Retyped by Karen Dyal
New York State Reformatory
FISCAL YEAR ENDING
SEPTEMBER 30, 1897.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND TABLES
THIS VOLUME, IN EDITING., TYPOGRAPHY, ILLUS-
TRATION AND BINDING, IS SOLELY THE
PRODUCT OF PRISONERS’ LABOR
|I. BOARD OF MANAGERS’ REPORT|
|Daily average of prisoners and per capita maintenance - necessary maintenance appropriation for the year 1899 - alterations and construction - average death rate - transfer of prisoners - operation of the indeterminate sentence law - period of detention of present inmates - ratio of progress in grades - purpose of the Reformatory - employment - reference to Manual Training Department - "Food and Feeding."|
|II. GENERAL SUPINTENDENT’S REPORT. (PROPER)||
|Records of the Reformatory - percentages of inmates make in the several departments - 94% of the prisoners are convicted of crime against property - only $480.83 brought in by over fifteen hundred prisoners - two clearly defined obstacles to be overcome.|
|(a) FINANCIAL EXHIBIT||
|(b) STATISTICS OF INMATES||
|(c) BIOGRAPHICAL COMPENDIUM||
|Data relating in parents and inmates themselves before admission, and progress in the grades.|
|III. PROFESSOR CHAPMAN’S REPORT (LECTURE COURSE.)||
|The lecture Department—History—Literature—Nature Studies—Ethics—purpose of the work—methods of work—fields traversed by lecture divisions—retrospect.|
|IV. SCHOOL DIRECTOR’S GENERAL REPORT||
|V. REPORT OF DIRECTOR OF TRADES-SCHOOL||
|Comparison between the system of trade teaching followed here and in free life - prohibitory manufacturing law: applicable to State Institutions - length of trades courses - new classes organized and operated - destruction by fire of the trades-school buildings - crowded condition of many classes - outlook for the future—table of daily average attendance of the different trades classes.|
|VI. MANUAL TRAINING DIRECTOR’S REPORT (GENERAL)||
|Illustrations, curricula and memoranda of results.|
|(a) SPECIMEN RECORDS OF MANUAL TRAINING GRADUATES||
|(b) METHODS OF INSTRUCTION||
|VII. MILITARY INSTRUCTOR’S REPORT||
|Well regulated military system a necessary adjunct of the modern reformatory—object of military exercise and training—physical culture a most important factor of military training—daily military programme—the uniforms of the regiment—the regimental staff—perfection of drill.|
|VIII. REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF PHYSICAL TRAINING.||
|IX. PHYSICIAN’S REPORT||
|Resume of hospital work for ’97 - decrease of 65% of cases of insanity - epidemic of measles, 34 cases at one time in hospital - bacteriological examination of water in use at Reformatory - report of Dr. A. C. Abbott and Messrs E. M. Chamot and Geo. Blumer - the overworking of present filter at the Reformatory.|
Administration and Personnel.
BOARD OF MANAGERS.
JAMES B. RATHBONE, PRESIDENT
M. H. ARNOT,
W.H. PETERS, TREASURER.
JOHN M. DIVEN, SECRETARY.
PHYSICIAN AND SUPERVISOR OF PHYSICAL TRAINING.
HAMILTON D. WEY, M.D.
RUDOLPH DIEDLING, M.D., Assistant and Resident Physician.
SCHOOL OF LETTERS.
A. E. UPHAM, DIRECTOR WM. H. CHAPMAN, LECTURER.
D. A. M’CONNELL, DIRECTOR
R. CHAS. BATES, DIRECTOR. RICHARD ALMGREN. SLOYD INSTRUCTOR.
MILITARY AND DISCIPLINE.
V.M. MASTEN, COLONEL AND INSTRUCTOR.
JOHN J. FENNELL., LT.-COLONEL AND ASSISTANT INSTRUCTOR.
SAMUEL D. SAMPLE.
JOHN I., J. BERTHOLD. DIRECTOR AND SANITARY INSPECTOR.
H. F. BUSH, GENERAL
W. H. DEMAREST, SPECIAL H.S. MAHER, HOUSEHOLD STORES.
A.M. RULE, TECHNICAL.
