Missouri State Penitentiary
115 Lafayette Street
Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri, 65101
The Missouri State Penitentiary was a prison in Jefferson City, Missouri, that operated from 1836 to 2004. Part of the Missouri Department of Corrections, it served as the state's primary maximum security institution.
The Missouri State Penitentiary was designed by John Haviland. Before it closed, it was the oldest operating penal facility west of the Mississippi River.
In 1868, A-Hall, also known as Housing Unit A and Housing Unit 4, was finished. The building was constructed of stone quarried on site and built mainly by inmates. Warden Horace Swift was the architect of the structure. It is still standing today, and housed inmates until the day the prison was closed.
In 1974, Lillian Bonds became the first female correctional officer to work in a male correctional facility. This was also the year that the official job classification for custody staff was changed from "guard" to "correctional officer".
The Missouri State Penitentiary was closed on October 14, 2004, and the new Jefferson City Correctional Center was opened.
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