RG 057/RG 057.03. State Public Welfare Commission, 1917-1935
Record Group Term
Identifier: RG 057/RG 057.03
By 1917, as Governor R. Livingston Beekman described it in his annual message, a commission to investigate the various public welfare programs in the state (the State Public Welfare Commission) found that the missions of the State Board of Charities and Corrections and the Board of Supply and Control overlapped, and seemed at times to be in conflict. To solve this problem the government replaced the two boards with the Penal and Charitable Commission, which was renamed the State Public Welfare Commission in 1923. This Commission formed the managerial layer of the state’s welfare system. The commission’s personnel included a Chairman, a secretary, a Director of State Institutions, and a Director of Mother's Aid. These individuals oversaw the work of the state's Penal, Charitable, and Reformatory Institutions, which were comprised of the State Workhouse and House of Corrections; the State Hospital for Mental Diseases; a State Infirmary; a State Prison; the Providence County Jail; and the State Reform School for Boys and Girls (the Sockanosset and Oaklawn schools.) The commission took over the State Board of Charities and Corrections’ buildings and property in Cranston and, therefore, has sometimes been referred to as the State Institutions in Cranston. In addition, the commission took over responsibility for two institutions managed since 1912 by the Board of Control and Supply - the Exeter School and the State Home and School, including their real estate and property. Below the commission, the personnel included superintendents for each of the institutions, except for the Providence County Jail and the State Prison, which a warden oversaw. In addition to allowing for administrative and clerical staff, and religious instructors, the law required the appointment of a resident physician and an “agent of defectives and dependents.” This agent’s function was to examine individuals to determine which of the state institutions was most appropriate for them. Finally, the founding statute required the engagement of a secretary who was designated to keep accurate records of meetings, and also to record “the name, residence, sex, age, and nativity, occupation, condition, and date of entrance or commitment of every inmate patient, or pupil.” In its first years, the commission set as its mission the promotion of cooperation among the member institutions “to work for the benefit of the individual regardless of the circumstances which led to his position of dependency…”The Commission also set a goal of building new facilities and improving existing ones. State Public Welfare Commission aka Penal and Charitable Commission. First Annual Report, 1917-1918. Public Law 1917, ch. 1470; Public Law 1922, ch. 2230.
Found in 8 Collections and/or Records:
Series — Folder 22. Annual Report of the Penal and Charitable Commission to the General Assembly at its January Session (1636-1032)
Dates: 1918-1919, 1921-1923
Item — Folder 1. Annual Report of the Rhode Island Public Health Commission, 1932 (2014-37.55)
Series — Box Department of Mental Health, Retardation, and Hospitals Cemetery Project records, 1974-2009 (2009-31)
Abstract The Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals cemetery project records consist of copies of correspondence, reports and photographs compiled and/or created by Chester A. Browning, Information Specialist of the Public Information Division.
Dates: 1880-2009; Majority of material found within 2004-2008
Series — Multiple Containers
Abstract The State Board of Charities and Correction records consists of various documents related to the Board its successor organizations. Items include individual case files from the Oaklawn School for Girls, newspaper clippings, financial reports, correspondence of the Board, and other material related to the work of agencies that reported to the Board.
Series — Folder 20. Mother's Aid Annual Report of the State Public Welfare Commission to the General Assembly, 1923-1935 (1636-1030)
Scope and Contents Mothers' Aid Bureau Annual Report of the State Public Welfare Commission to the General Assembly At its January Session, 1923, 1926, 1927, for the Fiscal Year December 1, 1927 to November 1928, for the Seven Months Fiscal Period December 1, 1929 to June 30, 1920, for the Fiscal Period July 1, 1931 to June 30 1932, July 1, 1933 to June 30 1934 and July 1, 1934, to June 30, 1935.
Series — Multiple Containers
Item — Volume State Public Welfare Commission estimated budget, 1933-1935 (C#00300)
Abstract To recapitulate expenditures for fiscal year 1933 and estimate requirements for fiscal year 1935. Contains name of bureau or division, line number from the budget, expenditure classification, expenditures for fiscal year 1933, appropriations for fiscal year 1933 and 1944, estimated requirements for fiscal year 1935, explanation of any changes in proposed budget, total expenditures for each division.
Series — Volume State Public Welfare Commission scrapbook, c. 1930
Abstract The State Public Welfare Commission scrapbook includes black-and-white photographs (5 1/2" x 3 1/2") of properties at the State Farm, State Asylum, and the House of Corrections at the Howard complex in Cranston, Rhode Island.
Dates: c. 1930