Green Bay Correctional Institution (GBCI) strives to ensure the safety of the public, staff, and offenders by operating a safe, secure and humane institution. The institution provides offenders with opportunities to participate in meaningful programs and activities to increase successful reintegration into the community by preparing and guiding offenders in making necessary life changes, as well as helping with resources for essential reentry into society.
GBCI is a maximum-security correctional institution located in Brown County between Green Bay, De Pere, and the Fox and East rivers.
In 1897, the Wisconsin Legislature approved $75,000 for construction of a state reformatory for male offenders ranging in age from 17-30 years old. An old, brick bicycle factory and 198 acres were purchased, then named the Wisconsin State Reformatory (WSR), which first housed eight inmates, transferring from Waupun Correctional Institution on August 31, 1898.
Prison construction occurred in the next two decades: North Cell Hall from 1898-1904; South Cell Hall and Administration Building from 1915-1922; and a wooden fence by 1916 for the main compound, which was replaced seven years later by the 22-foot concrete wall that still stands today. These new facilities would serve a population of more than 800 inmates.
In order to alleviate overcrowding in 1932, the State Legislature altered the age requirements for offenders housed at WSR to 16-25 years. In 1972, WSR became a maximum-security prison for adult males. The name was changed to Green Bay Correctional Institution on July 1, 1979.
The majority of the now 29-acre grounds are contained within the perimeter walls. GBCI’s current population of just over 1,000 offenders is housed in the two original 294-bed cell halls, one dormitory unit, a mainstream unit, and a restrictive housing unit. The facility also includes a kitchen; two dining rooms; a power plant; textile facilities; academic and vocational education; health services; a chapel; psychological and social services; maintenance facilities; indoor and outdoor recreation facilities; a shower building; a visiting room; and administrative offices.