Potosi Correctional Center (PCC) is a Missouri Department of Corrections prison located in unincorporatedWashington County, Missouri, near Mineral Point. The facility currently houses 800 death row, maximum security and high-risk male inmates.
The facility, which opened in 1989, is a maximum security prison. In 1989 it had about 200 prisoners.
Shortly after the prison’s opening, the majority of the non-death row prisoners at Potosi were serving long sentences, such as life imprisonment without parole, or sentences with a 50-year minimum before parole eligibility. A small number had shorter sentences.
In April 1989 the state transferred its 70 death row inmates from Jefferson City Correctional Center (JCCC, originally Missouri State Penitentiary) to Potosi. U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri approved some modifications to the consent decree before the inmates were moved to Potosi. Originally death row prisoners lived in a 92-bed, two wing facility at PCC. The death row inmates had their own special custody levels: minimum custody, medium custody, close custody, and administrative segregation. One wing housed the minimum custody death row inmates, with another wing housing the others. The classification system was intended to award privileges to death row prisoners exhibiting good behavior. After inmates filed legal challenges, administrators began to consider whether to integrate death row prisoners into the non-death row population, because the majority of non-death row the prisoners at PCC had very long sentences and had committed similar crimes to those committed by death row inmates.
MDOC began to stop using the word “death row,” believing it to be negative, and began referring to death row prisoners as “”capital punishment” (CP) inmates.” For the first time in MDOC history, the state began to allow death row prisoners to leave their housing units, with staff escorts, to eat meals. When no serious incidents occurred, MDOC officials began to use an escort system so death row prisoners could use the gymnasium. The death row prisoners also began to have access to the law library, and death row prisoners were permitted to work in the laundry facility. On January 8, 1991, death row prisoners were fully mainstreamed into the population.