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The statistics of the prison and Providence county jail, gathered from the Warden's report, are as follows:

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The report of the Warden shows a surplus of earnings over expenses, amounting to $174.51, for the year; account having been taken of the decrease in the value of the property on hand, -including a reduction of $100 in the estimated value of the building on Gaspee street, -and also, of the sums due the Prison for labor, &c., and of the amount of its indebtedness.

From June 5, 1877, to January 1, 1878, there has been received from the Warden the sum of $14,439.85, which has been paid into the Treasury and added to the appropriation of $10,000, made at the January Session, 1877, for the support of the Prison. During the same time there has been paid from this appropriation the sum of $13,925.59; leaving a balance to the credit of the Prison, January 1, 1878, of $10,514.26. Adding the receipts of December, $3,232.50, and deducting the payments for the December bills, $2,366.14, we have a balance of $11,380.62 to the credit of the Prison. Adding, again, the balance-$995.67—of sums due the Prison, for labor, &c., above the amount it owes, and its resources are $12,376.29.

But, at the end of the State fiscal year, April 30, 1878, this appropriation for the support of the State Prison, with whatever may have been added to it, will expire.

Should the success which has marked the financial management of the Prison continue, it would only be necessary for your honorable body to authorize, as has been done the past two years, the Board to draw from the Treasury the amount it pays to it; were it not that the same reasons exist now, as last year, for making an appropriation for the support of the Prison; namely, the additional expense which wil be incurred in moving the institution to the State Farm, and the diminution of income which will be caused by the interruption of the work at that time.

On this account, the sum of $10,000 will be included in the estimate of appropriation required for the Prison for the coming year in addition to its receipts.


At the January Session, 1877, Section 9, of Chapter 240, was amended, so as to read as follows (Chap. 602, Sect. 2.):

** The board of State charities and corrections shall appoint one of their number to inspect the jail in each county except the county of Providence, at least twice in each year, and to inquire into the state thereof as respects security, treatment and condition of the prisoners therein, and said member shall have power to direct the sheriff to take such precautions as the board shall deem necessary, against escape and infection, and the board shall make report an. nually to the general assembly of the condition of the several jails, in the same manner as they are required by law to make report of the condition of the jail in Providence county.”

At the first meeting of the Board after this amendment went into effect, the following appointments were made: namely, Job Kenyon, to inspect the Kent County Jail; James M. Pendleton, to inspect the Washington County Jail; Thom is Coggeshall, to inspect the Newport County Jail; and Allen C. Mathewson, to inspect the Jail of Bristol county.

The following reports have been received. The statistics of the jails, given therein, are less full than we would desire to have them, TIereafter we will, doubtless, be able to obtain more complete statements from the jailers regarding the prisoners.

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To the Board of State Charities and Corrections:

The undersigned, appointed by you a Committee to inspect the Washington County Jail, and to inquire into the state thereof, as respects security, treatment and condition of the prisoners therein, reports as follows:

On the 17th of July, I visited the jail and learned that three prisoners had escaped a short time before.

The gratings of the jail windows are made of upright iron rods, which are held in place by pairs of horizontal iron bars, bent so as to clasp the rods,—one on either side-brought together between the rods, and there riveted. The prisoners first picked the locks of the cell doors, and then, by inserting a thin saw between a pair of the horizontal bars, cut through the rivets. The rivets gone, the bars were separated, the upright rods spread apart, and an aperture made sufficiently large for escape.

I suggested to the Sheriff, first, to place “Yale” locks on the cell doors; second, to have the horizontal bars, which hold the upright rods in place, planed to a smooth surface, so that, when riveted together, a saw could not reach the rivets without cutting nearly the whole length of the joint; third, as the male prisoners are kept on the first floor, where they could talk with, and receive articles through the windows from, persons without the jail, to place wire screens over the windows, on the inside of the gratings and between them and the sash. The iron screens, unless first cut through, would also prevent the prisoners working upon the gratings; and any injury to the screen would be readily detected.

On the first Monday in November, I again visited the jail, and found that the Sheriff had carried out my suggestions. The prisoners, as I believe, are now securely kept, and, as far as I can learn, they receive proper treatment.

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All of which is respectfully submitted,

J. M. PENDLETON. WESTERLY, January, 1878.


To the Board of State Charities and Corrections:

The undersigned, a committee appointed to inspect, &c., the jail in Kent County, beys leave to report that he has performed the duty assigned to him.

The jail is old, and its condition is not what is demanded in this age of improvement. The cells are, perhaps, sufficiently strong to retain persons during short periods, especially those who are incarcerated for minor offences. Persons committed for gross crimes, and those whose escape is for any reason apprehended, are now sent to the Providence County Jail.

The construction of the cells is such that proper sanitary measures cannot be carried out. To make the alterations, which seem to be required for the comfort and safe-keeping of the prisoners, would necessitate extensive repairs, and a radical change in the plan of the building. This work your committee was not empowered to undertake. If the present system of county jails is continued, however, a thorough renovation of this jail will before long be required; but it appears to your committee that it would be more economical to use the county jails solely for the detention of persons during the sessions of the courts, and that in a small State, like ours, one prison would be sufficient for all sentenced persons and those awaiting trial.

A grated door, to be placed inside of the present one, was asked for by the Sheriff, as a protection to the jailer when entering the cell corridor. Your committee recommended that one be procured.

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To the Board of State Charities and Corrections:

The jail in Newport gives evidence of scrupulous neatness and diligent attention. The jailer, Mr. E. D. Jones, and his wife, are particularly adapted to the trust committed to them.

After the escape of two prisoners, I recommended placing iron screens outside the corridor windows. The sheriff caused this to be done. Water will be distributed through Newport early in March. Its need in the jail is apparent, water being brought from the yard nearly one hundred feet. A frequent distribution of water through the cells and corridors will improve the condition of prisoners. As a defence against fire on the premises, and from adjacent buildings, a supply of water may be invaluable. I estimate the outlay, with needed hose, at two hundred dollars, and respectfully ask for special appropriation to be made therefor by the General Assembly.

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We have no report from Mr. Mathewson, on account of his serious illness at the first of the year. Mr. Louis T. Fisher, Sheriff of Bristol County, has kindly furnished the following statistics of the jail:

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