« PreviousContinue »
of West Virginia
Letters from Attorney General
LIBRARY CF CONGRESS
DEC 11 1936
DIVISION OF DOCUMENTS
ON THE JUDICIARY
GEORGE S. GRAHAM, Pennsylvania, Chairman. L. C. DYER, Missouri.
J. BANKS KURTZ, Pennsylvania. W. D. BOIES, Iowa.
ROBERT Y. THOMAS, JR., Kentucky. C. A. CHRISTOPHERSON, South Dakota. HATTON W. SUMNERS, Texas. RICHARD YATES, Illinois.
ANDREW J. MONTAGUE, Virginia. IRA G, HERSEY, Maine.
JAMES W. WISE, Georgia. ISRAEL M. FOSTER, Ohio.
JOHN N. TILLMAN, Arkansas. EARL C. MICHENER, Michigan.
FRED H, DOMINICK, South Carolina. ANDREW J. HICKEY, Indiana.
SAMUEL C. MAJOR, Missouri. NATHAN D. PERLMAN, New York,
ROYAL H. WELLER, New York. OSCAR J. LARSON, Minnesota.
PATRICK B. O'SULLIVAN, Connecticut. GUILFORD S. JAMESON, Clerk.
ESTABLISHMENT OF A UNITED STATES INDUSTRIAL
REFORMATORY AND A FEDERAL INDUSTRIAL FARM FOR WOMEN.
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Wednesday, January 9, 1924. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. George S. Graham (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in order.
The attention of the committee is called first to the bill introduced by Mr. Foster, H. R. 2869, a bill for the establishment of a United States industrial reformatory. The bill is printed herewith:
[H. R. 2869, Sixty-eighth Congress, first session.]
A BILL For the establishment of a United States industrial reformatory.
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 War, and the Secretary of the Interior be, and are hereby, authorized and directed to select a site for an industrial reformatory which shall be used for the confinement of male persons between the ages of seventeen and thirty years, who have been or shall be convicted of offenses against the United States, including persons convicted by general courts-martial and consular courts, and sentenced for terms of imprisonment for more than one year, with or without hard labor, and who have not been convicted previously of an offense punishable by imprisonment in a prison, except those convicted of treason, murder in the first or second degree, rape, or arson, and except also those sentenced to life imprisonment: Provided, That it shall be sufficient for the courts to sentence said class of offenders to imprisonment in the penitentiary without specifying the particular penitentiary or the United States industrial reformatory and the imprisonment shall be in such penitentiary or the United States industrial reformatory as the Attorney General shall from time to time designate.
Sec. 2. That upon the selection of an appropriate site the Attorney General shall submit to Congress estimate of the cost of purchasing the same, together with estimates of the expense necessary to construct the proper buildings thereon. For the purpose of construction of such buildings the Attorney General shall employ the labor of such United States prisoners confined in the United States penitentiary, Atlanta, Georgia, the United States penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas, the United States penitentiary, McNeil Island, Washington, and State or Territorial prisons, penitentiaries, or reformatories, who are eligible for confinement in said United States industrial reformatory under the provisions of this act, and who can be used, under proper guard, in the work necessary to construct the buildings. The Attorney General at the same time, and annually thereafter, shall submit estimates in detail for all expenses of maintaining the said industrial reformatory, including salaries of all necessary officers and employees.
SEC. 3. That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized, upon the request of the Attorney General, to cause the plans, drawings, designs, speci. fications, and estimates for the remodeling and construction of the necessary buildings to be prepared in the Office of the Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department, and the work of remodeling and constructing the said buildings to be supervised by the field force of said 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.
SEC. 4. That the control and management of the United States Industrial Reformatory shall be vested in the Attorney General, who shall have power to appoint a superintendent, assistant superintendent, and all other officers necessary for the safe-keeping, care, protection, instruction, and discipline of the inmates.
SEC. 5. That the discipline to be observed in said United States Industrial Reformatory shall be correctional and designed to prevent young offenders from becoming habitual criminals. It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to provide for the instruction of the inmates in the common branches of an English education, and for their training in such trade, industry, or skilled vocation as will enable said inmates, upon release, to obtain self-supporting employment and to become self-reliant members of society. For this purpose the Attorney General shall estabish and maintain a common school and trade schools in said industrial reformatory, and shall have authority to promulgate all such rules and regulations for the government of the officers of said industrial reformatory and the inmates thereof as he may deem proper and necessary.
SEC. 6. That the inmates of the United States industrial reformatory shall be employed only in the production and manufacture of supplies for the United States Government, and particularly in the production of farm and food products for consumption in United States institutions, and in duties necessary for the construction and maintenance of the institution.
SEC. 7. That the Attorney General is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to transfer to the United States industrial reformatory, as accommodations become available, all persons eligible under the terms of this act for continement in said industrial reformatory who are now, or shall hereafter be, confined in the United States Penitentiary, Atlanta, Georgia ; the United States Penitentiary. Leavenworth, Kansas; the United States Penitentiary, McNeil Island, Washington; and State and Territorial prisons, penitentiaries, or reformatories, and who are proper subjects for confinement in said United States industrial reformatory : Provided, That the Attorney General shall not transfer any prisoner who has less than nine months to serve of the term for which he was sentenced. The Attorney General is hereby authorized, in his discretion, at any time to transfer from the United States industrial reformatory to any of the aforesaid United States penitentiaries, or a suitable State or Territorial penitentiary or reformatory, any person who is ineligible for confinement therein under the terms of this act, or any person who is apparently incorrigible, and whose presence in the said United States industrial reformatory is detrimental to the well-being of the institution. Such transfer shall, in the case of the United States penitentiaries and industrial reformatory, be made by the warden or superintendent of the institution from which the transfer is to be made, and in the case of State and Territorial penitentiaries, or reformatories, such transfer shall be made by the United States marshal of the judicial district in which the institution from which the transfer is to be made is located. The actual and necessary expenses of such warden, superintendent, or marshal in making such transfer shall be paid, in the case of transfer from the United States penitentiaries and industrial reformatory, from the appropriation for the maintenance of the particular institution, and, in the case of transfer from State and Territorial penitentiaries, or reformatories, out of the judicial funds.
Sec. 8. That two citizens of the United States of prominence and distinction, who shall be appointed by the President for terms of two and four years, respectively, from the date of the taking effect of this act, the terms of each to be designated by the President, but their successors shall be appointed for terms of four years, except that any person chosen to fill a vacancy shall be appointed only for the unexpired term of the citizen whom he shall succeed, and who shall serve without compensation, shall constitute, together with the Attorney General of the United States, the superintendent of prisons of the Department of Justice, and the superintendent of the United States industrial reformatory, who shall serve without additional compensation, a board of advisers of said reformatory. It shall be the duty of said board to devise ways and means looking to the reestablishment in society of the inmates discharged therefrom, whether by pardon, commutation, parole, or expiration of sentence, particularly with a view of securing suitable and remunerative employment for said discharged inmates: Provided, That the expenses of said board shall be paid out of the appropriation for the maintenance of the reformatory.
Sec. 9. That the inmates of the United States Industrial Reformatory shall be eligible for parole under sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of the act of Congress approved June 25, 1910, being an act to provide for the parole of United States prisoners and for other purposes, which provisions are hereby made to apply to all inmates of said reformatory. Such inmates shall be entitled to commutation allowance for good conduct in accordance with the provisions of the act of Congress approved June 21, 1902, and entitled "An act to regulate commutation for good conduct for United States prisoners," and the acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto.
SEC. 10. That every prisoner when discharged from the United States Industrial Reformatory, shall be furnished with transportation to place of conviction, or place of bona fide residence, or to such other place within the United States as may be authorized by the Attorney General, and he shall also be furnished with suitable clothing and $10 in money.
SEC. 11. That all acts and parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of this act are hereby repealed.
I would say to the committee in this connection that in the last Congress hearings were had upon this subject, which can be referred to in connection with H. R. 12123. Copies of those hearings have been sent to each of the members. In those hearings the general subject of the necessity of having such an institution was advocated almost unanimously, and the only contention was about the location of it. The people of Illinois in the neighborhood of Camp Grant opposed the location of the reformatory at that point. The bill was not reached or acted upon at the last session, so that it comes up de novo now.
Mr. FOSTER. May I say, Mr. Chairman, that the new bill leaves the location entirely to a commission to be composed of the Attorney General, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of War, in line with the method by which the original penitentiaries were located.
Mr. MICHENER. That would be leaving the establishment of the institution where it was left at the last session, the location to be selected by the same people.
Mr. Foster. I think it means just the contrary. Mr. Votaw is here, and I think there was some suggestion that it be put in Ohio. But there is no desire, Mr. Votaw, to put it in Camp Grant, is there?
Mr. Votaw. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. If it is the will of the committee we will hear from Mr. Votaw, the superintendent of prisons.
STATEMENT OF MR. H. H. VOTAW, SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS,
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
you so desire.
Mr. Votaw. I wish to say, Mr. Chairman, that Mrs. Willebrandt, Assistant Attorney General, is here, if there is anything that you want to ask of her.
I take it that there is not any need for us to talk about the necessity of such an institution, as the facts and the figures that were given at the hearings held in the last Congress are true to-day, except that the condition that exists now is more urgent than the condition that faced us then.
I have had prepared a few figures that are right up to date, and I will be glad to have these inserted in the record of this hearing, if
Mr. DYER. May I ask, Mr. Votaw, to what the figures to which you allude make reference!
Mr. Votaw. To the population of the present penitentiaries, showing how crowded they are.
The CHAIRMAN. That is similar to the statement you submitted at the hearings in the last Congress?
Mr. VOTAW. Yes, sir; I refer to some of the same things, but I have borught it up to January 8, 1924.
Mr. DYER. Mr. Votaw, do the figures you have there also show the causes for the recent incarcerations that there have been?
Mr. VotAw. No; I have not take up the nature of the crimes. I have simply taken the sum total.
Mr. DYER. I mean by that are they a class of cases which more than usually would be proper cases for such an institution as that provided for in the proposed legislation?
Mr. Votaw. No; I have not anything to show that. There has been an increase of crime by offenders within the ages contemplated in this bill as being fit to send to a reformatory. Those cases have not been taken out and separated, but that could be done. I would, however, take that up with the wardens of the penitentiaries, and it will take considerable time. But the figures that were shown in the previous hearings set forth pretty clearly the number.
Mr. DYER. Yes; I am acquainted with those, but I thought probably you had additional figures.
Mr. VOTAw. No; I have not the additional figures.
Mr. HERSEY. Mr. Votaw, do these figures show the number between 17 and 30 years of age?
Mr. VOTAW. Yes.
Mr. FOSTER. I think your figures before showed that of the increased number in prison in the last 10 years 60 per cent of that