Research


New York State Board of Parole Auburn Prison Inmate Parole Files

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 contains records created or compiled by the State Board of Parole in relation to parole of inmates from Auburn Prison. For each inmate applying for parole, there is a folder with records documenting the entire process of parole from inmate admission into the state correctional system through release on parole and return to confinement for any parole violation.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
117 cubic feet
Inclusive Dates:
1918-1955
Series Number:
B0082

Arrangement

Numerical by inmate consecutive number.

Scope and Content Note

This series contains records created or assembled by the Board of Parole relating to inmate parole from Auburn Prison. The board was responsible for deciding when an inmate was eligible for parole based on the inmate's minimum sentence, progress and conduct during confinement, and the likely success of a parole program.

While on parole, an inmate remained in the legal custody of the prison's warden but was subject to the general jurisdiction and control of the State Parole Board. The board set the conditions of the parole and local parole officers or community agencies supervised the inmate during the parole period.

The board held regular meetings at the state's correctional institutions, including Auburn, and it used these records to assist its parole decisions and to monitor parole. For each inmate applying for parole, there is a folder with records documenting the entire process of parole from inmate admission into the state correctional system through release on parole and return to confinement for any parole violation. Many inmates who were paroled were eventually returned to prison for violating parole conditions. A substantial number of these inmates were subsequently paroled a second or even a third time. The inmate's parole folder contains pertinent records relating to each of these paroles.

The parole records contain files on approximately 5,000 Auburn inmates who applied for parole, including inmates with inmate numbers between #26751 and #52654. A portion of these parole records duplicate records found in the main series of Auburn Prison inmate case files (Series 14610-77A and 14610-88D). Approximately 75% of the inmates represented in the main case files also have a folder in the Board of Parole files.

For most of the period covered by the parole files, Auburn served as a transfer prison. It received inmates from other institutions rather than by commitment directly from the courts. The files, therefore, include records from confinement at previous institutions, particularly Elmira Reformatory and Sing Sing Prison. The following is a description of the principal parole records:

1) RECORDS RELATING TO THE INMATE AND HIS SENTENCE.

Receiving blotter. This blotter includes summary information on the inmate's personal and family history, education, military record, and crime and arrest record.

Division of Criminal Identification inmate arrest record. This record contains information on all previous arrests and convictions relating to the inmate.

Board of Parole inmate questionnaire. This record contains inmate responses to questions relating to the inmate's history. The questionnaire contains detailed information on the inmate's family, education, religion, and work and military history.

2) RECORDS RELATING TO THE INMATE'S PAROLE APPLICATION AND RELEASE ON PAROLE.

Application for parole. In this record, the inmate describes his work during confinement, provides names of persons for personal references, and promises good conduct if released on parole.

Transcript of Parole Board hearing. This record is a verbatim transcript of the inmate's hearing before the Board of Parole. Typically, hearings consist of brief questions and answers relating to inmate behavior during confinement and prospects for successful conduct and employment during parole.

Pre-parole reports. For each inmate applying for parole, the records contain several reports prepared by local parole officers. These reports, totalling approximately 20 pages in length, provide detailed descriptions of the inmate's family, education and religious life, associations, employment, and criminal history. The reports include detailed descriptions of the crime for which the inmate was presently sentenced.

Correspondence relating to parole application. The records include letters from family members, prospective employers, school officials, local district attorneys, clergy, and others relating to the suitability of the inmate for parole.

Certificate of release on parole. This record provides the date of parole, the name of the local parole officer who will supervise the inmate and the conditions under which the parole is granted.

3) REPORTS OF PRISON STAFF ON THE INMATE'S CONFINEMENT

Report by the institutional parole officer. This report summarizes the inmate's confinement and his plans for parole, with recommendations by the parole officer.

Reports on inmate accomplishments. The records contain individual reports from a number of staff including the principal keeper or warden, physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, chaplain, and the head of the industrial department. There is also a summary record describing all these reports along with a report on the inmate's educational accomplishments and general adjustment to prison life.

4) REPORTS OF PAROLE AND VIOLATION OF PAROLE.

Monthly parole reports. For paroles granted through the 1920s, the records include monthly parole reports that describe the inmate's employment, wages received, expenses, and any special problems encountered during the month. The reports were completed by the inmate on parole and approved by the local parole officer. Reports may include comments by the parole officer.

Violation of parole reports. These reports, submitted to the Board of Parole by local parole officers, summarize the inmate's parole history and describe the conditions surrounding the violation of parole. The majority of parole violations consist of an arrest for new crimes and the reports provide details from local police authorities on the crime and subsequent arrest as well as a statement from the inmate.

5) CORRESPONDENCE, MEMORANDA, AND REPORTS RELATING TO AN INMATE'S APPLICATION FOR PAROLE AND PAROLE APPROVAL. The records include various letters and memoranda exchanged between the Board of Parole, local parole officers, and prison officials. These records relate to an inmate's application for parole, parole conditions, violations of parole, and return to prison after parole violation.

