Decisive Decade in the History of the Elmira Reformatory (1867-1877)

Author: Hinkle, William G.
Year:2012
Pages:520
ISBN:0-7734-2579-9
978-0-7734-2579-8
Price:299.95
The Elmira Reformatory was without question the first prison in American penal history to employ the indeterminate sentence, good-time, and parole. For that distinction alone, Elmira represented a sea change in penal philosophy and practice. However, the Elmira Reformatory also lays claim to the first attempt in penal history to institute prison educational and vocational programs in a systematic fashion. The reformatory system at Elmira, distinctively so-called, was based on three great moving or controlling influences – labor, conduct, and education. According to its insightful founders, “if these influences were placed in the order most significantly to illustrate their powers over men upon whom they operated, they would stand in this relation to each other: Education, conduct and labor.” The factor that in most cases transformed men from hopeless felons to a comprehension of the possibilities of release and success in free society was the school room. Naturally following this perception and expansion of intellectual activity, came obedience to the rules, improved demeanor, and successful performance at work. In a word, the educational features of the Elmira system constituted the ground-work of the process of reformation. To it, all else was subservient, without it, expectation of improvement and reformation could not be reasonably entertained. Notwithstanding the late 19th century and early 20th century criticism of pathological reform, the educational program represents Elmira’s real legacy, and contribution to the evolution of penology.

Reviews

“The story of Elmira Reformatory provides us with a blueprint for correctional strategies that actually worked, all things considered.” – Prof. Johnny Jackson, Indiana State Prison

“[The authors] make clear the differences between “reform” and “rehabilitation” and how each have been used in American correctional philosophy, plus the role of education.” – Prof. Paul A. Magro, Ball State University

Table of Contents

Foreword

Acknowledgements

Introduction

Chapter 1: Edward Livingston and the Case for a Reformatory System of Prison Discipline

Chapter 2: 1867 Survey of Prisons and Reformatories of the United States

Chapter 3: Zebulon Brockway: An Innovator in Penology

Chapter 4: Transactions of the National Congress on Penitentiary and Reformatory Prison Discipline: Adult Offenders (1870)

Chapter 5: Transactions of the National Congress on Penitentiary and Reformatory Prison Discipline: Juvenile Offenders (1870)

Chapter 6: Transactions of the National Congress on Penitentiary and Reformatory Prison Discipline: Post-Proceedings and Discussions

Chapter 7: Nineteenth-Century Thought on Reform and the Work of Charles Loring Brace

Chapter 8: The Establishment of the Elmira Reformatory (1867 to 1870)

Chapter 9: The First Building Commission (April 26, 1870 to April 3, 1872)

Chapter 10: The Second Building Commission (May 15, 1872 to May 29, 1873)

Chapter 11: The Third Building Commission (May 29, 1873 to May 5, 1874)

Chapter 12: Chapter 323 of the Laws of 1874

Chapter 13: Annual Report of the Board of Managers at Elmira (1876)

Chapter 14: Annual Report of the Board of Managers at Elmira (1877)

Chapter 15: Chapter Prison Labor in the State of New York (1796-1876)

Appendix

Bibliography

Index