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Notorious Prisons in the USA: Leavenworth

23 Mar, 2017//Posted by : aebbvelocityloca//Category : blog

Unlike previous entries in our Notorious Prisons in the USA series, Leavenworth is not a maximum security prison. It is designated a medium security federal prison with an adjoined minimum security camp. It is a male prison, with the current population around 2000 inmates, with 1500 in the medium security prison, and the remaining 500 in the minimum security camp.

As a federal prison, it houses inmates who have violated federal and not state laws. The Bureau of Prisons is a part of the Department of Justice that runs all federal prisons. However, before a person is sent to prison they need to be tried and sentenced. Prior to trial, many people needlessly sit in jail. Most of these people are eligible for bail. Seeing how most people do not have that amount of money to give, they often turn to bail bonding agencies. In order to get bail bonds in Escondido or other parts of San Diego County, contact Affordably Easy Bail Bonds agency.


The prison is located in Kansas, in the town of Leavenworth, Leavenworth County. This explains the name of the prison. It is around 25 miles northwest of Kansas City. Another important Leavenworth facility is Fort Leavenworth, one of the oldest US Army facilities.


Apart from Leavenworth federal prison, there are other correctional facilities in the area. Most notably, the United States Disciplinary Barracks, an army prison, as well as Leavenworth Detention Center, which is a private prison. Leavenworth federal prison is, however, the oldest among them. Throughout most its 100 years long history, it had been a maximum security prison. It was only in 2005 when it was repurposed into a medium security facility.

Minimum security satellite

This area of the prison is not fenced and only prisoners who are not expected to cause any security risks are held there. This part of the prison is focused mostly on prisoner rehabilitation. For this purpose, they are permitted to work for various off camp employers in order to be able to reintegrate into the society after their sentence. This area of the prison is organized in dormitory-style, rather than cell blocks, and there are fewer guards than in other parts of the prison.

Notable inmates

With over 100 years of history, this federal prison is bound to have had some interesting and fascinating inmates over the years. Several World War 2 Nazi spies were held in this prison after being convicted during the war. More recently, a Ponzi scheme mastermind was sentenced to a 50-year stint in this prison for his second-largest fraud in US history.

Old prisons must have their own gangster stories. Leavenworth’s most notorious in ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly, a famous 1930s gangster. He had two terms in this prison, where he ultimately died in 1954.


As mentioned before, Leavenworth used to be a maximum security prison. It was also a place where capital punishment was carried out. Unlike the lethal injections and electric chairs which are typically associated with capital punishment, Leavenworth used hanging as a method. Even though the documentation is incomplete, and does not go back to the founding of the prison, there are a few notable executions. Carl Panzram, a serial killer, was executed in 1930, and in 1938 two men were hanged simultaneously, also convicted of murder.

Most people share a healthy disdain to imprisonment. People awaiting trial do not need to be held in jail if they post bail. They can continue with their regular lives until the trial. If you are looking for bail bonds in Escondido, Affordably Easy Bail Bonds agency offers their services all over San Diego County. Contact us for more information.

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