USP Big Sandy, KY Inmate Roster

Updated on: September 20, 2021
Big Sandy Prison

Visitation Hours

  • Sunday 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM;8:30 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday Closed
  • Wednesday Closed
  • Thursday Closed
  • Friday Closed
  • Saturday 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM;8:30 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Holiday 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM;8:30 AM - 3:00 PM

USP Big Sandy Basic Information

Facility Name
USP Big Sandy
Facility Type
Federal Prison
BSY/[email protected]
Date Established
Offender Gender
Male Offenders
Security Level
USP – High, Camp – Minimum
BOP Region
Mid-Atlantic Region
Judicial District
Eastern District of Kentucky
Postal Code
Official Website
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Big Sandy Prison is a men’s maximum-security penitentiary in Inez, Kentucky between Prestonsburg and Paintsville, Kentucky. There is an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp.

The prison currently has an all-male population of 1286 total inmates. Of these, 1233 reside in the USP, with only 53 inmates at the adjacent camp. The prison is located in Martin County, in the Mid-Atlantic Board of Prisons Region.

The facility employs daily counts to help keep its inmates regimented and accounted for. A minimum of five official counts occur every 24-hour period. Additional counts are conducted on weekends and holidays.

Callouts are published for participation in the prison’s programs. Failure to report to callouts results in disciplinary action.

A prisoner may be assigned the religion, library, hospital, dental, or psychology areas of the prison according to their callout. Callouts are posted at 6:00 am every morning.

Prisoners are permitted to wear headphones in the institution but are only allowed to wear them inside their cells or in the recreational areas.

The prison maintains a strict dress code, and inmates are required to be dressed from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm every Monday through Friday. Prisoners are expected to be properly dressed for all prison assignments, callouts, and meals.

General Visitation Guidelines

The process to start accepting visitors at USP Big Sandy starts when the inmate is processed for their stay. The inmate has to fill out a form to start the approval process and send copies of the form to the potential visitors. Those visitors fill out the rest of the form and wait for the background check to finish. Even attorneys need to go through this process.

When arriving for a visit to Big Sandy Prison, visitors should expect to be searched. Visitors need to also dress and behave appropriately, including limiting physical contact to the beginning and the end of the visit. If these expectations are not followed the visitor may be asked to leave.

For the general population at USP Big Sandy, the visiting hours are Saturday, Sunday, and holidays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. When visiting inmates in the Special Housing Unit, visiting hours are on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Visitation is based on a point system for inmates at this penitentiary. Each month inmates have ten points and each point is used for each visit, even if the inmate gets two visits in a day.

COVID Visitation Guidelines

Currently, all visitation at Big Sandy Prison has been suspended until further notice. When visitation was open, visitors were screened for symptoms before entering the penitentiary. During the visit inmates and visitors had to remain six feet apart with no physical contact at the beginning or end of the visit.

Inmate Locator

You can look up prisoners at USP Big Sandy, and other federal penitentiaries, through the Bureau of Prisons website. On the BOP website, you find records on inmates from 1982 to the present. Sentences and release dates are being recalculated due to The First Step Act and information can change quickly as a result.

Before arranging a visit with an inmate at Big Sandy Prison, it is advised to check that they are still incarcerated at the prison. Inmates may be moved quickly to accommodate needs. To search for an inmate you need their name or a registration number. More information can also be used, such as age and race, to narrow the search.

Communication with USP Big Sandy

Inmates are encouraged to keep up communication with friends and family while incarcerated at Big Sandy Prison to reduce recidivism. Inmates and their loved ones have several options on how they can keep in touch with each other.

Mail Correspondence

For inmates at USP Big Sandy, use the following format

P.O. BOX 2068
INEZ, KY 41224

For inmates at the adjacent Camp, use the following format

P.O. BOX 2068
INEZ, KY 41224

Mail sent through general correspondence is opened and inspected before the inmate receives it. This is to check for contraband or anything that might compromise the security of Big Sandy Prison. Special mail can only be opened in the presence of the inmate but it is still inspected.

Inmates can only receive packages when they have approval from the unit team or another authorized staff member. When inmates receive a package it can only have clothes for release or medical devices. Inmates can receive packages with publications directly from the publisher.

When sending mail to a staff member at the penitentiary, use the following format

P.O. BOX 2067
INEZ, KY 41224

When sending freight or non-USPS mail, use the following format

INEZ, KY 41224

Phone Correspondence

Phone privileges are open to inmates at Big Sandy Prison for inmates to keep in touch with family and friends. Phone calls are monitored, though unmonitored calls to an attorney can be permitted in certain circumstances.

To ensure that nothing is illegal is being discussed or planned on a call, no third-party call arrangements are allowed. Calls are paid for by the inmate, though in some cases the incoming party makes the payment.

Email Correspondence with TRULINCS

As email has become a popular form of communication, inmates can use the closed email system TRULINCS to send correspondence while in the penitentiary. When using TRULINCS, inmates and approved contacts can send each other emails of up to 13,000 words of text. No images can be sent.

All correspondence sent through TRULINCS is monitored, both parties have to agree to this before using TRULINCS. Every message sent is screened for content that could jeopardize the safety of Big Sandy Prison. TRULINCS is paid for through the commissary.

Commissary Store

The commissary is a store where inmates can purchase items for their personal use. Inmates at USP Big Sandy can purchase food, personal hygiene items, and basic dental and healthcare items. Items available are subject to change and may be rotated based on need. Purchases made through the commissary support the TRULINCS email system.

