FCI Waseca | Waseca Federal Prison

Federal Correctional Institution Waseca is a low-security federal prison in Waseca, Minnesota. It is also known as FCI Waseca. The facility houses male inmates.

FCI Waseca Contact Information

Facility Address & Contact Information

Federal Correctional Institution Waseca
1000 University Drive SW
Waseca, MN 56093

Phone: 507-835-8972
Fax: 507-837-4547
Email: [email protected]

BOP Website: Bureau of Prisons Page
Wikipedia: Wikipedia Page

Inmate Correspondence Address

FCI Waseca

Inmate Name and Registration Number
FCI Waseca
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 1731
, MN 56093

How to Send Money

Funds cannot be sent directly to inmates. See our page on sending money to federal prisoners.

Federal Correctional Institution Waseca Inmate Information

Inmate Gender

Male Inmates

Prison Security Level

Low-Security Federal Prison

Facility Location

Located in southern Minnesota, 75 miles south of Minneapolis on I-35; 13 miles west of Owatonna on State Highway 57.

BOP Region

North Central Region

BOP Institution Code

WAS for FCI Waseca

Medical Care Level

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

Mental Health Care Level

Level 3.

Judicial District

District of Minnesota

Population Number

FCI Waseca houses approximately 760 inmates.

FCI Waseca | Federal Correctional Institution Waseca

FCI Waseca Prison Services Information


Federal Correctional Institution Waseca is a low-security federal prison in Waseca, Minnesota, which houses female inmates. It was opened in 1995.

Formerly a University of Minnesota campus, FCI Waseca opened as an all-male federal prison in 1995. It was converted to an all-female facility in 2008. In 2014, Riverland Community College started offering cosmetology training to interested inmates.

Notable inmates include:

  • Former CEO of Enron Corporation Jeffrey Skilling (serving a 24-year sentence for insider training and securities fraud and was a holdover at the facility)
  • Catherine Greig (convicted of harboring a fugitive and identity fraud for assisting Irish Mob figure James “Whitey” Bulger to evade capture)
  • Shelly Shannon (serving 20 years for firebombing six abortion clinics)

Media reports indicate that at least one prisoner has been prosecuted for assaulting a fellow inmate.

Inmate Housing

Inmates are housed in dormitories of two- and four-person cubicles and four-person rooms.

Health Services

Health services at Waseca federal prison include medical sick calls, dental sick calls, emergency medical services, treatment of infectious diseases, periodic health assessments, routine dental care, chronic care, medications, TB testing, immunizations, physical and regular health examinations, eye care, health promotion, and disease prevention. While emergency medical care is available 24 hours a day, inmates must submit a triage form to be evaluated for routine health care needs.

Psychology Services

Inmates at FCI Waseca are screened by Psychology Services staff within 14 days of arriving at the prison. Inmates with family or personal problems or crises may be seen for individual therapy. Psychology groups include Trauma and Life Workshop, Resolve (Trauma and Recovery), Basic Cognitive Skills, Criminal Thinking, and Emotional Self-Regulation. Additionally, Illness Management and Recovery are offered to inmates who need additional self-care assistance due to a mental illness. The open house is held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP)

Federal Correctional Institution Waseca, MN, offers the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP). It also provides a Drug Education Program and a Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP). Some inmates are mandated to take Drug Education classes based on their documented use history, judicial recommendations, and/or violation behavior, but all other programs are voluntary.

FCI Waseca Educational, Library, and Recreation Offerings

Education Services

FCI Waseca provides literacy, GED, and English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) programs. Current ACE offerings include insurance, accounting, Money Smart, basic math, grammar, creative writing, and business management. The Education Department also sponsors Adult Continuing Education (ACE) classes and a parenting program. High school diplomas and post-secondary degrees are available through paid correspondence programs.

Advanced Occupational Education

Federal Correctional Institution Waseca, MN, offers advanced occupational education in Business Office Specialist, Cosmetology, and the P.A.W.S. (Prisoners Assisting With Service Dogs) Program.

Vocational Training

FCI Waseca offers vocational training in Horticulture and Woodworking.


Waseca federal prison offers apprenticeship training in Landscape Technician.

Library Services

Leisure and law libraries are available to inmates. The leisure library offers fiction and nonfiction books, newspapers, and magazines. An interlibrary loan program is also available to the inmate population. The law library contains a variety of legal reference materials for use in preparing legal papers. Reference materials include the United States Code Annotated, Federal Reporter, Supreme Court Reporter, Bureau of Prisons Program Statements, institution supplements, indexes, and other legal materials. Most of these, plus federal case law, are available on the TRULINCS Electronic Law Library computers. Inmates also have access to typewriters and a copy machine.


The FCI Waseca UNICOR facility produces clothing and textiles.


Inmates can buy commissary items such as food, drinks, clothing, electronics, and other items. A $360.00 monthly spending limit is imposed, which does not include purchasing copy cards, postage stamps, or over-the-counter medications. This spending limit is further restricted to $180 every two weeks. Inmates are allowed to shop once a week.

Recreation Services

FCI Waseca offers various athletic and leisure activities for the inmate population. In addition to a full-sized gymnasium, there are indoor workout areas for the following activities:

  • Aerobics
  • Exercise Machines
  • Spin Bikes
  • Stretching
  • Yoga

There is an extensive DVD library with workout and fitness videos available for checkout and basic nutrition DVDs. Outdoor recreation areas offer a variety of activities, including:

  • Racquetball
  • Volleyball
  • Bocce Ball
  • Tennis
  • Frisbee Golf
  • Basketball
  • Horseshoes
  • Multi-Purpose Field
  • Large Walking Track

Various wellness classes are offered in the Recreation Department to address general wellness, nutrition, and fitness. In season, the Recreation Department provides an opportunity to participate in a Community Flower Garden. Hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., excluding meals and counts.

Visitation Information for FCI Waseca

On Sunday and Saturday, visitation is held between 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. On Friday, visitation is held between 4:30 and 8:30 p.m. On federal holidays visitation is held between 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. See our page on prisoner visitation rules for more information.

FCI Waseca | Waseca Federal Prison

FCI Waseca Prison Culture Information

Prison Politics at Federal Correctional Institution Waseca

There is a very low level of prison politics at this facility.

Level of Violence

There is almost no violence at this prison. According to one inmate, “This place is safe, just a lot of bullying which staff put a stop to when reported.”

Vulnerable Populations

Sex offenders, informants, and LGBT inmates are allowed to walk the yard. According to one respondent, “There are an enormous amount of gay people here. There are also a few transwomen here as well.”

Good at FCI Waseca

“In the Resolve Program, most staff are here to help no matter how big or small the issue. The staff doesn’t give up on you.” “The Camp Cadre unit is peaceful.” “The Warden is good and trying to improve the place.”

Bad at FCI Waseca

“The food isn’t very good at all. Lots of fatty foods.” “Some of the staff are intimidating; they scare me.”

FCI Waseca in the News

In 2014, Federal Correctional Institution Waseca began a program with Riverland Community College to provide female prisoners with cosmetology training.

In January 2013, Felecia Thomas, who was serving 17 years at FCI Waseca for arson and the use of explosives, pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon after choking another prisoner with a rope.

In October 2008, Federal Correctional Institution Waseca, MN, transitioned from a men’s to a women’s prison.

More Information About Federal Correctional Institution Waseca

For a comprehensive look at life in federal prison, pick up a copy of Christopher Zoukis’ Federal Prison Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons. For more detailed information about FCI Waseca, please buy a copy of the Directory of Federal Prisons: The Unofficial Guide to Bureau of Prisons Institutions by Christopher Zoukis.