Q:

How do you tour Kingston Penitentiary?

A:

Quick Answer

As of 2016, the Kingston Penitentiary Museum offers self-guided tours during its summer operation hours from May through October. Appointments are not necessary for tours during the in-season months, except in the case of groups of 10 or more. Appointments are necessary for any visit during the off-season months. Admission is by donation to the Friends of the Penitentiary Museum at Kingston, and all funds collected go toward future development. The museum is closed to tours from November through April.

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Full Answer

Though tours are self-guided, the museum does have staff on hand to answer questions, as well as occasional volunteers, many of whom used to work as corrections officers, to give further detailed information about the exhibits.

Most of the primary exhibits are located on the first floor of the museum, which is handicap accessible, and though there is no handicap access to the second floor, the museum provides a kiosk that allows visitors to virtually view the second-floor exhibits. A gift shop is also available during museum hours in the in-season months and by appointment in the off-season.

The Kingston Penitentiary does not have designated research facilities, but it does contain archival material regarding federal penitentiaries generally. Researchers interested in Kingston may contact the Penitentiary Research Service and submit a request to conduct research for a nominal fee.

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