Frequently Asked Questions

What to Know Before You Go

jefferson city penitentiary tour
  • Chevron down Can my son and/or daughter come with me on a tour if they are under the age requirement?                                                                                                                                    
  • Unfortunately, we cannot make exceptions for the age requirement, even with a parent or guardian.

  • Chevron down Do you still do tours when it is raining?
  • Yes, tours are still conducted when it is raining.

  • Chevron down Are the tours guided?
  • Yes, all tours of the Missouri State Penitentiary are are guide-led We do not conduct self-guided tours.

  • Chevron down Are there still inmates incarcerated there?
  • No. The inmates were transferred to the new Jefferson City Correctional Center when the Missouri State Penitentiary was decommissioned in September 2004.

  • Chevron down Do you have any records of the previous inmates incarcerated in the building?
  • We do not have any previous inmate records, as the State of Missouri reserves this information within the Missouri State Archives. You can contact the Missouri State Archives to inquire about a previous inmate.

  • Chevron down Is the Missouri State Penitentiary tour offered year-round?
  • No, the tour season runs from March through November each year (weather dependent). There are no tours during December, January or February.

  • Chevron down Do I have to make a reservation or call ahead for tickets?
  • While we do accept walk-ins, we highly recommend reservations in advance to ensure your spot on the tour. Once a tour is full, tickets can no longer be purchased.

  • Chevron down Is there a lot of standing on the tour?
  • Yes. There may be a short amount of time seated; however, guests will be standing for most of their tour. There is seating available in two of the three housing units (for history tours) and walking between buildings. Ghost tours have more stair climbing involved and standing (less seating).

  • Chevron down I purchased tickets for a tour but now realize that I can’t attend that time. Can I switch my tour time?
  • We can make a reservation change based on availability. Call the Tour Office at (866) 998-6998 for further information.

  • Chevron down Will tour tickets be mailed, or how will I get the tickets?
  • There aren’t any physical tickets for the tour. After you register for the tour, you will receive an email confirmation. You are welcome to print the confirmation and bring it with you, but it is not required. The staff will have a list of everyone registered and will be able to verify your spot on the tour.

  • Chevron down Is the tour outside?
  • Yes, portions of the tour are outside. If it is raining, tour guides will adjust the time spent outside.

  • Chevron down Are all the tours handicap accessible?
  • No. Due to age of the buildings, the tour is not entirely handicap accessible. Individuals can usually get along fine with walkers or canes; however, many of the door ways are too narrow for wheelchairs and there are several flights of stairs on the tour routes.

  • Chevron down Do I need to sign a waiver to go on the tour?
  • Everyone participating in a tour at Missouri State Penitentiary must sign a Waiver and Release of Liability. For guests under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must sign the waiver also.

  • Chevron down What should I wear?
  • Since there is no heat or air conditioning at the facility we recommend that guests dress for the weather. Additionally, we do not allow food or drink on the property, but we do sell bottled water in our Souvenir Shop.

  • Chevron down Can I take photos during the tour?
  • We do allow you to take photographs while on the tour, but ask that you not videotape the tours.

  • Chevron down Is parking provided?
  • On-street parking is provided at no charge on Lafayette Street or State Street.