Jails / Prisons : First prison in Michigan

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  1. AACOOLDRE

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    THE STATE PRISON OF SOUTHERN MICHIGAN
    1837-1959
    By Ila J. Bacon term paper April 21, 1959 no copyrights
    INTRODUCTION
    Situated three miles north of Jackson, Michigan, on M-106 is State Prison of Southern Michigan. During the course of a year it undoubtedly attracts more visitors and sight seers than any other local point of interest. To the casual observer it is a marvelous construction of brick, steel and concrete. Its appearance is that of a walled city. The visitor is told that it has the dubious distinction of being one of the largest walled prisons in the world. It takes courage and imagination to look beyond the walls into the tier upon tier of cells and picture hundreds of men-the inmates who, in their newspaper, call themselves ‘canned manpower”—living out their days in unwilling and monotonous confinement. The implications of such a mental image are too unbearably depressing.
    How did such a large institution ever happen to be built? And how do nearly six thousand men, convicted of all sorts of crimes-from alimony-dodging to the most heinous murders, happen to be concentrated in this one spot. There are two obvious reason for the size of the prison. One is that the rapid industrialization of Michigan with its resultant growth in a large and heterogenous population. The second was the ever increasing need for keeping the inmates at least partially employed. Eventually this required the building of many factories and shops as an addition to the prison structure.
    HOW IT ALL BEGAN
    When, in a message to the legislature of the territory of Michigan on February 1, 1836, governor Stevens T. mason presented the need for a penitentiary in Michigan and recommended that”application be made to congress for a donation of land to aid in the erection of a penitentiary, compent to meet the requirements of society”, (1) he could scarely have conceived of a time when the prison population of this state would number ten thousand and the prisons would require a yearly budget of 15 million dollars.
    On March 22, 1837, three months after Michigan’s admission to the union, an act was passed by the legislature appointing Jacob Beeson, H.P. cobb and H. Stevens, a committee to determine what type of prison should be built for Michigan and to recommend a site (2). A study of existing prisons in the United States had to be made before a decision could be reached.
    The sort of prison that we have today is only about 160 years old and was given to the world by America. The colonists who came to America brought with them the European idea of jails and work houses, but only as dentention places for accused persons and for the confinement of vagrants, beggars and paupers. Most offenses which today would lead to imprisonment in a state prison and also offenses which would now be considered trivial, were punished by fines, whipping, branding and mutilation, the stocks and the pillory. Hanging was the punishment for ten-18 offenses.
    TWO TYPES OF PRISONS AUBURN VS PENNSYLVANIA
    The Quakers (Only religious instiution opposed to slavery) had an abhorrence for such cruel and barbarous punishments and played a leading role in the reform movement which gained momentum both here and in Europe after the American revolution. The keystone of the reform proposals was imprisonment under decent conditions as a substitute for corporal and capital punishments. The Quakers and their allies deserve major credit for the reforms in the criminal code and in penal procedures that were written into Pennsylvania law in the early 1790’s and spread eventually through the new nation. Imprisonment as a penalty in lieu of corporal and capital punishment was first used in this country durning the period following 1789. The final triump for the Quaker reformers came in 1794, when an act was passed in Pennsylvania which reduced the list of capital crimes to first degree murder and prescribed imprisonment for all other offenses. This act marks the beginning of the American prisons, which were in time to develop into our modern correctional system (3).
    By 1836, when Michigan was ready to build its first prison, two distinct types of prison systems had evolved. They were the Pennsylania (Penn) system and the Auburn (NY) system. They Penn system was built on the ideas of free will, introspection, and repentance. The cells were large and had two doors, one of lattice work and the other solid; both were kept closed. An inmate was put in his cell and there he stayed, alone with his bible, his thoughts, and his work. He never left his cell except for an hour a day to exercise in his own small private walled yard adjoin his cell. He was allowed to communicate with no one. Penn prevented contamination of one inmate by another through solitude.
    The Auburn system was built on the theory that hard work can both punish and regenerate. Contamination was prevented by enforced silence. The inmates were let out of their cells by day to work together in shops, but were forbidden to speak to each other. The men were required to march to the shops in lockstep and to march and work with downcast gaze. In auburn the cells were small, only about one eigth the size of the Pennsylvania cells. They were “inside” cells built back to back and placed in the center of a cell house shell.