Inmates make purchases from their personal accounts. This money can come from an inmate’s friends and families depositing money into the inmate’s account, or from a work assignment that the inmate has. These purchases are not viewed as requirements from the penitentiary since the prison provides the basics for each inmate.

Inmates have a limit on how much they spend at the commissary each week. They can spend up to $80 each week and $320 each month. Some items are excluded from this restriction, such as stamps and over the counter medications.

Depositing Money

Inmates cannot receive money through the mail. Money can only be sent through mail orders or deposited through Western Union or MoneyGram. When sending a money order to an inmate at Big Sandy Prison you will need to send it to the central processing location through USPS. How quickly the payment is processed depends on the speed of the mail.

You can also directly deposit money into an inmate’s commissary account. To deposit money into an account you need to use Western Union or MoneyGram and the inmate’s name and registration number. Deposits sent by 9:00 p.m. eastern time are typically processed within two to four hours. Deposits can be processed every day.

If you experience problems with sending money to an inmate at USP Big Sandy you will want to make sure that any mail sent is formatted correctly and there is enough postage. You will also want to ensure that the inmate’s name is spelled correctly and that you have the right registration number for the inmate.

Psychological Services

To help inmates manage their mental health for their time at USP Big Sandy and to prepare for when they leave inmates are encouraged to take advantage of various psychology services offered at the penitentiary.

Upon entering Big Sandy Prison, each inmate has to take an intake interview with a psychologist. This interview will assess the inmate’s current mental health and what their mental health history is. This meeting will also help establish what the appropriate treatment is for the inmate.

Crisis counseling is also available for inmates on a need by needs basis and these services are offered to the most urgent needs. Counseling services are also available for less urgent matters. Counseling may be offered through personal or group sessions depending on what is deemed best for the inmate.

Drug Treatment Services

Big Sandy Prison offers drug treatment through Drug Education, Non-Residential Drug Treatment, and Residential Drug Treatment. These programs are designed to help inmates Inmates who are required to attend one of these programs and fail to do so may lose certain rights and responsibilities, including working in UNICOR.

Residential Drug Abuse Treatment, or RDAP, is available for eligible inmates. This nine-month intensive program requires that you live in a certain unit with other participants. Inmates spend half the day in therapy programs and the other half working. Typically inmates must be within 42 months of their expected release date and may get time reduced from their sentence.

Challenge Program

The Challenge Program is designed to help inmates develop prosocial values and lifestyles. It’s a voluntary program that builds a safe environment for inmates to learn ways to live healthy lives outside of the penitentiary. Inmates going through this program live in the same unit and attend classes and programs together.

Education and Recreational Programs

To help inmates stay busy and develop new skills, Big Sandy Prison offers several educational and recreational programs. Inmates are encouraged to take advantage of all of these services and programs to create a better experience at the penitentiary.


The education programs at USP Big Sandy are open to all inmates. The penitentiary offers GED and general education courses. Inmates can also take parenting classes and vocational training courses. These courses can help inmates prepare for the skills they will need for life outside of prison.

Inmates are also encouraged to take advantage of library services. There are leisure and legal libraries where inmates can read for pleasure or education. Through the legal library, inmates can access legal forms and learn more about their sentencing and options.

Recreational Programs

The recreation programs at Big Sandy Prison are designed to keep inmates physically and mentally fit and engaged. Being involved in physical exercise or learning a new hobby can help reduce stress while incarcerated. The penitentiary offers physical and mental hobbies to help keep inmates engaged during their stay.

Religious Programs and Services

Inmates at Big Sandy Prison are encouraged to keep any religious ties or traditions they had before entering. Inmates can also engage in new faiths and traditions while incarcerated. They have chaplains of several religious faiths and practices. USP Big Sandy is committed to helping inmates of all faiths find safe ways to worship as their faith dictates.

Inmates can declare a religious faith during the initial processing, they can also change their declaration at any time while incarcerated. Inmates cannot frequently change their religious beliefs.

Services are held for various faiths and inmates can attend these services, whether or not they practice that faith. When a special service interferes with other commitments, the special service will be accommodated. Inmates will also receive accommodations to pray at certain times.

USP Big Sandy will also accommodate special religious diets. Inmates have to fill out a request detailing the needs of the special diet and the penitentiary must accommodate for those needs within reason.

UNICOR and Job Assignments

All inmates at Big Sandy Prison are expected to maintain a job assignment. Many of these assignments are handled through the Performance Pay System and inmates can expect payment for their work. This money can be saved or spent on commissary purchases.

UNICOR Program

The UNICOR program is a training and employment program at USP Big Sandy. Inmates work textile manufacturing factory on apparel and other products for the Federal Government. This program helps inmates develop skills that they can use to get jobs outside of prison.

Inmates are paid on a scale through this program. Pay starts at twenty-three cents an hour and can move up to $1.15 at the top of the grade 1 tier. Pay can increase depending on how long you stay in UNICOR, after 18 months inmates can begin to get longevity pay on top of the hourly wages. This longevity pay increases at 30, 42, 60, and 84 months of continuous work.

Inmates must request to work for the UNICOR program. There are four waiting lists at Big Sandy Prison, each list is for a different set of inmates depending on their education and work history. To stay with UNICOR inmates have to maintain clean conduct and removal from UNICOR will result in being written up for a loss of a job assignment.

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