FCI Petersburg Medium | Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg

Federal Correctional Institution Petersburg Medium is a medium-security federal prison in Hopewell, Virginia. It is also known as FCI Petersburg Medium, FCC Petersburg, and Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg. Petersburg Correctional Facility houses male inmates.

FCI Petersburg Medium Contact Information

Facility Address & Contact Information

Federal Correctional Institution Petersburg Medium
1060 River Road
Hopewell, VA 23860

Phone: 804-504-7200
Fax: 804-504-7204
Email: [email protected]

BOP Website: Bureau of Prisons Page
Wikipedia: Wikipedia Page

Inmate Correspondence Address

FCI Petersburg Medium

Inmate Name and Registration Number
FCI Petersburg Medium
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 1000
, VA 23804

How to Send Money

Federal prisoners at FCC Petersburg are not allowed to receive funds directly. Instead, their family and friends must send money through Western Union, Money Gram, or the National Lockbox in Des Moines, Iowa.

Learn more about how to send money to federal inmates here. Inmates can use the money to pay for phone calls, stamps, and hygiene products. They can also put money into their trust fund account, which is used to pay for their housing and other expenses.

If you send money to a federal inmate at the Petersburg Correctional Facility, following the proper procedures is essential. Otherwise, your money may not reach the inmate or be subject to delays. Please read our page on how to send money to an inmate for more information.

Federal Correctional Institution Petersburg Medium Inmate Information

Inmate Gender

Male Inmates

Prison Security Level

Medium-Security Federal Prison

Facility Location

FCI Petersburg is located 25 miles southeast of Richmond, Virginia.

BOP Region

Mid-Atlantic Region

BOP Institution Code

PEM for FCI Petersburg Medium, PEX for Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg

Medical Care Level

Level 2. See our page on Medical Care Levels and Procedures for more information.

Mental Health Care Level

Level 2.

Judicial District

Eastern District of Virginia

Population Number

The medium-security Petersburg Federal Correctional Facility houses approximately 1,525 inmates.

FCI Petersburg Medium | Petersburg Medium Federal Correctional Institution

FCI Petersburg Medium Prison Services Information


Federal Correctional Institution Petersburg Medium is a medium-security federal prison in Hopewell, Virginia. It was opened in 2002 and is part of the Petersburg Federal Correctional Complex. FCC Petersburg Medium houses male offenders.

A minimum-security facility is located next to the primary institution. The minimum-security camp houses lower-risk inmates nearing the end of their sentences.

The institution is a Sex Offender Management Program (SOMP) facility. Around 40 percent of the inmate population is incarcerated for current or past sexual offenses.

The facility has begun to house transgender male-to-female inmates moved from other Department of Justice Bureau of Prisons facilities. This enables the protection and enhanced management of this vulnerable population. In both 2015 and 2018, transgender inmates committed suicide by hanging themselves.

Notable inmates include:

  • Jewish Rabbi David A. Kaye (convicted of illicit sexual conduct)
  • Former mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Sharpe James (convicted of fraud)
  • NFL safety Darren Sharper (convicted of multiple counts of sexual assault)

Media reports indicate that at least two guards have been convicted of smuggling contraband into the institution. News reports also suggest that Darren Sharper was transferred from the institution due to unauthorized donations of sports equipment made to the recreation department. At least one recreation department guard was also disciplined due to facilitating the donations. At least three inmates have committed suicide while housed at the institution.

Inmate Housing

FCC Petersburg Medium inmates live in two, three, and four-person cells. There is a total of twelve housing units. E-North is the RDAP unit.

Health Services

FCI Petersburg Medium offers various prison healthcare services, including:

  • Sick Call
  • Medications
  • Treatment of Medical Emergencies
  • Dental Sick Call
  • Routine Dental Care
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing Aids
  • Physical Examinations

For routine health care, inmates must attend sick calls held Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 8:30 a.m.

