Prison Profile: United States Penitentiary Big Sandy

Prison Profile: United States Penitentiary Big Sandy

Official Address
United States Penitentiary Big Sandy
1197 Airport Road
Inez, KY 41224
Phone: 606-433-2400
Fax: 606-433-2577
Email: BSY/EXECASSISTANT@BOP.GOV
Inmate Correspondence Address
Inmate Name and Registration Number
USP Big Sandy
P.O. Box 2068
Inez, KY 41224
(Funds can only be sent to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ National Lockbox Address listed below, not directly to the inmate at USP Big Sandy.)
Sex: Male
security level: High Security Federal Prison
Location: USP Big Sandy is located in eastern Kentucky approximately 133 miles from Frankfort, 140 miles from Lexington, and 321 miles from Washington, DC.  It is 11 miles south of Inez on Route 3 South, 18 miles southeast of Paintsville, and 15 miles north of Prestonsburg.
BOP Region: Mid-Atlantic Region (MXR)
BOP Institution Code: BSY for USP Big Sandy
Medical Care Level: USP Big Sandy is a Level 1 medical care facility.
Judicial District: Eastern Kentucky
Population: USP Big Sandy houses approximately 1,500 federal inmates.
Background: USP Big Sandy houses high security male federal inmates.  Due to the high security nature of this prison, and the population housed therein, this is a very violent institution.
Housing Configuration: Inmates at USP Big Sandy are housed in one-man and two-man cells.
Health Services: USP Big Sandy provides the inmate population with both routine and emergency health care services.  Inmates who require emergency care are advised to approach the nearest staff member and request for Health Services to be contacted.  This way an emergency medical response can be initiated by institution staff.
Inmates who require routine health care services can either submit a triage form or present to Health Services sick call at the designated time.
Psychology Services: The USP Big Sandy Psychology Department offers a number of counseling and therapy options for the inmate population, including individual counseling, group therapy, and a self-help library.  Regularly scheduled groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), anger management, stress management, the Drug Education Class, the Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP), among others.  Interested inmates should email the Psychology Department or present to open house to seek additional information concerning treatment offerings.
Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP): USP Big Sandy houses a Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP).  This RDAP location houses 128 beds.
Education Services: The USP Big Sandy Education Department offers a number of educational programs for interested inmates.  Offerings include GED classes, English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) courses, parenting courses, correspondence education courses (if the inmate has the required funding), and Adult Continuing Education (ACE) courses.  Inmates who do not possess a GED or high school diploma are required to participate in GED classes until they earn a GED or attain 240 hours of in-class instruction.
Advanced Occupational Education: USP Big Sandy offers Industrial Sewing, Electrical Principles, and Electrical Residential Wiring advanced occupational education programs.  All of the advanced occupational education programs are accredited by the Kentucky Community College & Technical School Association, require students to possess either a GED or high school diploma and be English proficient, and, upon program completion, award a certificate from the Kentucky Community College & Technical School Association.  While the Industrial Sewing advanced occupational education program runs 6 months, the Electrical Principles and Electrical Residential Wiring advanced occupational education programs run 4 months each.
Vocational Training: USP Big Sandy offers Computer Applications and Factory Fundamentals vocational training.  The Computer Applications vocational training program is accredited by the Kentucky Community College & Technical School Association, runs 4 months, requires students to possess either a GED or high school diploma, and, upon completion, awards a BOP certificate.  The Factory Fundamentals vocational training program is accredited by a Trade Advisory council, runs 3 months, requires students to possess either a GED or high school diploma (or, at a minimum, be enrolled in GED programming with a 8.0 reading level), and, upon program completion, a certificate is issued by the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute.
Apprenticeship: USP Big Sandy does not offer any apprenticeship programs.
Library Services: USP Big Sandy houses both a leisure library and a law library for the inmate population’s usage.  The leisure library contains fiction and nonfiction books, magazines, and newspapers which the inmate population can check out.  Reference texts are also available, but can only be reviewed in the library, not checked out.
The law library houses TRULINCS Electronic Law Library (ELL) computers which provide access to federal case law, Federal Bureau of Prisons program statements, and a number of other legal research tools.  Typewriters and a copier are also available for inmate usage.
UNICOR: The USP Big Sandy UNICOR facility produces clothing and textiles.  It employs 188 incarcerated UNICOR workers.  This number includes totals for all Big Sandy, KY UNICOR facilities.
Commissary: Inmates incarcerated at USP Big Sandy are allowed to shop in the institutional commissary once a week.  There they can purchase clothing, shoes, food, candy, electronics, postage stamps, copy cards, and over-the-counter medications.  Inmates can spend up to $320 per month at the commissary.  Postage stamps, copy cards, and select over-the-counter medications are exempt from the spending limit.
Recreation Services: The USP Big Sandy Recreation Department consists of both indoor and outdoor components.  Indoors, inmates can participate in arts and crafts projects, exercise, socialize, and play various board games.  Outdoors, inmates can run the track, play individual or group sports, exercise, socialize, and relax.
Visitation Information: Inmates at USP Big Sandy are allowed to visit on Saturday, Sunday, and federal holidays from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM.  Visitors will not be processed before 8:00 AM or after 2:00 PM.  Inmates will not be called to the Visiting Room between 9:30 AM and the completion of the 10:00 AM count.  Inmates are allowed a total of 5 visitors at any one time, including children.  All adult visitors must have valid photo identification and be on the inmate’s visitation list.  Inmates at USP Big Sandy are allotted a total of 10 visitation points each month.  Each visit deducts 1 point from the inmate’s total.
Inmates in the USP Big Sandy Special Housing Unit (SHU) are allowed to visit on Fridays from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM.  Social visits will not be processed before 8:00 AM or after 2:00 PM and between 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM.  These visits are held in the non-contact visiting rooms and will be limited to two hours in duration.
For additional information concerning visitation policies and procedures at USP Big Sandy, please see Institutional Supplement BSY-5267.08a (Visiting Regulations).
Directions to Prison: From Ashland, KY, Huntington, WV, and the Ohio area: follow I-64 to KY Exit 191 to Route 29 South.  Follow 23 South for 38 miles until Route 645.  Turn left on Route 645 South and go until Route 3 (approximately 11 miles).  Turn right on Route 3 and follow it until Airport Road (approximately 10 miles).  Turn left onto Airport Road and follow the signs to USP Big Sandy.
From Prestonsburg, KY, and Pikeville, KY: follow Route 23 North from Prestonsburg to Route 3 North (approximately 5 miles).  Turn right on Route 3 and follow it to Airport Road (approximately 10 miles).  Turn right on Airport Road and follow the signs to USP Big Sandy.
National Lockbox Address
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Inmate Name and Registration Number
P.O. Box 474701
Des Moines, IA 50947-0001
*Information compiled from multiple Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) documents, Freedom of Information Act requests, and personal interviews with federal inmates.*
Related Federal Prison Profiles
USP Big Sandy-Satellite Prison Camp
USP Big Sandy

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