Administrative History

Legislation of 1862 (Chapter 417) and 1874 (Chapter 451, as amended in 1879 by Chapter 373) allowed prison inmates to earn commutation of part of their sentence for good conduct or labor performed. Sentences were to be reduced by specified amounts of time for each year served (e.g. two months for the first year). Legislation of 1886 (Chapter 21) expanded upon the reporting requirements of the 1862 legislation, directing prison wardens or superintendents to report to the governor each month the convicts eligible for discharge by commutation the following month and to indicate the reasons for witholding commutation from any convict if so recommended by prison officials. The governor would then use these reports to determine which convicts would be discharged by commutation.