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PRISON SCANDALS

'AMERICAN DISCLOSURES

FAVOURITISM AND LUXURY.

The State Prison Commission, whicK has been- investigating charges of luxury, ease; and favouritism, at Sing Sing, the ' New York. State.; penitentiary, is now. looking into the 1 liberality with which the State Board of Parole has been releasing convicts after they "have served the minimum time allowed by the terms of their sentence, says: the New .York correspondent of the : London ■ .'.'Daily Telegraph." Attention has been called to the matter by .the order for the release without restrictions of .Robert Brindell, who a short time ago ivas convicted of using his position as an organised labour leader to obtain large sums of money from buildmg' contractor's: on' tlr.e'ats of'ordering a strike. Six years, of Jirihdeil's maximum sentence remain to be served. The preliminary report of the investigating Commission, it is said, ■ substantiates the complaints of. favouritism and luxury afc Sing Sing. It discloses that prisoners -witn large sums of money at their command through relatives and friends can arrange for monthly deposits to their credit as high as £20, and they are permitted to purchase the "choicest fresh, meats, bake-stuft's, vegetables, highpriced cigars, high-class articles'of apparel, and unusual toilet articles." Prisoners without funds are employed by the richer inmates to wait on them and act as servants. Many prisoners refrained from eating meals in the general mess hall, but prepared all .their meals outsido with food purchased from the commissariat. . . SALES OF NARCOTIC DRUGS." Sing-Sing, however, is not an isolated example of a prison in which confinement is tempered. to some of its inhabitants. The "Christian Science Monitor" recently published the following statement in the form of an editorial article:— x I THE ATLANTA PRISON INQUIRY. It is made apparent that the enforced resignation of Warden A.:E.* Sartain as a result of investigations by the Department of Justice in Washington of conditions" in' the Federal prison -at Atlanta, Georgia, is but , the beginning of what promises to be a general house-cleaning at that institution. The resignation comes as the high point, to date, in the sifting of a long list of • charges against the management of the .prison, embracing the administrations of two wardens, the one just retired and J. E. Dyche, of Oklahoma. Mr. Sartain was an appointee of former Attorney-General Daughi erty, and his personal and political I friend. ■ / . , ■

Included in the category oi charges are allegations of narcotic sales in tha prison by prisoners and guards, the traffic being carried on, it is claimed, with, the •knowledge of officials in charge, and of special privileges granted to wealthy convicts, who have been permitted to> pay for favours granted. It has been no secret that for years the traffic in habitforming drugs has been permitted at the Atlanta prison. Proof of this has been supplied time and again. That any official of the Government. would dare, even with the prospect of profiting thereby in dollars, to condone this practice is beyond belief. "'The summary action taken by Attorney-General Stone in demanding the warden's resignation and his decision to place a special representative of tlio Department of Justice in charge of the prison, indicate a settled conviction th.it the charges, ,in so far as they concern Mr. Sartain, have beea . substantiated. ...

The Atlanta prison does not stand alone. The abuses practised there are permitted, in. perhaps a lesser, degree, ia other federal and State penitentiaries. The renovating process so well begun by Attorney-General Stone should- be but the commencement of a nation-wide, crur sade. In this work - the prisoners. themselves can render invaluable • aid!- Those who have resisted the contaminating influence are aware of the methods of those ;engaged irrthe '. underground .practices, •and they owe it to -themselves and' to» their fellows to assist in stamping .put the iniquitous traffic.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19250407.2.14

Bibliographic details

PRISON SCANDALS, Evening Post, Volume CIX, Issue 81, 7 April 1925

Word Count
629

PRISON SCANDALS Evening Post, Volume CIX, Issue 81, 7 April 1925

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