6) RECORDS RELATING TO EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY CASES. The files include records pertaining to inmate applications for commutation of sentence by the governor. In certain special cases, the governor would reduce the length of an inmate's sentence to make him eligible for early parole. The records include reports by prison staff and the Division of Parole describing the inmate's personal and criminal history, confinement in prison, and any special conditions warranting commutation of sentence. If the inmate received executive clemency, the records include a certificate of parole giving the conditions of the commutation.

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.

Related Information

Related Materials

Accretion 14610-77A, Auburn Prison Inmate Case Files, 1914-[ca. 1950]

Accretion 14610-88D, Auburn Prison inmate case files, [ca. 1926]-1956

and Series B1276, Auburn Prison Classification Board inmate record cards contain related records.

Custodial History

Originally accessioned as part of old collection #500, accession -441.

Access Terms

Corporate Name(s):
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Detailed Description

Contents Box

Accretion: B0082-77
Inmate #26751-34299 1
Inmate #34309-36383 2
Inmate #36403-37318 3
Inmate #37348-37993 4
Inmate #38024-38742 5
Inmate #38761-39284 6
Inmate #39310-39758 7
Inmate #39771-40121 8
Inmate #40135-40331 9
Inmate #40334-40566 10
Inmate #40570-40799 11
Inmate #40812-41021 12
Inmate #41025-41274 13
Inmate #41275-41460 14
Inmate #41462-41671 15
Inmate #41675-41899 16
Inmate #41902-42070 17
Inmate #42071-42219 18
Inmate #42223-42368 19
Inmate #42370-42550 20
Inmate #42551-42699 21
Inmate #42703-42929 22
Inmate #42942-43095 23
Inmate #43101-43254 24
Inmate #43261-43410 25
Inmate #43411-43556 26
Inmate #43562-43685 27
Inmate #43686-43854 28
Inmate #43855-43999 29
Inmate #44002-44124 30
Inmate #44125-44210 31
Inmate #44212-44334 32
Inmate #44335-44449 33
Inmate #44452-44548 34
Inmate #44550-44693 35
Inmate #44695-44779 36
Inmate #44780-44881 37
Inmate #44885-44969 38
Inmate #44971-45066 39
Inmate #45071-45153 40
Inmate #45155-45238 41
Inmate #45241-45323 42
Inmate #45325-45429 43
Inmate #45431-45524 44
Inmate #45525-45604 45
Inmate #45605-45732 46
Inmate #45747-45875 47
Inmate #45881-45992 48
Inmate #45995-46080 49
Inmate #46081-46180 50
Inmate #46181-46269 51
Inmate #46270-46348 52
Inmate #46350-46444 53
Inmate #46445-46525 54
Inmate #46526-46610 55
Inmate #46611-46699 56
Inmate #46701-46789 57
Inmate #46792-46864 58
Inmate #46865-46930 59
Inmate #46931-46994 60
Inmate #46996-47069 61
Inmate #47070-47155 62
Inmate #47156-47235 63
Inmate #47236-47314 64
Inmate #47317-47394 65
Inmate #47396-47478 66
Inmate #47480-47549 67
Inmate #47550-47633 68
Inmate #47634-47705 69
Inmate #47708-47768 70
Inmate #47771-47835 71
Inmate #47836-47904 72
Inmate #47908-47994 73
Inmate #47996-48074 74
Inmate #48075-48164 75
Inmate #48165-48232 76
Inmate #48235-48295 77
Inmate #48296-48350 78
Inmate #48352-48423 79
Inmate #48431-48499 80
Inmate #48500-48562 81
Inmate #48565-48629 82
Inmate #48630-48697 83
Inmate #48700-48778 84
Inmate #48781-48845 85
Inmate #48846-48947 86
Inmate #48950-49028 87
Inmate #49032-49113 88
Inmate #49117-49198 89
Inmate #49201-49269 90
Inmate #49273-49359 91
Inmate #49364-49477 92
Inmate #49478-49552 93
Inmate #49555-49646 94
Inmate #49650-49748 95
Inmate #49750-49820 96
Inmate #49821-49899 97
Inmate #49903-49989 98
Inmate #49990-50074 99
Inmate #50081-50155 100
Inmate #50156-50258 101
Inmate #50263-50349 102
Inmate #50350-50438 103
Inmate #50440-50528 104
Inmate #50531-50619 105
Inmate #50620-50718 106
Inmate #50722-50804 107
Inmate #50806-50905 108
Inmate #50912-51019 109
Inmate #51021-51114 110
Inmate #51115-51240 111
Inmate #51243-51414 112
Inmate #51415-51510 113
Inmate #51511-51600 114
Inmate #51615-51787 115
Inmate #51801-51952 116
Inmate #51972-52654 117