New FMC warden to oversee renewal of inmate numbers

By Christina Killion Valdez

The new warden at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester says his first task is to bring the inmate levels back up. New doctors have already been hired.

Duke Terrell was the warden at the U.S. Penitentiary-Leavenworth in Kansas, where he led a major transition to decrease security and the budget, he said.

Terrell took over leadership at the Federal Medical Center on Sept. 1. He replaces Warden Marty Anderson, who relocated to a federal prison in Springfield, Mo.


Before he departed, Anderson announced plans to expand the Rochester prison capacity to more than 1,000 inmates by transforming a former dining building into a 50-bed facility.

However, Terrell said he plans to bring the inmate level back up to the facility’s 926-inmate capacity.

"We have allowed the inmate population to drop recently," he said.

The prison currently houses 857 inmates, according to the most recent federal prison population report. The recent hiring of several doctors, however, will allow the inmate population to grow by 50 to 60 prisoners, he said.

Terrell, who has a Ph.D. in psychology from Auburn University, said he also plans to continue the mental-health mission at the medical center; he formerly worked in the mental-health treatment of inmates.

"Working with staff is as rewarding as it is to work with inmates," Terrell said. "It’s ultimately about taking care of inmates."

He also said he wants the prison to continue to be a good neighbor in Rochester. And his family is adapting to the new community, he said, noting that his children are involved at the Masque Youth Theatre.

Wardens are regularly rotated within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which includes about 118 institutions, every few years to maintain cohesion within the national system, Terrell said.


Terrell, a native of Opp, Ala., is the seventh warden to lead the Rochester facility since it opened in 1985. His career has brought him to Minnesota once before, as associate warden at the Federal Correctional Institute in Waseca in 1999-2000.

Terrell’s previous experience includes having served as warden at the Federal Correctional Institute at Terminal Island, Calif., and as associate warden of mental health at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo. He also worked at facilities in Butner, N.C.; the Central Office in Washington, D.C.; and Marianna, Fla.

Under Terrell’s leadership, the Rochester prison will continue to conduct quarterly blood drives, the inmate community service project "Caps for Kids" sponsored by the noon Optimists Club, and staff fundraising activities, which last year raised more than $26,000.

To learn more about the FMC, visit

Federal Medical Center

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