4. california corrections at the beginning of 20th century

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CJCJ's Executive Director Daniel Macallair, is a practitioner-in-residence at San Francisco State University (SFSU)'s Department of Criminal Justice Studies. These slides are from his California Corrections System course materials.

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4. california corrections at the beginning of 20th century

  1. 1. www.cjcj.org© Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice 201340 Boardman PlaceSan Francisco, CA 94103California corrections at the beginning of20thcenturyGrowing disillusionment with the congregate systemTwo juvenile reform schools reduce the number of juveniles inthe state prisonsIncreased crowding at San Quentin and FolsomFolsom designated prison for recidivistsConcern over conditions of confinement for womenHarsh control methods primary means of controlling inmatepopulationImpact of convict labor law (1879) reduced inmate workoptionsMinimum use of paroleExecutions now carried out at San Quentin (1893)
  2. 2. www.cjcj.org© Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice 201340 Boardman PlaceSan Francisco, CA 9410312 Year old San Quentin Inmate (1905)
  3. 3. www.cjcj.org© Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice 201340 Boardman PlaceSan Francisco, CA 94103San Quentin Scandal (1903)“California boasts its place in the front rank ofState, but her prisons lag a generation behindthe better class of Eastern Penitentiaries. Thetwo prisons are schools of vice anduniversities of crime.”
  4. 4. www.cjcj.org© Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice 201340 Boardman PlaceSan Francisco, CA 94103State legislative investigation reveals:• Severe crowding in both prisons (San Quentin -1500inmates in 640 cells - 234% of capacity)• No system of inmate classification or segregation• Frequent use of the notorious straight jacket
  5. 5. www.cjcj.org© Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice 201340 Boardman PlaceSan Francisco, CA 94103Scandal results• Created widespread demand for reform• Renewed calls for indeterminate sentence, classification,and segregation• Demand for separate facilities for women and removal ofchildren• Cry to emulate “standards set in the East”• Anti-convict sentiment and backlash against reform• Firing of the controversial warden John Tompkins
  6. 6. www.cjcj.org© Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice 201340 Boardman PlaceSan Francisco, CA 94103Warden Tompkins on prison reform• Advocated increaseduse of straitjacket• Eliminate stateprisons and “herd”inmates onto an“island”• Demanded rapid-fireartillery to quell prisonuprisings
  7. 7. www.cjcj.org© Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice 201340 Boardman PlaceSan Francisco, CA 94103Strait Jacket
  8. 8. www.cjcj.org© Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice 201340 Boardman PlaceSan Francisco, CA 94103Indeterminate Sentencing Law adopted(1916)• Legislature established minimum and maximumsentences• Intention was to reduce sentencing disparity and relieveovercrowding• Deemed necessary to reduce unnecessary shortsentences imposed by lenient judges• Remained California’s method of sentencing until 1976
  9. 9. www.cjcj.org© Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice 201340 Boardman PlaceSan Francisco, CA 94103Battle for California State Reformatory• Advocated by California Prison Commission• Given momentum by San Quentin Scandal• First authorizing legislation passed in 1934• Prison based classification “male felons judged capableof reformation”• Building efforts stalls due to legislative inertia• New impetus after San Quentin scandal revealingserious violence and inhumane conditions
  10. 10. www.cjcj.org© Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice 201340 Boardman PlaceSan Francisco, CA 94103California Institution for Men at Chino:California’s first reformatory prison• Kenyon Scudder former probation officer appointed firstwarden• Abolished practice of using prison jobs as politicalrewards• Staff were selected based on perceived abilities• Selected the most tractable inmates• Racially integrated unlike Folsom and San Quentin• Registered few escapes in early years despite having“open system”• Initially designed to hold 422

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