Leavenworth and the word "prison" have been made synonymous through the power of the silver screen throughout the years. Leavenworth and Fort Leavenworth have four prisons located in the area. None of the facilities allow public tours. You may visit the First City Museum, 742 Delaware, which has extensive jail and prison displays.
United States Federal Penitentiary, 1300 Metropolitan Avenue, Leavenworth, Kansas 66048
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 US. 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. The walls are 40 feet high and 40 feet below ground. This prison was the largest maximum security prison in the United States until 2005 when it was downgraded to medium security housing 1,831 inmates. This magnificent structure can be viewed and photographed only from a distance (across the street).
United States Federal Penitentiary Records:
National Archives at Kansas City
400 W. Pershing Road
Kansas City, MO 64108
United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth
For info on an inmate please call 913-758-3646
The USDB, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027, originally designated the U.S. Military Prison, was established by Congress in 1874 and has been in operation at Fort Leavenworth since May 15, 1875. This military prison has the distinction of offering the first vocational training program established in this country for prisoners. The USDB is the only long term prison in the Department of Defense, incarcerating personnel from all branches of the service. The last hanging at the USDB was Pvt. John A. Bennett in April 1961.
The new Disciplinary Barracks was completed in 2002 and is now a 515-bed facility which is considerably smaller than the original one which at one time housed more than 1,000 inmates.
Fort Leavenworth retains no military personnel records. When a person leaves the post, their records go with them or go to the National Personnel Records Center (address below):
Military Personnel Records
1 Archive Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
8th Street & Pennsylvania Ave.
NW Washington DC 20408
To request information about a family member, you will need:
full name military serial number branch of service
date of birth (and place of birth, if possible)
date of entry into military service discharge from military service (DD Form 214)
social security number
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)
Leavenworth Detention Center
100 Highway Terrace
Leavenworth, Kansas 66048
This 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. operates a 460 bed private prison (with 2000 addition) for the U.S. Marshal Service in Leavenworth, Kansas with maximum and minimum security prisoners.
Lansing Correctional Facility (LCF)
Originally called Kansas State Penitentiary, this facility currently houses 2,335 inmates.
Archives: Topeka, KS, 785-559-5196