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increase came in the last four years, due to the antinarcotic, espionage, and prohibition laws?
Mr. Votaw. That statement was made at the last hearing.
Mr. FOSTER. Sixty per cent of the increase in the last four years resulted from those crimes.
The CHAIRMAN. Will your figures show, Mr. Votaw, to what extent the establishment of this reformatory covering prisoners between the ages of 17 and 30 years would relieve the present crowded condition of the penitentiaries?
Mr. Votaw. I could not give the figures, Mr. Chairman, covering that. If we were successful in securing a place where there were some buildings where we could take men of the trusted class, men who have shown by their conduct while in prison that they might be trusted in some sort of temporary quarters while the new building was being erected.
Mr. FOSTER. Last year there were some 1,800 eligible under this, first offenders, excluding the four or five common law crimes, that were within these ages.
Mr. VOTAW. Yes, sir.
Mr. FOSTER. And your idea was to get $100,000 or $150,000 a year over a 10-year period and to have it built by prison labor?
Mr. Votaw. Yes, sir.
Mr. FOSTER. So it would perhaps work up to over $900,000 for a 10-year period?
Mr. Votaw. Yes.
Mr. FOSTER. First offenders, excluding the crimes of murder, arson, rape, etc.?
Mr. Votów. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. After all, Mr. Foster, I suppose it is not a question of how much it would relieve the present crowded condition of the penitentiaries, but the question is whether the measure is one that would commend itself anyway?
Mr. FOSTER. Yes.
Mr. Votaw. Mr. Chairman, for instance, on the 21st of January, 1923, we had in the three Federal penitentiaries 5,185 men, and in the hearings at the last Congress I brought out clearly that this crowded our three penitentiaries. They were not intended to take care of that many.
On January 8, 1924, we had 5,558 men, an increase of almost 400 men, and in relieving the situation that had existed in the penitentiary at Leavenworth—I might digress to say that we had at one time 2,700 men there—we transferred through the disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth, with the assistance of the War Department, 251 men, so that we would have had 5,800 men on the 8th of January, 1924—perhaps I should qualify that by allowing 100 to go out we would have had 5,700 men in the penitentiary on the 8th of January, 1924, as compared with 5,185 on January 31, 1923, and there were 67,000 criminal cases pending in courts on the 30th of last June.
The CHAIRMAN. Unless there is objection, Mr. Votaw's statistics will be included in the hearings.
(Mr. Votaw submitted the following statement :) Average daily population, three Federal penitentiaries : Leavenworth1912
1, 711 1922
2, 242 1923
2, 473 Atlanta1912
1, 830 1922
2, 372 M¢Neil Island 1912
478 In prison at close of fiscal year: Leavenworth1921
1, 907 1922
2, 671 1923
2, 306 Atlanta1921
2, 091 1922
2, 334 1923
2, 633 McNeil Island1921
535 1923 Average population of the three Federal penitentiaries, the normal capacity of which institutions is 4,935: June 30, 1922.-
5, 540 June 30, 1923
5, 616 November 18, 1922.
5, 168 November 18, 1923.
5, 227 January 31, 1923.
5, 185 January 8, 1924.
5, 558 Number of military prisoners transferred to disciplinary barracks during 1923
251 Mr. FOSTER. I was just going to say for the benefit of some of the new members who were not here last year, is it not a fact that the testimony shows that in the Federal and State prisons in this country each year there are discharged 500,000?
Mr. Votaw. That is so.
Mr. Foster. That gives you an idea of what we are doing in this country along that line.
Mr. HERSEY. I would like to have your reasons, Mr. Votaw, for segregating these men of these ages in one prison?
Mr. Votaw. Well, Mr. Hersey, if you do not emphasize the one place, although I concluded you would rather establish one institution than two-but by getting men of these ages away from the older men it is felt that much more can be done by way of reformative measures. I think that there would hardly need to be any argument in behalf of this, because every State in the Nation, I think, has provided a reformatory for the younger men. took the ages of 17 to 30 because the draft cut there and a good many men are sent to us from court-martials. We might have said 25.
Mr. HERSEY. Most of your State reformatories have the young men stop at 21, do they not?
Mr. l'oraw. I think that is more with the reform schools.
Mr. l'otaw. I have no objection to urge if the committee sees fit to establish 25 instead of 30. I would not object to that, but I feel that the higher age is the better one.
Mr. Foster. May I ask, Mr. Votaw, is the overcrowding of the cells as imminent as it was a year ago?
Mr. Votaw. Mr. Congressman, in view of these figures when we have 2,000 more in the penitentiaries it must be worse.
Mr. FOSTER. How about tuberculosis!
Mr. Voraw. We have at Leavenworth a hospital where we take most of the tubercular cases, but we can not take all the incipient cases there.
Mr. Foster. Last year there was something said about the drug addicts and the trouble you had with those.
Mr. VOTAW. We do have trouble with them, but if we could relieve the congestion in the penitentiaries we could take care of these things you mention in a much better way.
Mr. DYER. Is that true. Mr. Votaw, that a big proportion of those coming to the prisons in the last year or so are due to people being convicted of being addicts?
Mr. Votaw. There is a high per cent; not as many sent to McNeil Island, for some reason. The percentage is not as high there as at the others.
Mr. Dyer. From your experience in the prisons would you say that with the increased benefits from such an institution as this you would be able to turn them out cured, many of them or most of them? Is that a fact?
Mr. Voraw. It is my opinion that we would not get as high a percentage. In fact, I feel confident of it without having the fig. ures to prove it, that we would not get as high a percentage of addicts from the men between the ages of 17 and 30 years as from men above that age, and we would take the young men away from the contact with those who have used it and seek to get others to
Mr. DYER. The only person eligible would be the first offender? Mr. Votaw. That is right.