    These two systems were rivals, each prison trying to sell its system both to the other states in the union and to the continent. Nearly every country in Europe adopted the Pennsylvania system and use it to this day (1959), but in America the Auburn system won out for the very practical reason that it was cheaper. Its system of working inmates together in shops was more efficient than the Penn system of working them individualy. The industrialy revolution in America assured the triumph of auburn. The system was efficient and economical. Auburn actually began to operate at a profit in 1828. The advocates of the system now had an indisputable argument. They could show how to make a prison self-supporting. [the goal of prisons/juvenile homes in 2012]. It need cost the taxpayer nothing. There was no doubt about which system the committee from Michigan would recommend. (Individuality is dropped when it can’t make a profit). After hearing the committee’s report, the legislature of 1838 authorized that a prison similar to the one at Auburn be built at Jackson, Michigan.
    In recent years, whenever scandal or other disturbances turns the spotlight of unfavorable publicity on the prison, the people of Jackson speak out in indignant protest against outside newspapers reporters who dare call this “Jackson Prison”, and figuratively wash their hands of the whole situation by insisting that the proper term , State prison of southern Michigan, be used.It was interesting to discover, then, that in the beginning there was lively competition between the villiage of Jackson (jacksonburgh, old name) and its neigbors, such as grass lake, napoleon, and Spring Arbor to have the prison located in their respective towns. Jackson won, primarily, because pioneer landholders of the village donated property for the project. Henry B. lathrop donated 20 acres and Russell Blackman, henry Gilbert, William moody and William Ford each donated ten acres. They were considered very civic-minded and the prison was called Jackson Prison.
    LAND DONATED;FIRST INMATE TO ARRIVE
    The land donated was on the east bank of the Grand River and somewhat north of the villiage limits. It was almost all swampland, thickly overgrown with tamarack, and had to be drained to make it fit for use. However, a portion of it was high enough to use for building purposes and so the first prison was made ready for occupation in 1839. The first prisoner to be committed to this very temporary structure was John Mcintyre , sentenced from wayne county, was received on janauary 12, 1839. While it was planned that the prison would eventually hold 800 inmates, 35 were committed the first year and that was too many.
    DESRIPTION OF FIRST STRUCTURE
    This first prison was a plank structure, eighty feet long and thirty feet wide. It was surrounded by tamarack poles, set deeply into the earth, standing upright as thickly together as they could be put, making a continuous and, it was hoped, an impassable line around the prison. The tamarack logs for the first structure were supplied by Alexander latimer and were cut southeast of Jackson from an area between what is now Concord and kibby roads. Because of the Tamarack construction, whenever a known underworld character disappeared from his old haunts, it was said he had “gone to the tamaracks”.
    FIRST ESCAPE
    The security of this first prison left much to be desired. Of the thirty-five prisoners committed there during the first year, seven managed to escape. This problem grew worse and in 1840 a gang of eight or ten inmates, who became known as the “Robber gang”, overpowered the guards, escaped, and terrorized the whole countryside before they were finally recaptured. At spring Arbor, a farmer named James Videto tried to stop them and was so severely beaten that he was left by the roadside for dead. The gang were all recaptured with two exceptions. The leader, George Norton , was shot and killed by Dorus Spencer, a farmer. The people in the vicinity must have enthusiastically helped in the hunt, for the records show that several rewards of 30 dollars each were paid out to local people for their help in the capture of the gang.
    A STONE WALL FOR JACKSON
    Despite the nation –wide depression at the time and the lack of funds in Michigan, it was felt that a stone wall and cell block must be added to the original primitive structure. According to a State senate report of 1839, “the number of cells now finished is 34, but they cannot be used for the reason before mentioned, having no sufficient roof to shelter the cells from storms, thereby rendering them damp and unfit for use. The consequence of which is, prisoners are now kept in a wooden building prepared for that purpose, that with small expense may be made to accommodate some sixty comfortably, but will not keep them as safely as could be desired”. The legislature of 1841 appropriated $5,000 for continuing the building of the prison. In 1842 the stone wall, 14 feet high was completed enclosing approximately six acres. The first tier of a stone cell house, containing 82 cells was finished. Each cell was 8 feet, six inches long, 3 feet , six inches wide and 6 feet high. Provision was made for more tiers of cells to be added as they were needed.
