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Inscribed:
Geo. T. Fleming Esq
Compliments John Francies

[verso of front flyleaf]


A Brief History of the Western Penitentiary.

by Edward S. Wright, Esq. [1909]

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of title page information from original book.

[page i]


December 21, 1909

Edward S. Wright, Esq.,
846 Western Avenue,
North Side,
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Dear Sir:

I am instructed by the Board of Inspectors of the Western Penitentiary of Pennsylvania to return to you their sincere thanks for the very great service you have rendered the institution in preparing "A Brief Statement and History of the Western Penitentiary."

The article is not only interesting and instructive in itself, but likewise extremely valuable, and will prove more so as the years go by.

Yours, with kindest regards,

John Francies, Warden.

[page iii]


A Brief History

Under the provisions of an Act of Assembly approved Third of March, 1818, it was provided that two penitentiaries should be erected by the State as follows:

1. A penitentiary, on the principle of solitary confinement for the convicts as the same is or hereafter may be established by law, shall be located on the public land adjoining the Town of Allegheny in the County of Allegheny.

2. A State penitentiary shall be constructed on the plan exhibited to the Legislature by the Inspectors of the prison of the City and County of Philadelphia.

3. A State penitentiary capable of holding two hundred and fifty prisoners, on the principle of solitary confinement for the convicts, as the same is or hereafter may be established by law, shall be located within the limits of the City or County of Philadelphia.

4. A State penitentiary shall be constructed on the plan of the penitentiary at Pittsburgh, subject to such alterations and improvements as the said Commissioners or a majority of them may, from time to time, with the approbation of the Governor, approve and direct. * * * *

An old and valuable book in your possession entitled, "Proceedings of the Commissioners appointed by the Select and Common Councils of the City of Pittsburgh, in pursuance of an Act of Assembly passed the Third day of March, A. D., 1818, entitled, An Act to provide for the erection of a State penitentiary," contains much of interest relative to the early history of this prison.

page 97


The Commissioners appointed as aforesaid met May 20th, 1818, for the purpose of entering upon the duties of their appointments. There were present : James Ross, Walter Lowrie, David Evans and George Stevenson. The Commissioners, having procured a draft of the Town of Allegheny and a plan of the penitentiary, and having, with the aid of James Semple as a surveyor, examined the ground, came to the following resolution, to wit: Resolved, That the site of the penitentiary be fixed north of the extended course of the main street leading through the center of the Town of Allegheny from east to west, beginning at a distance of fifty feet from the western boundary of said town, and extended northwardly from the parallel of the said mentioned street to a ravine running westwardly through an enclosure now occupied by James Ferguson, and to embrace ground westwardly to said boundary, as may be hereafter assigned by said Commissioners, containing about ten acres.

Magnus M. Murray was elected Clerk of the Commissioners, and Stephen Hills, of Harrisburg, was appointed Superintendent of Construction, the latter at a salary of $5.00 per day.

The main building was directed to be placed fronting on the road to Beaver, and a portion of the ground enclosed with a fence, and it may be here remarked that the remainder of the ground was in l840, by an Act of Assembly, revested and restored to its original use as part and parcel of the common ground belonging to the Borough of Allegheny; but the citizens demurred to further extension and a riotous mob tore down all the fence beyond the wall line and the Prison Board thereafter abandoned any attempt to keep it, otherwise the grounds would have extended from Sherman Avenue to the Ft. Wayne Railroad.

On July 1st, 1826, all of the buildings then completed were transferred to the Board of Inspectors and on November 22nd,

page 98


1827, having completed its work, the Board of Commissioners dissolved.

In the final report to the Governor it is stated that the cost of the buildings erected under their supervision was $165,846.28, leaving unexpended a balance of $13,074.72, not drawn from the State Treasury.

The method of confinement in solitude proved most unsatisfactory and an agitation followed, resulting in the passage of an Act approved April 23rd, 1829, which provided for separate or solitary confinement at labor in the cells or work yards of said prison, and to give substantial and wholesome food of coarse quality sufficient for the healthful support of life, and to furnish with clothing suitable to their situation at the discretion of the Inspectors of each prison. So far as the Western Penitentiary is concerned, this was changed by an Act of April 8th, 1869. which provides that the Inspectors of the Western Penitentiary be and hereby are authorized at their discretion, to have the convicts of said Western Penitentiary, or any portion or portions of them, congregated for the purpose of labor, learning and religious services.

In the same year, by an Act of May 21st, 1869, a commutation law was enacted, granting a deduction of sentence for good conduct. This has been amended by an Act of May 11th, 1901, granting an increase in the amount of commutation.

The seventy-six cells originally constructed were inadequate even for the limited population, so were entirely removed and in 1834 the center block in the old prison was erected. Of this John Haviland was the architect, and from this time forward it may be said that the prison population has grown faster than its accommodations.

The system of labor introduced was mainly weaving on hand looms, one for each cell, and shoemaking, in which the work

page 99


bench was at once the place of labor and chair of the cell. The population being nearly all employed from 1844 to 1854, the prison was self-sustaining, except State appropriations for officers' salaries.

In 1859 the prison walls were extended to Montgomery Avenue and then an additional block was erected, which in August, 1863, was first occupied by the 118 Rebel Officers captured in the Morgan Raid, who remained there until their removal in 1864. After the close of the Civil War the prison population rapidly and largely increased and it being impossible to furnish employment in the cells, some small shops were established in the large cells in the center block.

In 1869 a commodious chapel was erected. Hitherto religious services had been held in the prison blocks. Shortly after this a small wash-house was erected adjoining the chapel and in the second story of this building a shoe shop was constructed and 85 men were employed therein. For their labor the prison received 50 cents per day per man. Labor in the cells had not been remunerative for many years and quoting an old report, "the gain has not been to the institution, but to the convict as a relief to fill up the measure of his time."

The Legislature was asked in 1874 to appropriate $15,000.00 for the erection of a work-shop. This was granted and a shop was erected this year in the old prison garden. It was a twostory brick structure 48 feet wide and 200 feet long divided into six large rooms or shops. In these shops broommaking, shoemaking and marble polishing contracts were established. The earnings from August, 1874, to December 31st, 1877, amounted to $127,712.33.

In 1875 a new sewer was built from the prison to the Allegheny River, a portion of the old sewer built in 1836 having caved in at various points.

page 100


In a report of 1877 the Inspectors stated: "While this Penitentiary is ample and sufficient to hold and accommodate a population of from 400 to 500 prisoners, it is altogether inadequate in its proportions for a family of from 800 to 900 convicts. Just now many of our cells intended for one are doubled, tripled and quadrupled in occupancy. In the bracing winter weather this crowding of men may be endured, but when the hot summer days and nights overtake us we shudder for the consequences. Disease, epidemic and death must of necessity follow."

"We look around for relief and find that nowhere can it be found so promptly and satisfactorily as in pressing our idea of last year for the appropriation, by the State, of the House of Refuge grounds in the Ninth Ward, Allegheny, not now as an annex to this building, but as the site of a new, enlarged and capacious Western State Penitentiary Building.**** And to this end we go to the Legislature for authority and means to carry out this project. Much of the labor required to put up this new structure can be performed by the convicts and much of the material required can be removed from time to time from the present building. Working from the start on a thoroughly prepared plan, any desired part of the new edifice may be completed for occupancy at intervals; so that when the whole is done we shall have a building perfect in all its proportions."

On the 14th day of May, 1878, an Act was passed by the Legislature authorizing the Governor of Pennsylvania to acquire the former property of the House of Refuge now styed the Pennsylvania Reform School, for the use and occupancy of the Western Penitentiary. This Act was, approved by the Governor on the 12th day of June, 1878, and it then became a law. The Inspectors took formal possession of the property the 30th day of September, 1878. A temporary prison was established and from time to time the convicts were removed but the old

page 101


buildings were not totally abandoned until the spring of 1885, so that in reality two prisons existed from December, 1878, until that time.

In 1879 the Inspectors stated: "The transfer of the House of Refuge property at Woods Run to the State for the use of the Penitentiary has been most propitious to this institution. It is a matter of wonder to us 'how many old coats we have turned and made them as good as new' out of the multiplicity of buildings, material, machinery, etc., which we have found and assembled on these premises."

In connection with the report for 1884, details of the plans for the new buildings and prints of the same gave a good idea of the character of the work intended, but as it proved impossible to secure sufficient funds the work of building was continued spasmodically for 17 years before it was considered finished; yet, since that time the expense of introduction of natural gas, electric light and power plant and water works, by which the prison is supplied from driven wells, attest that the work was sadly incomplete.

By a change to associated labor it became practicable to establish a system of over-work and for many years the charges upon the counties for support, aside from the largely increased number of prisoners, were considered most satisfactory. A table showing the charges per day per man follows:

page 102


          Year.	  Cents.	Year.  Cents.
          1870	  21 3/4	1890   22 
          1871	  22 3/4  	1891   27
          1872	  24		1892   27  
          1873	  31		1893   28
          1874	  13 1/4	1894   28
          1875	  10		1895   23  
          1876	   8		1896   22
          1877	   6		1897   22 
          1878	   4		1898   28
          1879     4		1899   25
          1880	   6		1900   26
          1881	   9		1901   29
          1882    12            1902   32
          1883	  12		1903   24 4-5
          1884	  12		1904   20 1/2
          1885	  14		1905   18 1/4
          1886	  15		1906   16 5-9
          1887	  20		1907   20 5-6 
          1888	  24		1908   21 1/4
          1889	  24

The following is a table showing the amount of overwork for 19 years beginning 1870 and ending 1888, in which year the overwork in the prison ceased:

          1870..............$     992.87 
          1871..............      629.61 
          1872..............      513.63
          1873..............    1,408.81 
          1874..............    1,108.72 
          1875..............    1,653.73    
          1876..............    2,027.60    
          1877..............    2,772.55 
          1878..............    2,483.79 
          1879..............    4,475.37 

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          1880..............    7,540.99 
          1881..............   14,391.91
          1882..............   11,688.22 
          1883..............   17,418.49
          1884..............   19,567.78 
          1885..............   16,160.90
          1886..............   17,640.33
          1887 .............   15,551.78
          1888..............    6,814.61

              Total ........ $144,841.75

The following is a table showing the income from all sources from 1870 to 1908, inclusive:

           1870.............  $14,590.94 
	   1871.............   17,468.22
           1872.............   15,979.71
           1873.............   16,545.13
           1874.............   31,186.50
           1875.............   46,332.08
           1876.............   55,022.48
           1877.............   58,910.14
           1878.............   51,827.57
           1879.............   67,784.95
           1880.............   69,957.78
           1881.............   64,260.14
           1882.............   63,520.87
           1883.............   71,357.87
           1884.............   69,924.14
           1885.............   63,687.69
           1886.............   62,748.19
           1887.............   58,173.90
           1888.............   32,749.45
           1889.............   36,487.78
           1890.............   42,567.10  

page 104


           1891.............   42,629.09
           1892.............   59,965.59
           1893.............   47,995.42
           1894.............   55,002.50
           1895.............   71,059.02
           1896.............   74,401.25
           1897.............   72,305.01
           1898.............   37,085.40
           1899.............   33,466.58
           1900.............   32,486.75
           1901.............   32,112.45
           1902.............   23,715.70
           1903.............   34,625.50
           1904.............   39,839.54
           1905.............   30,192.37
           1906.............   33,317.83
           1907.............   31,516.98
           1908.............   28,084.75

The Overwork of the prisoners enabled many to render substantial aid to their families and for several years the payment of overwork on the tenth of each month to the families of the prisoners was alike interesting and gratifying. The abolition of contract labor in 1883 and the later act prohibiting the use of power machinery, notably Act of the 18th of June, 1897, limiting the number to be employed on productive industries, sadly changed these conditions.

In the new prison many prisoners, for many years, rendered satisfactory services in the construction of iron cell doors and windows and doors of the blocks, besides putting down concrete basement floors, etc. For their labor no charge was made to the State.

The prohibition of the use of power machinery and limitation of numbers in recent years has sadly crippled the prison

page 105


and yet the late Colonel Carrol D. Wright, Commissioner of Labor, stated in one of his reports that "if all the prisoners (then in the prisons within the United States) were placed at shoemaking, its net results would not increase the cost of shoes one-fourth of a cent per pair," and for manifest reasons hand labor can not compete with power machinery.

When it is considered that 540 cells at Riverside are all five feet wide by seven feet long and 600 cells are seven feet wide by eight feet long, the height of the cells varying from eight and one-half feet to ten feet in the clear, it is manifest that constant confinement within such limits as a sad departure from the original intention. In 1878 the plans for the new buildings were submitted to the Legislature and it was distinctly stated at a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives when the President of the Board and the Warden of the prison addressed the session, that the cells were so designed with the belief that the recent law permitting associated labor would be continued and at that time they were larger than any prison cells in the country. Since then the Federal Prisons at Leavenworth and Atlanta contain cells larger and wider.

The Board of Inspectors and Warden would favor many other changes if they were to spend a day of [sic] two in visiting the Federal Prison at Leavenworth.

As directed by an Act of Assembly approved July 2nd, 1895, the cost of and brief history of the various Penal and Charitable Institutions of Pennsylvania was compiled by Alexander K. Pedrick, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Commission on Convict Labor, under the direction of Amos H. Mylin, Auditor General of Pennsylvania, and published in 1896. The sketch of the Western Penitentiary therein deserves careful perusal. A brief extract may profitably be included in this paper: "Without caring to do more than shall suffice to recall olden time treat-

page 106


ment, with its tinges of barbarism, that the continued efforts of humanitarians from the days of Howard in 1776 have striven to change, until now it may be well to reflect on the results of recent beneficent legislation."

"From the entrance of a convicted criminal upon penal servitude until he is discharged, he is now encouraged by the State to enter upon the work of reformation which has ever been held the primary object to be achieved while paying the penalty of imprisonment for violation of the law. In this person, features of classification help to build up self-respect and a notable reduction in sentence given as a reward for good behavior. Many educational, moral and reformatory results are now realized from the School, the Library, and by the steady, earnest and devoted work of the Chaplain."

"Looking backward from the experience of the past quarter of a century, it is remembered that many former prisoners have become useful and honorable men, resuming and regaining lost citizenship, for it is peculiar to this State that a proper endurance of imprisonment shall have the effect of a pardon."

"In the work of control and management of the Western Penitentiary, many leading citizens and eminent gentlemen have, at different eras, contributed their time and talents, notably: Colonel James Anderson, General J. K. Moorhead, Judge Wilson McCandless, Theodore H. Nevin, Ormsby Phillips, James Marshall, George A. Kelly and James R. Reed, all connected with the Prison for many years. The Prison is considered by those familiar with its merits as an admirable type of modern prison architecture and in its details of treatment, labor and reformatory results, it certainly stands very high among the correctional institutions of the country."

Among the Inspectors it may be noted that Colonel James Anderson was an Inspector for 23 years, Theodore H. Nevin for 20 years and George A. Kelly for 30 years.

page 107


The Wardens have been nine in number: John Hannan served from 1826 to 1829, John Patterson thence to 1836, Armistead Beckham from 1836 to 1858, John Birmingham thence to 1864, Hugh Campbell from 1864 to 1867, George A. Shallenberger in 1868, Edward S. Wright from 1869 to close of 1901, Wm. McC. Johnston thence to July, 1909, and John Francies since that time.

The position of Moral Instructor, now called Chaplain, was established in 1838. Six persons have held the position: Of these, Rev. Andrew W. Black from 1844 to 1853, Rev. Thomas Crumpton from 1854 to 1869, Rev. John L. Milligan from 1869 to 1909, and Rev. Charles M. Miller since that date.

As a matter of historical interest, 2 roll of all the superior officers of the Penitentiary from 1826 was made a part of the report for 1879. Believing it would be of interest to the descendants of all connected with the Prison, the list has been completed to date, as herewith submitted:

			     Inspectors
          Appointed                              Retired
            1826          John Darragh            1828
             "            William McCandless       "   
             "            John Hannen             1826
             "            Hugh Davis              1829
             "            William Robinson, Jr.   1829
             "            William Leeky            "
             "            Charles Avery           1827
             "            John S. Riddle          1828
             "            Alex. Brackenridge      1829
             "            Neville B. Craig         "
            1827          Morris B. Lowry          "
            1828          William Woods            "
             "            John Snyder              "
             "            James S. Craft           "
            1829          James Adams              "         

page 108


                             Inspectors
          Appointed                              Retired
            1829          John Irwin              1829
             "            Richard Gray             "
             "            Robert Christy           "
             "            Robert Stewart           "
             "            Joseph Patterson        1830
             "            John McDonald           1831
             "            James Ross              Declined
             "            John Irwin              1842
             "            William Wilkins         1832
            1830          Wm. Robinson, Jr.       1853
             "            William Hays            1832
            1831          Benj. Darlington        1842
            1832          James Anderson          1853
             "            James Brown             1834
            1834          William Lecky           1853
            1843          Wilson McCandless       1859
             "            J. K. Moorhead           "
            1853          David Campbell           "
             "            Samuel Jones             "
             "            Rody Patterson           "
            1859          William M. Edgar         "
             "            George W. Cass           "
             "            Hopewell Hepburn        1860
             "            Wm. H. Smith            1864
             "            James Anderson          1861
             "            J. H. Shoenberger       1865
             1860         Christopher Zug         1864
             1861         James P. Barr            "
             1863         J. R. McClintock        1865
             1864         James B. Lyon           1867
              "           James Marshall          1869
              "           Theodore H. Nevin       1884
             1865         John Birmingham         1866
              "           Walter H. Lowrie        Declined
             1866         George R. White         1868
              "           R. H. Davis              " 

page 109


                             Inspectors
          Appointed                              Retired
            1867          Ormsby Phillips         1884
            1868          James H. Parker         1869 
             "            James A. Lowrie         1872
            1869          Robert H. Davis         1881
             "            John Dean               1884
            1872          George A. Kelly         1902
            1881          William Harbaugh        1883
            1883          T. D. Casey             1887
             "            A. L. Robinson           "
             "            James McCutcheon        1905
            1884          James R. Reed           1908
            1887          John S. Slagle          1891
             "            Wm. F. Trimble           "
            1891          T. D. Casey             1895
             "            J. Presly Fleming        "
            1895          Charles F. Nevin        1902
             "            James S. McKean         1900
             "            David B. Oliver         1908
            1900          William J. Diehl         
            1902          William N. Kerr
             "            David L. Gillespie
            1908          Charles A. Rook
             "            William J. Langfitt                 

Messrs. Parker, Oliver and the present Board are all now living of the foregoing list.

                             Presidents
          Appointed                              Retired
            1826          John Darragh            1828
            1829          Alex. Brackenridge      1829
             "            James S. Craft           "
             "            John McDonald           1831
            1831          Benj. Darlington        1838
            1838          James Anderson          1853
            1853          Wilson McCandless       1859          

page 110


                             Presidents
          Appointed                              Retired
            1859          J. K. Moorhead          1859
             "            George W. Cass          1862
             1863         Wm. H. Smith            1863
             1864         J. H. Shoenberger       1864
             1865         James B. Lyon           1866
             1867         R. H. Davis             1867
             1867         Theodore H. Nevin       1884               
             1884         Ormsby Phillips         1884
             1884         George A. Kelly         1902
             1902         David B. Oliver         1908
             1908         William J. Diehl

                             Treasurers
          Appointed                              Retired
            1826          Hugh Davis              1829
            1829          John Snyder              "
             "            John Irwin              1842
            1843          J. K. Moorhead          1854
            1855          Samuel Jones            1858
            1859          Hopewell Hepburn        1859
            1860          Christopher Zug         1864
            1864          James Marshall          1869
            1869          Robert H. Davis         1879
            1879          George A. Kelly         1884
            1884          James McCutcheon        1895
            1895          James R. Reed           1908
            1908          William N. Kerr

                             Secretaries
          Appointed                              Retired
            1826          A. Brackenridge         1828
            1828          James S. Craft          1829
             "            John Irwin              1829
             "            William Wilkins         1831
            1831          William Robinson, Jr.   1853
            1853          Hopewell Hepburn        1859

page 111


                             Secretaries
          Appointed                              Retired 
            1859          Wm. H. Smith             1862
            1863          James P. Barr            1863 
            1864          Theodore H. Nevin        1867
            1867          Ormsby Phillips          1884
            1884          T. D. Casey              1887
            1887          James R. Reed            1895
            1895          Charles F. Nevin         1902
            1902          William J. Diehl         1908
            1908          William J. Langfitt

                             Wardens
          Appointed                              Retired
            1826          John Hannen              1829
            1829          John Patterson           1836
            1836          Armistead Beckham        1858
            1858          John Birmingham          1864
            1865          Hugh Campbell            1868
            1868          G. A. Shallenberger      1869
            1869          Edward S. Wright         1901
            1901          Wm. McC. Johnston        1909
            1909          John Francies

                             Deputy Wardens
          Appointed                              Retired              
            1868          Wm. S. Shallenberger     1869
            1869          Hugh S. McKean           1895
            1895          Benjamin Greaves         1902
            1902          John H. Corbett          1908
            1908          Edward Coslett

                             Physicians
          Appointed                              Retired
            1826          Wm. H. Denny             1835
            1826          Wm. F. Irwin             1830
            1835          Wm. F. Irwin             1842
            1843          J. H. Smith              1844
            1845          Thos. F. Dale            1853
            1854          A. M. Pollock            1859
            1860          Julian Rogers            1864
            1865          D. N. Rankin             1900

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                           Resident Physicians
          Appointed                              Retired 
            1891          H. L. Walker             1892
            1892          D. C. Boyce              1899
            1899          O. J. Bennett            1909
            1908          S. F. Hogsett            1909
            1909          R. L. Anderson

                             Chaplains
          Appointed                              Retired       
            1838          E. Macurdy               1841
            1842          Noah Callender           1843
            1844          Andrew W. Black          1853
            1854          Thomas Crumpton          1869
            1869          J. L. Milligan           1909
            1909          Charles M. Miller

                             Clerks
          Appointed                              Retired
            1826          Thomas Baird             1829
            1829          Aaron Williams           1830
            1830          A. D. Pollock            1832
            1832          James Wilson             1833
            1833          H. Newcomb               1834
            1833          John Newton              1834
            1834          Jos. S. Travelli         1836
            1836          William Staunton         1838
            1838          Jacob Stroup             1839
            1840          James Alexander          1865
            1865          John Miller              1882
            1883          A. F. Sawhill            1890
            1890          J. Milton Ray            1897
            1897          Richard C. Rankin       

                   Manager Manufacturing Industries
          Appointed                              Retired 
            1892          A. F. Sawhill            1897
            1897          J. Milton Ray            1909
            1909          Wm. Astley

                             Teacher
          Appointed                              Retired      
            1872          Joseph S. Travelli       1882 

page 113


Since that time Officer Robert H. Graham has been detailed as Teacher, but for two years past the School has not been maintained as steadily as in its earlier years.

