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Rhode Island. State Prison Commission (1874-1877)



  • Existence: 1874-1877

Historical Note

Soon after its establishment, the Board of State Charities and Corrections confided work on the design of a new state prison and the purchase of land for the prison to a Board committee. In 1874, the General Assembly passed a resolution appointing a State Prison Commission to undertake the overall management of construction. At the end of their work, the Commission's final report (1879) described their responsibility, as they had understood it:

"The Commissioners were to build not simply a State Prison for the confinement of convicts serving long sentences, but were also to build a State or County Jail, a House of Detention for debtors, witnesses and persons awaiting trial, and for the imprisonment of offenders against municipal ordinances…. All were come to under one system of management and control.” Rhode Island. State Prison Commission. Fifth and Last Annual Report of the State Prison Commission. Made to the General Assembly. January 1879 Session.

The Commission's membership consisted of the Chairman of the Board of Inspections of the State Prison, the Chairman of the Board of State Charities and Corrections as well as three gubernatorial appointees. The commission was closed in 1879, as the prison's construction was nearing completion. The work of the commission is mainly recorded in the commission's annual reports, which are appended to the General Assembly's Acts and Resolves . Meanwhile, the General Assembly had relieved the members of the Board of State Prison Inspectors of their duties in 1877. Rhode Island. Acts and Resolves , January 1877, the Inspectors having been merged with the Board of State Charities and Corrections.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

State Prison and Providence County Jail records, 1789-1972

Identifier: C#00490
Abstract The Rhode Island State Prison and Providence County Jail records contain information on all aspects of the administration of the Providence County Prison and the Rhode Island State Prison over a span of nearly two hundred years. It also provides a wealth of information on those incarcerated. The collection contains correspondence, legal papers, reports, logs and registers, medical records and financial papers.
Dates: 1789-1972

State Prison Commissioners bills and invoices, 1869-1877

 Sub-Series — Folder: State Prison Commissioners bills and invoices, 1869-1877 (C#00058)
Identifier: C#00058
Abstract Bills and invoices related to expenditures of the State Prison Commissioners for the correctional facility at Cranston.
Dates: 1869-1877