Leavenworth (detention facility)


US Gov Name Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary
Facility Type U.S. Federal Prison
Location Leavenworth, Kansas (39.3000 lat, -94.9167 lng)
Date Opened
Date Closed
Population Description Held twenty-eight Nisei soldiers from Fort McClellan, Alabama; seven leaders of Heart Mountain's Fair Play Committee; and thirty older draft resisters from Heart Mountain concentration camp.
General Description Located 15 miles northwest of Kansas City. At 1,583 square acres, it is currently the largest maximum-security prison in the U.S., housing about 2,000 inmates.
Peak Population
National Park Service Info

Federal prison in Kansas that held Nisei military resisters and draft resisters during World War II.

  • In March 1944, 106 Nisei soldiers at Fort McClellan, Alabama, refused to undergo combat training to protest the unjust incarceration of their families. Twenty-eight were court-martialed and sent to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. They were kept separate from the civilian inmates.
  • On June 26, 1944, sixty-three draft resisters from Heart Mountain were convicted by a federal grand jury and sentenced to jail terms. Thirty of the older resisters were sent to Leavenworth, while the others were sent to McNeil Island Penitentiary. They were all pardoned by President Harry S. Truman in 1947.
  • The seven leaders of Heart Mountain's Fair Play Committee were convicted of counseling others to resist the draft. They were sentenced to four years in Leavenworth, and the verdict was eventually overturned.