Calculating your custody level is important because it determines the type of prison in which you can expect to be incarcerated. The key factors include:
- Voluntary Surrender
- Length of Sentence
- Past Criminal History
- History of Violence
- Educational Level
Based on that analysis you receive a certain number of points which is also expressed in a Custody Designation generally based on the following:
Camp = Community Custody (less than 2 years to release date) or Out Custody and
11security points or less
Low = Out Custody or In Custody and 12 – 16 security points
Medium = In Custody and 16 – 23 security points
Penitentiary = 24+ security points.
Your classification is subject to change over the course of incarceration in a positive way based on good behavior and reaching the next age threshold or in a negative way from bad conduct in prison. While these are the general guidelines, the process is a bit flexible. Prisons can issue variables to hold you in a prison that is either higher or lower than your qualified custody level. I served time with inmates who had Pen points at Miami Low, there for Spanish RDAP, while others like myself, with Camp points, are sometimes held at a Low for administrative or punitive reasons. Non-US citizens and child molesters are not Camp eligible.
The prisons themselves are separated among 6 separate Regional offices. Things can and are run dramatically different depending on the Region. The Regions and states they encompass are as follows.
Mid-Atlantic – TN, NC, KY, WV, VA, MD, DE
North Central – CO, ND, SD, NE, KS, MN, WI, IA, MO, MI, IN, IL
Northeast – OH, PA, NJ, NY, VT, NH, CT, MA, RI, ME
South Central – NM, TX, OK, AR, LA
Southeast – MS, AL, SC, GA, FL, PR
Western – AK, WA, MT, OR, ID, WY, NV, UT, CA, AZ, HI, GU
 The same is supposed to apply for inmates with detainers, typically related to a concurrent State case, however, I had a friend with just such a detainer who was with me in Miami Camp.
 For additional information on prisons see the Federal Prison Guidebook.