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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Agency History

Scope and Contents of the Records

Arrangement of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Joint Penitentiary Investigating Committee records, 1920-1921, bulk 1921,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Legislature, Joint Penitentiary Investigating Committee:

An Inventory of Joint Penitentiary Investigating Committee Records at the Texas State Archives, 1920-1921, bulk 1921



Overview

Creator: Texas. Legislature. Joint Penitentiary Investigating Committee.
Title: Joint Penitentiary Investigating Committee records
Dates: 1920-1921
Dates: bulk 1921
Abstract: 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.
Quantity: 0.75 cubic ft.
Language: These materials are written in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

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.)

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Scope and Contents of the Records

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.

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Arrangement of the Records

These records are arranged in two chronological groups by State Archives staff: transcripts of testimony, and correspondence and expense records.

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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.

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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:
Texas State Penitentiary.
Huntsville Penitentiary.
Retrieve State Farm (Tex.).
Texas. Board of Prison Commissioners.
Subjects:
Prisons--Texas.
Prisoners--Texas.
Prisons--Texas--Officials and employees.
Convict labor--Texas.
Document Types:
Correspondence--Texas--Governmental investigations--1920-1921.
Reports--Texas--Governmental investigations--1921.
Testimony--Texas--Governmental investigations--1921.
Functions:
Administering governmental investigations.

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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, House of Representatives, Committee to Investigate the Retrieve Prison Farm, Report, 1935, 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, 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. Senate. Journal of the Senate of the state of Texas, 37th Legislature, 1st and 2nd Called Sessions. Austin: Standard Office, 1921.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Joint Penitentiary Investigating Committee records, Texas Legislature. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

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.

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

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Detailed Description of the Records

 

Joint Penitentiary Investigating Committee records, 1920-1921, bulk 1921,
0.75 cubic ft.

Box
1988/068-1 Transcripts of testimony, 1921:
Huntsville Prison, February 14 and 16, 1921
[Volume 1]
Eastham and Ferguson Farms, February 16-17, 1921
[Volume 2]
Wynne and Goree State Farms, Huntsville Prison (continued), February 16-17, 1921
[Volume 3]
Harlem, Imperial, and Shaw Farms, February 20 and 26, 1921
[Volume 4]
[Note: Volume 5 is missing.]
Box
1988/068-2 Austin and Houston, Darrington State Farm, Ramsey Farm No. 2, Retrieve State Farm, Clemens State Farm, April 12-16, 1921
[Volume 6]
Transcript of evidence relative to killing of two convicts at Eastham Farm on July 22, 1921, August 1-4, 1921
[one volume]
Correspondence and expense records, 1920-1921

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