Research

Elmira Reformatory Biographical Register of Federal Prisoners

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 information relating to inmates sent to Elmira from federal courts. Since they were not eligible for parole, the registers document admission to release. Information includes name; date received; country of birth; age; names and addresses of parents and siblings; maximum sentence; dates maximum and minimum sentences expire; family history; inmates previous history; physician's report at admission; outline of treatment; mug shots; physical condition at discharge (rarely completed); and discharge date.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
2 cubic feet (2 volumes)
Inclusive Dates:
1902-1934
Bulk Dates:
bulk 1902-1927
Series Number:
B0129

Arrangement

Numerical by inmate consecutive number.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of a two volume register containing information relating to inmates sent to Elmira from federal courts. Unlike the State prisoners, these inmates were not eligible for parole, so they were given a definite sentence. The information in the registers covers the span of the inmate's life at Elmira from admission to release.

The information contained in the registers includes: inmate number; name; date received; country of birth; age; names and addresses of parents and siblings; maximum sentence; dates when maximum and minimum sentences expire; family history (insanity or epilepsy, dissipation, educational level, occupation of father and mother); previous history of inmate (environment and habits, education, employment, associations, family, religion, criminal history); physician's report at admission; outline of treatment (i.e., trade to be learned at Elmira); remarks (usually a note indicating a promotion or reduction in grade); mug shots; physical condition at discharge (rarely completed); and date of discharge.

Most of the inmates included in the registers were convicted under various federal statutes relating to the U.S. Mail and post offices. Some were convicted under the following federal statutes: Mann Act, 1910 (36 Stat. 825) relating to the interstate transport of females for immoral purposes ("white slavery"); act of 1913 (37 Stat. 670) relating to stealing and receiving goods involved in interstate commerce; Harrison Act, 1914 (38 Stat. 785) relating to interstate narcotics trafficking; and National Motor Vehicle Theft Act, 1919 (41 Stat. 324).

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.

Access Terms

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