State penitentiary tour season kicks off

The Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau Friday kicked off a new season of Missouri state penitentiary tours.

This season will feature a shorter one-hour tour that requires less walking.

The standard two hour tour, which includes seeing the prison's gas chamber, is still available.

Tours filled up quckly last year, making it hard to get a ticket.

But organizers hope that will not be the case this season.

"Since we have more tour guides this year and we are also able to offer some tours during the week, I think that's going to alleviate some of those problems we had last year," Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau spokesperson Sarah Stroesser said.

At one time, the state pen used to be the largest prison in the country.

The prison housed famous criminals like James Earl Ray and Pretty Boy Floyd.

You can find the available tour dates at