Mr. Foster. And when a man is in the reformatory for the first time, if he shows symptoms that make him an improper man to be there, you can put him back in one of the other penitentiaries?
Mr. Voraw. Yes.
Mr. W'ELLER. The idea would be to keep this as a real reformatory?
Mr. VOTAW.. Yes.
Mr. WELLET. May I ask is it not a fact that a great many of these men are sentenced for a year or more for misdemeanors and that they are thrown into these Federal prisons with the “hard boiled," and there is no way to segregate them and they are put in with the addicts and the tubercular and that the cells are overcrowded all the time? That is the condition, is it not?
Mr. VOTAW. Yes.
Mr. MICHENER. Have you heard any opposition anywhere to the general principle that we should have a reformatory?
Mr. Votaw. No, sir; I have not heard one objection to it yet.
Mr. MICHENER. The whole question is as to what kind of reformatory, the cost of it, and principally the location of it?
Mr. VoTaw. Yes. I want to say about the location that I still believe Camp Grant would be an excellent place. The facts I presented at the last hearings stand just the same, but since there was opposition to its location there I have felt that I would much rather go into a community where we might expect cooperation instead of opposition. It is hard enough to operate one successfully without having the people of the community opposing it. It makes it hard for the prisoners and for the officials. Any little thing that might be done by a “trusty“ prisoner would be exaggerated if the whole community was opposed to having it there.
Mr. MICHENER. That same logic would apply when the women's reformatory comes up, I suppose!
Mr. Voraw. Yes.
Mr. FOSTER. Is it not a fact, Mr. Votaw, to say that a great number of judges hesitate to sentence young men to the penitentiary when they think they ought to be sentenced because of their necessarily being thrown into this congested condition?
Mr. Votaw. I believe that is true.
Mr. FOSTER. And have not judges stated that throughout the country?
Mr. Voraw. I think that is true.
Mr. HERSEY. I want to ask just one. Outside of the three penitentiaries, Leavenworth, Atlanta, and McNeil Island, has the Government any Federal prisons?
Mr. Votaw. They have some that are operated by the Army. The disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth are used and there are some others. I do not know about the details of them because they do not come under my jurisdiction.
Mr. HERSEY. Have you at Leavenworth, Atlanta, and McNeil Island prisoners that were sent there by the military tribunals during the war?
Mr. Votaw. Yes; mostly long-term men. As I said a moment ago, there have been transferred 251 men from the penitentiary to the disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth and a review board of the Army came to study these men and took those out because they felt they were fitted for such an institution as they were operating, but they did not want to take some of the men convicted of heavier crimes and put them in with young men sentenced for infraction of Army rules, such as they have in the disciplinary barracks.
Mr. MICHENER. So far as you know, Mr. Votaw, there is no disposition to try to put this reformatory at Camp Grant or Mount Weather, is there?
Mr. Voraw. I can not see that the officers that are mentioned in, the bill are trying to put something down that the people do not want, and force it over. I do not think that. I suspect that the Attorney General will ask me—I do not know- if I still think that Mount Weather is a good place.
Mr. MICHENER. The reason I asked that is that you were very insistent the last time and the Attorney General was very insistent that it should go there and that was the proper place for it.
Mr. VOTAW. I still think that.
Mr. MICHENER. That being true and as the Congress last time refused to locate the institution there, I would want to know before I voted to permit the very people who had the locating of it before, whether they would not in reality do the same job now.
Mr. VotAw. I want to qualify what I said last. I said I still think that. I still think that would have relieved a very bad situation and would have been much better than what has been permitted to go on for a year, but now, with larger opportunities before us, I would not pick it out. I picked it out before because there were Government buildings there rotting down and not being used.
We have had women sentenced to long terms in the county jail, and we have had judges who have said that they would not sentence them at all because the county jail was not a proper place to send them. It was not the ideal thing or the thing that I would like to have, but it was the best thing that we knew of then.
Mr. Foster. This is in line with the way the original penitentiaries were selected ?
Mr. Votaw. Yes, sir. Mr. Foster. There is nothing new about it? Mr. Votaw. And the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of War seemed to have no interest at all in any place.
The CHAIRMAN. We have with us Assistant Attorney General Willebrandt and will be glad to hear from her.
STATEMENT OF HON, MABEL W. WILLEBRANDT, ASSISTANT
The CHAIRMAN. If the committee has no objection, we will consider H. R. 685 as well and the remarks will apply to both.
(H. R. 685 is as follows:)
(H. R. 685, Sixty-eighth Congress, first session.]
A BILL For the establishment of a Federal industrial farm for women,
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Attorney General, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of Labor be, and are hereby, authorized and directed to select a site for an industrial farm for the confinement of female pesons above the age of eighteen years convicted of an offense against the United States, including women convicted by consular courts, sentenced to imprisonment for more than one year.
SEC. 2. That upon the selection of an appropriate site, the Attorney General shall submit to Congress an estimate of the cost of purchasing same, together with estimates of the expense necessary to construct the proper buildings thereon. The Attorney General at the same time, and annually thereafter, shall submit estimates in detail for all expenses of maintaining the industrial farm for women, including salaries of all officers and employees.
Sec. 3. That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized, on request of the Attorney General, to cause plans, drawings, designs, specifications, and estimates for the remodeling of the present buildings and the construction of additional buildings, and such appurtenances as may be necessary on said reservation, to be prepared in the office of the Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department, and the work of remodeling and construction of such buildings and appurtenances to be supervised by the field force of that office: Provided, That the proper appropriations for the support and maintenance of the Office of the Supervising Architect be reimbursed for the cost of preparing such plans, drawings, designs, specifications, and estimates for the aforesaid work, and the supervision of the remodeling and construction of said buildings and appurtenances.