For emergency dental care, inmates must attend the dental sick call held Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 6:30 a.m. The insulin line is conducted before breakfast and dinner. The pill line is held at 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., with self-carry medication pickup operated during the noon meal.

Psychology Services

A prison psychologist screens all inmates during the institution’s admission and orientation program. Crisis counseling, coping skills, suicide prevention, mental health counseling, and spiritual counseling are available to inmates. Petersburg Correctional Facility also offers the Non-Residential Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP-NR).

Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP)

FCI Petersburg Medium houses a Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP). A Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP) and a Drug Education Class are also offered.

FCI Petersburg Medium Educational, Library, and Recreation Offerings

Education Services

FCI Petersburg Medium’s Education Department provides literacy, GED, and English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) programs. Adult Continuing Education (ACE) classes and a parenting program are available.

Current ACE classes include:

  • Bookkeeping
  • CDL
  • Creative Writing
  • Auto Sales
  • Payroll Accounts
  • CDL Business

High school diplomas and post-secondary degrees are available through paid correspondence programs.

Advanced Occupational Education

Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg Medium does not offer any advanced occupational education programs.

Vocational Training

FCI Petersburg Medium offers vocational training in AutoCAD and Carpentry.


The medium-security Petersburg Correctional Facility offers HVAC, Landscape, and plumbing apprenticeships.

Library Services

A general library includes a variety of magazines, newspapers, reference materials, and fiction and nonfiction books. An Interlibrary Loan Program is available in conjunction with the Appomattox Regional Library.

Inmates also have access to many DVD movies. Inmates can prepare legal documents and have reasonable access to legal materials via the TRULINCS Electronic Law Library (LexisNexis). Additionally, the law library contains required legal publications, general legal reference materials, and a selection of Bureau of Prisons policies. Inmates have access to typewriters and a copy machine.


FCI Petersburg Medium houses a UNICOR facility that receives, sorts, and repackages clothes hangers for private vendors.


Inmates may use funds in their account to purchase items at the institution commissary, place funds on their inmate phone account, purchase TRU-Units for their TRULINCS account, or send funds out of the institution using Form BP-199. The inmate’s responsibility is to know the amount of money available in their account.

Items such as ice cream, snacks, food, candy, clothing, shoes, and electronics in the commissary are available for purchase. Inmates can spend up to $360 per month in the commissary. Sales are conducted Monday through Thursday at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 2:00 p.m. UNICOR inmates shop at 3:00 p.m.

Recreation Services

FCI Petersburg Medium’s recreation facilities include:

  • Basketball Courts
  • Athletic Fields
  • Handball and Racquetball Courts
  • Volleyball Court
  • Soccer Field
  • Tennis Court
  • Bocce Ball Court
  • Softball Field
  • Horseshoe Pits
  • Walking Track Area

The facility also offers organized intramural leagues throughout the calendar year, including:

  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Softball
  • Basketball
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Flag Football

The hobby craft programs include drawing, painting, leathercraft kits, crochet, and cross-stitch. Inmates can also play pool and watch TV. A band program offers inmates the following:

  • Guitars
  • Bass
  • Drums
  • Piano
  • Violin
  • Other Musical Equipment

Visitation Information for FCI Petersburg Medium

On Sunday and Saturday, visitation is held between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. On Monday, Thursday, and Friday, visiting hours are from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. On federal holidays visitation is held between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. See our page on prisoner visitation rules for more information.

FCI Petersburg Medium | FCC Petersburg

FCI Petersburg Medium Prison Culture Information

Prison Politics at Federal Correctional Institution Petersburg Medium

FCI Petersburg Medium is not a political yard at all. While there is no car requirement, groups of inmates elect to join cars and gangs. Within these groups, there can be some politics. These groups sometimes claim tables in the chow hall, housing units, or the recreation yard.

There is no checking of paperwork for those not a part of these groups. As reported by one respondent, “You have a few fringe groups who every now and then try something, but nothing significant, and usually confined within their groups.”

