Lansing State Penitentiary records
The records of prisoners incarcerated at the State Prison in Lansing are indexed by last name from 1861 to 1984. Kansas prisoners in custody since about 1980 are indexed in the Dept. of Corrections' KASPER database. This index covers 1861 to 1952 and is the same as microfilm reels AR 7458 to AR 7469.
The index for prisoners after 1952, up to approximately 1984, is on microfilm reel numbers AR 2475 to AR 2478. That index includes two of Lansing's best known inmates: Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, who were executed at the prison in 1965 for the murders of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Finney County, Kansas. The murders were the subject of the book In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. The open records from Hickock and Smith's prisoner files are online, along with items about the history of capital punishment in Kansas. Visit the Hutchnews.com/Clutter website for newspaper articles about the case.
The prison indexes usually give the prisoner number, crime, county where convicted and the volume and page number in the prison admission ledgers. The admission volumes are the only information that has been saved for the earliest Lansing inmates. Starting in the late 1800s, up to about 1980, there are often individual prisoner case files. The earliest files are fully open to the public, but some of the recent files include information, e.g. medical records, that is still restricted. See an example of an individual prisoner's case file. After 1901 most prisoner files contain mugshots similar to the one on the left.
Before the Kansas State Industrial Farm for Women opened in 1917, the prison index includes women prisoners. It also includes prisoners that were sent to Kansas from Oklahoma Territory before statehood in 1907. Individual case files for the women prisoners and the Oklahoma prisoners are not available.