Administrative-Security Prisons | Metropolitan Detention Centers

The Federal Bureau of Prisons categorizes federal prisons with special missions as administrative-security institutions. These facilities house inmates of all security levels. These include Metropolitan Detention Centers, Metropolitan Correctional Centers, Federal Detention Centers, and Federal Medical Centers.

This page presents these varied facility types, including Metropolitan Correctional Centers, Metropolitan Detention Centers, Federal Detention Centers, Federal Medical Centers, Federal Transfer Centers, Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, and Administrative Maximum Florence.

Contact us at the Zoukis Consulting Group if you or someone you know is heading to federal prison. Our team can answer your questions and help resolve any in-prison matters. Book a one-hour initial consultation today.

Metropolitan Correctional Center | Administrative-Security Prisons

Administrative Security Federal Prisons

Administrative security facilities come in several shapes and sizes. They have special missions, including:

  • Detaining pretrial federal criminal defendants
  • Treating inmates with serious or chronic medical problems
  • Containing federal prisoners deemed dangerous, violent, or escape-prone

Designation to an administrative-security prison is based almost entirely on the prison’s mission and not the inmate’s security points or custody classification. As such, inmates from high-security federal prisons and minimum-security camps can be housed at these facilities.

For example, inmates with serious medical needs may be designated to an administrative-security Federal Medical Center regardless of their security point total. Likewise, while some pretrial inmates are housed in local county jails, others are housed in Federal Detention Centers, Metropolitan Detention Centers, and Metropolitan Correctional Centers.

Violence in Administrative Security Federal Prisons

Data from 2017 places administrative-security prisons between low- and medium-security institutions in terms of violence. However, because of the variety of missions that administrative security prisons serve, violence levels in these institutions tend to vary significantly.

For example, inmates at Federal Medical Centers experience very little violence. ADX Florence, on the other hand, houses inmates the Bureau deems extremely dangerous, violent, and virtually unmanageable. Of course, at ADX Florence, inmates are primarily separated from each other, resulting in minimal inmate-on-inmate violence and more staff-on-inmate violence.

Types of Administrative Security Federal Prisons

The federal prisons system has seven types of administrative-security federal prisons, including:

  • Metropolitan Correctional Centers (MCCs)
  • Metropolitan Detention Centers (MDCs)
  • Federal Detention Centers (FDCs)
  • Federal Medical Centers (FMCs)
  • Federal Transfer Centers (FTCs)
  • Medical Center for Federal Prisoners (MCFP)
  • Administrative Maximum Florence (ADX)

The below sections discuss each of these varied types of facilities.

Metropolitan Detention Center

Metropolitan Correctional Centers (MCCs)

Metropolitan Correctional Centers (MCCs) are high-rise detention centers located in dense urban cities. MCCs house both male and female inmates from three distinct groups:

  • Pretrial Detainees: Presentence federal criminal defendants who are undergoing court proceedings.
  • Writs: Inmates currently appealing their sentence who need to be present for hearings.
  • Short Sentences: Inmates with short sentences where it would be impractical to designate and transfer them to an actual federal prison.

Primarily built in the mid-1970s, these administrative-security federal prisons are near federal courts and government buildings. They are designed for shorter-term inmate housing, not for serving a lengthy prison sentence. Because  MCCs house inmates who will eventually be assigned to all security levels, all inmates detained within MCCs are effectively housed under high-security conditions.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has three Metropolitan Correctional Centers:

Metropolitan Detention Centers (MDCs)

Metropolitan Detention Centers (MDCs) are highly similar to Metropolitan Correctional Centers. MDCs primarily act as federal jails holding pretrial and presentence federal criminal defendants. They also housed both male and female inmates.

Below is a list of the three Metropolitan Detention Centers:

Federal Detention Centers (FDCs)

While a different name, Federal Detention Centers (FDCs) generally fulfill the same purpose as Metropolitan Correctional Centers and Metropolitan Detention Centers. They are detention facilities that primarily house male and female criminal defendants awaiting trial and sentencing.

