Arizona State Prison Complex – Florence

Coordinates: 33°01′37″N 111°22′12″W / 33.027°N 111.370°W / 33.027; -111.370
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Arizona State Prison Complex – Florence
Arizona State Prison Complex – Florence is located in Arizona
Arizona State Prison Complex – Florence
Location in Arizona
LocationFlorence, Arizona
Coordinates33°01′37″N 111°22′12″W / 33.027°N 111.370°W / 33.027; -111.370
Security classmixed
CapacityClosed except for units transferred under other ASPC complexes (Gov Doug Ducey ordered shut down due to massive costs to operate in 2020)
Managed byArizona Department of Corrections

Arizona State Prison Complex – Florence also known as Florence State Prison (FSP) is a former facility operated by the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC). The main FSP prison was located in Florence, Arizona. The Florence complex used to include a unit in Picacho in unincorporated Pinal County however, the Picacho Unit was closed and destroyed in early 2013. The Globe Unit in Globe is now part of ASPC-Phoenix.[1]

The Central Unit of ASPC–Florence housed Arizona's one of two male death row cell blocks (the other at Eyman where they were both consolidated when ASPC-Florence closed down) and the State of Arizona execution chamber.[2] FSP is the judicial site in Arizona for state executions since 1910. The death house known on the Unit as Housing Unit 9 is located beside Housing Unit 8. Lethal injection and the gas chamber are the sole methods of execution.

In 1908 inmates finished building and opened the Arizona Prison at Florence. This new prison was to replace the territorial prison in Yuma. The convicts lived in tents while constructing the prison. The new prison featured a death chamber. The chamber was scaffolding above the death row cells that had a trap door for hanging inmates which opened to a room below. In 1934, hanging was replaced with the gas chamber following a botched hanging that took place in 1930. Convicts from Florence were a cheap source of labor and the state used them to build roads through the mountains between Bisbee and Tombstone in 1913. Convicts also built a bridge over the San Pedro River and improved the Douglas Highway. There is a concrete monument there commemorating the completion of the road.

The prison was designed in a mission-revival style architecture.[3]

FSP had an inmate capacity of 3,946 in 6 housing units, housed at level 2, 3 and 5 security levels.[citation needed] The ADC uses a score classification system to assess inmates appropriate custody and security level placement. The scores range from 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest risk or need.

Central Unit was recently changed from a split 3/5 level to a sole maximum security unit.

ASPC Unit Custody Level
Central Unit 5
East Unit 3
North Unit 2
South Unit (now part of ASPC-Eyman) 2
CB–Kasson 5
Globe 2
Tempe St. Lukes 2–5

Notable People[edit]





  • Dale Hausner (1973–2013), serial killer; committed suicide by overdose[7][8]
  • Cris Kirkwood (born 1960), bassist of Meat Puppets; served 21 months for assault[9][10]
  • Charles Schmid (1942–1975), serial killer; escaped briefly in 1972; was murdered in FSP[11][12][13]: 47 
  • Placido Silvas (birth and death unknown), one of two perpetrators of the Ruby Murders; escaped in 1928 and never found[14]
  • Willie Steelman (1945–1986), Gretzler's accomplice; died of liver cirrhosis
  • Gary Tison (1935–1978), gang leader and murderer; escaped in 1975

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Arizona State Prison Complex–Florence." Arizona Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 16, 2010.
  2. ^ "Death Row Information and Frequently Asked Questions Archived 2010-05-27 at the Wayback Machine." Arizona Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 16, 2010.
  3. ^ Bui, Lynh. "Marking 100 years of incarceration." The Arizona Republic. July 12, 2008. Retrieved on September 20, 2010.
  4. ^ Fraternal Order of Police Phoenix Lodge 2 Arizona Fraternal Order of Police Archived 2018-02-27 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Prisons". Directions. Arizona Department of Corrections. June 1993. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  6. ^ "Inmate Data Search | Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry".
  7. ^ "Arizona's Family | Phoenix News".
  8. ^ "Arizona serial killer died of anti-depressant overdose: Medical examiner". Reuters. 12 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Cris Kirkwood sentenced to prison - Entertainment - Music -". November 16, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-11-16.
  10. ^ "Extreme turnaround - the Boston Globe".
  11. ^ "'Pied Piper of Tucson' Kidnaps 4, then Frees Them in Prison Break". The New York Times. 13 November 1972.
  12. ^ Sifakis, Carl. (1982). The Encyclopedia Of American Crime. Facts On File, Inc. pp. 641–642. ISBN 0-87196-620-4.
  13. ^ Shelton, Richard (2007). Crossing The Yard. University of Arizona Press. ISBN 978-0-8165-2594-2. crossing the yard.
  14. ^ "Mining and Murder in Ruby, Arizona – Legends of America".
  15. ^ "Arizona on track, for now, for 1st execution since 2014". 19 April 2022.
  16. ^ "Greenawalt executed for murders - Tucson Citizen Morgue, Part 2 (1993-2009)".
  17. ^ "Arizona inmates executed since 1992".
  18. ^ " » 1999: Walter LaGrand, a German gassed in America".
  19. ^ "Column No".
  20. ^ Hannon, Elliot (23 July 2014). "Arizona Man Gasps and Snorts During Lethal Injection Execution That Took Nearly Two Hours". Slate.

External links[edit]