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

Committee Report on Investigation of Penitentiary, 1947

Page 8

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Committee Report on Investigation of Penitentiaries, 1947

interest in its betterment. At the above farm we found a very
deplorable condition existing. Very little signs of brutality
at this farm but not so at the Darrington farm. There brutality
was very prevalent. Men were treated worse than animals and I
was told by one man in our Committee who served in a German
prison camp that all indications were that this farm was far
worse than a German or Jap prison camp during the entire war.
It is true these men have violated the laws of society and
should be punished for their crimes but still they are human
beings and should be treated as humans and not as beasts.
It is the honest opinion of the entire Committee that a change
in the management of this prison farm would be very helpful to
the System and those incarcerated there. This farm was found
to be very filthy and unsanitary, very unhealthful with no efforts
being made to improve the condition which existed. Next,
at the Retrieve farm the Committee found brutality rampant.
The manager of this farm, shortly after arrival of the
Committee, informed the Committee that it did not make a
dam [sic] bit of difference with him what the Committee thought
of how he was running the farm but he was Manager and would
do as he damned please [sic] irrespectible [sic] of what the Committee
thought. As stated above we found brutality very prevalent
at this place and no effort being made to remedy it. Sodomy
is very prevalent on this farm. The Manager told the Committee
that there was nothing he could do about it.

It is the honest opinion of the Committee that there is
no effort being made to remedy it. The attitude of the Manager
toward the Committee leaves the impression with the Committee
that he has no cure, no desire to remedy this situation. It
is the honest opinion and the recommendation of this Committee
that a change be made in the management of this farm for the
best interest of the Prison System. The Committee wishes to
pay their respect to Major D.W. Stakes, Manager of the Prison
System. The Committee does not believe that the Manager has
knowledge of the happenings on the farms which have been mentioned
above.

COMMITTEE REPORT

Senator Wardlow Lane                Sam Sellers
Senate                              House of Representatives

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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