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Joliet Penitentiary Testimony. Records
.25 linear ft. (1 volume)
Special Collections Research Center
The Joliet Penitentiary Testimony Records contain a one volume manuscript of testimony given before the Commissioners of the Illinois state Penitentiary at Joliet in 1878. The Commissioners were responsible for investigating reports of brutality in the discipline of prisoners confined at Joliet.
When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Joliet Penitentiary Testimony. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
The Commissioners of the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet, R. L. Dulaney, A. M. Jones, and S. H. Jones were appointed on April 1, 1877 by the Governor of Illinois, Shelby M. Cullom. They were given the responsibility of investigating reports of brutality in the disciplining of prisoners confined at Joliet. Accusations of brutality centered on the treatment of prisoners in "solitary confinement." The whipping, gagging, and trussing up of prisoners was alleged to be standard punishment for recalcitrant prisoners. However, the "Report of the Commissioners…For the Two Years Ending September 30, 1878" makes no allusion to the alleged incidents, except to the prison physician's recommendation that "sound-deadened walls" be installed in the "solitary" quarters. In addition the report complains of prisoners feigning insanity so that they might be removed from the prison.
The Joliet Penitentiary Testimony Records contain a one volume manuscript of testimony given before the Commissioners of the Illinois state Penitentiary at Joliet in 1878.
The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:
Report of the Commissioners, 1878