    TYPES OF PUNISHMENTS
    It is not difficult to understand why the inmates had an overwhelming desire to escape the prison. The auburn silent system could be made to work only by the most severe repression. At one time it was a punishable offense for an inmate to have a piece of paper in his possession. (2012 court cases are pending to allow only postcards for inmates). Inmates who broke the prison rules were flogged, shackled in solitary confinement, or put into the “Iron Cap”, a basket made of iron straps, which was fastened over the refractory convict’s head, and which he was forced to wear night and day until the period of his punishment was over.
    UNIFORMS: Stripes of black & white
    Until some time after 1880 the prisoners wore uniforms which consisted of a jacket and trousers of woolen material, woven in alternate bars of black and white. No underwear was furnished the inmates until 1866.
    EMPLOYMENT: virtual slaves
    In 1842 there were 86 prisoners, most of those who were allowed outside their cells in the daytime were engaged in construction work around the prison. As the prisoners population grew, the need for more employment for the prisoners became apparent; as a result the “Contract System” came into being. Under this system the control of the prisoner remained with the state, which continued to house, feed, clothe and guard the prisoners while an outside person, the contractor, commanded the prisoner’s labor and the product of his labor. The state usually built the workshops, which it furnished to the contractor rent free and sometimes furnished the power to run the shops. The contractor brought in the raw material and machinery. The prison official attended to the discipline and the contractor directed the work. The contractor paid the prison so much a day for each prisoner employed. In 1843 the inspectors of the state prison decided to lease the available manpower to private parties in this way. Several buildings were erected inside the prison walls to be used as workshops, and Alonzo Ferris, agent, (as the Warden was called then), advertised for contracts. Several firms located in Jackson contracted for prison labor, the most important of which was the Pinney-Howard & Company. At the rate of 34 cents per day per man, for a period of six years, from May 1, 1847, this firm contracted for the labor of from sixty to 120 convicts to manufacture woolen and cotton goods, carpeting, farming tools, saddle trees and trimmings, hammers, harness trimmings, steam engines and broilers, barrels and copper ware. Other contracts were made for the manufacture of shoes and foundry products. The abuse of this system were many. The inmates were virtually slaves. Reports of graft led to thorough investigations of these transactions between the agent and contractors. Even though the evils were recognized , it was hard to get rid of a system that made the prison self-supporting. It was not until after the system had been in use many years that it became a subject for newspaper decussion. The principal objection then was that the articles manufactured by prisoners for the contractors took the place of similar articles that would ordinarily be made by free men. (Same argument made by poor whites during the period of slavery 1619-1865).
    During the years the contract system was in operation, many shops were built inside the prison, eventually falling into disrepair and having to be replaced. Also during this period coal mines were discovered on the property adjoining the prison and the state purchased that land. Prison labor was used to mine the coal, and even today there are abandoned tunnels under the sites of some of the prison buildings.
    In the year 1907, the Supreme Court of Michigan rendered a decision determing that broom industry, as conducted in the State Prison was contrary to section 3, article 18 of the state constitution which read as follows: “that no mechanical trade shall hereafter be taught to convicts in the State prison of this state except the manufacter of those articles of which the chief supply for home consumption is imported from other states or countries”. It was decided by members of the prison board of control to experiment with state-owned industries. That same year the binder twine plant was built and put into operation. This was a success from the beginning.
    Since the state-owned industry did prove so successful, a law was passed forbidding the renewal of contracts or the making of new ones. By 1912 the majority of contracts had expired and the state set about stabling its own industries to employ the prisoners. Farm lands were purchased and producer was raised which led to the construction of a canning factory. It was found that some of the land owned by the prison was underplayed with clay so a brick and tile factory began. This industry led to housing inmates in other places beside the prison for, while the first brick and tile factory inside the walls, a later one was built at Onodago and barracks were erected there for the housing of one hundered inmates.
    SOLITARY CONFINEMENT: insanity
    In 1846, nine years after Michigan became a state, capital punishment was abolished and solitary imprisonment for life substituted. There was no provision at the Jackson Prison for this type of prisoner so for some years men so sentenced were confined in cells in the main block. In 1857 a solitary cell unit, a separate prison within the walls, was completed and the prisoners under such sentence were thereupon confined in it. The cells in this prison were so designed that these inmates never left their cells until death intervened and during their life were unable to communicate with anyone else, even those undergoing the same punishment. Four years later, in 1861, it was realized that to confine men in these dungeons was inhuman and barbarous and, as a result, the legislature gave the agent the right to remove such prisoners and put them to work. There were twenty of such prisoners and when they were released it was found that nine of them were insane. The solitary prison was used for many years afterwards for the confinement of insane prisoners, as there was no hospital for the criminally insane until 1885. Upon the transfer of the insane prisoners to Ionia, the solitary prison was torn down. (In 2012 prison still used to warehouse the mentally ill instead of treatment facilities).
