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Reformatory CP - August 1877

Corpun file 19690


The New York Times, 5 August 1877

Press cuttingReform School Management.

New Regulations For Punishment In The Massachusetts Institution At Westborough.

From the Boston Journal, Aug. 3.


As a result of the many hearings given by the legislative committee last Winter in regard to the discipline of the State Reform School at Westborough, a law was passed providing that corporal punishment shall only be permitted in the Westborough Reform School under such rules and regulations and by such modes as shall be prescribed by the Trustees. No such punishment shall be inflicted except by the direction of the Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent in charge, to whom the offense shall be reported, and who shall designate the nature and extent of the punishment to be inflicted. In every case of such punishment a record of the offense and the mode and extent of the punishment shall be made and presented to the Trustees at their next meeting.

In accordance with this law the Trustees have prepared and the Executive Council yesterday approved a revised code of by-laws for the government and regulation of the institution. They provide that the punishments in the Reformatory Department shall be: First, marking down in the department book; second, deprivation of play; third, half rations in the dining hall; fourth, confinement in the dormitory; fifth, confinement in the lodge; sixth, corporal punishment, which shall not be used except as a last resort, and shall be administered only under the direction and in the presence of the Superintendent or the Assistant Superintendent in charge, and shall not be inflicted on the same day that the offense is committed.

Corporal punishment shall be inflicted only upon the hand or the back part of the thighs, and only by a leather strap of single thickness, 1 inches wide and 20 inches long. No inmate shall be confined for punishment in the dormitory or lodge without the authority of the Superintendent. For the trust hands the following rules are established: First, marking down in the department book; second, deprivation of play; third, half rations in the dining hall; fourth, confinement in the sleeping hall without the usual wearing apparel; fifth, return to the main building.

Correctional Department -- There shall be no corporal punishment in this department. [...]

The object of the institution is still reformatory, notwithstanding a correctional department has been established, and the government is still intended to be parental and kind, and the law of love to be the ruling element of all the discipline of the establishment.

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