View Full Version : information about FPC Danbury

08-27-2004, 08:18 AM
Here is some information about FPC Danbury. Hope that it proves helpful to those of you who may find yourselves going there in the near future.


1. Please list the name, level and “inmate” mailing address for the institution we
Will discuss.

FPC Danbury, Route 37, 33 ½ Pembroke Station, Danbury, CT 06811

2. Please list information on educational programs offered at this location.
Is it a requirement to be enrolled in such programs?

English GED, Spanish GED, English as a Second Language, some college courses... GED classes are a requirement for anyone who cannot prove high school graduation. Occasionally, other classes, such as social development, are offered, and volunteers from the community come in to teach them.

The GED classes are not very good. There aren't enough textbooks for the students.. and the staff teacher's qualifications are at best questionable. There is also no curriculum for the inmate tutors, who do most of the actual work, to follow. Education in FPC Danbury needs a serious overhaul.

3. Please list and describe work detail. What all types of jobs are available? What is
Required as far as work programs?

Unless you are specifically exempted by medical personnel, you are required to work. Jobs offered include: food service (dining room, dishroom, kitchen (cooking, baking, pots and pans, serving), orderly (bathroom, hallway, laundry, garbage), education (English and Spanish tutors), law library (clerk), chapel (clerk), visiting room (orderly, photographer), recreation (aides), UNICOR (you must apply and be interviewed for this), FCI visiting room & lobby (orderlies and clerk)... Then there is CMS... which includes ground maintenance, plumbing, carpentry shop, electrical shop, safety shop, staff wellness center.. and that's all I can think of right now.

4. Please list and describe recreational activities. walking/jogging track, volleyball, bocce ball, softball, small gym with equipment (somewhat old and not well maintained). Also there are classes... yoga, abs, over 50 fitness, etc. Sometimes, there are tournaments in various sports. Crafts classes are offered... address book... crocheting, knitting, and a few others. It is required that you get a permit to do a crafts project before you start work on it. If you are crocheting an afghan or anything else and you don't have a permit, the staff member in charge of recreation can confiscate your masterpiece.

5. How would you rate the medical care offered at this location? Please give details.
Really, not very good. This is how I described it in my article for the Buffalo Alternative Press: "Make sure to see your doctor and your dentist for any routine (or not-so-routine) care before you check into Club Fed. Some people describe prison health care as inefficient and bordering on malpractice. Others say that medical malpractice is the standard for health care in a federal prison. Physicians assistants are the people in charge of your care. They work under the assumption that you are a lazy malingerer, trying to get a day off from work to loll around in bed, when you complain of illness.

If you feel ill, you will be offered Motrin. If you sneeze too many times, you get a "Meanie Greenie." If you can't sleep, you can take a sleeping pill, given at the pill line, a high point of the day, at about 4:30 p.m. It's considered proper prison etiquette to take the pill when it's offered and then crash in your room. Try not to snore so loudly that you sound like a lawnmower in need of oil. No one wants to hear that.

During your initial physical, the physicians assistant will mildly poke and prod you. When I saw him, the phone distracted him and he got into a panicked diatribe with someone about his inability to pay his taxes. I squelched the urge to reassure him by saying, "Don't be scared. It's not so bad. I hear that the men's camps are really nice." You will also get to see the "Vampire Lady," who will draw your blood, and a dentist, who will count your teeth (as if you were a horse).

6. Visitation. Please explain how the visiting system works as in different locations, rules
Vary. What are the visiting days and hours? Do you know about visiting when an inmate
In being housed on the Special Housing Unit?

7. How would you rate the food service? Explain.

The food ranges from truly terrible to really, really good. It is possible to maintain a vegetarian diet. One can request a special diet for religious reasons.

According to my article: Don't expect much variety in your diet. You'll get a lot of (cluck, cluck) chicken: baked, fried, sauced, and turned into salad. Also you'll eat eggs, eggs, and more eggs. Oh, and take a look at the words written on those little sugar packets. It seems that we get the stuff that the government confiscates when it seizes restaurants and other businesses. It must be a cost-cutting measure. On holidays, you get special food and cookouts.

8. What types of things can you buy through commissary? Anything else that would go
Along with this? You can buy packaged food items, craft items, clothing (all gray, except for the hats and socks, which are white), radios, stationery, legal pads, pens, stamps, photo albums, makeup, hair dye, the occasional piece of fresh fruit...

9. What is the quality of the legal and leisure library in this location? The legal library is very small and I've been told not as good as the one in the FCI. I don't know what a "leisure library" is but there is a bookshelf in the multi-purpose room, where people seem to engage in some sort of book exchange.

10. Is RDAP offered at this specific location? What are the requirements to get into
This program and how long is the waiting list if one?

It is offered in FCI Danbury. One must have a history of drug/alcohol abuse. It wasn't an option for me so I didn't have any clue about the waiting list.

11. What are the living conditions? How many inmates are assigned to dorm, cell or cube? In the FPC, there are dorms and rooms... D Dorm, which is also known as one of two bus stops, housed more than ten persons... the rooms accommodated anywhere from four to eight (the eight-person room was also called a "bus stop"). The three dorms in the basement (A, B, and C) were called "preferred housing," even though they were in a "dungeon." They were divided into cubicles, with two individuals in a cube, except for puppy program participants, who shared their cubes with dogs, instead of people.

12. What is the inmate racial and age makeup? Very mixed... Hispanics, blacks, and whites... not very many Native Americans... just a few Asians... but I don't have statistics... ages ranged from 18 to late 70s.

13. What is the availability of functioning typewriters? There are two available in the law library for legal work only. There are also one or two available for college students and tutors.

14. How many telephones are available per how many inmates? Four telephones are available for approximately 200 inmates.

15. Are furloughs ever granted and if so how often? They are granted but not too often. If you get a furlough and someone picks you up in an automobile, make sure that the person comes in the automobile that they have told prison personnel that they intend to use. Otherwise, you will not be permitted to leave and your furlough will be cancelled.

16. What items are issued by the BOP? pants, long-sleeved uniform shirts, underwear, sports bras, socks, coat, scarf, gloves, knit hat, sheets, blankets, towels, washcloth, nightshirt, laundry bag, introductory toiletry kit...

17. What items can be sent in from friends and family? letters, photographs, softcover books.

18. Are parole hearings held at this location (for “old law” and “DC” inmates)? I have no idea.

19. Are there practicing religious groups? If so, please give details. yes... Catholic group, with daily readings and weekly bible study and weekly mass (a priest comes in from outside) and monthly "Life in the Spirit"; nondenominational Christian group, with bible study, choir, weekly service (with visiting minister); faith sharing group with volunteers every Wednesday; Buddhist meditations with a volunteer; Wiccan gatherings and a Wiccan circle outside; Jewish services on Jewish holidays; Native American religious services ... not sure about Muslims or other religions...

20. Are parenting programs offered? Does it include special parent-child visiting
Program? I don't think so.

21. Are marriage workshops offered? Does it include special session where husbands and
Wives can attend together? No, I'm sure that there are not.

08-27-2004, 06:49 PM
What a great informational source for those who will land in Danbury in the future!

Thank you Alice! It's great!

08-27-2004, 07:55 PM
You're welcome. I hope that it helps someone.

Have a good weekend!