    WOMEN’S PRISON
    Until 1867, when an act was passed sending them to the Detroit House of corrections, women prisoners were also sent to the State prison. (They were not all transferred until 1877.) this created a big problem as there was for several years, no special building for them and no one but male keepers to care for them. In 1855, a matron was hired and a building expressly for the women was erected. This building was of brick construction, thirty by forty-one feet, containing twenty cells, a kitchen and dining room, sick room and an apartment for the matron. It was located in the prison yard, removed considerably from the quarters of the men, though at a later period factories were built nearby.
    OVERCROWDING
    Just prior to the time of the prison riot in 1952, we became accustomed to seeing a regular item in the local paper stating the count at the prison and how many men were having to sleep in the corridors for lack of cell space. This was not a new condition. Almost since its beginnings, overcrowding has been a big problem in Michigan prisons. This was due to the fact that the population of Michigan grew by leaps and bounds while the prison facilities expanded slowly. In 1855, there were 100 more inmates than cells and no accommodations for the overflow. In 1876 the problem of overcrowding became of deep concern to the prison authorities. The warden’s report for that year says, “The present number of convicts in the prison is 835, being an increase over last year of 47. Over 150 convicts sleep on cots in the corridors adjoin the cells. This arrangement is a constant source of anxiety”.
    From the beginning at the old prison additions have had to be made and wornout buildings replaced. There were several quite disastrous fires that required much rebuilding particularly of workshops and factory buildings. Some of these fires were set by resentful inmates.
    VARIOUS OTHER PRISON BUILDINGS
    Besides the buildings already mentioned, the year 1849 saw the completion of the central building, started in 1845, which contained in the section facing outside the walls: offices, a library, armory, guard’s room, and an apartment for the Agent 9Warden). In the section facing the prison yard there were a dining room and kitchen, two solitary cells, two large cells for women, a few small apartments for employees, a hospital, and a chapel which was not completely furnished until 1875. The East wing, started in 1856 and completed in 1862, was materially enlarged in 1878 by an extension which included a quarantine cell block. A building for school and storage purposes was erected in 1882; an electric plant was built in 1885; and in 1889 a cell block was added to the end of the west wing. In 1902 a new kitchen and dining room was built and between 1902 and 1905 the original West Wing, after more than sixty years of services, was demolished and replaced by a structure in which the cells were entirely of steel. In 1915, a dormitory designed to house 8 prisoners in each of the 48 apartments and to provide 16 school rooms on the upper floor, was built inside the prison walls. These walls, through the years, were rebuilt and extended until eventually they enclosed a total of ten acres. In 1917, the terraces on Cooper st directly in front of the old prison were completed and used for the housing of prison officers. The prison garage was enlarged, and greenhouses were erected for the preparation of seedlings for spring planting.
    INDUSTRIAL EXPANSION
    After 1918, the program of industrial expansion was continued. The prison began producing auto licesne plates, and street and road signs. The cement plant at Chelsea, Michigan was acquired and there nearly two hundred inmates manufactured a great portion of the cement used in state road construction. The textile plant was opened for the manufacture of cloth for state use, and the prison annex, consisting of wooden barracks for housing of the surplus population, was erected three miles north of Jackson.
    By 1920 an increase in crime, proportionate to the rapid growth of the state's population following World War 1, made an extension of pententiary facilities compulsory. For many reasons it seemed wiser to build a new prison than to remodel and expand the old one. Chief among them was the fact that the city of Jackson so hemmed in the existing prison that to extend its grounds would be difficult and costly. In addition, many of the prison structures wereeither obsolete or in such bad repair that they would be of little use unless completely rebuilt.
