The United States Penitentiary in Atlanta did not open until 1902, but inmate case files contain documentation from as early as 1880 for prisoners who had been previously incarcerated by the federal government in other locations.

This series consists of individual case files for each inmate who entered the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta before 1921. Information contained in the file may include full name, other names used, inmate number, age at date of sentencing, race, date of incarceration, place of conviction, crime, sentence, fine amount and court fines and costs (if any), full-term release date, actual release date, and dispensation of inmate. Examples of dispensation include: served full sentence, good conduct time release, pardoned, medical early release, paroled, or deceased.

Location and Contact

Information about the National Archives at Atlanta
National Archives at Atlanta's Website

5780 Jonesboro Road
Morrow, Georgia 30260
Telephone: 770-968-2100

Highlights and Tips

Creator(s): Department of Justice. Office of the Superintendent of Prisons. U.S. Penitentiary, Atlanta. (1910 - 1930)
Part Of: Record Group 129: Records of the Bureau of Prisons, 1870 - 2009
Arrangement: Files are arranged numerically by inmate registration number.
An alphabetical surname index to this series is available on the NARA web site: Atlanta Federal Penitentiary Case Files

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Series Tools & Use

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The original purpose of these records was to to document all activities related to the inmates' time in prison.

One can use these records outside of their initial purpose for.....

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Translated Documents:

Tools to aid in the search (finding aids, guides, websites etc):
An alphabetical surname index to this series is available on the NARA web site: Atlanta Federal Penitentiary Case Files

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The following are some Catalog Links that can assist researchers in doing their work:
Inmate Case Files, compiled 1902 - 1921, documenting the period ca. 1880 - ca. 1922 in the NARA catalog

Other links:
Atlanta Federal Penitentiary Exhibit on National Archives at Atlanta website
More information about Record Group 129 - Records of the Bureau of Prisons (not all records are available at Atlanta facility)

We encourage Researcher Input for any links to transcripts or projects that might be available:


NARA Catalog: Atlanta Federal Penitentiary Inmate Case files listing

External Sources

We encourage Researcher Input to links to staff articles and resources.
United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia website
Wikipedia Page about United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia