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Prison Officer Training in the United States: The Legacy of Jessie O Stutsman

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 50 Issue: 4 Dated: (December 1986) Pages: 40-46
T Schade
Date Published
7 pages
On January 2, 1930, the first training school for Federal prison officers opened under the direction of Jessie O. Stutsman.
Stutsman felt that the role of training was to enable officers to think intelligently on the practical problems of prison duty, to give them an understanding of modern corrective services, to give them resourcefulness in dealing with inmates, and to impress upon them the constructive and reformative value of their work. The 3-month residential training program covered the history of crime and punishment, crime, types and functions of penal institutions, physical aspects of penal institutions, the prisoners and their backgrounds, prison discipline, inmate classification and segregation, institution activities, and duties performed in actual service. In addition to classroom lectures, students attended laboratory courses on such topics as self-defense, first aid, and firearms training. Oral and written examinations were frequently given, and all students were individually graded by Stutsman at the conclusion of training. The closing of the training school in 1933 marked the end of an era, and it was not until 1936 that formal training was reestablished in the Bureau of Prisons. Stutsman's legacy to correctional training lay in his emphasis on the inmate's potential for rehabilitation and the need to instill this principle in prison officers. 4 figures, 28 footnotes, and 13 references.