    Even though in July, 1934, the old prison was completly abandoned as a place to house inmates, it has not disappeared as a landmark in jackson. In recent years, the old medieval -like fortress has attracted almost as many sightseers as the new prison. most of the old wall is still standing, its Eastern side a boundary for the homes of the prison employees who still live in the terraces. the old buildings standing inside the walls have long been a forbidden land of mystery to the children in the neighborhood. until about five years ago, many buildings were stll used by the prison for storage. Inmates went down regularly in trucks to work and a guard was on duty at the East gate from six o'clock in the morning until ten at night. Across the street from the terraces stood the dilapidated remains of a greenhouse and a feed mill as well as a truck garden plot. this land was finally sold by the state; the old buildings were torn down and the best part of the structure facing the south entrance has been remodeled for use by the National Guard. Now the terrace homes have been put up for sale. Perhaps, in another ten years, what is known now as the Old Prison, this grey dark symbol of human wretchedness, may become only a memory.
    In 1920, the state legislature authorized the state Prison Commitee to submit a report on the requirements and plans for a new prison. A site was chosen three miles north of Jackson near portage rive in blackman township. In the process of acquiring the land, large parts of two school districts, the Maple Grove and the pleasant hill, were taken over by the state. the remainder of these districts was absorbed by adjoing school districts. the land belonging to the prison was left in no school district at all. This has always created a problem for wardens and deputies who have children and live on prison grounds.
    Construction on the prison was begun in 1924; it was nine years before it was finished. No one seems to be quite certain as to why it was finally built so big. the first plans called for only 1500 cells with the possiblity of adding accommodations for 1000 more inmates later. however, when the structure was finally completed it could house 5280. This was in the 1920's when anything bigger was considered, for that reason, better. illinois and Pennsylvania were building new prisons about the same time and it appears that a race developed between the three states to see which could build the biggest prison. michigan won. the state prison of michigan is america's largest walled prison. at this time, too, a derermined effort was being made to enforce the prohibition law and prisons were filling rapidly with violaters of this law. more room was needed quickly. it is also probable that the authorities believed that the larger the number of men incarcerated in one spot, the cheaper they could be kept.
    In 1929, while the state prison was being built, the American Prison Association adopted a resolution formalizing a principle put forward years before by leading penologists: that no prison should contain more than 1200 men. even before construction was finished at the blackman township site, the authorities knew it was too big. Austin mccormack, a leading penologist, visited both Jackson and statesville (illonious) when the prisons were partially completed and was told by the wardens that the institutions were so big it was impossible to run them efficiently. The new michigan prison has been periodically rocked by scandals, riots, and investigations ever since it was first occupied.despite these troubles, Michigan can boast of having one of the most prison systems in the United States.
    It has now been about 160 years since the Penal Reform movement in this country was started by the Quakers in Pennsylvania. The ideas and aims of reformers have always been far in advance of their practical application. When the first national prison congress met in cincinnati, ohio, on october 12, 1870, its members formulated 37 principles as goals to be accomplished in correctional institutions. since these 37 principles still remain the goals of that body, it would appear that they not only reprsented advanced thinking, but that they have never been entirely accomplished.
    There are several reasons why progress in humanizing and improving prisons has been slow. (1) the public, for the most part is apathetic. Only when something dramatic happens that endangers life and property or in some other way costs the people money, do they demand changes in prisons. the average citizen would rather not think about them at all. (2) such institutions are costly and in michigan it has always been a desperate race just to keep up with the mushrooming population. (3) one of the biggest difficulties in putting modern ideas of correction and rehabilitation into fruitful practice has been the lack of properly trained personnel. for many years salaries paid at prisons were very low and jobs with any prestige at all were in constant jeopardy, for they were held by the grace of the politicians.
    In looking back over the whole life of the old prison it is plain that reform was very slow.
    In that first speech of Govenor Mason's in 1836, in which he brought the need of a penitentiary before the legislature, he said: " One of the greatest evils under which the public are now suffering, is the want of an improved and regular penitentiary system. to such an extent has this evil grown, that the ends of justice are entirely defeated, by the want of the necessary and proper buildings for the confinement of criminals. the great object of the law in inflicting a penalty for the commission of crime, is the reformation of the offender. At present, however, this end is worse than defeated".
    Yet how much reformation took place in the prison after it was built? 23 years later, in 1859 W.L. Seaton, at the end of his first year as Agent of the prison, wrote in his report:".... It would be more gratifying if at the close of the year, i could be able to report that i have strong faith in the reformation of the convicts discharged. but these truths forcibly impress themselves upon my mind, that our prisons are only schools for evil; that three-fourths of the convicts that leave are more hardened than before". he went on to explain the effects of the congregate system of prisons and asks the oft-repeated question: why do the number of convicts committed to prisons each year increase.
    STRIPPED UNIFORMS HUMILIATING
    Thinking people long objected to the indignity of the stripped uniforms worn by inmates. A senate investigating committee in 1873 issued a report that reads: "Your committee believes that to dress a man in the outlandish costume of a clown or buffoon, can only tend to degrade him, and therefore recommend the total abolition of the stripped dress and suggest a grey uniform of the same cut now worn" Not until arround 1885 was this recommendation put into effect. (in 2012 we are now back to stripe uniforms throughout the jails in the USA).
    Punishments used within the prison for many years were as inhuman as the corporal punishments of the early colonists, but no one knew how to run a prison without them. In the report of Agent William hammond, dated 11/30/ 1855, he declares: "In this prison whipping is allowed by the regulations. Iam satisfied that other modes of punishment, such as shower baths, shackles, ball and chain, and the iron cap are quite sufficient to all purposes of good government" [All of these punishments were the exact same used durning slavery]. however, despite the agents professed unwillingness to use the whip, 93 men were lashed that year.
    Not until H.F. Hatch became warden in 1885, was any real change made in disciplinary measures. He had many advanced ideas on the subject and is generally referred to as the reform warden the michigan state prison. he applied new and humanitarian methods of discipline with marked success. while the rule aganist promiscuous talking was not abandoned to any great extent at this time, the prisoners were allowed the freedom of the yard on occasions. the rules aganist talking were not entirely cancelled until after 1940.
    PRISON’S MANY FACILITIES
    The prison, asit stands today, has many facilities and carries out many functions that wouldn’t have been dreamed of when the plans for the prison of 1837 were being made. The new prison is very large. Its brick and concrete wall, 34 feet high, encloses fifty seven acres. From a distance it gives the appearance of a walled city and that is what it trully is- a city, self-contained. It manufactures its own electric power; has its own water supply,its own sewage disposal plant, its own heating plants. It has a laundry service which washes some 65, 000 pounds of clothes a week. Its food service provides enough food for 580,000 meals each month. The allowance for food is 54 cents per inmate per day. There are at all times about four thousand inmates living inside the walls and another 16 hundred outside in the trusty division.
    TRUSTY DIVISION
    The men in the trusty division are housed in three outside cell blocks and five farm barracks. These inmates are employed in the central stores, the blacksmith shop, forestry department, fire department, garage, feed mill, and the farms. Truckloads of inmates go out to the farms to work each day during the busy seasons and many others are domiciled there, living in barracks. The prison owns and operates five of these farms which cover 4,500 acres of which 3000 acres are under cultivation. The dairy, poultry, swine, fruit, garden and field crops are used by the institution and the surplus is canned at the Michigan State industries cannery inside the prison walls.
    WHAT INMATES MAKE?
    In factories within the walls, the inmates make the clothing they wear, starting with raw cotton and ending with the blue denim prison dungarees and striped “hictory” shirts which have now replaced the grey uniform. Besides these items the textile factory turns out sheeting, twill, duck, pillow cases, blankets, towels, and underwear. The tailored garment shop makes suits, pants, overcoats, makinacs, jackets, caps and a quantity of miscellaneous woolen products. The Shoe factory produces twenty different styles of work and dress shoes and slippers. The metal stamp plant manufactures the license plates for the state of michigan-four million pair per year. It also makes beds, springs, lockers, file cabinets, steno chairs, waste baskets, and road signs. Inmates are paid for the work they do. The average inmate pay in the industries is 34 cents per day and on institutional inmate jobs it is 17 cents per day. The inmates are not actually given the money while they are in prison, but are given credit in the accounting division for what they earn and are issued scrip which they may spend at the inmate stores. They can, if they wish, have money sent home to their families and whatever amount is left in their accounts when they are ready to leave the prison may be taken with them.
    RECEPTION DIAGNOSTIC CENTER
    Many other needs beside those of work, food, and clothing are recognized. Facilities for filing these needs must be included in this prison city. One of the newest additions to the prison is the Reception-Diagnostic Center which was opened february 1, 1956. All men committed to prison in lower peninsula must pass through this reception center. The center has a professional staff consisting of the supervisor, a psychiatrist, three psychologists, a vocational counselor and six social workers. Each man who goes through the Center is given an IQ and aptitude tests, and group projective techniques. Each inmate spends at least five hours of one week in orientation. By the last time the individual is ready to appear before the classification committee, reports are available from all the above mentioned professional staff and, in addition, information has been received from previous employers, schools, relatives, sheriffs, and probation officers. The average number of men awaiting classification is about 475 and this varies only slightly from day to day. When finally classified, the man is recommended for transfer to any one of the 8 major penal facilities in the state; a broad program of treatment is further recommended; and suggestions to help in his institutional adjustment are made.
