The United States Disciplinary Barracks — Fort Leavenworth, Leavenworth, Kansas
The United State Disciplinary Barracks (USDB), originally named the United States Military Prison, is the only military maximum-security prison in the United States military.
Located on Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, a United States Army post, the current USDB replaced the original facility in 2002. The former was established by an act of Congress in 1874, and was mostly constructed by prisoners between the years of 1875 to 1921. The stone and brick, medieval-feeling structure, complete with a domed top which spawned the nickname, “Little Top,” sat on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River.
The new USDB, a state of the art facility which cost $67.8 million to construct, sits about a mile north of the original facility on 51 acres, and is comprised of 515 beds spread over three housing pods. The cells have solid walls and a window, with no bars. The 15th Military Police Brigade is responsible for staffing the correctional officers at the facility.
The American Corrections Association (ACA) awarded the USDB its top rating after evaluating 500 areas of review, such as safety, mental health, and humane treatment standards, in 2012.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that the majority of military prisoners are being held for violent offenses such as rape and murder, followed by drug offenses, theft, and public order offenses, including actions like making false statements, disrespect, and insubordination.
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The USDB houses all male commissioned officers regardless of sentence length, male non-commissioned officers convicted of sentences of five or more years, and male enlisted personnel with sentences of 10 years or more, all sentenced by courts martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which are the laws of conduct specific to military personnel. Military personnel whose offenses are national security related in nature are also held at the USDB. Prisoners of war could also be held at the facility, although a proposal to house Guantanamo Bay prisoners there was previously rejected. Military Death Row inmates are housed at the USDB, and currently there are four; Rondal Gray, Hasan Akbar, Timothy Hennis, and Nidal Hassan. All were convicted of murder.
No female military personnel are housed at the USDB. Instead, they are held at the Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar, San Diego, California.
Male military enlisted prisoners with sentences of less than ten years are housed at regional military facilities, such as the United States Army Corrections Command operated Northwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility, located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, or the Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility, located at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, or one of three United States Navy run Naval Consolidated Brigs, located in Charleston, South Carolina, Chesapeake, Virginia, and Miramar, California. These smaller facilities, aside from housing those with less than ten year sentences, also house those awaiting trial.
Naval Consolidated Brig — Miramar, San Diego, California
The Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar (NCBM or NAVCONBRIG) is a 208,000 square foot military prison located at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, approximately 10 miles north of San Diego, California. Built in 1989, it cost $17 million to construct. It is one of three consolidated Navy brigs (abbreviated from brigantine, or “jail”) operated by the United States Navy, and is also known as the Joint Regional Corrections Facility Southwest.
The facility can house up to 400 prisoners, male and female, and while it houses male enlisted military members with less than ten year sentences, it is the only facility where female military prisoners are held, regardless of rank, branch, or sentence length, since 2003. The goal of housing all female military prisoners in one place was to allow for better rehabilitation efforts by combining their smaller numbers into one facility in order to allow for corrections programs to be offered which were female-specific in their focus.
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The mission of Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar, is as follows: to ensure the security, good order, discipline and safety of adjudged and pretrial prisoners; to retrain and restore the maximum number of personnel to honorable service; to prepare prisoners for return to civilian life as productive citizens; and when directed by superior authority, detain enemy combatants in accordance with guidance from the president via the secretary of defense.
For a short time, the prison was used to house immigrants, but after a riot occurred in 1996, that practice was discontinued.
The Naval Consolidated Brig — Charleston, Hanahan, South Carolina
The Naval Consolidated Brig, Charleston (NAVCONBRIG CHASN), is located on Joint Base Charleston, in Hananan, South Carolina. Opening in 1990, it is a medium security military prison. Male prisoners of all branches are housed there, and it holds the distinction of conducting the United States Navy Violent Offenders Program. It has a capacity of holding 288 inmates, with 400 available cells, and in the past has been used to house enemy combatants.
The Naval Consolidated Brig — Chesapeake, Chesapeake, Virginia
The Naval Consolidated Brig, Chesapeake (NAVCONBRIG Chesapeake) also known as the Joint Regional Corrections Facility Mid-Atlantic, is located in rural Chesapeake, Virginia. The 209,000 square foot facility opened in 2011 and is one of the newest military prisons. Built for a cost of $64 million, it has a capacity of 400 prisoners in single cells. It houses male military prisoners of all branches with sentences of less than five years, or those who are awaiting trial, and is staffed mostly by Navy and Marine personnel who don’t carry weapons. Focus is on rehabilitation and prisoners can learn skills such as auto maintenance, carpentry and culinary arts.
Northwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility — Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Fort Lewis, Washington
The Northwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility (NWJRCF), located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Fort Lewis, Washington, is a level II military correctional facility established in 1957, and then realigned as a Regional Correctional Facility in 2008, becoming a partnership with the Consolidated Naval Brig Miramar Detachment, Puget Sound, as the Northwestern Joint Regional Correctional Facility in 2009. Staffed mostly by the 508th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade, in cooperation with Navy and Army Civilians, it holds minimum and medium security prisoners of all branches of the military.
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Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility — Fort Leavenworth, Leavenworth, Kansas
The Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility (JRCF), located near Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is a 224,736 square foot prison sitting on 45 acres. It has a capacity of 512 beds and houses male enlisted military prisoners with sentences of less than five years or those awaiting trial.
Other Military Prisons in USA and Abroad
In addition to the military prisons in the USA listed above, the Army, Navy and Marines all operate smaller prisons (or holding facilities) both in the United States and abroad. They are as follows:
United States Army
- United States Army Corrections Facility — Europe, Sembach Kaserne, Kaiserslautern, Germany
- Army Regional Confinement Facility — Camp Humphreys, USFK, South Korea
United States Marine Corps
- Marine Corps Brig –Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California
- Marine Corps Brig — Camp Hansen, Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan
- Marine Corps Brig — Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
United States Navy
- All United States Seventh Fleet
- Naval Brig/CCU Jacksonville — Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida
- Naval Brig/CCU Norfolk — Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia
- Naval Brig Yokosuka — U.S. Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan
- Naval Brig Rota — Naval Station Rota, Spain
- Naval Brig — Pearl Harbor, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
- Navy Brig — Puget Sound, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Washington
Pre-Trial Confinement Facilities/PCF
- Pre-Trial Confinement Facility — Naval Station Great Lakes, North Chicago, Illinois
- Pre-Trial Confinement Facility — Submarine Base New London, Connecticut
- Pre-Trial Confinement Facility/Consolidated Confinement Unit, Commander, Fleet Activities — Yokosuka, Japan
- Pre-Trial Confinement Facility — Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Related Article – Abandoned Military Bases
- Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia
- Naval Station San Diego, California
- Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, District of Columbia
- Naval Air Station North Island, California
- Naval Air Station Lemoore, California
- Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi
- Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas
- Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan
- Commander Naval Activities Marianas, Guam
- Naval Support Activity Naples
- Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia
- USS Nimitz (CVN-68)
- USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69)
- USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)
- USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)
- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)
- USS George Washington (CVN-73)
- USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74)
- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)
- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)
- USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77)
- USS Wasp (LHD-1)
- USS Essex (LHD-2)
- USS Kearsarge (LHD-3)
- USS Boxer (LHD-4)
- USS Bataan (LHD-5)
- USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6)
- USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7)
- USS Makin Island (LHD-8)
- USS Nassau (LHA-4)
- USS Peleliu (LHA-5)
- USS Emory S. Land (AS-39)