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"Iron Heights is better at keeping secrets than it is at keeping prisoners."
Felicity Smoak[src]

Iron Heights Penitentiary, better known as Iron Heights Prison, was a detention facility located either in or near Keystone City. It eventually came to imprison several meta-humans in a seperate wing.


Iron Heights Prison sign

A sign on a fence surrounding the prison.

Sometime after March 18, 2000,[1] Henry Allen was incarcerated in Iron Heights after being wrongfully convicted for the murder of his wife, Nora Allen. He was regularly visited by his son, Barry Allen, many times while serving his sentence.[2][3]

Oliver Queen and Laurel Lance both visited Iron Heights for an eighth grade field trip.[4]

In late 2012, Peter Declan was held in the prison, though he was later set free when he was acquitted of the charges placed on him.[5]

Later that same year, Oliver was held in the penitentiary after being accused of being the vigilante, The Hood, and he subsequently took a polygraph test in an attempt to prove his innocence. He was later set free when John Diggle masqueraded as The Hood while Oliver held a party at the Queen Mansion.[4]

In early 2013, Cyrus Vanch was formally released from Iron Heights Prison and was picked up by his girlfriend, Vivian.[6]

Moira Queen was held here when she was charged with committing mass murder for her involvement in the Undertaking.[7]

Many inmates including the Dollmaker and the Count escaped from Iron Heights due to the damage done to the prison during the Undertaking.[8][9]

In early 2015, Roy Harper was held in the prison after taking the fall of the being The Arrow after the latter was framed for murders committed by the League of Assassins. Eventually, Harper was stabbed to death by a guard. In reality, it was a ploy created by Felicity Smoak, John Diggle, and Lyla Michaels to fake his death and start a new life elsewhere.[10]

After the Singularity over Central City was closed by the Flash and Firestorm in mid-2015, Iron Heights opened a separate wing which could hold incarcerated meta-humans.[11]

In late 2015, Henry Allen was released from Iron Heights after Barry received a recording of Dr. "Harrison Wells" confessing to murdering Nora.[1]

In 2016, Damien Darhk was held in Iron Heights, until with the help of Malcolm Merlyn and Andy Diggle escaped along with many other inmates, including Michael Amar, Danny Brickwell, Noah Kuttler and Cooper Seldon. During the chaos, Damien ended up killing Laurel Lance, aka "Black Canary".[12][13][14]

Savitar attacking Edward Clariss

Savitar attacks Edward Clariss for his failure.

After Barry and Cisco beat the Rival, he was taken to Iron Heights and put in a cell in the meta-human wing. That night, Alchemy scolded him for his failure, and then Savitar entered the cell and killed him.[15][16]

In late 2017, Ramsey Deacon, Becky Sharpe and Mina Chaytan were all incarcerated in the meta-human wing.[17][18][19]

In early 2018, Barry Allen was held in Iron Heights after being framed for the murder of Clifford DeVoe.[20]

Later that same year a prison breakout was attempted by Barry Allen, Becky Sharpe, Ramsey Deacon, Mina Chaytan and Sylbert Rundine. During the escape attempt Clifford DeVoe arrived and killed Warden Wolfe. He then stole the powers of the escaping bus metas and took over the body of Becky, DeVoe then escaped.[21]

In late 2018, Peter Merkel was sent to Iron Heights' meta-human wing, where he spoke with Mark Mardon/Weather Wizard about a break out.[22] Later that year, Mardon's daughter, Joslyn Jackam/Weather Witch broke into the meta-human wing in an attempt to kill him, but was foiled by The Flash and XS. Mardon was temporarily transferred to the pipeline and after Jackam was defeated, she and her father were both sent back to Iron Heights.[23]

Erased futures

In the future that Barry traveled to in order to learn Savitar's identity, Caitlin (who refused to be called anything except "Killer Frost") was locked in the meta-human wing of Iron Heights, with Julian looking after her.[24] However, since Iris's murder at Savitar's hand was prevented and Caitlin managed to regain control of her powers during the final battle against Savitar, this future presumably no longer comes to pass.[25]

In the future that Nora comes from, at some point around 2034,[26][27] Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash became incarcerated in Iron Heights' meta-human wing with Cicada's dagger in a jumpsuit to dampens his powers while on death row, and is still serving time there in 2049 while awaiting his execution.[28] But due to Nora time travel in the past, thereby changing the timeline, ultimately resulting in the dagger's destruction, Thawne escaped and faced the Flash and XS before Nora got erased due to the new timeline without the dagger began to set in.[29]

Known employees

Current employees

Former employees

Possible future employees

Known inmates

Current inmates

Meta-human wing

Former inmates

Alternate timeline inmates

Possible future former inmates



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  1. It's currently unknown how or when Vanessa Jansen gained her powers; for that reason, it's unclear whether or not she was held in the meta-human wing of Iron Heights. It's also unconfirmed whether she escaped or was released.


  • Iron Heights Prison is designed to hold the most dangerous criminals from Star City, Central City and Keystone City.
    • The prison is effectively a revolving door for super criminals. (Capturing and imprisoning them is basically a waste of time as they always escape.)
  • According to Cisco Ramon, there is no prison that can hold Barry Allen; this implies that Iron Heights Prison's power-dampening tech has no effect on Barry's powers, due to him spending six months inside the Speed Force.
    • Although he stated this while Barry was in with the "regular population" until he unknowingly outed himself to the Warden who then placed Barry with the rest of the meta-humans and was affected by the meta-dampeners in that section of the prison just like the rest of them.[33]
  • The meta-dampening tech appears to need upgrades on occasion. First to make sure Kilg%re couldn't hack it, and secondly to work on Ragdoll, who managed to escape.
  • An unspecified number of meta-human prisoners were sold to Amunet Black by Wolfe prior to the failed sale which led to his death; it appears that Wolfe only tried to sell Barry (knowing he's the Flash) and the four bus metas who had been incarcerated in the prison, rather than all the meta-humans held there, even though the official synopsis of "True Colors" indicated that he had intended to sell all of them.
    • Since the entire deal ended up getting called off by DeVoe absorbing the powers of the bus metas present and killing warden Wolfe, it is possible that Amunet did intend to buy all the meta-humans in the prison, but simply never got the chance due to the way things worked out.
  • The plinth in Eobard Thawne's cell in 2049 is the same design as the one in the Time Vault.

Behind the scenes