H. B. BROCKWAY
|The death of Dr. W. C. Wey occurred during the year on
the 30th of June last. Dr. Wey has been a member of the Board
of Managers throughout the whole life of the Reformatory and he was, for
the last ten years, and at the time of his death, the President of the
Board. His noble personal character, his long uninterrupted service as
a manager, together with his professional aptitude and his great interest
in the objects of the Reformatory, constituted him the ideal official of
such a Board of Manager.
The minutes of Managers’ proceedings of July 13, 1897, contain their expression of the sense of loss and of sorrow at the death of Dr. Wey, their President and associate member of the Board.
NEW YORK STATE REFORMATORY,
ELMIRA, N.Y., September 30, 1897.
To the Honorable, the Legislature:
The total of prisoners received during the year is 613, of which number, thirty-one were transferred to this Reformatory from the State Industrial School at Rochester and from the House of Refuge at Randall’s Island, New York; three only were committed by the United States Court sitting in the State of New York; the remainder 569 were committed, on conviction of felonies, by the Courts of Record of the State. The total number discharged the same period is 520.
The daily average of prisoners present for the year is 1,498.8 which is 144.8 more than the average for 1896.
The per capita per diem gross cost for maintenance
is .384 cents, an amount less than the cost for 1896 by .044 cents. The
gross per diem maintenance cost for 1897, a year without productive
industries and earnings, as stated above, is only .021 cents more than
the net cost, over earnings for the year 1896. The total outlay for maintenance
the past year is $210.251.92. This is less than 1986, when the outlay was
$212,556.12, by $2,304.20, while the number of prisoners cared for this
year is 144.8 more than in 1896. the difference of cost of maintenance
in favor of 1897 is attributable to ruling lower prices of some items of
provisions and to the payment of the salaries of guards placed in charge
of prisoners engaged in the building operations, out of the special appropriations
instead of from maintenance funds.
There remains not yet disbursed, of the $75,000 re-appropriated by the Legislature in 1896, for improvements and facilities the sum of $25,042.99. And also of the appropriation by the Legislature in 1897 for rebuilding the burned buildings the sum of $13,852.96. The work for which these appropriations were made is in good progress, will be entirely completed and the expenditure will not exceed the amount of the appropriations.
The work of alterations and construction under these special appropriations has been done and is now carried on, almost entirely, by the inmate pupils of the trade classes. It has progressed slowly, as would be expected, but the quality of the work is excellent and affords occupation to a considerable number of the inmates, and at the same time it supplies for them the most valuable practical experience in the very trades they are learning in the school of trades here.
So valuable is such work to the trades-pupils, that the Managers will ask the Legislature from time to time to supply the required materials for other needed improvements and facilities to keep them similarly engaged until the proper needs of the Reformatory for its development and effective agency, for the purpose intended, shall be duly supplied.
The General Superintendent in his report submitted therewith sets forth the great need of some further expenditure to supply each inmate
BOARD OF MANAGERS’ REPORT 13
.with a separate cell or sleeping apartment. The importance of making such provision cannot be exaggerated nor too strongly urged upon the Legislature. The possible evils of unrestrained communication of such prisoners as the Reformatory contains, two or more of them in the same lodging rooms, are most serious evils and are of such a nature as to be scarcely fit for publication in a report of this kind. A considerable number of the prisoners are thus lodged at present and there seems to be no way to obviate the difficulty except by providing a sufficient number of cells.
The Physician reports that in his judgment "The population of the Reformatory has now reached such figures as from a hygienic standpoint gives anxiety regarding the future. The worst feature of a population in excess of cell capacity lies in ‘doubling up’ the occupancy of a cell by more than one individual. Such association in not a few instances brings moral contamination. In addition, insufficient air space contributes to and causes impairment of constitution, produces the ‘prison cachexia’ and diminishes resistive power while increasing susceptibility to the invasion of acute and epidemic disease."
The average death rate at the Reformatory exclusive of accidental and suicidal deaths for the past twenty years is .732% and for the past six years—since the population has been more than 1,200 and so considerably in excess of cell capacity it is .932%, an increase of .240%. The Managers believe that these fats together with the situation here at present fully justify the recommendation that additional sleeping rooms be promptly supplied. The estimated cost to construct 400 common cells together with 100 special apartments for intractable and incorrigible inmates will be met by an expenditure of $150,000. Such an amount will build to completion, supply the necessary heating and lighting apparatus and furnish the rooms ready for use without further outlay.
