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United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg

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Status  Operational
Opened  1932
Phone  +1 570-523-1251
United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg
Location  Kelly Township, Union County, near Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Security class  High-security (with minimum-security prison camp)
Population  1,400 (580 in prison camp)
Managed by  Federal Bureau of Prisons
Warden  as of late summer 2014: current acting warden is Mr. Wilson, new warden is Mr. Jeffrey Butler
Address  2400 Robert F Miller Dr, Lewisburg, PA 17837, USA
Hours  Open today · 8AM–3PMSaturday8AM–3PMSunday8AM–3PMMondayClosedTuesdayClosedWednesdayClosedThursdayClosedFridayClosedSuggest an edit
Similar  Allenwood Low Federal C, Lewisburg Prison Project, Unicor, Union County Jail, State Correctio Institution

The United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg (USP Lewisburg) is a high-security United States federal prison for male inmates in Pennsylvania. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice. An adjacent satellite prison camp houses minimum-security male offenders.


USP Lewisburg is located in Kelly Township, Pennsylvania, near Lewisburg. It is in the central Pennsylvania region, 170 miles (270 km) west of Philadelphia and 200 miles (320 km) north of Washington, DC.


Initially named North Eastern Penitentiary, USP Lewisburg was one of four federal prisons to open in 1932.

USP Lewisburg had a prison riot in November 1995. Although started by only 10 prisoners, more than 20 visited the hospital that November 1, with one prisoner recording multiple broken bones and missing teeth. Many were sentenced to the "hole" and over 400 were transferred. This incident thrust the Penitentiary into the national spotlight, where it gained much of its current notoriety.

A local non-profit group, the Lewisburg Prison Project, assists prisoners here and in the surrounding area with issues of conditions of confinement.

USP Lewisburg was the focus of the 1991 Academy Award nominated documentary Doing Time: Life Inside the Big House by filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond. The one hour long film described conditions inside the prison and focused specifically on the abolition of parole within the federal system and the fears held by many prisoners about re-integrating into society upon their eventual release from prison.

As of 2009, USP Lewisburg was designated as a Special Management Unit intended to house the most violent and disruptive inmates in the Bureau of Prisons. Although most USP Lewisburg inmates are housed in the SMU, there remains a work cadre of approximately 200 inmates in the USP's general population.

Funding Issues

In July 2008, correction officers at USP Lewisburg expressed concerns about underfunding. Over the past four years, union leaders and other officials had been lobbying in an attempt to quell staff reductions and cutting costs. The Federal Bureau of Prisons had proposed $143 million in possible spending cuts, including not replacing vehicles and equipment, eliminating overtime, reducing corrections officer training, and a possible cut in officer staff positions. Under such conditions, many of the Correctional Officers expressed concerns about their own safety.

Recent events

In 2012, Jeff Thomas replaced Bryan E. Bledsoe as Warden of USP Lewisburg.

Notable inmates (current and former)

  • †Inmates released prior to 1982 are not listed on the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.
  • ††Inmates in the Federal Witness Protection Program are not listed on the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.
  • References

    United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg Wikipedia

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