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Prison Industries in New Jersey - A 200 Year Chronicle

NCJ Number
I Seligman
Date Published
370 pages
This history discusses prison industries from post-Revolutionary War period to 1982, emphasizing the Bureau of State Use Industries which requires prison industries to operate as a self-supporting unit within the Department of Corrections.
A review of penal policies and attitudes toward prison labor begins with the Quakers of Philadelphia and New Jersey and moves through the Civil War to the 1880-1915 reform movement. Several chapters describe subsequent legislative changes that led to the philosophies associated with the umbrella-type, centralized Department of Institutions and Agencies. This administrative organization relied on honorary, nonsalaried Boards to assist in governing the Department and was unusual within the State of New Jersey. The final chapters examine difficulties encountered with theoretical problems, internal policies, and changes in social outlook, particularly after World War II. Discussions of each period detail the policies of individual penal officials and their impact on the ebb and flow of prison industries, as well as legislative restrictions which channeled industrial operations and continue to constrain expansion. The history also covers types of industrial operations in New Jersey's system, inmate classification issues, responsibilities of staff and inmates in work programs, wages, and productivity. Tables, references, and index.