As a prisoner and a doctor of psychology (PsyD, CalSouthernU), I was especially interested in USP Lewisburg, PA. Despite my situation, I found its history fascinating.
Dr. Wilhelm Reich, circa 1920s...
As the prison bus climbed the long hill, I had to strain against the chains binding my hands, feet and waist in order to peer thru the wire-caged windows at the French-gothic edifice.
The bus pulled up to a huge gate in the high walls and the guards put their weapons into a basket lowered from the gun tower before we entered.
I was keenly aware of passing into the former home of Al Capone, “Bugs” Moran, “Machine Gun” Kelly, John Gotti, James Earl Ray and “Whitey” Bulger. more…
That summer of ’94, about 40 of us got off the bus in the old stone back courtyard of Lewisburg Penitentiary, the “Big House.” We were all hold-over prisoners in-transit. Inside the walls, the prison itself looked like some ancient medieval fortress…maybe a home for monks or something.
The "Big House."
Opened in 1932, the maximum-security prison had held the likes of Al Capone and John Gotti, along with a long line of political prisoners like Jimmy Hoffa, Leonard Peltier, Wilhelm Reich, Alger Hiss and Bayard Rustin
Stone corbels accented the outside part I could see, and the interior was French-gothic architecture. The doors were these huge arched, oak and beam affairs a good 4” thick. They were hung on these over-sized ornamental hinges that shut quite solidly.
Be a great place for Jennifer Love Hewitt to shoot her Ghostwhisperer. Of course, back then she would have been only 15. more…