Research

Clinton Prison Daily Disciplinary Record

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series consists of daily records of disciplinary actions at Clinton Prison. Information includes number and name of inmate, name of officer, nature of offense, and form of punishment. The record from 1895-1896 includes discharges from solitary confinement, executions, inmate location changes, and special guards assignments. The record from 1929-1940 includes complaints about food, lack of clothing, or cruel or unjust treatment by a guard. Also included are a few disciplinary records for Camp Adirondack.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
2 cubic feet (2 volumes)
Inclusive Dates:
1895-1896, 1929-1946, 1969-1976
Series Number:
B0094

Arrangement

1895-1896:chronological.

1929-1946:alphabetical by first letter of last name, then numeric by inmate number.

Scope and Content Note

The daily disciplinary record was required by a law of 1889, the new Prison Law of 1909, and a law of 1929. The format of the record at Clinton Prison varied considerably, and because of the gaps in the series it is impossible to determine exactly when changes occured.

The "Hall Day Book," 1895-1896, is a daily record of disciplinary actions and special assignments of prisoners and guards. It gives number and name of inmate, nature of offense, and form of punishment; it also records discharges from solitary confinement ("dark cells"), executions of men in the condemned cell, changes in location of inmates, assignment of inmates to the hospital, and special assignments of guards. At the end of each daily entry is a court of prisoners.

An untitled post-bound register of offenses and punishments, 1929-1946, served basically the same function as the "Hall Day Book." Each entry (one page per inmate) gives name and number of inmate, date punished, location (includes disciplinary actions at institutions from which the inmate was transferred to Clinton), name of person reporting incident, punishment (punishment cell, marks forfeited, days forfeited, compensation forfeited), and description of offense. This record was apparently kept by or for the principal keeper, who prescribed the punishments.

The most recent form of the daily disciplinary record is the "Daily Journal" kept by the Deputy Superintendent (formerly the Principal Keeper) of the Clinton Correctional Facility. This is called a "Daily report of every infraction of the Rules and Regulations of the Facility by Officers or Residents, and the action taken on each case and memorandums of any complaint by Residents of bad or insufficient food, want of clothing or cruel or unjust treatment by a guard." Each entry gives inmate number and name of officer, offense or complaint, and action or penalty imposed. Few complaints are recorded. All are carbon copies. Blue sheets containing entries for "action or penalty imposed" and yellow sheets without such entries, are interfiled. There are a few disciplinary records for inmates of Camp Adirondack.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Summary information on adult inmates is disclosable under law. State Archives staff will review records containing probation, parole, medical, and juvenile criminal history data and disclose information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law and Personal Privacy Protection Law. The identity of victims of sex crimes is not disclosable. Unless a specific law forbids disclosure indefinitely, all records must be disclosed after 75 years.

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