Old Leavenworth prison to be demolished

Discussion in 'Veteran's Forum' started by MarkP, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. MarkP


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    Aug 14, 2000
    land of the free

    August 23, 2004

    Old Leavenworth prison to be demolished

    By Jim Tice
    Times staff writer

    The stone and steel colossus that has been the symbol of U.S. military justice for 127 years is coming down in a cloud of dust and broken rock at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Demolition began Aug. 16 on the Civil War era confinement facility commonly called the “Castle.”
    And despite its history, attempts to keep it standing failed.

    “A reuse study was done for the Castle, but none of the options proved feasible and all were very costly,” said Leavenworth public affairs officer Janet Wray.

    Those options included converting the structure to a conference center, records storage facility or urban training center.

    Some of the other buildings within the 1877 prison complex will remain, including the distinctive rock walls and guard towers, according to Wray. “The entire area is part of the Fort Leavenworth Historic Landmark district,” she said.

    The prison’s inmate population was dispersed to other military facilities two years ago. The most serious offenders now are housed across post at the $69 million sate-of-the-art U.S. Disciplinary Barracks. That opened in 2002, and was accredited by the American Correctional Association in May 2003. The facility is located on a 51-acre plot of hills and woods that previously was the old prison’s farm area.

    With a population of more than 400, the USDB is the military’s largest prison. It houses murderers and other felons with sentences of seven or more years.

    The general inmate population is housed in three cell complexes called “bow ties,” each consisting of two two-tier cellblocks, and a common area with chairs, televisions and pay phones.

    Death-row inmates and maximum security prisoners are segregated form the rest of the inmate population.