Mission Statement

The mission of Louisiana State Penitentiary is to provide for the custody, control, care, and treatment of adjudicated offenders through enforcement of the laws, and management of programs designed to ensure the safety of the public, staff, and offenders, and to further reintegrate offenders 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 our offenders and work hard not only to comply with federal, state and other madates, 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.


  • Maximize capacity utilization.
  • Provide basic/broad-based educational programs to adult offenders who are motivated to take advantage of these services and have demonstrated behavior that would enable them to function within an educational setting.
  • Prepare offenders for release through implementation of innovative programs and initiatives.
  • Maximize public safety through appropriate and effective correctional, custodial, and supervisory programs.
  • Provide constitutionally acceptable levels of health care that reflect community care standards and operate in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive mental health program to screen, diagnose and treat mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse.
  • Continue to effectively manage available resources to ensure maximum and efficient utilization and avoidance of budget deficits in accomplishing goals and objectives.
  • Continue to provide for the safety of the correctional staff and offenders by maintaining an organized and disciplined system of operations that promotes stability in the institution.
  • To further rehabilitative efforts by providing an environment that enables behavioral changes by making rehabilitation opportunities available to offenders, which will increase their odds of being successfully reintegrated into society.
  • Through the provision of quality health services, assure that the health of all offenders is adequately evaluated and that proper and effective treatment is provided as needed in order to maintain offender health.
  • Maintain rigorous operational standards.

Driving Directions

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 (look for exit sign to Natchez/St. Francisville); this is a turn to the right. 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 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.


Educational Programming

Through partnerships with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the Louisiana Department of Education, Louisiana State Penitentiary provides opportunities for participation in the following educational programs:

NOBTS (N.O. Baptist Theological Seminary)

SSD#1 (Special School District)
P.R.E.P. Pre-Release Exit Program
Culinary Arts

Reentry and Rehabilitative Program

Automotive Technology – ASE Certification

Collision Repair – ASE Certification

Print Ed Certification

NCCER Certification — Carpentry, Welding, Heating and Air Conditioning, Electrical, Industrial Painting

Eye Glass Repair

A detailed description of these programs can be found on Louisiana State Penitentiary’s website (see top of page for link.)


Louisiana State Penitentiary is the state’ oldest and only maximum security prison and, as such, a much sought after tour destination for school groups, churches, and criminal justice professionals. A regular tour consists of a visit to the museum, the historic Red Hat, a cellblock or dormitory at Camp F, lunch at Camp F (provided this request was made in advance and group arrives before 11:00 a.m.), and the lethal injection table. Offender speaker(s) are also available for a Q&A session with approved groups.

MORE INFORMATION about LSP’s unique events and programs can be found on the following websites: