United States Penitentiary, Terre Haute
|Location||Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana|
|Security class||High-security (with minimum-security prison camp)|
|Managed by||Federal Bureau of Prisons|
The United States Penitentiary, Terre Haute (USP Terre Haute) is a high-security United States federal prison for male inmates in Terre Haute, Indiana. It is part of the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Complex (FCC Terre Haute) and is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice. USP Terre Haute houses a Special Confinement Unit for male federal inmates who have been sentenced to death. FCC Terre Haute is located in the City of Terre Haute, 70 miles (110 km) west of Indianapolis.
A new United States penitentiary was authorized by President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938 and established in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1940 on 1,126 acres (4.56 km2) of land. The opening of the prison in this city was partly due to heavy promotion by Terre Haute’s Chamber of Commerce, which eventually went on to raise $50,000 to pay for the property on which the prison was built. The residents of Terre Haute initially embraced the prison due to the impression that it would provide jobs to local residents in addition to helping Terre Haute’s economy while only housing non-violent offenders. E.B. Swope was the prison’s first warden.
The U.S. Public Works Administration issued a $3 million grant to pay for construction of USP Terre Haute in 1938. Construction cost of the institution at the time that it was built was $2,150,000. The architectural design of the prison is a modified telephone pole design with all housing and other facilities opening onto a long central corridor. It was the first penitentiary for adult felons ever to be constructed without a wall. In 2004, the new USP was built on adjoining property, with the old penitentiary becoming a medium-security Federal Correctional Institution.
USP Terre Haute was one of the first federal prisons to emphasize rehabilitation by providing psychological and psychiatric treatment, referring to prisoners by names as opposed to numbers, and allowing prisoners to talk during meals instead of eating in silence. The institution initiated the use of the word "inmate" as opposed to other less-appealing labels such as "convict" or "criminal". It also became one of the first federal prisons to implement educational programs in prisons with sessions devoted to improving the inmates' skills in reading, writing, math, as well as trades.
USP Terre Haute is a Care Level 3 facility, which means that any inmate sent to Terre Haute who has serious health problems that are not major enough to warrant hospitalization is sent to the USP. This facility is also a tobacco-free institution. This part of the FCC contains six housing units. One of the six housing units is a faith-based unit that can house 125 inmates. When the inmates are not working, they are partaking in faith-based activities. All of the inmates in the USP are allotted seven visit-days a month and 300 minutes of telephone time, which they have to use in increments of 30 minutes or less. The inmates housed here can work at UNICOR, which is a prison industry that makes towels and other accessories for the military. Inmates employed here earn an average of $6.50 to $7.50 a day and some can make up to $12 a day if they are paid by piece as opposed to by the hour.
On July 19, 1993, the federal government designated USP Terre Haute as the site where federal death sentences would be carried out, including the establishment of the "Special Confinement Unit," the federal death row for men. The Bureau of Prisons modified USP Terre Haute in 1995 and 1996 so it could house death row functions. On July 13, 1999, the Special Confinement Unit at USP Terre Haute opened, and the BOP transferred male federal death row inmates from other federal prisons and from state prisons to USP Terre Haute. There are currently 58 inmates on death row. The federal government chose Terre Haute as the location of the men's death row due to its central location within the United States.
USP Terre Haute houses federal death row. Among those most recently executed at USP Terre Haute were Timothy McVeigh and Juan Raul Garza in 2001, and Louis Jones, Jr., in 2003. McVeigh, who was convicted for his responsibility for the Oklahoma City bombing, was the first prisoner executed by the U.S. Government since the moratorium on the death penalty was lifted in 1976. The method of execution used by the federal government is lethal injection. On May 15, 2015, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to die via lethal injection. His execution will presumably be performed at USP Terre Haute.
The following lists contain the names of current and former notable inmates.
|Inmate Name||Register Number||Execution Date||Details|
|Timothy McVeigh||12076-064||June 11, 2001||Gulf War veteran; convicted in 1997 of planning and carrying out the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 people.|
|Juan Raul Garza||62728-079||June 19, 2001||Drug kingpin; convicted in 1993 of murdering or ordering the murders of three rival drug traffickers, and of importing thousands of pounds of marijuana from Mexico and reselling it to dealers in Texas, Louisiana and Michigan.|
|Louis Jones, Jr.||27265-077||March 18, 2003||Gulf War veteran; convicted in 1995 of the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of US Army Private Tracie Joy McBride at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas.|
|Inmate Name||Register Number||Status||Details|
|Alejandro Umaña||23077-058||Sentenced to death in 2010||High-ranking member of the international street gang MS-13; convicted of racketeering conspiracy and murder in connection with four gang-related killings; Umaña's story has been featured in several documentaries regarding MS-13.|
|Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr.||08720-059||Sentenced to death in 2006||Sex offender; convicted in 2006 of interstate kidnapping resulting in death in connection with the 2003 murder of Dru Sjodin.|
|Len Davis||24325-034||Resentenced to death in 2005||Former New Orleans Police officer; convicted in 1996 of ordering the 1994 murder of Kim Groves, a 32-year-old mother of three, in retaliation for Groves' filing an excessive force complaint against him.|
|Joseph Edward Duncan III||12561-023||Sentenced to death in 2008||Serial child molester and rapist; sentenced to death for a 2005 kidnapping and quadruple murder in Idaho; pleaded guilty in state court to one murder in California and suspected in two other murders in Washington State.|
|Ronell Wilson||71460-053||Resentenced to death in 2013||Gang leader in Staten Island, New York; murdered NYPD Detectives James Nemorin and Rodney Andrews, who were conducting a sting operation to buy an illegal gun in 2003; Wilson is the first person sentenced to death in New York since the 1950s.|
|Marvin Gabrion||09184-055||Resentenced to death in 2013||Convicted of the 1997 kidnapping and murder of 19-year-old Rachel Timmerman. Gabrion was set to stand trial on rape charges filed by Rachel when she disappeared. Gabrion is the first person to be sentenced to death in the state of Michigan since 1937.|
|Inmate Name||Register Number||Status||Details|
|Jay Scott Ballinger||05989-028||Serving a life sentence||Satanist and self-described “Missionary of Lucifer”; convicted in 2000 and 2001 of setting fires at 26 churches in eight states in the 1990s, including one which caused the death of Firefighter Loy Williams of the Commerce Fire Department in Georgia.|
|Russell Wasendorf||12191-029||Serving a 50-year sentence; scheduled for release in 2056||Peregrine Financial Group founder; pleaded guilty in 2012 to mail fraud, embezzlement and making false statements for stealing over $100 million from the clients over a 20-year period and falsifying documents to cover up the fraud.|
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- USP Terre Haute Official Website