Texas Legislature, Joint Penitentiary Investigating Committee:
An Inventory of Joint Penitentiary Investigating Committee Records at the Texas State Archives, 1920-1921, bulk 1921
The Texas Joint Penitentiary Investigating Committee was created by Senate Concurrent Resolution 10 (37th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 1921) to investigate reports of cruelty to convicts and mismanagement in the Texas prison system.
The committee made trips to the Huntsville Penitentiary and the farms in the Texas prison system in February and April 1921, taking testimony from convicts, guards, farm managers and other prison officials on the living conditions of the prisoners and the means of discipline and punishment. The committee was especially interested in accounts of abuses and injuries to convicts and also investigated the general business management of the prison system, bookkeeping practices, and several financial deals involving prison officials and private businessmen. The committee submitted its final report to the Senate in July 1921, which included a synopsis of the testimony, findings of fact, and recommendations.
The committee met again in August 1921 to follow the directive of Senate Concurrent Resolution 4 (37th Legislature, 1st Called Session). The resolution asked the committee to investigate the killing of two convicts by prison guards at Eastham Farm in July 1921. The committee formed a subcommittee that heard testimony and presented its own report to the Senate in August 1921.
(Sources include: the guide survey completed for this material.)
The Texas Joint Penitentiary Investigating Committee was created by Senate Concurrent Resolution 10 (37th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 1921) to investigate reports of cruelty to convicts and mismanagement in the Texas prison system. Records of the committee consist of transcripts of testimony, correspondence, and expense reports, 1920-1921, bulk 1921. The transcripts of testimony from the committee's visits to prison farms and Huntsville Prison are in six volumes, though volume five is missing from the set. Transcript of testimony heard in August 1921 in response to an additional charge given to the committee, to investigate the killing of two convicts by prison guards at Eastham Farm, is contained in one additional volume. All transcripts are typed and contain a table of contents of the witnesses. The committee's final reports of its investigations and its recommendations for the Texas Board of Prison Commissioners are not included in the transcripts but appear in the Senate Journal for the 37th Legislature, 1st and 2nd Called Sessions. The remainder of the records are several items of incoming correspondence from citizens concerned about prison conditions, and committee member expense reports.
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), Joint Penitentiary Investigating Committee records, Texas Legislature. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 1988/068
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by an unknown agency during the 20th century. 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