Anamosa State Penitentiary

The Anamosa State Penitentiary (ASP) is a maximum/medium security institution that is located in Anamosa, Iowa. The facility currently houses approximately 950 offenders.  

The penitentiary also maintains a satellite minimum-security institution for up to 80 inmates at the Luster Heights Prison Farm. 

The Anamosa State Penitentiary Museum is located just outside the penitentiary's walls in a stone building that was formerly a barn and then a cheese-making facility for the prison. Exhibits include the history of the prison, the role of prison guards and the construction of the buildings. The museum is open seasonally and features a gift shop.

One notable former inmate at Anamosa is serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who served time here for sodomy with a minor in 1968-1970.

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Anamosa State Penitentiary

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visitors are encouraged to call Anamosa State Penitentiary prior to traveling to the prison to ensure that their inmate is available for a visit. 

Visiting hours are as follows:

  • Friday 10:30 AM - 7:30 PM
  • Saturday 10:30 AM - 7:30 PM
  • Sunday 10:30 AM - 7:30 PM
  • Monday 10:30 AM - 7:30 PM
  • Thanksgiving10:30 AM - 7:30 PM
  • Christmas10:30 AM - 7:30 PM

Before you can visit an inmate at Anamosa State Penitentiary, you must get on their approved visiting list. In order to be on an offender’s visiting list, the visitor’s application must be completed and mailed to the Central Visiting Authority. If you have questions, please call Centralized Visiting at 319-385-9511. You can access the IDOC Visitation Application by clicking here

All visitors are required to present current photo identification upon entrance to the institution and shall be subject to search. Security and contraband control are critical operational requirements, necessitating a search of all visitors by trained correctional staff. 

Searches may include, but are not limited to, a pat down, metal detectors, electronic ion scanners, other electronic devices, or visual searches. Staff of the same sex as the visitor shall conduct pat searches. Visitation will be denied if the visitor is not willing to submit to a required search. 

Visitors may use a Debitek Card to purchase canteen items for their inmate during visits. The Anamosa State Penitentiary has the written guidelines posted in the visiting room.

Dress Code

Visitors must be properly attired prior to entering the visiting room. The dress code at Anamosa State Penitentiary is as follows:

  • All visitors must wear shoes
  • Visitors wearing miniskirts, shorts (that are above the knee), muscle shirts, see-through clothing or halter tops will not be allowed to visit 
  • Institutional procedure will address the wearing of shorts by children under 12 
  • Visitors wearing clothing with slogans, pictures, or words intended to deprecate race, sex, or cultural values shall not be allowed entry
  • Visitors may be required to remove for the duration of the visit outerwear such as but not limited to: coats, hats, gloves, or sunglasses 
  • A medical need for sunglasses must be verified by a prescription 

Visitor Property

Items not allowed in the visiting room include:  

  • Weapons of any type (including pocket knives) 
  • Cell phones 
  • Any personal device with independent Internet connection capabilities (i.e., Kindle, Nook, Iphone, smart phone, smart watch with SIM card, etc.) 
  • Medications (unless necessary, i.e. nitro, etc.) 
  • Tools 
  • Cameras 
  • Tobacco/tobacco items (lighters) 

Baby items allowed for visitors with infants:

  • Two diapers
  • Clear baby bottle (non-glass) with milk or formula only 
  • Clear sippy cup (empty) 
  • One baby blanket 
  • One burp cloth 
  • One factory-sealed, clear, plastic container baby food 

Physical Address

Anamosa State Penitentiary
406 North High Street
Anamosa, IA 52205

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number


Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name and DOC Number
Anamosa State Penitentiary
PO Box 10
Anamosa, IA 52205

Envelopes must be properly addressed and include the offenders full name, IDOC Identification number, and valid return address.  

If you would like to send an email to an inmate, you can register for O’mail at  The cost for each O’mail sent is $0.25

Offenders add minutes to their O'mail account in the same way they do their phone account. They request a transfer from their banking account and are charged 6% tax for O’mail credits. O'mail credits are kept in a separate account like phone minutes.

O'mails are limited to 13,000 characters or 100 lines, whichever comes first. The 100 lines equal two pages maximum.

How to Call an Inmate

Inmates at the Anamosa State Penitentiary can’t receive incoming calls. However, they do have access to a phone during assigned times, and they can call you. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Iowa, please click here.

How to Send Money

Inmate Banking

The Iowa Department of Corrections has centralized offender banking operations. All incoming money for offender spending/commissary accounts is received and handled by a central location, the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility (FDCF). 

At that time, incoming monies for offenders will not be accepted at or by any other location. The Iowa State Penitentiary will handle all restitution, court filing fees, and child support.

All incoming money for an inmate’s account must be sent to the following address:

IDOC Offender Fiduciary Account
1550 L Street, Suite B
Fort Dodge, IA 50501

All deposits must be in the form of a cashier’s check or money order. All cashier’s checks and money orders must be made payable to: IDOC offender Fiduciary Account. 

