Fear, Force, and Leather: The Texas Prison System&rsquot;s First Hundred Years 1848-1948

Texas Committee on Prisons and Prison Labor, Report on proposed Texas penal colony, 1931

Page 1

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Back to exhibit

CPPL Report on a Texas penal colony, 1931

 

TEXAS COMMITTEE ON PRISONS AND PRISON LABOR
2711 ½ N. Guadalupe Street
Austin, Texas

THE PENAL COLONY

The Penal Colony, which the Texas Committee on Prisons
and Prison Labor recommends, as a result of the prison survey, is a
large tract of land, covering a number of square miles, on which it
is proposed to locate the various state penal institutions. This
will give the necessary facilities for the proper classification and
training of prisoners and yet provide for the most economical admin-
istration of the prison system[.]

WHY PRISONERS SHOULD
BE CLASSIFIED
.

The examination of prisoners through the medical psychiatri
anthropometric and educational sections of the Texas prison survey, dis[-]
closes the fact that many are sick and require hospital care; a large
number are young, which places upon the state the responsibility for
training them; others are older and hardened in crime, requiring
stricter discipline; still more are of low-grade montality [sic], who can
be trained to do only unskilled work; and many are psychopathic, that
is, the type of person that is very difficult to handle if kept among
other prisoners as under the old-time prison methods.

The hording of these various types of prisoners in one
institution spreads disease, makes it easy for the hardened criminal
to contaminate those who might be reclaimed, and increases the dis-
ciplinary problems to the point where they require an excessive am-
ount of attention from administrative officers, limiting their time
to train the other prisoners and leading them to resort to brutal
punishments.

PROGRESSIVE STATES ARE
ADOPTING THE PLAN OF
CLASSIFICATION

The necessity for classifying prisoners is generally
recognized today, and most progressive states are attempting to
adopt it, though in the majority of cases they are handicapped
by costly institutions in widely separated locations, which
cannot be discarded.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Back to exhibit

Texas Committee on Prisons and Prison Labor, Report on proposed Texas penal colony, 1931. Records of the Texas Prison System, Texas Prison Board, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: August 11, 2011