Texas State Library and Archives Commission

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



Overview

Creator: Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Committee to Investigate the Retrieve Prison Farm.
Title: House of Representatives Committee to Investigate the Retrieve Prison Farm report
Dates: 1935
Abstract: 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.
Quantity: fractional
Language: These materials are written in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

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.)


Scope and Contents of the Records

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.


 

Arrangement of the Records

These records consist of a single report.

Restrictions

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.).

Technical Requirements

None.


Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Corporate Names:
Retrieve State Farm (Tex.)
Subjects:
Convict labor--Texas.
Prisoners--Texas.
Prisons--Texas--Brazoria County.
Prisons--Texas--Officials and employees.
Places:
Brazoria County (Tex.)
Texas--Governmental investigations.
Document Types:
Reports--Texas--Governmental investigations--1935.
Functions:
Administering governmental investigations.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Records relating to the Penitentiary, 1846-1921, undated, 87.85 cubic ft.
Texas Governor O. B. Colquitt, Records, 1905-1915, bulk 1910-1915, 66.29 cubic ft. [Includes file for Board of Prison Commissioners, Penitentiary Investigatory Committee, 1913.]
Texas Legislature, House of Representatives, Committee on Penitentiaries, Special Subcommittee to Visit State Penitentiary, Records, 1876, fractional
Texas Legislature, Joint Committee of Investigation into the Prison Commission and Lease of Blue Ridge Farm, Proceedings and testimony, 1919, 0.3 cubic ft.
Texas Legislature, Joint Committee on the Penitentiary, Records, 1863, 0.15 cubic ft.
Texas Legislature, Joint Committee to Investigate the State Penitentiary System, Proceedings, 1925, 0.75 cubic ft.
Texas Legislature, Joint Committee to Visit the State Penitentiary, Records, 1887, fractional
Texas Legislature, Joint Penitentiary Investigating Committee, Records, 1920-1921, bulk 1921, 0.75 cubic ft.
Texas Legislature, Senate Penitentiary Investigating Committee, Reports and proceedings, 1915, 0.4 cubic ft.
Texas Prison Centralization Commission, Enabling legislation and report, 1929, fractional
Publications
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Journal of the House of Representatives of the state of Texas, 44th Legislature. Austin: Standard Office, 1935.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(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 Information

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.

Processing Information

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

 

House of Representatives Committee to Investigate the Retrieve Prison Farm report, 1935,
fractional

Box
1988/065 Report, 1935