The cashier’s check or money order must include the following: offender name, offender number, sender’s name, and sender’s complete address. All writing should be legible. If the deposit does not follow these guidelines, it will be returned to the sender by mail. 

Money orders and cashier’s checks will no longer be accepted by drop off at any institution. The only option is to mail to the address listed above. 

Access Corrections

Access Corrections deposit services provides friends and family an easy, reliable, and inexpensive way to send money to an incarcerated loved one in the Iowa Department of Corrections system.

Choose any of the following ways to save money when making a deposit to your loved one:

  • Online: visit for deposit rates starting at $3.49. Access Corrections accepts Visa and MasterCard credit or debit cards.
  • Online: Make deposits directly from your CorrLinks account, the website used to send O-Mail messages ( and get the same low rates starting at $3.49. Just click on the “Send Money” button to get started.
  • Toll Free Telephone Number: Call 1(866)345-1884 to make a credit or debit card payment over the phone for as low as $4.49.
  • Walk-In: Don’t have a credit card or debit card? No problem! You can deposit at any:
    CashPayToday for a flat fee of $6.95.
    • Visit or call 1(844)344-CASH (2274) to register and find a location near you. You will need to provide the following information: Inmate ID #, your name, address and other important information.
    • Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Kum & Go stores are part of the CashPayToday program.
  • ACE Cash Express* ( location for a flat fee of $5.95 
  • There is a $900.00 maximum limit per cash transaction. 

Online and phone deposit services are available 24 hours a day, every day! Go to or call 1(866)345-1884 to set up a free, private account and deposit funds securely today. Funds are typically transferred in real-time and are available to your inmate within 24 hours. A digital receipt will be sent to the email address provided during the deposit transaction.


JPay services are available for anyone wishing to send money to an offender in the Iowa Department of Corrections system.

JPay allows the friends and family members of offenders to send money to their loved ones in a variety of convenient ways. Deposits can be made online, through; via JPay’s live- location, including all Walmarts.

  • Online: The website will accept payments made with a Visa or MasterCard-branded debit or credit card. Fees range from $3.95 to $10.95 based upon the deposit amount.
  • Toll Free Telephone Number: Credit or debit card payments can also be made over the phone at (1-800-574-5729). Fees range from $4.95 to $11.95 based upon the deposit amount.
  • Walk–In Location: Cash payments can be made at any MoneyGram Agent location. There are 30,000 MoneyGram locations in the United State, including Wal-Mart, CVS, 7-11, and Albertsons. A fee of $8.95 will apply for each transaction. 


The Iowa Department of Corrections accepts wire transfers from Western Union for Offender Accounts. This does NOT include telephone accounts. Money may be sent in any of the following three ways:

The process used is “Quick Collect.” Senders must use the “Pay to” as the Iowa Dept of   Corrections. The “Code City” is IOWADOC and the “State” is IA. The “Sender’s account #” is the offender ID number and offenders last name. For example, 1234567Jones. 

If the offender number and last name do not match the IDOC records the payment will be rejected. Fees for this service vary by amount sent.

​Programs For ​Inmates

Programs are offered at Anamosa which provide opportunities to acquire academic and vocational skills. Supporting the Treatment and Security functions of the prison, there is also a comprehensive program of religious services, physical, and creative activities.

Through a contract with Kirkwood Community College, offenders may pursue educational opportunities to include adult literacy, earning their HiSet, or taking classes leading to an Associate of Arts degree.  

Iowa Prison Industries offers a variety of job skills training in its License Plates, Custom Woodworking, Braille Transcription, Graphic Arts, Metal Furniture, Sign, Cleaning Products, Warehouse, and Farming operations. 

ASP offenders also have the opportunity to gain apprenticeships in a variety of skills through a program recognized by the US Department of Labor. In addition to education and work skills, many offenders receive cognitive based programming from the counseling staff.

Religion Center: This offers an expanding variety of services, programs, and studies from multiple faith groups. These include: Asatru, Buddhist, Christian, Jehovah's Witnesses, Moorish Science Temple of America, Muslim (Sunni), Nation of Gods and Earths, Native American sacred ceremonies, Satanist, and Wicca. The program is supported by 60+ regular volunteers who are clergy and lay authorities in their various faith groups.

Activities areas also allow inmates to get involved in various team sports through the gym. The hobby/craft area allows them to work with creative arts and crafts such as pottery, leather work, and woodworking. The music department provides an opportunity to be involved in the performing arts as soloists and small bands.

All of the ancillary programs (Religion, Sports, Music, and Hobby Craft) seek to support generally positive interactions between individuals, establish a sense of teamwork that supports Treatment and Security goals.

Pictures of Anamosa State Penitentiary

Careers at Anamosa State Penitentiary

If you are interested in a career with the Iowa Department of Corrections at the Anamosa State Penitentiary, you can click here for more information.