TRANSFER OF PRISONERS
During the year the Managers have transferred eighty prisoners from the Reformatory to the Auburn State Prison, as is provided by law (Chap.711 Law of 1887). Temporarily transferred them after receiving the written consent of the Superintendent of State Prisons.
14 NEW YORK STATE REFORMATORY
And during the same period the Reformatory has received of transfers from the State Industrial School at Rochester and from the New York House of Refuge at Randall’s Island thirty-one incorrigible young men who were under the authority of the law, (Chap. 375, Laws of 1891), sentenced to a definite term of imprisonment here, but are required to be returned at the expiration of the sentence, to the place from which they came. These State Industrial School and House of Refuge incorrigibles are transferred to the Reformatory for a definite period of time and must then, or previous to the full expiration of it, go back to take up their treatment in the Juvenile Prison, and must fill out there such further periods of detention within the maximum period of their legal imprisonment as may be ordered for them. The prisoners transferred from the Reformatory to the State Prison may be returned at any time when the Warden of the Prison where they are shall certify this favorable opinion of their fitness for release. Neither the transfers from Juvenile Prisons to the Reformatory nor the transfers from the Reformatory to the State Prisons can be held longer than their period of maximum possible imprisonment, whether imprisoned in the Reformatory to which they were originally committed or in the prison to which they are transferred.
The transferred prisoners of the past year, should they not be returned to the Reformatory for parole, but remain at Auburn until the "good time" expiration of their maximum term, would be discharged as follows:
The following facts as to the eighty prisoners sent away from the Reformatory will show their character and the propriety of their removal:
Forty-seven (47) of them had been arrested or convicted and imprisoned, previous to their committal to this reformatory, from once to thirty-four times.
These eighty transferred prisoners had recorded against them here, offenses committed while resident at the Reformatory to the number
BOARD OF MANAGERS’ REPORT 15
of 15,790, of which number 1,791 were first class or serious offences; 8.083 were overt violations of the regulations and 5,916 were violations of a minor grade.
The transfer of prisoners is a desirable expedient, this notwithstanding the occasional unsatisfactory effect of it mentioned in a previous report. It accomplishes a closer classification then could be without it; by it each institution is relieved, at least temporarily relieved, of prisoners who are of pernicious influence upon others better than themselves and it may be serviceable also to minimize for the time, somewhat of the evil of too excessive population in any single institution. It will bear repeating since so much of misrepresentation has been published about it, that the transfer to State Prison of an inmate of the Reformatory does not at all increase the length of time he must serve: Does not necessarily consign him to serve even the remainder of his maximum term in State Prison. He can shorten his imprisonment if he is worthy in three ways: (a) by returning to the Reformatory and earning his parole; (b) by earning while in prison to which he is transferred, the statutory abatement of time; (c) by pardon from the Governor of the State.
The transfer to the State Prison of incorrigible adult felons from the Reformatory does not involve a relinquishment of all efforts for their reformation. The management of the State Prisons would resent it as a slander upon them to say that prisoners committed to their care, whether sentenced directly from the Courts or transferred from the Reformatory, are thereby and thenceforth bereft if reforming influences.
The Managers of this Reformatory confidently declare that the authority to transfer prisoners now conferred upon them by law should be continued and it is their unanimous opinion that their authority in this regard should be more freely exercised in the future than it has been of late.
At this point in the preparation of our report the Managers are apprised of the prevalence in influential quarters of the wrong impression that under the indeterminate sentence plan, as it is applied at this Reformatory, prisoners are detained longer than they would be if they had been confined in the State Prison for the same crimes. It is
16 NEW YORK STATE REFORMATORY
therefore justifiable to reproduce here that which was published in the Managers’ report the Twentieth Year Book, for the fiscal year 1895, which is corrective of the wrong impression. It is as follows:
"The practical operation of the indeterminate sentence law governing the committal and release of prisoners at this Reformatory for twenty years, makes a very satisfactory showing. It has resulted in a very great saving of time and money. Since the opening of the Reformatory, July 1876, five thousand, one hundred twenty (5,120) inmates have been paroled or discharged exclusive of those who died, who were pardoned, escaped, etc. Their average period of detention in the Reformatory under this system was twenty-four and three-tenths (24.3) months, and the aggregate of time served by them all is ten thousand, three hundred sixty-eight (10,368) years."
