By 1931 the number of prisoners housed at Brushy was 976, which was 300 more than the prison was meant to hold. This problem became known worldwide when likened to conditions in Siberian prisons under the Soviet regime. Plans were drawn up to build a new prison constructed of reinforced concrete in the shape of a Greek cross with battlements on top and 4 stories high. It was believed the penitentiary’s purpose was to convert convicts to Christians. Several buildings are constructed from hand-carved stone mined by inmates from a rock quarry above the prison.
The stone wall surrounding the prison was built in 1934. Standing at 18 feet high, it is constructed entirely from hand-carved stone. The north side of the prison wall is a natural bluff. Brushy is later listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only U.S. prison to have a natural bluff as a prison wall. The total cost for all the labor and materials was $45,960.