View Full Version : Where does the FBI hold persons it arrests?

02-23-2015, 10:37 PM
I don't think the FBI has holding cells or jails, so any arrestees would need to be held at a local jail, right? Suppose it's a high-stakes prisoner, like a spy or mass murderer? Are they placed in a high-security state or Federal prison?

But the FBI site seems to imply it's the FBI themselves that hold the prisoners:

"What does the FBI do with persons it arrests in the course of an investigation?

A person arrested by the FBI is taken into custody, photographed, and fingerprinted. In addition, an attempt often is made to obtain a voluntary statement from the arrestee. The arrestee remains in FBI custody until the initial court appearance, which must take place without unnecessary delay."

If it makes a difference the setting is NYC.


02-23-2015, 11:14 PM
Major FBI Field Offices do have holding rooms/jails.

02-23-2015, 11:40 PM
Any inmate, whether pre- or post- trial is held under the authority of the order holding said inmate, regardless of the physical location of the inmate. In other words, an inmate arrested or tried in New Hampshire can be transferred to another state or Federal prison, but is still held and is still in the custody of the State of New Hampshire.

Pre-trial Federal inmates in New Hampshire are usually held in the Hillsborough County House of Corrections, aka Valley Street. Custody level is determined both by the arresting authority and the jail. Valley Street has a high level of security, but inmates requiring more are transferred to the State Prison, which has a super max area.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

02-24-2015, 12:36 AM
Federal agencies, to include the FBI, are responsible for maintaining custody (and the well being) of persons arrested until presented for an initial appearance before the court of appropriate jurisdiction (FRCP: Part. 5)


Most agencies have limited holding facilities within their offices. Those that do not can have prisoners held in local jails provided the jail has a contract to hold federal prisoners. Such individual contracts are negotiated and overseen by the US Marshals Service (DOJ/USMS) for pre-trial criminal violators, Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS/USCIS/ICE/CBP) for illegal aliens (& criminal aliens), and the US Bureau of Prisons (DOJ/BOP) for sentenced prisoners.





At the initial appearance a date for arraignment is set and the matter of interim release (bail/bond, if warranted) is discussed. The arrested person is either granted (restricted) release pending the next scheduled appearance before the court, or is remanded to the custody of the Attorney General (USMS custody, regardless of which federal agency made the initial arrest. The prisoner is typically held in a local contracted jail). If there are other state charges pending, any release is moot unless the concerned state (judicial) authority grants bail/bond thereon.

This may be more information than you need, but if not, it's to your advantage to get it right. Those who know will notice if you don't.

02-24-2015, 07:38 AM
Since you're in NYC, a federal pretrial prisoner would probably wind up here:


In smaller cities, like mine, the US Marshal Service puts pretrial prisoners in local jails. We have clients spread all over southern West Virginia (and even a few in Virginia and Kentucky).

02-24-2015, 08:22 AM
Yes, I have the FBI arresting my high-stakes MC, so need to get it right. This was surprisingly hard to research. The Metropolitan Correctional Center is close to NYC FBI headquarters, so that sounds like a good choice. Wikipedia has a good description of the scary sounding entrance.

Anyone know if the NYC FBI at Centre Place has a holding cell? And where might a former suspect, who is now cleared but in proven danger from the real bad guys, be temporarily kept? Would a holding cell in NYC FBI headquarters be logical? Maybe some type of protective custody at headquarters, or a local hotel with guards?

thanks again

02-24-2015, 09:06 AM
Run a search for Metropolitan Correctional Center and Madoff and you'll get some pictures from inside of the MCC. Also there's a description by Jim Dwyer in the NEW YORK TIMES describing the transfer of inmates from the MCC to the courthouse.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Bing Z
02-24-2015, 09:11 PM
tko, why don't you give the FBI NYC field office (http://www.fbi.gov/newyork/contact-us/contact) a call?

02-25-2015, 09:45 PM
Not only that, they have a web site where authors of novel and screenplays can submit questions. But I thought I'd wait until my novel has a full rough draft, then ask a full set of questions. This one question was just bugging me a little

tko, why don't you give the FBI NYC field office (http://www.fbi.gov/newyork/contact-us/contact) a call?

03-01-2015, 07:27 AM
Not only that, they have a web site where authors of novel and screenplays can submit questions.

Interesting - could you share the link?


03-02-2015, 10:49 AM

No promise they'll respond . . .

Contact information:

Call FBI Headquarters at (202) 324-3000 and ask for the Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit.
Or write to: FBI Headquarters, Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit, Room 7790B, 935 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20535.
Or send your complete request via e-mail to public.affairs@ic.fbi.gov.

Interesting - could you share the link?


03-03-2015, 07:09 AM