    COUNSELORS
    At the state Prison, 14 counselors are specifically concerned with the welfare programing and adjustment of inmates on their case load, from the time the inmate enters the institution from the Reception Center until he is released. One counselor, who is referred to as the personal afairs Officer, assists all inmates in the institution with problems involving veterans affairs, old age or security assistance, vocational rehabilitation, processing of common-law marriage relationships, income tax forms and legal forms requiring the services of a notary public. The Special activities Counselor supervises and sponsers groups such as alcoholic Anonymous, dale Carnegie classes, the chess Club, and narcotics Anomymous. The clinical psychologist administers psychological tests to any inmate referred by the Parole Board or counselors and acts as an advisor to the individual treatment department in the propraming of an inmate.
    ACADEMIC SCHOOL
    The Academic School employs three professional school teachers. Many inmates teach in the school also. Courses range from those for the illiterate up through the high school level. There are usually 200 elementary students and 150 high school students enrolled and participating full time in the school program. Graduation exercises are held at which the students receive certificates showing what they have accomplished. One onmate, tom davis, started in the elementary school and went on to complete his high school education, receiving in july, 1956, a high school diploma recognized by the state department of education. He was the first inmate to accomplish this after starting at a grade school level. There are hundreds of other inmates engaged in cell studies and correspondence courses.
    Vocational School
    The Vocational School offers courses in welding, carpentry, drafting, machine shop, masonry, sheet metal, typewriter repair, electricity, and the fine arts. The total capacity for student enrollment in this school is about 95. Besides daytime programs, the same courses are offered in the evening to inmates who are on a regular work assignment. The vocational school employs two civilian teachers.
    PRINT SHOP
    The print shop has a training school, also , and each class has about 12 students. In addition, the shop does all the regular institutional printing and puts out the Spectator , the weekly inmate newspaper.
    ATHLETIC
    Two civilians ,one a college graduate, are employed in the athletic department. The prison has a varsity squad in each of the major sports and this team regularly plays outside teams in league competition. All such games are played on prison grounds. There is also a full intramural sports schedule which provides all the inmates with an opportunity to participate in organized athletics. In the gym proper will be found weight lifting equipment, ping-pong tables, hand ball courts and other gym equipment.
    MUSIC&MOVIES
    The music division is under the direction of a trained supervisor. A variety of musical groups exist such as a marching band, orchestra, a dance band, and a western band. Lessons on musical instruments are available if inmates request them. All institutional movies are selected and ordered by the musical director and every inmate has the opportunity to see at least one movie a week.
    CHAPLAINS
    While the prison has always had chaplains and church services, it never had a real chapel until last year (1958). The place that had been referred to as the “Chapel” was actually the building in which movies are shown. The state had always felt that if it built a specific place for church purposes it would be linking church and state, a situation no one wanted. However, it has been a long-time dream of both chaplains and inmates to have a chapel in which they might have their services in a more consecrated atmosphere and about two years ago a determined effort was begun to acquire such a place. The state finally agreed to erect the building, but the prison must provide all the furnishings. With the cooperation of the newspapers in the state, wide publicity was given the project. Donations were made by many churches, by private individuals, and by the inmates, themselves. Benefit boxing exhibitions, sponsored by Warden William H. bannam, and put on by inmate boxers raised large sums of money. At last, the dream came true. The prison now has its own chapel, dedicated for Catholic services and one for protestant.
    PRISON LIBRARY
    The Prison library employs one civilian and contains 9000 books. Inmates borrow books from here just as they would in a free community. The Librarian also has charge of ordering and dispensing all newspapers and magazines ordered by the inmates.
    HOBBY CRAFT
    The hobbycraft program was developed to help meet the problem of idleness which is the bane of every prison administration. Inmates who have good records are urged to participate in this program and the work is done in their cells. A sales room for the finished products is located at the entrance of the institution to provide a place to sell the articles and thus supplement the earnings of the inmates. Approximately 2,750 inmates participate in this program and more than fifty items of hobby work are produced. Each person is permitted to take up only one type of hobby work at a time.

















     
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