How Many Prisons Are in Leavenworth, Kansas?

In this article, we will explore and provide an overview of the prisons located in Leavenworth, Kansas.

How Many Prisons Are in Leavenworth, Kansas?
How Many Prisons Are in Leavenworth, Kansas?

When it comes to the topic of prisons, Leavenworth, Kansas, often stands out due to its rich history and association with the correctional system. In this blog post, we will explore and provide an overview of the prisons located in Leavenworth, Kansas. We'll delve into both state and federal prisons and examine the total number of prisons in the area. So, let's begin!

Overview of Prisons in Leavenworth, Kansas

Leavenworth, Kansas, has 5 correctional facilities, making it an essential hub for the criminal justice system. These facilities serve different purposes, ranging from housing convicted individuals to offering rehabilitation programs. You can find state and federal prisons in Leavenworth, each with distinct characteristics.

How Many Prisons in Leavenworth, Kansas?

Leavenworth, Kansas, is home to a notable number of prisons contributing to the local correctional system. Let's explore the total number of prisons in Leavenworth and their significance.

In Leavenworth, there are a total of five prisons. These include two federal prisons, USP Leavenworth and USP Leavenworth Camp, and the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) at Fort Leavenworth.

Additionally, the Leavenworth area has the Leavenworth Detention Center and the Lansing Correctional Facility. Each of these prisons serves a specific purpose and contributes to the overall management of the incarcerated population in the region.

Leavenworth's Federal Prisons

USP Leavenworth and USP Leavenworth Camp are two notable federal prisons in Leavenworth. These prisons are under the direction of the North Central Regional Office. Let's examine each facility in more detail.

USP Leavenworth:

In Leavenworth, Kansas, a medium-security federal prison called USP Leavenworth. This jail is significant historically because, up until 2005, it was the biggest high-security federal prison in the country. The jail has enormous rectangular buildings that are part of the Auburn system and a tight external security fence.

USP Leavenworth's inmate housing consists of one- and two-person cells situated back-to-back in the center of the building, which enables guards to patrol the perimeter efficiently. The facility employs various security measures to ensure safety, including walls, fences, and other systems.

USP Leavenworth provides a range of programs to support inmate rehabilitation and growth. Inmates are encouraged to pursue their educational and career aspirations, keep their jobs in jail, and participate in enrichment activities for life skills.

Additionally, the prison offers a Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program to address inmates' substance abuse issues. The medical care level of USP Leavenworth is categorized as Level 2, which means it can provide routine medical care to inmates, including those with conditions such as diabetes. The facility also houses a UNICOR facility, offering employment opportunities for inmates.

USP Leavenworth Camp:

The USP Leavenworth Camp, a federal prison camp with low security, is located next to USP Leavenworth. The emphasis of this facility, which is intended to accommodate nonviolent offenders, is on developing social, academic, and vocational skills that will help inmates after they are released.

The camp's prisoner housing consists of open bay dorms holding about 50 inmates each. The camp does not provide apprenticeship training programs but grants access to law and leisure libraries, supporting educational and leisure pursuits.

Other Prisons in the Leavenworth Area

In addition to the federal prisons, the Leavenworth area is home to other correctional facilities. The U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, located at Fort Leavenworth, is the only maximum-security prison in the United States Department of Defense.

While public tours are not allowed in these facilities, the First City Museum in Leavenworth provides extensive jail and prison displays, offering visitors a glimpse into the history and significance of the area's prisons.

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Jails and Prisons in Leavenworth County

Leavenworth County, where Leavenworth is situated, has several jails and prisons serving the local community. County jails primarily serve as short-term confinement facilities, housing individuals awaiting trial or serving relatively short sentences. On the other hand, county prisons accommodate inmates serving longer-term sentences, usually a year or more, for their crimes.

Understanding the presence of these county facilities is important as they contribute to the overall corrections system in the area. They are critical in maintaining public safety, providing rehabilitation opportunities, and preparing individuals for reintegration into society.

Why do soldiers go to Leavenworth?

Leavenworth is often associated with the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks (USDB), the only maximum-security prison within the United States Department of Defense. Soldiers may be sent to Leavenworth if they are found guilty of committing serious offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

The USDB serves as a confinement facility for military personnel who have been court-martialed and sentenced to incarceration.

Soldiers may be sent to Leavenworth for various reasons, including committing murder, assault, espionage, or other serious offenses. The purpose of confinement at the USDB is to ensure public safety by removing individuals who pose a threat and to facilitate rehabilitation and discipline within the military justice system.

It's important to note that most soldiers maintain their commitment to service and adhere to the high standards and values of the military.

However, in cases where military personnel violate military laws and regulations, resulting in serious criminal charges, Leavenworth may be the designated facility for their confinement and rehabilitation.

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How bad is Leavenworth?

Leavenworth has gained a reputation over the years due to its association with prisons, particularly the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks (USDB). However, avoiding painting the entire town with a broad brush is crucial. Leavenworth, as a community, is more than just its prison facilities.

The USDB itself is a maximum-security prison that houses military inmates convicted of serious offenses. The safety of workers and convicts is guaranteed by the strong security measures intended to be provided. Even though it is a high-security prison, it is crucial to understand that everyone's experiences and views may differ.

As for the federal prisons, USP Leavenworth and USP Leavenworth Camp function as correctional institutions focusing on rehabilitation, education, and preparing inmates for successful reintegration into society.

While the severity of the crimes committed by inmates can vary, these prisons provide programs and opportunities for personal growth, academic achievement, and skill development.

It is worth noting that while Leavenworth has a significant number of prisons, it is still a community with diverse residents, businesses, and attractions beyond the corrections system.

It is essential to approach discussions about Leavenworth with a balanced perspective, considering the town's rich history, culture, and the contributions of its non-incarcerated population.


Understanding the presence and function of these prisons is crucial for comprehending the local criminal justice system's impact on the community. By delving into these institutions, we can gain insights into the efforts to rehabilitate offenders and maintain a secure environment.

If you wish to explore further, consider researching the specific programs and initiatives implemented within each prison, as they play a vital role in shaping the lives of incarcerated individuals.

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