Click on the below Federal Detention Center links to read detailed profiles of each facility:

Federal Medical Center | Administrative-Security Prisons

Federal Medical Centers (FMCs)

Federal Medical Centers (FMCs) provide specialized medical care to incarcerated prisoners. They are effectively medical prisons. Each FMC has a special mission, targeting the treatment of certain medical conditions.

All FMCs are administrative-security federal prisons housing inmates from all security levels. For example, Federal Medical Centers house minimum-security federal prison camp inmates. They also treat prisoners from high-security federal prisons with many years remaining (e.g., 20 years).

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has the following six Federal Medical Centers. Click on the below links to go to each FMC’s detailed profile.

FMC Butner

Federal Medical Center Butner is in Butner, North Carolina. The facility houses male inmates suffering from severe medical conditions.

FMC Butner is the Bureau’s primary oncology referral center and provides both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The prison also manages a range of other medical conditions and has an orthopedic surgery program.

FMC Carswell

Federal Medical Center Carswell is in Fort Worth, Texas. This is the Bureau’s sole female medical center. FMC Carswell provides major medical and psychiatric care for female inmates.

FMC Devens

Federal Medical Center Devens is in Ayer, Massachusetts. This administrative security prison facility houses male inmates and provides both medical and psychiatric services.

FMC Devens also has a dialysis treatment center specializing in care for inmates with end-stage renal failure. The prison also has the only Residential Sex Offender Treatment Program for male inmates.

FMC Fort Worth

Federal Medical Center Fort Worth is in Fort Worth, Texas. It houses male inmates who require ongoing, serious medical care. FMC Fort Worth offers 24-hour nursing care for severely ill and debilitated inmates.

FMC Lexington

Federal Medical Center Lexington is in Lexington, Kentucky. The facility houses severely ill male inmates. FMC Lexington is the Bureau’s primary leukemia and lymphoma treatment center.

FMC Rochester

Federal Medical Center Rochester is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The prison houses male inmates requiring major medical and mental health care.

FMC Rochester partners with the Mayo Clinic for specialty care. The facility primarily treats inmates with end-stage liver disease and advanced HIV infection. Additionally, the prison offers an in-patient psychiatric hospital and conducts forensic studies.

Medical Center for Federal Prisoners (MCFP)

United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners Springfield is in Springfield, Missouri. The facility treats male inmates with significant medical and psychiatric issues. It is also an administrative-security federal prison.

MCFP Springfield is best known as the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ in-patient psychiatric hospital. While inmates of all security levels are housed here, the institution focuses on high-security psychiatry cases. An intensive kidney dialysis center is also on the premises.

Federal Transfer Centers (FTCs)

Federal Transfer Center Oklahoma City is in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This is the Bureau’s primary transfer hub.

Inmates typically spend a few days to a few weeks at FTC Oklahoma City, awaiting transfer to their final institution. The facility also houses a small minimum-security work cadre which provides labor support for the institution.

Administrative Maximum Florence (ADX)

Administrative Maximum Florence (ADX Florence) is located in Florence, Colorado. While an administrative-security federal prison, it is the Bureau’s highest-security federal prison and is designed to be escape-proof.

ADX Florence is known as the “Alcatraz of the Rockies,” housing the federal prison system’s highest security prisoners. According to former Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Norman Carlson, these inmates have “absolutely no concern for human life.” While we at the Zoukis Consulting Group disagree, this is the Bureau’s position.

ADX Florence houses approximately 350 prisoners in eight units. Inmates include Ted Kaczynski, Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph, 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols, and a host of others locked into their cells most of the day. Prisoners who were initially assigned to other facilities but became serious behavioral or flight risks are also at this facility.

Federal Detention Center

List of Administrative Security Federal Prisons by State










New York

North Carolina



Puerto Rico



Your Administrative Security Federal Prison Experts

If you or a loved one are incarcerated in an administrative-security federal prison, contact the Zoukis Consulting Group. Our team of experienced federal prison experts can answer your questions, help resolve any in-prison issues, and see if you qualify for early release from custody.