The often inhumane conditions of the prison had it dubbed the “bloodiest 47 acres in America.” Inmate records database of The MSP (Missouri State Penitentiary) now offers unrestricted access to 62,758 inmate records who spent time in the prison between 1836 to 1931. Details of the inmates include ages and names along with sentencing and the relevant crimes. Records also reveal the dates the prisoners entered and were then released from The MSP.
Prior to the prison closing in 2004 the MSP was the longest serving penal facility westerly of the Mississippi. When Alcatraz was opened in San Francisco it had already saw 98 years of service. A TIME magazine piece in 1967 termed it the bloodiest 47 acres in America.
The inmate photographs available are restricted as there was no requirement for prisoner mug shots till 1928. Original records are also now available on the website. As well as assisting with searching family history the database also allows for the research of more flamboyant inmates. Those include socialist activist Kate Richards O Hare and bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd and Emma Goldman (anarchist)
The prison served Missouri from 1836 through to 2004. However, to date the inmate records are inclusive to 1931. Research requests outside these parameters can be requested by providing the name and approximate entry. The project began more than a decade ago by hundreds of volunteers. Volunteers still contribute to index other records. Any one interested in helping with other projects can call (573) 526-6711. The MSP Database:
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