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Commissioners of the State Prison. Report and bill on prison discipline … 1827
SEE ALSO 51755 Senate No. 6 The Commission appointed by a Resolve of the Legislature on March 3, 1826, issued its report on January 12, 1827. The
report included the text of an act developed from the Commission's research. The public had a low opinion of the state prison, there was substantial
recidivism, and there was strong public sentiment to discontinue humane treatment and go back to whipping and branding. Previous reports indicated
corruption in the management of the prison. A new physical facility was being constructed, so it was a good time to start new rules and regulations. The
Warden would have stronger powers and responsibilities, the contracts for supplies would be altered, and, in the new building, prisoners would be one
man to a cell and no contact with the outside world at all. The Act begins on p. 16: An Act providing for the government and regulation of the State
Prison, 1827. There would be 3 Inspectors, the Lieutenant Governor, one Senator, and one Representative. The group was to visit the prison at least
once a month. There would be a warden, deputy warden, chaplain, physician, and one overseer or watchman for every twenty convicts. The warden would be
responsible for every aspect of the prison, especially its money and contracts. He was to send a report to the legislature every March and September.
The chaplain was to conduct religious services and take care of any schooling. The physician would care for the sick and manage the general health
of the inmates. Any supplies were to be requested from the Warden. All the employees except the Inspectors and the physician (who was really part
time) had to live on the grounds of the prison. There was a salary schedule and a dietary schedule. Each prisoner was to have a set of both winter and
summer clothes and two pairs of shoes. No tobacco or alcohol was allowed. The Governor was to visit once per year, at which time it would be
determined if more construction was needed to maintain the rate of one man/one cell. Any prisoner in solitary confinement was only entitled to bread and
water. Female prisoners could be sentenced to solitary confinement, but not hard labor. There were several punishments for employees or members of the
public who aided escapes. Several previous acts were repealed, but no present employee was to lose his job thereby. (Digitized from a microfilm copy
of title originally held by the Massachusetts State Library).
Title:   Report.
OCLC Number:   1381685803
Available Volumes
NameFiche CountOnlinePaper Backup
Vol. 1YesNo