The Top 10 U.S. Military Prisons Of All Time

military prisons

When someone breaks the rules, there are consequences that must be paid if they are caught. In some cases, this means sentencing to prison. This also includes the military. There are many military rules that if broken, a service member can face time in one of several military prisons.

In today’s post, we will look at the top 10 U.S. Military Prisons of all time.

Hopefully you never have, or never will get to experience what it is (or was) like in any of these military prisons.

I will start with #10 and work up to #1.

Here is an older film of how Military prison guards are supposed to do their jobs:

#10: Miramar Naval Consolidated Brig

Located approximately 10 miles from downtown San Diego, California, this prison is operated by the U.S. Navy and is on Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

This is the Pacific confinement facility for the Department of Defense.

It houses Navy male prisoners serving up to 10 years and female prisoners from all services.

This prison was built in 1989 and the majority of military females who are serving time are here.

#9: Charleston Naval Consolidated Brig

Located in Hanahan, South Carolina and managed by the United States Navy, this prison houses medium security prisoners from all branches.

The prison was established in 1989 and is well known for a great Violent Offender Treatment Program.

#8: Northwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility

This prison was made active in 1957 and is operated by the United States Army. Being a joint operation, both Army and Navy personnel assist in operations.

This facility in the State of Washington at Fort Lewis McChord houses prisoners from the Northwest and is focused on programs to assist military personnel to adjust back to civilian life once released.

#7: Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility

It is the newest of military prisons built in 2010.

This Army run joint prison facility holds pre-trial prisoners and those convicted for 5 years or less. It is considered a minimum/medium prison.

It is within the boundaries of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

#6: United States Disciplinary Barracks – Atlantic Branch

Located at Castle Williams on Governors Island in New York Harbor, this prison was the East coast Leavenworth prison in days past.

It was first used to house Confederate prisoners and after the Civil War it was used as a low security prison.

In 1915 after reconstruction, it became a secure East coast military prison.

The prison closed in 1965.

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#5: United States Disciplinary Barracks – Northwestern Branch

Located at Fort Missoula, Montana, this was a prison during and after World War II.

So it was a prison only a short time but from what was said, it was one of the hardest military prisons ever established.

Fort Missoula was closed, along with the prison in 1947.

#4: United States Disciplinary Barracks – Pacific Branch

It was harder than hard. From 1828 to 1933, Alcatraz Island was the site of the Pacific Branch military prison.

After 1933, it became one of the worst Federal prisons ever made.

Many do not know that Alcatraz was first a military prison. Now you know.

#3: United States Army Corrections Facility – Europe

As a means to house any military personnel charged with crimes while overseas, they are housed at this prison now in Sembach, Germany.

It was once a United States Air Force installation but with base realignment, it was taken over by the U.S. Army.

Military personnel who have been charged and sentenced are usually scheduled for transfer back to a U.S. mainland military prison.

#2: Chesapeake Naval Consolidated Brig

This Mid-Atlantic joint prison operated by the United States Navy is considered a hard prison for those doing under 10 years.

Just ask anyone who has been confined there. You won’t find much online about this joint prison because what happens in Chesapeake stay in Chesapeake Naval Consolidated Brig.

#1: The United States Disciplinary Barracks

This is the hardest of all. It holds prisoners doing over 10 years and is at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

This prison is operated by the United States Army and is not a place where anyone wants to go.

This prison has been operating since 1875. It holds death row for military prisoners convicted of such.

Final Thoughts

Prison is no place to be. And military prison is even worse because it is expected you should be above committing crime.

What are your thoughts?

Post all questions and comments below.

Thank you.



About The Author

Greg Boudonck is a full time freelance writer and the author of over 50 books. He served in the United States Army in the early 1980’s and enjoys writing about military subjects. You can see Greg’s books on Amazon by searching his name and you can also visit his website at

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