The Missouri State Penitentiary

“The Missouri State Penitentiary, also known as “The Walls”, was a prison in Jefferson City, Missouri that operated from 1836-2004. Prior to closing, it was the oldest operating penal facility west of the Mississippi River. It served as the State of Missouri’s primary maximum security institution. The current Jefferson City Correctional Center was opened on September 15, 2004, replacing the Missouri State Penitentiary.”Wikipedia

My first tour of the old prison was prior to 2004 so the inmates were still there. A very different place than the empty cells and halls we toured in 2008 (photos).

Mark Schreiber — our guide in ’08 — was once a corrections office and, at one time, Associate Superintendent at the penitentiary. He’s also and avid historian and the co-author of Somewhere In Time: 170 Years of Missouri Corrections (out of print I’m afraid).

I regret I didn’t record the full tour because it was fascinating. As you will see from the excerpts above.