Address: 354 Hunter St, Ossining, NY 10562

Opened: 1826

Phone: (914) 941-0108

Sing Sing Correctional Facility is a maximum-security prison operated by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision in the village of Ossining, New York. It is about 30 miles (48 km) north of New York City on the east bank of the Hudson River. Sing Sing holds about 1,700 prisoners.

The name “Sing Sing” was derived from the Sintsink native American tribe from whom the land was purchased in 1685. In 1970, the name was changed to the “Ossining Correctional Facility,” but it reverted to its original name in 1985. There are plans to convert the original 1825 cell block into a period museum.

The prison property is bisected by the Metro-North Railroad’s four-track Hudson Line.

Notable inmates

  • Frank Abbandando: New York City contract killer who committed many murders as part of the infamous Murder, Inc. gang.
  • George Appo: 19th-century pickpocket and con artist. His biographer described Sing Sing in the latter part of the 19th century as largely corrupt. The biographer also outlines the stove manufacturing operation where inmates were forced to labor.
  • Maria Barbella: The second woman sentenced to death by electric chair.
  • Louis Buchalter: American mobster and head of Murder, Inc. On September 28, 1917, Buchalter was sentenced in New York to 18 months in state prison at Sing Sing on a grand larceny conviction. After a transfer to Auburn Prison in Auburn, New York, Buchalter was released on January 27, 1919. On January 22, 1920, Buchalter returned to Sing Sing on a 30-month sentence for attempted burglary. He was released on March 16, 1922.
  • Charles Chapin: Editor of New York Evening World. Popularly known as the “Rose Man of Sing Sing.”
  • Albert Fish: early-20th century American serial killer, child rapist, and cannibal. Executed in 1936.
  • Paul Geidel: formerly the longest-serving prison inmate in the United States, whose sentence ended with his parole. After being convicted of second-degree murder in 1911, aged 17, Geidel served 68 years and 296 days in various New York state prisons. He was released on May 7, 1980, at the age of 86.
  • George C. Parker, an infamous con man known for ‘selling’ the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • Mary Jones, a 19th-century transgender prostitute who was a center of media attention for coming to court wearing feminine attire.
  • Tony Sirico: the actor is known for his role as Paulie Gualtieri on the critically acclaimed television series The Sopranos. In 1971, he was convicted of felony weapons possession and sentenced to four years in prison, of which he served 20 months at Sing Sing.
  • Willie Sutton: Career criminal. Escaped December 11, 1932.
  • Ferdinand Ward: Gilded Age swindler who ran a New York City investment firm with Ulysses S. Grant Jr., son of former President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant. The firm was revealed to be a Ponzi scheme and its failure in 1884 bankrupted the Grant family. Ward was convicted of fraud and spent six and a half years in Sing Sing.