Learn About FCI Ashland 

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Learn about FCI Ashland

After a judge sentenced me to serve 45 years in prison, authorities told me that I would begin at the Federal Correctional Institution in Ashland, Kentucky. Later, they switched my designation to USP Atlanta.

I’m Michael Santos, a founder of Prisons Professors. While serving 26 years, I learned a great deal about federal prisons.

Our team helps people prepare for the best outcome during imprisonment. We are fully aware of the hardships a person is likely to experience in prison. However, we also know how to encourage, restore strength and confidence by offering beneficial information about federal prisons, including FCI Ashland. At Prison Professors, we offer dependable guidance people can use to live through prison and leave as better citizens no matter where they serve their time. 

Federal Correctional Institution Ashland is a low-security level prison located in Boyd County, Kentucky. This is a federal prison situated five miles outside Ashland and approximately 125 miles east of Lexington prison. It hosts an adjacent minimum security satellite camp, and both hold male prisoners. The prison currently houses 1088 incarcerated individuals, 928 at the main unit and 160 at the camp.

FCI Ashland began its operations in 1940 and initially held bootleggers, tax evaders, and people who violated postal regulations. It later became a Federal Youth Center and hosted young people but was re-designated to an adult male prison at a low-security level in 1970. The adjacent camp, on the other hand, was opened in 1991. 

The facility’s main unit hosts incarcerated individuals in two-person dorms, two-person cells, and two or six-person cubicles. Generally, it has two dormitories, four-cell blocks, two general population housing units, and one special housing unit. The camp comprises two massive open dormitories, each with two-person cubicles. Notably, Forbes Magazine ranked the Satellite Camp as one of the ten most comfortable federal facilities in the United States.

Notable Inmates

Over the years, FCI Ashland has housed outstanding people convicted for famous charges, and whose case’s ripples attracted public attention. Here are some notable current and former individuals held in this prison:

  • Mark Ciavarella

Mark Ciavarella is currently serving a 28-year sentence, scheduled to end in 2035. He formerly served as President Judge in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. He was convicted in 2011 for fraud, money laundering, racketeering, tax evasion, bribery, extortion, and other charges generated from his role in the Kids for Cash Scandal

  • David Kernell

Released in November 2011, David Kernell served a ten-month sentence in FCI Ashland. He was charged with unauthorized access to a computer alongside obstruction of justice for hacking into Sarah Palin’s, the then-Republican Vice Presidential candidate, email account in 2008. Kennel died at the age of 30 due to multiple sclerosis complications. 

  • Azamat Tazhayakov

Azamat Tazhayakov served three years in prison for lying to federal investigators about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev during investigations related to the Boston Marathon Bombing. He was released in 2016. However, his former classmates (Robel Phillips and Dias Kadyrbayevin) at the University of Massachusetts remain in federal custody of low-security prisons in Big Springs, Loretto, Pennsylvania, and Texas. 

The above individuals are just a small portion of the high-profile individuals currently housed here and those who have passed through this facility. You can check out others here.

Programs and Services at FCI Ashland

FCI Ashland offers progressive and humane treatment services to people in prison and various programs that enhance the successful reintegration into their communities after release. The wellness programs in this facility include:

Medical Care

FCI Ashland conducts a compulsory physical examination on incarcerated individuals during the admission and booking process. The analysis includes dental examination, urinalysis, serology, Tetanus Toxoid, vision and hearing screening, PPD skin test for Tuberculosis, and HIV testing. Additionally, EKG (electrocardiogram records) is available for people aged 50 or older. During imprisonment, people can receive emergency health care, general medicine, dental, sick call, and eye care. The facility has onsite credentialed and licensed health care providers who offer health service every day from 6:30 am to 3:30 pm. People are often advised to submit their triage form in the box outside the health department at 7:30 am. Emergency services are available 24 hours daily while pill and insulin treatment run from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. For individuals with chronic health conditions who require advanced care, BOP operates several referral centers to serve them accordingly. 

Counseling Services

The facility offers assessment and treatment of people with mental health-related issues. Certified licensed psychologists provide individual and group counseling, psycho-educational classes, supportive services, self-help, and chronic-care clinics for severe mental illnesses. Other Counseling classes include Criminal Thinking, Anger Management, Emotional Regulation, Basic Cognitive Skills, Suicide Watch Companion, and Smart Recovery. 

Substance Abuse Treatment

A significant number of the prison population have a history of drug or alcohol abuse. Therefore, FCI Ashland conducts drug screening during admission to determine inmates who must undertake this program. However, any person who desires to join can do so at any time. The program consists of Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, the Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NR-DAP), and a Drug Abuse Education Course. 

