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Reformatory CP - January 1952

Corpun file 23776

Prescott Evening Courier, Arizona, 14 January 1952, p.1

Patterson Named to Board To Study School Floggings

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PHOENIX. Jan. 14 (AP) -- Gov. Howard Pyle has asked a complete investigation of conditions at the Arizona Industrial school at Fort Grant where floggings and other forms of unusual punishment have been reported.

The chief executive asked the school's board of control to meet as quickly as possible and said he will ask the legislature to name a joint senate-house committee to meet with the board.

George R. Ridgeway, superintendent at the institution, admitted the beatings and said he made runaways walk barefooted "eight to 10 miles" across the desert back to the correctional school. He added, however, there have been no runaways in the past four months.

Ridgeway charged, however, that information about the punishments has been released to help obtain an appropriation for the newly formed Arizona Juvenile Crime Prevention bureau, an organization set up throughout the state to work on juvenile delinquency problems.

Accusations of mistreatment were made by two former inmates at Fort Grant -- an early-day army post -- and 10 others still at the school.

Judge Charles Bernstein of the Maricopa County Superior court took statements from all 12 and turned the information over to Judge J. Smith Gibbons of Apache county, head of the Arizona Judges association.

Judge Gibbons asked Bernstein and Superior Judges J. Mercer Johnson of Tucson and W.E. Patterson of Prescott to investigate. He released the information to the press.

"I'm not trying to hide anything and I'll take all the blame," Ridgeway said in a telephone interview. "Some of the boys were whipped with a rope. I whipped some of them myself. If they ran away I took them to Willcox and made them walk back barefooted. I would say this is definitely what some of these boys need. They should have had it a long time ago. Most of them have been in trouble eight to 10 times."

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