates cannot receive any package through mails. However, release clothing is allowed about 30 days before the scheduled release date.

The mails should be sent to the following addresses:

For inmates at the USP:
P.O. BOX 1000
MARION, IL 62959

For inmates at the Camp:
P.O. BOX 1000
MARION, IL 62959

Can Inmates Receive Money at USP Marion?

While the inmates are provided with some clothing, hygiene items, and three meals a day, these might not offer a satisfying level of comfort. As such, inmates are allowed to receive money from their loved ones and other credible sources. The received funds are deposited into their commissary accounts to purchase a number of allowed items such as toiletries and snacks.

Money is deposited into the inmate’s commissary accounts through the following avenues:

  • Postal Service

Funds can be sent to an inmate by money order through the United States Postal Service. The order is addressed to:

Federal Bureau of Prisons
Inmate Name
Eight-Digit Register Number
Post Office Box 474701
Des Moines, Iowa 50947-0001

  • MoneyGram

Inmates can also receive funds electronically through MoneyGram Express Payment Program. To send money through this avenue, you just access the MoneyGram website and provide the following information:

  • Account Number: Inmate’s eight-digit register number with no spaces or dashes, followed immediately by the inmate’s last name (for instance: 12345678DOE).
  • Beneficiary: Inmate’s full committed name
  • Company Name: Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • City & State: Washington, DC
  • Receive Code is always: 7932
  • Western Union

You can also send funds to an inmate through Western Union. You just access the Western Union form on their website, enter an inmate’s full name and ID number, and you can proceed to deposit funds through your credit or debit card.

Can you call an Inmate at Marion Prison?

Federal offenders in all BOP facilities are not permitted to have cellphones and cannot receive inbound calls. However, they are allowed to make outbound calls to an approved contact list during approved hours.

The inmates incur the call costs through their personal accounts, or the receiver pays through a collect call arrangement. TRULINCS is the sole provider of call and email services throughout most BOP facilities. The 15 minutes calls are monitored and recorded for security purposes.

Can you Visit an Inmate Housed at USP Marion?

All federal correctional facilities, including USP Marion, allow their inmates to receive pre-approved visitors. Visitors at both the USP and the Camp can visit their loved ones on Saturdays, Sundays and during Federal Holidays between 8.30 am and 3 pm. The visitors are expected to follow some rules and guidelines, and only four adults and five children are permitted per session.

An inmate’s approved list of visitors features family, friends, and credible associates.