The prison is hidden among the sprawling agricultural fields near Loraine, Texas. The area is sparsely populated by ordinary society, which makes it the perfect place to hide the magical world’s largest prison. While most of the prison is underground, the entrance is located in the middle of a deserted tract of farmland. To any passing observers, it looks like a run down outbuilding. Once inside the rusty metal door, a small elevator takes prisoners down to the first floor of the penitentiary.
The complex is connected by a series of tunnels and elevators. The penitentiary is broken down into several wards, with each ward housing a different class of prisoner. The most dangerous prisoners are housed in the deepest level. The top-most level, closest to the ground, is home to the administrative offices and the staff quarters. The concrete walls are painted bright white, which reflects the lights and contributes to the feeling that it is brighter than the sun.
Mitchell Wizarding Penitentiary is the only magical prison in the United States and therefore houses every witch or wizard convicted of a crime. These crimes can be non-magical, such as theft, or magical, such as using magic against a non-magical person. Due to the size of the population, the penitentiary is broken down into three separate wards. The wards have color-coded names: Green, Orange, and Red, which correspond to the threat level of the prisoners in each ward. Each ward is housed on a different level of the facility and consists of prisoner cells, a mess hall, bathroom facilities, and a courtyard. The wards are completely self contained so that prisoners from different threat levels can not interact with each other. The visitor center and infirmary are the only areas of the penitentiary that are shared among the wards.
Due to the secretive nature of Mitchell Penitentiary, all staff remain on site for two-weeks on, two-weeks off shifts. The staff quarters are located on the first level of the facility and are much more hospitable than the prisoner areas. The staff quarters have been enchanted to mimic natural day and night light cycles and are furnished like homes. There are kitchens, recreation rooms, and even an ‘outdoor space’ for the staff to use.
Prisoners are allowed visits from family and friends, but these visits only occur once a month. Visitors must be vetted by the penitentiary administration prior to their first visit. Visitors are typically informed that their visit request has been approved between 36 and 24 hours before the time of the visit, meaning that many must quickly make plans to attend or miss out on the chance to visit their loved one. Just like the prisoner, visitors arrive in the middle of the night to maintain the secrecy of the penitentiary’s location.