McNeil Island Corrections Center

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McNeil Island Corrections Center (MICC)
McNeil Island Penitentiary - NARA - 299566.tif
McNeil Island in 1937
McNeil Island Corrections Center is located in Washington (state)
McNeil Island Corrections Center
Location in Washington
McNeil Island Corrections Center is located in the United States
McNeil Island Corrections Center
Location in the United States
LocationMcNeil Island
Coordinates47°11′48″N 122°39′28″W / 47.19667°N 122.65778°W / 47.19667; -122.65778Coordinates: 47°11′48″N 122°39′28″W / 47.19667°N 122.65778°W / 47.19667; -122.65778
Security classMedium
Opened1875; 148 years ago (1875)
Former nameMcNeil Island Federal Penitentiary (1904–1981)
Managed byFederal Bureau of Prisons (1904–1981)
Washington State Department of Corrections (1981–2011)
CountyPierce County
Postal codeP.O. Box 88900
CountryUnited States

The McNeil Island Corrections Center (MICC) was a prison in the northwest United States, operated by the Washington State Department of Corrections. It was on McNeil Island in Puget Sound in unincorporated Pierce County,[1] near Steilacoom, Washington.[2]

Opened 148 years ago in 1875, it had previously served as a territorial correctional facility and then a federal penitentiary.[3] Americans sentenced to terms of imprisonment by the United States courts that operated in China in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries served their terms at McNeil Island.[4] In the 1910s, inmates included Robert Stroud, the "Birdman of Alcatraz", who fatally stabbed a prison guard in March 1916.

During World War II, eighty-five Japanese Americans who had resisted the draft to protest their wartime confinement, including civil rights activist Gordon Hirabayashi, were sentenced to prison terms at McNeil; all were pardoned by President Harry S. Truman in 1947.[5] Career criminal and novelist James Fogle was sent to McNeil at the age of 17 in the 1950s.[6]

The state of Washington began to lease the facility from the federal government in 1981,[7] and later that year the state department of corrections began moving prisoners into the facility, renamed "McNeil Island Corrections Center." The island was deeded to the state government in 1984.[8]

In November 2010, the department announced its plans to close the penitentiary by 2011, saving $14 million in the process.[9]

Notable inmates[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Pierce County, WA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. p. 11, 19 (PDF p. 12, 20/114). Retrieved 2022-08-15. McNeil Island Corrections Ctr
  2. ^ "Mailing Requirements". Washington State Department of Corrections. Retrieved on April 1, 2011. "McNeil Island Corrections Center P.O. Box 88100 Steilacoom, WA 98388-0900"
  3. ^ "McNeil Island". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). (Los Angeles Times). October 13, 1979. p. 2A.
  4. ^ Peters, E.W. (2011). Shanghai Policeman. Earnshaw Books: Hong Kong. p. 118. ISBN 9789881998385.
  5. ^ "McNeil Island Penitentiary (detention facility)". Densho Encyclopedia. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  6. ^ Jean, Sara. "'Drugstore Cowboy' sentenced to what may be his last ride". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2015-10-16.
  7. ^ a b c "McNeil Island". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). (Los Angeles Times). October 13, 1979. p. 2A.
  8. ^ "McNeil Island Corrections Center History". Washington State Department of Corrections. Archived from the original on 2010-07-02. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  9. ^ Sullivan, Jennifer; Clarridge, Christine "McNeil Island prison to close next year". The Seattle Times (November 20, 2010). Retrieved November 20, 2010.
  10. ^ ‘Ex-Sheriff Rainey: He’s Haunted by the Past’; The Boston Globe, September 22, 1974, p. 280
  11. ^ Robinson, Sean (March 28, 2011). "Who's who of McNeil Island prisoners". Bellingham Herald.
  12. ^ Homewood Police Department (2019-01-11). John Norman records from Homewood PD.

Further reading[edit]

  • Young, Elliott (March 2021). "Dawn of Immigrant Incarceration: Chinese and Other Aliens at McNeil Island Prison". Forever Prisoners: How the United States Made the World's Largest Immigrant Detention System. doi:10.1093/oso/9780190085957.003.0002.

External links[edit]