The mission of Louisiana State Penitentiary is to provide for the custody, control, care, and treatment of adjudicated people in prison through enforcement of the laws, and management of programs designed to ensure the safety of the public, staff, and imprisoned people, and to further reintegrate people releasing from prison into society.
We respect the need for public safety and operate our programs and services in a way to ensure a better Louisiana. We respect our employees and understand the challenges inherent in their provision of public service. We respect the dignity of people in prison and work hard not only to comply with federal, state, and other mandates, but also to provide an environment that will enable them to live a productive life upon release as a means to reduce recidivism. Louisiana State Penitentiary strives to maintain an environment where high ethical standards are expected and performance accountability is a critical element of our success.
The Louisiana State Penitentiary is located at the end of Highway 66, approximately twenty-two miles northwest of the town of St. Francisville, Louisiana (Highway 61).
From St. Francisville, travel north on Highway 61 for approximately two miles. Shortly after passing the West Feliciana High School appearing on your right, turn left onto Highway 66 using the turning lane provided. The twenty-mile long highway ends at the penitentiary’s front gate.
From Baton Rouge, follow I-110 (Martin Luther King Highway) to Highway 61 North and take the Natchez/St. Francisville exit. Travel approximately twenty-one miles to St. Francisville, and then follow the directions given above from St. Francisville.
From New Orleans, take I-10 to Baton Rouge. At exit 155-B, turn right onto the ramp towards I-110/Business District/Metro Airport. I-110 ends at US Highway 61. Turn right (North) onto US Highway 61. Travel approximately twenty-six miles to Highway 66. Turn left on Highway 66. Highway 66 ends at the gates of Louisiana State Penitentiary.
The administration of Louisiana State Penitentiary views visiting as a vital aspect of an imprisoned person’s rehabilitation process. This connection to family and friends allows the imprisoned person to make a smooth transition to prison life and helps him adapt to society and family life upon release from custody.
Upon his arrival at LSP, an imprisoned person must submit a list of individuals with whom he wishes to visit. Once approved, this list becomes their official visiting list. Only the visitors who appear on this (current) approved visiting list are allowed to visit. Children under the age of eighteen may visit, but must be accompanied at all times by an adult listed on the imprisoned person’s approved visiting list.
Visiting days are Saturday & Sunday from 6 a.m. until 4 p.m. Visitors must arrive prior to 2 p.m., at which time the bus makes its final departure to the visiting area(s).
Length of Visits
Each imprisoned person is afforded a two-hour (2) visit on any visiting day. The warden or designee retains the discretion to determine the duration of visits based on available space and staff.
Number of Visitors
An imprisoned person is allowed ten (10) approved visitors plus one (1) religious adviser on his list. Each visitor on the approved visiting list will be permitted to visit twice (2) a month. Each imprisoned person is allowed to visit with up to five (5) visitors, including children, at one time.
All visitors are subject to a search of their vehicles, possessions, and persons. This is necessary to preclude the introduction of weapons, ammunition, explosives, cell phones, alcohol, escape devices, drugs and drug paraphernalia, or other forbidden items or contraband into the prison environment. All searches of visitors will be conducted in accordance with Department Regulation No. C-02-005 and Penitentiary Directive No. 09.004, and 09.004\A.
Visitors will be allowed to take the following to the visiting area:
No items listed above can be left with the imprisoned person at the termination of the visit.
Visitor Dress Code
Visiting areas are designed to cultivate a family atmosphere for family and friends of all ages. Visitors should dress and act accordingly. The following apparel is considered inappropriate and shall result in the denial of visits:
All approved visitors must have in their possession a picture ID (valid state issued driver’s license or state issued ID card obtained through the Department of Motor Vehicles). All visitors 15 years of age and above must have a picture ID in order to visit an imprisoned person.
Other accepted forms of picture ID include passports and military, law enforcement, college/university, or school identification.
For more visitation information, click here.
Through partnerships with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Ashland University, and the Louisiana Department of Education, Louisiana State Penitentiary provides opportunities for participation in the following educational programs:
Reentry and Rehabilitative Program
Louisiana State Penitentiary is the state’s oldest and only maximum security prison and, as such, a much sought after tour for school groups, churches, and criminal justice professionals. Tours of the Penitentiary grounds serve to educate the public on the history of the prison as well as the current reentry, rehabilitative and moral initiatives implemented over the last several decades which helped to transform Louisiana State Penitentiary from “the bloodiest prison in America” to a model prison for onsite faith-based and vocational training curriculums. The historical and educational bus tour includes a visit to the museum, the historic Red Hat, and a drive past the six prison camps that sit on the 18,000 acre piece of property that is known as Louisiana State Penitentiary. The tours do not go into the prison camps or dorms. For more information, please contact Louisiana State Penitentiary at 225-655-2031.