Education Program

Education services aim to improve cognitive abilities and employability when the imprisoned individuals are released from FCI Ashland. This prison offers General Education Diploma (GED) in English and Spanish categorized into pre-GED, advanced GED, and Special Education Classes for inmates with disabilities. Additionally, people can enroll in English-as-a-Second Language classes. Ideally, participants receive incentives for showing good progress in these programs, including $25 for completing GED and ESL. FCI Ashland holds graduation ceremonies upon successful completion of Education programs. Adult Continuing Education (ACE) involves Math for Welders, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, Jazz, Math and Grammar Refresher, Rock & Roll, and Bass. High school diplomas and other post-secondary programs are also offered but are self-sponsored through paid correspondence. 

Recreation Services

FCI Ashland offers physical fitness and leisure programs. People can utilize the yard from 6:00 am to 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Leisure activities include table games, organized and informal games, movies, social and cultural organizations, hobby crafts, intramural activities, and music. There is also an onsite library with a wide variety of books available from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm. On the other hand, the camp has three pool tables, exercise equipment, and cable television fitted in each housing unit. 

Commissary Services at FCI Ashland

FCI Ashland offers adequate basic needs such as food, clothing, and medication to all people in its custody. However, incarcerated individuals may purchase extra items from the kiosk for additional comfort while serving their time. People can spend up to $360 per month to buy snacks, drink mixes, clothing, beverages, and medical devices. Depending on their housing units’ designated days(it rotates quarterly), shopping hours typically run from 10:15 to 11:45 am and 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Those under the UNICOR program can order items from 3:00 to 3:30 pm. You can check out the BOP website to see all the items that people can buy from the commissary store.

 ∙      https://www.bop.gov/locations/institutions/ald/ALD_CommList.pdf

Sending Money

Like all other federal prisons, FCI Ashland allows people to receive funds from family, friends, and other community contacts, provided these sources are legal and of goodwill. Funds sent from any of these sources are deposited into an individual’s commissary account. To better understand the inmate money sending endeavor in federal prisons, we have a resourceful article at your disposal, and you can check out:

∙      How to Send Money to People in Federal Prison

At FCI Ashland, you can use any of the following ways to send money to your loved one:


MoneyGram allows you to send funds to the prison electronically through their ExpressPayment Program. However, when transacting, ensure you include correct details about the intended individual to avoid depositing funds to the wrong account or rejection of your transaction. The required details include:

  • Account Number: eight-digit register number and inmate’s last name after the number
  • Company Name: Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • City and State: Washington, DC
  • Receive Code: 7932
  • Beneficiary: Person’s full committed name

You can also deposit money at a MoneyGram physical location near you. This method requires you to fill out a MoneyGram ExpressPayment Blue Form. One can pay with cash or deposit funds online with your MasterCard or a Visa credit card. 

Western Union

Another way you can send funds to people held at this prison is via Western Union’s Quick Collect Program. Family and friends can choose any of the following three methods:

  • Western Union Location

You can locate the nearest agent by visiting their website or calling 1-800-325-6000. Moreover, you have to complete a payment form and pay in cash.

  • Online

Visit the Western Union website and select Quick Collect, then follow the provided instructions and prompts. This option applies to credit or debit card deposits. 

  • Phone

To pay over the phone, call 1-800-634-3422, then choose the second option. Like online deposits, this requires a credit or debit card.

United States Postal Service

Individuals interested in sending money via mail must use the United States Postal Service. Do not send cash through FCI Ashland’s address; all funds are addressed to a processing center in Des Moines, Iowa. Ensure you include a return address and delivery address when sending money orders. 

The Delivery address appears as;Federal Bureau of Prisons

Insert Valid Committed Inmate Name

Insert Inmate Eight-Digit Register Number

Post Office Box 474701

Des Moines, Iowa 50947-0001

Sending Mail

The prison permits people to write to family, friends, and other community contacts to maintain healthy ties. Typically, correspondence is either general or special; general mail is from an individual’s loved ones, while special mail is from official sources, including an inmate’s attorney or government agencies. The staff members often open and inspect general mail for contraband or illegal content that can threaten the prison’s security. On the other hand, special mails are only opened in the recipient’s presence. 

If you want to send a loved one a mail, you can address it as follows:

  • For people at the main unit

Inmate Name & Register Number

FCI Ashland

Federal Correctional Institution

P.O. Box 6001

Ashland, KY 41105

  • At the Camp

Inmate Name & Register Number

FCI Ashland

Federal Correctional Institution

Satellite Camp

P.O. Box 6000

Ashland, KY  41105

Phone Calls

The prison permits incarcerated individuals access to telephone services. Phone calls are considered a privilege; hence the facility may impose some limitations and conditions depending on a person’s behavior and conducts during incarceration. Generally, BOP facilities do not contract third-party service providers viewed as a means to preventing people from using phones for criminal activities. Moreover, all phone communication is monitored by the prison’s correctional staff except for calls involving attorneys.

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