Texas Legislature, House of Representatives, Committee to Investigate the Retrieve Prison Farm:
An Inventory of the House of Representatives Committee to Investigate the Retrieve Prison Farm Report at the Texas State Archives, 1935
The Texas House of Representatives Committee to Investigate the Retrieve Prison Farm was formed (House Simple Resolution 121, 44th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 1935) to investigate charges of brutality at the Retrieve Prison Farm. Allegedly, inmates at this prison farm had been subjected to such brutal treatment that they had mutilated themselves in order to escape further punishment.
The committee visited the Brazoria County farm and heard testimony from convicts, guards, and prison officials. In their report to the House, the committee found that over twenty convicts had maimed themselves in separate incidents in the previous year but that no single cause could be blamed. The committee did identify such factors as a desire to avoid work in the fields, agitation by other convicts, and mistreatment by some of the guards as reasons for the self-mutilation. The committee ended their report by recommending that convicts be segregated by the seriousness of their crimes and urged a more humanitarian approach in the overall treament of prison inmates. The Retrieve Prison Farm later became the Wayne Scott Unit within the Correctional Institutions Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
(Sources include: the guide survey completed for this material.)
The Texas House of Representatives Committee to Investigate the Retrieve Prison Farm was formed in 1935 to investigate charges of brutality resulting in prisoner self-mutilation at the Retrieve Prison Farm in Brazoria County. Records of the committee consist of a six-page typescript report submitted by the committee to the House. The report is dated May 6, 1935 and has the original signatures of the committee members.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
Restrictions on Access
Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.
Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
(Identify the item), House of Representatives Committee to Investigate the Retrieve Prison Farm report, Texas Legislature. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 1988/070
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Secretary of State (State Department) between 1938 and 1940, according to the Biennial Report (1938-1940) of the Texas Library and Historical Commission. An accession number was assigned on January 21, 1988.
Guide survey information compiled by Paul Beck, December 1987
Finding aid encoded in EAD Version 2002 as part of the TARO project by Rebecca Romanchuk, March 2012
Detailed Description of the Records