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Leavenworth and the word "prison" have been synonymous through the power of the silver screen throughout the years. Leavenworth, Lansing and Fort Leavenworth have four prisons located in the area. None of these facilities allow public tours.

United States Federal Penitentiary,
Metropolitan Avenue, Leavenworth, Kansas
U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons Website
By a special act of Congress, the reservation for the U.S. Penitentiary was deeded by the War Department to the Justice Department in 1897 to build the United States Federal penitentiary (USP) in Leavenworth, Kansas. The decision was made, at least in part, based on the labor available from the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth. They, in fact, were used for the first phase of construction and were the first prisoners to be incarcerated in 1903. The first cell house opened in 1906, and USP was completed in the mid-1920's. This prison is the largest maximum security prison in the United States, housing approximately 2,000 inmates.

National Archives Central Plains Region
2312 E. Bannister Road
Kansas City, MO 64131

Kansas State Penitentiary, officially now named the Lansing Correctional Facility (LCF), was constructed during the period of 1863 to 1868, with delays due to the Civil War.

Lansing Correctional Facility
Lansing, Kansas

Front view of Kansas State Penitentiary as it appeared in early 1929. Photo courtesy Jerry Collins.
Why it was located just to the south of Leavenworth is unknown, however, population centers were all on the east side of the state and the site is within sight of the State of Missouri, then a Confederate state. We can assume distance and efficiency factors, in addition to the proximity of troops at Fort Leavenworth in the event of trouble, had some impact on the decision.

This prison is the state's first maximum-security prison and currently houses over 2,000 inmates. At one time this was also the home of the state's women's prison. The medium-security prison in which the women were incarcerated is now a part of the Lansing Correctional Facility.

Kansas State Historical Society State Archives
6425 SW 6th Street
Topeka, KS 66615-1099
For more information, visit the Lansing Correctional Facilities Web Site.

The U.S. Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) has operated at Fort Leavenworth since 1875. It is the only long-term maximum-security correctional facility in the Department of Defense, incarcerating approximately 500 armed forces personnel convicted of serious offenses. A new correctional facility opened October 2002. The new facility is a state-of-the-art design, located at the site of the former USDB Farm. The USDB provides inmates correctional treatment through rehabilitation programs and vocational training. Through the vocational trade program, inmates support the Fort Leavenworth community with a variety of services.

United States Disciplinary Barracks
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

CCA Leavenworth Detention Center
100 Highway Terrace
Leavenworth, Kansas 66048
(913) 727-3246
Fax (913) 727-2231
This prison is the only privately run correctional facility to have a direct contract with the U.S. Government--in this case the U.S. Marshals Service. It is the only exclusively maximum-security institution run by a private company. The majority of those incarcerated in this facility are federal prisoners from the Midwest, awaiting trial, and once sentenced, awaiting transfer to a Bureau of Prisons institution.
More information, including: Facility Type, Total Beds, Customer Base, Accreditation, Community Activities, Visitation Schedule & Visitation Rules can be found HERE.
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