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

Committee Report on Investigation of Penitentiary, 1947

Page 2

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | Back to exhibit

Committee Report on Investigation of Penitentiaries, 1947

paper) are forced to be used for a week straight or until the
spoon or cup won’t hold water.

d.   Mention of severe beatings and of continuous
cursing by the guards at the men and the continual reference
to the families of the inmates in a very bad light is preva-
lent.

e.   Lack of medical attention on this farm is com-
plained of.

f.    The men are mostly in the dark as to how they stand
in time to be served and continuously asked that some one find
out this information for them. They complain that the guards
or the man in charge never answer this request.

The Committee left this farm at 10:15 A.M. and drove
to the Goree Farm for Women inmates. Arrived at this farm at
10:30 A.M. Inspected the quarters of the inmates. Found
the negroes and whites separated. Inspected the Kitchen Mess
Hall, Hospital, Recreation Room, etc. of the prison and found
them to be in excellent condition as to cleanliness and neat-
ness. The prisoners appeared well fed and contented. By far
more so than the men prisoners visited during the inspection.
There were no complaints directed to the Committee about the
handling of themselves, their food, their clothing or any
phase of the prison.

The Committee left for the Sugarland Farm at 11:45 A.M.
and arrived there at 1:50 P.M. where immediately dinner was
served. The food was clean and wholesome. After dinner the
barracks were inspected by the Committee. Here the men are
kept in tanks. These appeared clean and neat. Inspection
found the Canning plant, the Meat Packing plant and the Locker
Plants all in excellent shape as to cleanliness and appearance.
In the Meat Packing plant, an open Elevator Shaft was found
and the automatic guard was tied at the top of the shaft
leaving a very dangerous open shaft where men prisoners were
working. Inspection took the Committee back to the Solitary
Confinement cells and there found the following incident:

A young, 17 year old prisoner was found nude in this
cell in which there was no light and inadequate air. It was

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | Back to exhibit

Committee Report on Investigation of Penitentiary, 1947. Records of Governor Beauford Jester, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: August 17, 2011