Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary
Linda Dailey Paulson
Located fifteen miles north of Kansas City, Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary is the largest maximum security prison in United States. The first U.S. federal penitentiary, it was originally constructed in the late 1870s as a military prison barracks near the site of Fort Leavenworth. At the time, federal prisoners were held in state penitentiaries, which received boarding fees and were allowed to use the federal prisoners in their prison labor system. Congress became uncomfortable with the use of prisoners for contract labor, and in 1887, the practice of contracting federal prisoners to private employers was outlawed, and the states no longer ...