FCI Safford | Safford Federal Prison

Federal Correctional Institution Safford is a low-security federal prison located in Safford, Arizona. It is also known as FCI Safford and Safford AZ prison. The facility houses male inmates.

FCI Safford Contact Information

Facility Address & Contact Information

Federal Correctional Institution Safford
1529 West Highway 366
Safford, AZ 85546

Phone: 928-428-6600
Fax: 928-348-1331
Email: [email protected]

BOP Website: Bureau of Prisons Page
Wikipedia: Wikipedia Page

Inmate Correspondence Address

FCI Safford

Inmate Name and Registration Number
FCI Safford
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 9000
Safford, AZ 85548

How to Send Money

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

Federal Correctional Institution Safford Inmate Information

Inmate Gender

Male Inmates

Prison Security Level

Low-Security Federal Prison

Facility Location

FCI Safford is located in southeastern Arizona, 127 miles northeast of Tucson, 165 miles east of Phoenix, off Highway 191, 7 miles south of the town of Safford.

BOP Region

Western Region

BOP Institution Code

SAF for FCI Safford

Medical Care Level

Level 1. See our page on Medical Care Levels and Procedures for more information.

Mental Health Care Level

Level 1.

Judicial District

District of Arizona

Population Number

FCI Safford houses approximately 830 inmates.

FCI Safford | Safford Prison

FCI Safford Prison Services Information


Federal Correctional Institution Safford is a low-security federal prison in Safford, Arizona, which houses male inmates. It was opened in 1974.

FCI Safford was originally opened in 1974 as Federal Prison Camp Safford. In 1985, it was converted into the low-security federal prison it is today.

Notable inmates include Earth Liberation Front member Kevin Tubbs (served 12 years for arson), Allen Pace (serving 24 years for armed robbery), and former police officer Karl Thompson (served 51 months for the beating death of Otto Zehm).

Inmate Housing

Inmates are housed in dormitories, which are divided into six- to eight-person cubicles. There are three total housing units.

Health Services

FCI Safford health services include sick call, medications, medical emergencies, dental sick call, routine dental care, eyeglasses, hearing aids, physical examinations, and HIV testing. Inmates are assigned to a particular mid-level practitioner (MLP) who treats them for the duration of their stay. Emergency medical care is available 24 hours a day. Sick call is held at 6:30 a.m. Pill line is conducted at 6:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekends. Insulin line is held before breakfast and dinner.

Psychology Services

All inmates are screened by a psychologist during the institution’s admission and orientation program. If there is a demonstrated need, services are offered in the areas of substance abuse treatment as well as treatment for other behavioral and emotional problems. Crisis counseling is available by contacting any staff member and asking for Psychology Services to be contacted. Groups and a self-help library containing books and videos are also available.

Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP)

FCI Safford offers the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP). The Drug Education class and the Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP) are also available.

FCI Safford Educational, Library, and Recreation Offerings

Education Services

FCI Safford provides literacy, GED, and English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) programs to inmates. Adult Continuing Education (ACE) and parenting classes are also available. A computer lab is also available where inmates can take classes such as typing. High school diplomas and post-secondary degrees are available through paid correspondence programs. Eastern Carolina College offers a program where inmates can earn an associate’s degree in business.

Advanced Occupational Education

FCI Safford offers advanced occupational education in Carpentry, Business, Retail Sales, and HVAC.

Vocational Training

FCI Safford offers vocational training in Business, Carpentry, and HVAC.


FCI Safford offers apprenticeships in Cabinet Making, Culinary Arts, Dental Assistant, Electrical, HVAC, Plumbing, Commercial Driver’s License, and Small Gas Engine.

Library Services

The FCI Safford leisure library includes a variety of magazines, newspapers, reference materials, and fiction and nonfiction books necessary for meeting inmates’ educational, cultural, and leisure needs. Inmates are able to prepare legal documents and access legal materials via the TRULINCS Electronic Law Library (LexisNexis). The law library contains required legal publications, general legal reference materials, and a selection of Bureau of Prisons policies. A copy machine and electronic typewriters are also available.


The FCI Safford UNICOR facility produces clothing and textiles.


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. Inmates must have their commissary card in their possession at all times for identification purposes. All purchases are limited to $180.00 every two weeks, for a total of $360 monthly, with the exception of over-the-counter medications, Nicotine Replacement Therapy patches, and postage stamps. An additional $50.00 is added to the spending limit during the November/December period to allow for holiday item purchases. Commissary is open Monday through Thursday between 6:00 and 8:00 a.m., and 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Inmates may only shop once a week on their designated shopping day.

Inside, inmates have access to treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, and rowing machines. Outside, inmates have access to a weight pile, track, six handball courts, two tennis courts, softball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and ping pong. Hours of operation are 6:00 to 10:00 a.m., 12:00 to 3:30 p.m., and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. on weekdays and 6:30 to 9:30 a.m., 10:30 to 3:30 p.m., and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. on weekends.

Recreation Services

The FCI Stafford Recreation Department consists of the equipment issue room, hobby shop, music room, weightlifting area, auditorium, and outdoor activities. The department offers organized intramural leagues throughout the calendar year. The hobby craft programs include drawing, painting, leathercraft kits, crochet, airbrush, and beading. Feature-length movies are shown in the auditorium on weekends and holidays.

Visitation Information for FCI Safford

On Sunday and Saturday visitation is held between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 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 Safford | Safford Federal Prison

FCI Safford Prison Culture Information

Prison Politics at Federal Correctional Institution Safford

This is a somewhat political yard, though it appears that all can walk. According to inmate reports, if an inmate has bad paperwork, they will suffer from some ostracization, but not violence. There is no gang or car requirement.

Level of Violence

There is very little violence at this prison. One respondent stated, “Over the past two years the prison has become progressively soft and softer.” Another inmate expressed that “overall this is a safe yard, no random acts of violence.” One inmate pegged the violence level at a 1 out of 10, explaining, “There is no real violence here.”

Vulnerable Populations

Sex offenders, informants, and LGBT inmates can stay, though, according to one inmate, they are “tormented and taken advantage of.” The same person explained that “staff is just as hard on sex offenders as inmates are.” Another inmate expressed that “sex offenders have segregated seating in the chow hall and their own TV to watch.” Another inmate somewhat disagreed, stating that all three groups could stay and that it’s “all cool.”

Good at FCI Safford

“Education, particularly college program; open compound on the evenings and weekends; trees, tables, and palm trees.” “Food, rec, and UNICOR are good.” “Food is pretty good, lots of sunshine, and beautiful mountains to look at.” “The freedom and so many things to do.” “The guards are helpful.”

Bad at FCI Safford

“Tense politics amongst the whites.” “The way staff treats inmates, and sex offenders, in particular, is bad.” “The administration is getting rid of some of the shade trees and seating in the recreation area.”

Other Inmate Comments

“Non-sex offenders will like this yard. Sex offenders and informants will be excluded from some areas, such as the weight pile. Laidback staff. Very pro-education.” “Overall a good yard, and safe yard for all.” “It’s a good, kick-back yard.”

FCI Safford in the News

In February 2016, former police officer Karl Thompson was released from Federal Correctional Institution Safford after completing his 51-month sentence for the beating death of janitor Otto Zehm.

More Information About Federal Correctional Institution Safford

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 Safford, please buy a copy of the Directory of Federal Prisons: The Unofficial Guide to Bureau of Prisons Institutions by Christopher Zoukis.