The Eastern Penitentiary has always been conducted under the law of 1829, providing for solitary confinement or separate confinement at hard labor, and Richard Vaux said from its opening to 1849 was the epoch of "experiment" and after that as one of "development and progress." All of its Board of Inspectors stoutly upheld its peculiar features of discipline and from time to time increased its accommodations, but not fast enough to comply with the law so far as separation was directed. At last, in 1904, the Inspectors said of separation: "It is an impossibility with the conditions existing in this Institution. The Board is of the opinion that if this law was changed, making the sentence 'That one or not less than three convicts be confined in one cell,' the public would be much benefited by the bettered condition, both morally and physically, of the convicts on their release from the Penitentiary."

In the report for 1908 there is much of interest to you in confirmation of the foregoing paragraph, "Practically a pioneer in the field of Penology, it has steadily developed the principles of its foundation and enlarged their scope."

"Limited by the law in the compass of its operations, every effort has been made to provide healthy and remunerative employment." *** We have begun the employment of skilled workmen to take charge of the various mechanical pursuits within the walls, thus giving the opportunity of helping our people to become fully equipped in their respective trades."

"It is our settled conviction that it is the duty and the interest of the State to provide steady employment for its prisoners of such a character as shall conduce to a trained ability to follow a remunerative calling in the future. *** To

page 114


this end some modification of the law governing convict labor as it now stands would be wise, humane and just."

Deprecating enlargement of the present institution for disciplinary, hygienic and other reasons, a third penitentiary in the center of the State and a separate penitentiary for female convicts is recommended, but this seems to have been disregarded, for the Legislature appropriated funds to build an additional cell block this year.

When it is recalled that 30 years ago, when the Western Penitentiary commenced to erect its buildings at Riverside, the State commenced the building of the Industrial Reformatory at Huntingdon, and 10 years later, or to be accurate, on February 15th, 1889, the Reformatory was opened; and since that date to December 31st, 1908, it has received 6,528 prisoners.

Despite the relief given by the Reformatory, at the time this paper is written there are more convicts in the three State Institutions than at any previous period, and so it has ever been; the wave of crime ebbs and flows with financial crises. The only way to properly repel such a heavy charge upon the taxpayers of the State, it seems to me, is to train the convicts in prison that they may be able to lawfully support themselves when free, whether the methods be producing labor sold in open market, State use account where clothing, shoes, furniture or other supplies needed by the other State Institutions are made on orders given by a central authority, as in New York, or a properly equipped Trades School, as at Huntingdon, or better, let it be modeled on our city's pride, the Carnegie Technical Schools. And if the man so trained relapses into crime make his punishment to fit the crime.

Having spent many anxious days planning relief from excess in numbers with limited accommodations, just as you have now, I wish to say my idea would be to erect a building for men

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fitted to be associated, one story high, occupied and controlled like a barrack in the regular army, retrograde to cells for breaches of regulations. Do a little of the trusting yourselves instead of discharging from cellular confinement with a very small gratuity, shabby clothing and a Goodby, and then wonder why the poor fellow cannot get work. Do we believe in our hearts that all possible has been done for him? Let the State do part of the preparation for an honest life. Silence in prison is generally supposed to be proper discipline, yet some prisons permit a five-minute conversation at the close of each meal. Your Music Hour has long ago proved valuable as a change and relief to the nerves. Try, by the help of an officer, to have charge as Physical Instructor, to start setting up exercises as a part of an enlarged Prison School Education; it might be helpful, very helpful, and like the Music Hour be made a permanent feature. The Eastern Penitentiary is trying it and I hope the next Legislative Session in 1911 may pass an act giving all the State Penal Institutions authority to do so.

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