Florence High United States Penitentiary


Florence High United States Penitentiary

Florence High United States Penitentiary

Florence High USP is a high security penitentiary located in Florence of Fremont County, Colorado.  The prison houses male prisoners only, and was designed to hold up to 695 offenders.  Despite the original capacity design, the facility currently holds 793 inmates.  Constructed in 1993, Florence High USP was built as a result of the rise in offenders who needed to be housed in high security prison setting.  The facility is part of the Florence Federal Correctional Complex.  Overall, Florence FCC has had a positive impact on the city of  Florence.  Before the FCC was constructed, the city suffered from an economic crisis and unemployment.  The FCC provided around 1000 temporary jobs and 900 permanent jobs.  Many were in favor of the construction of the Florence FCC for these reasons.  The penitentiary is approximately 390,020 square feet.  To ensure security of the prison, the facility has 7 guard towers, a patrol road, and is encompassed by a perimeter fence.  The penitentiary houses inmates in 4 separate buildings.  Each of these buildings contain double bunked cells.  A segregated housing unit is provided for prisoners who must be placed in the Special Housing Unit.  

Florence High USP offers numerous programs and opportunities for prisoners to work on becoming law abiding citizens.  Secure Stages is residential program provided by the penitentiary.  This is a psychological based program that deals with inmates who may have personality disorders or commit self harm.  This program works through group therapy and one-on-one sessions, the goal is to teach prisoners how to deal with their issues in a safer manner.  Educational programs provided at Florence High USP include the General Education Development program, Adult Continuing Education, Adult Occupational Education, parenting programs, and English as a Second Language.  Prisoners can participate in vocational training, as well.  The penitentiary offers health services, food services, religious services, medical services, recreational activities, a barbershop, and laundry services. 

In 2000, seven correctional officers were charged for misconduct towards the inmates.  These seven officers were referred to as "The Cowboys" by the union.  The officers were guilty of choking inmates while they were handcuffed, placing waste into the prisoner's food, and threatening other officers.  According to investigation, this misconduct occurred between January 1995 and July 1997.  In 2003, the case went to trial.  Three of the officers were found guilty of violating the civil rights of inmate Pedro Castillo after beating him while he was restrained.  These three guards, Mike Lavallee, Rod Schultz and Robert Verbickas, were sentenced to prison as a result of the crimes they committed.  An additional notable incident occurred on April 20, 2008, when several prisoners were stabbed with shanks during a large scale riot. During this riot, officers from the guard tower shot and killed two of the armed offenders.  The riot was between black and white inmates.  After an investigation, it was determined that the riot began after a group of white inmates were celebrating Adolf Hitler's birthday and as a result, an argument ensued between the black and white prisoners.

Visiting Hours at Florence High United States Penitentiary:

  • Visiting at Florence High United States Penitentiary is conducted on weekends and federal holidays.  Visiting hours are from 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. on each of these days. 
  • Prisoners are not limited to the amount of visits they have each month.
  • Each offender can have up to 4 adults and 6 children visiting at once.
  • Visits to the Special Housing Unit and the Special Management Unit are performed over video conference.  These visits can be no longer than 2 hours. 
  • Physical contact is limited to the beginning and end of each visit.  1 kiss will be allowed at the beginning and termination of each visit.
  • The following items are authorized for visitors to bring in the visiting region:
    • 1 wallet
    • A change purse or small zip lock bag (no larger than 8" x 6").
    • Up to $20.00
    • Comb
    • Heart Medication
    • Jewelry, as long as it is not excessively worn
    • Diaper bag for an infant including baby bottle, food, clothes, diapers, powder/lotion
  • The visitors will be asked to store any unauthorized items in the lockers provided by the prison.


Physical Address:

Florence High United States Penitentiary
5880 Highway 67 South
Florence, Colorado 81226



Inmate Mailing Address:

Inmate Name, ID Number
Florence High United States Penitentiary
P.O. Box 7000
Florence, Colorado 81226