Level of Violence

There is very little violence in Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg Medium. Inmates report that any violence is typical of an interpersonal nature, not group-oriented. There tend to be one or so fistfights a week.

One respondent stated that “the safety level is really high.” Another agreed, saying, “This is a very safe yard, especially for sex offenders and those of alternative lifestyles.”

Another respondent explained, “I would rate the safety of this yard as a 9 out of 10. If you know how to carry yourself in prison, you will have no problems on this yard.” Many other respondents repeated the belief that this yard is safe.

Vulnerable Populations

Sex offenders, informants, and LGBT inmates can walk the FCC Petersburg yard. Generally, all these groups are welcome and are not harassed by fellow inmates.

According to one inmate, “This is a SOMP yard, so there are sex offenders, informants, gang drop-outs, and PC inmates. There is a large gay and transgender population as well.”

Another respondent echoed this: “Sex offenders almost run this yard. This is primarily a P.C. yard.” One inmate said, “Sex offenders, informants, and gay and transgender inmates casually interact with the general population.”

Good at FCI Petersburg Medium

“Pretty lenient yard for the most part.” “Some guards are prejudiced towards gays, transgender inmates, and sex offenders.” “Safe.”

“Clean facility, good food.” “Almost anyone can walk the yard.” “Very easy and laid-back yard.” “You can be yourself here, and people will leave you be.”

“Lots of K2 and Suboxone.” “Overall, the staff is good.” “The population is very casual. Everyone generally seems to get along.”

Bad at FCC Petersburg Medium

“Lack of respect between inmates.” “The officers treat inmates poorly because of the large sex offender population.” “Lots of gay drama.”

“Not a whole lot in the way of training and education.” “There are a handful of bad lieutenants and compound officers.”

“The good things are few and far between.” “While some staff is alright, others take it upon themselves to be jerks.” “Bad medical care.”

Other Inmate Comments

“For vulnerable populations, FCC Petersburg can be a lifesaver.” “Strange facility, very strange.” “If you are a softer sort or a sex offender, transfer here. This is a safe yard where time isn’t too bad.”

“For what it is, it isn’t too bad.” “Sex offenders, informants, and LGBT folks are perfectly safe here.”

“The facility is referred to on the compound as ‘Sweetersburg’ because of the overall safety and diversity.” “Nice yard. Good safety.”

FCI Petersburg Medium in the News

In September 2018, two prisoners at Federal Correctional Institution Petersburg Medium died: one of suicide and the other an accidental death.

In February 2017, U.S. Marshals arrested Matthew Ezekiel Stager, a sex offender released from FCI Petersburg Medium but failed to report to his designated halfway house in Texas. While at the facility, Stager, known as “Bird Man,” continuously engaged in erratic behavior, such as asking guards if they had any bath salts and making loud bird sounds. While incarcerated, he had multiple tattoos added to his face and body.

In May 2015, Jermaine Brown, a guard at the medium-security Petersburg Correctional Facility, was federally indicted on charges of accepting money to smuggle heroin, marijuana, and cigarettes into the facility for prisoners.

Between September and October 2012, Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg recreation specialist Jeffrey T. Jones was paid $1,500 in a scheme that involved prisoners Alvin Dewayne Hall and Patrick Gregory smuggling marijuana and cigarettes.

More Information About Federal Correctional Institution Petersburg Medium

If you want to learn about life in federal prison, two great resources are Christopher Zoukis’ Federal Prison Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Directory of Federal Prisons: The Unofficial Guide to Bureau of Prisons Institutions.

The Federal Prison Handbook covers everything from the visitation application process to life inside prison walls. It also includes information on surviving in prison, staying out of trouble, and making the most of your time in FCC Petersburg.

Meanwhile, the Directory of Federal Prisons is a detailed guide to every federal prison in the United States, including the Petersburg Correctional Facility. It includes information on each prison’s location, inmate population, security level, and contact information.

If you want to learn about life in federal prison and Petersburg Medium Federal Correctional Institution, these two books are essential reading.