"The report of the Superintendent of State Prisons shows that the average term of sentence of all the men sentenced to the State Prisons, for quite similar crimes to those of the prisoners sent to this Reformatory, is something more than five years; and that the minimum term they must serve under their definite sentence, when all possible good time allowance is made for them, is four years. Now, if the inmates paroled and discharged from this Reformatory—five thousand , one hundred twenty (5,120)—had been sentenced either to the Reformatory or to the State Prisons under the definite sentence system, receiving substantially the same sentence period that other prisoners sentenced under that system usually receive, they would have been obliged to serve twenty thousand, four hundred eighty years (20,480). The difference of time of imprisonment saved to the prisoners, effecting also a saving of outlay of money by the State, is therefore ten thousand, one hundred twelve (10,112) years. The diminished period of detention here shown is made possible only by the length and indefiniteness of the maximum possible detention under the system."
"The cost of maintaining the inmates of the Reformatory as shown by the annual reports, averages one year with another, about one hundred fifty dollars ($150,000), per inmate (the actual cost for 1897 is $140.16 per inmate) per annum, and for maintenance in the State Prisons say one hundred thirty-eight dollars ($138.00). Had all the
BOARD OF MANAGERS’ REPORT 17
paroled and discharged prisoners from this Reformatory been sentenced under the old definite sentence law, the cost of maintaining them would have been one million, five hundred sixteen thousand, eight hundred dollars ($1,516,800) more than has been the actual outlay for that purpose. And had they been sent to the State Prisons instead, the increased cost would have been one million, three hundred ninety-five thousand, four hundred fifty-six dollars ($1,395,456)."
"Moreover, if the prisoners held here only twenty-four (24) months, under the indeterminate sentence, had been held as in State Prison under the determinate sentence, the population of the Reformatory on October first would have reached at least twenty-five hundred (2,500) instead of its twelve hundred fifty-seven (1,257) and, assuredly, the State would have been obliged to expend for an additional prison."
"Of the before mentioned five thousand, one hundred twenty (5,120) inmates committed under the law, whose maximum possible detention is the maximum penalty of the statute for their crime, every one of them might, if worthy, have secured release in one year; four thousand, three hundred fifty-two (4,352) were committed for crimes whose maximum penalty is more than five years. Their actual detention in the Reformatory was an average of two years and nine days, as follows:"
|62.6% were released within TWO YEARS|
|23.8% were released within THREE YEARS|
|7.4% were released within FOUR YEARS|
|2.5% were released within FIVE YEARS|
|3.5% were released within FIVE YEARS|
|0.2% were released within FIVE YEARS|
"Among the prisoners discharged, there are four who were convicted of crimes which, if they had been sentenced to the State Prison, would have necessitated under the law, sentences for the period of their natural life, but having, in the discretion of the sentencing court, been committed to this Reformatory instead, they became, on admission here, liable to detention for life, but privileged also to secure their liberty, at first conditional liberty on parole, and afterwards their
18 NEW YORK STATE REFORMATORY
absolute discharge, whenever under the tests applied and judgment formed, they could show themselves fully qualified for their enlargement, show themselves to be safe citizens for any ordinary community."
The following is taken from the Superintendent’s report of this year showing the length of time the prisoners now imprisoned in the Reformatory have remained here:
PERIOD OF DETENTION OF PRESENT INMATES
"Of the 1,486 indefinite inmates, there have been here:
|Less than one year||
608 or 40.9%
|One year and less than two||
381 or 25.7%
|Two years and less than three||
231 or 15.6%
|Three years and less than four||
140 or 9.4%
|Four years and less than five||
115 or 7.4%
|Five years and more||
11 or .7%
"Average period of detention of present indefinite inmates: twenty-two months."
The varying progress of the inmates towards release is also indicated by their progress towards the Upper First Grade from which grade alone prisoners are paroled, access to which may be had after six months of satisfactory performance. The following is also taken from the Superintendent’s report of this year showing the
RATIO OF PROGRESS IN THE GRADES.
"Of the present 1,486 indefinite inmates there reached
the Upper First Grade:
|After only six months||
71 or 4.8%
|After from seven to nine months||
59 or 3.9%
|After from ten to twelve months||
31 or 2.1%
|After from thirteen to eighteen months||
38 or 2.6%
|After from nineteen to twenty-four months||
34 or 2.3%
|After from twenty-five to thirty-six months||
42 or 2.8%
|After from thirty-seven to forty-nine months||
21 or 1.4%
|Total||296 or 19.9%|
|In progress now||1190 or 80.1%|
BOARD OF MANAGERS’ 19
Much of error still exists in the public mind as to the real character of the prisoners of the Reformatory, this notwithstanding the full information on the subject published annually in our reports and widely circulated among the intelligent inhabitants of the State. The prisoners are practically adults, they are all felons, many of them have been previously imprisoned in one way or another and they are substantially of the same class of offenders as those confined in the State Prisons.
The purpose of the Reformatory here is to train the inmates in industry, intelligence and self-control until they who have shown themselves unsafe shall become reasonably safe to go at large. Their reluctance to enter upon the prescribed training treatment must be overcome and, they must e fitted to live orderly self-supporting lives in free society, or they should be retained in custody until that purpose is accomplished. The strongest known motives are placed before them to secure voluntary co-operation for their own improvement and permanent welfare, which is to accord, also, with the safety and welfare of the community where they may dwell, when such motives prove to be insufficient to inspire proper effort on the part of the prisoners the Managers feel it their duty to properly coerce them. The opportunities and privileges supplied here are unequalled in any prison establishment anywhere. They are such as would strongly appeal to a normal and better class of young men as a rare opportunity to obtain an education together with industrial training, but, for these young criminals, a large proportion of them, the opportunity is not appreciated. Without strong disciplinary control, with here and there somewhat of compulsion when it is required their improvement and the considerable cost of it to be laws, would not be had and should not be incurred. Unless compelled, these violators of the laws who rob the honest and industrious of their possessions would not only be improved, but would be made worse. The public does not know that the influence of imprisonment upon this class of offenders against the laws, whether the imprisonment be under the separate or the congregate system of the prison confinement, if it does not accomplish their improvement and so contribute to the public security when they are released, will of necessity increase their criminous characters and so increase the danger from them when they shall be at liberty again.
The entire time of the prisoners the past year has been fully occupied with activities designed to fit them for free life, without producing any goods of marketable value with the exception of a trifling amount of printing furnished to other State institutions. The inmates here were so well engaged this first year of the new system of prison employment in the state, that there has been no need to divert from the State Prisons any considerable of the work for furnishing supplies to the institutions of the State and the civil divisions thereof. It is clear that if supplies enough to meet the demand could be produced by the labor of the prisoners in the other prisons of the State, then there would be no economic advantage in doing such work here, and no other valuable purpose would be subserved by it. Should the other prisons of the State be unable to furnish all the needed supplies, the labor of some of the prisoners at this Reformatory may be devoted a part of their time every day for a purpose, but it is preferable in every way that the whole of the time of all the prisoners remain uninterruptedly occupied with the exercises and duties substantially occupied with the exercises and duties substantially as they are at present engaged.
The recently organized Manual Training Department has been greatly improved the last year, and, during the later months of the year, has been enlarged so as to include nearly one-third of the whole number of inmates, the very defective and intractable of them. The full report of the Director of the Manual Training Classes is worthy of careful study. The department, although only three years old, ranks already as of equal importance with any other of the agencies which have been longer in use and is destined to become an indispensable part of any well organized and very efficient reformatory training system.
The not unexpected delay in completing the building by the labor of the pupils in the trades classes, has operated to again defer our actual experimentation with the plan formed to utilize "Food and Feeding" for the purpose of producing an additional motive and better moods with the prisoners for their better cooperation in our efforts for their reformation.
BOARD OF MANAGERS’ REPORT 21
With the early completion of the Improvements and Facilities now in process; with the addition of sleeping rooms sufficient to supply every prisoner with his own apartment; with the continuance by the Legislature of the annual appropriations for proper maintenance, the Managers are confident that the Reformatory will continue to increase, year by year in it’s usefulness to the State.
|Jas. B. Rathbone|
|M. H. Arnot|
|[Signed] W. H. Peters|
|C. T. Willis|
|John M. Diven.|
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