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Her use of narcotics began at the age of 14, at that time, she was a student in a junior high school in the borough of the Bronx. Narcotics let her into the crime of burglary, Matilda's daughter and eventually prostitution, although she is in the main reading her story on this recording. I should like to emphasize that what she is reading is her own words developed by me at an earlier date through our interrogation of her. What she says has been confirmed by us is true through additional testimony taken from her mother and from her and from her present high school principal. But Nathaniel LCO thing with the attorney general of the state of New York, you and I have met before, have we not? You came to this office a few days ago, and you and I talk over your entire situation, didn't we?
That's correct. Now, I asked you whether you would be willing to come back here today and tell me again and in your own words, the complete story of your experiences and what happened to you during the past few years. Is that right? Yes, I suppose now when you in your own way, tell us your story and don't disclose your name or your whereabouts or the name of anybody because we don't want to identify you or anyone else. We just want your story. I am 16 years old. I guess I got to high school in the Bronx. I am in the short term. Before I came to this high school, I went to a junior high school in the Bronx about three years ago that I was attending junior high school. I went to a dance. It was in the summer of nineteen forty eight. It was during my summer vacation at this stage and one of
the fellows that I met was smoking a rifle. He asked me if I would like to smoke one. I was curious and said I would like to. And so I smoked one. At the time I was 13 years old. I started keeping company with this boy and both he and I kept smoking reefer together. One day somebody offered us some cocaine. I had been smoking Reeses for about four months before I tried cocaine. I was told to sniff the cocaine. The boy that I went with bought cocaine for me whenever we were out on a day together, we would get cocaine and refills for both of us to use. This went on for about five or six months. Then one day we met another fella and he offered some heroin. I so you didn't know this as heroin, did you? You call it by another name, didn't you? I said I didn't see any real effects. Now I say you didn't use the cocaine.
What? And let's get back to. At first, I didn't feel any real effects on either the marijuana, the cocaine or the heroin, I would use any of these whenever my boyfriend would get it from me. In about February nineteen forty nine, I tried taking heroin with a dropper eyedropper and a needle. My boyfriend injected it to me into the vein of my arm. After this time, I began to use heroin more often. I found that it relaxed me and I was not so tense during the summer of 1949. My boyfriend and I both decided to stop using the stuff. When I tried to stop, I got it back and my legs started to wake. I knew then that it had become a habit and that I was addicted. I couldn't stop my boyfriend and I went out to buy some more heroin. We both used whatever money we got from our parents to buy the stuff.
We didn't have enough money for all that we needed. So I used to walk down the street and panhandle from anybody that I thought would be a soft touch. People would give me a quarter of 50 cents. If I tell them a story that I lost my money and I needed money to get home. My boyfriend used to hand over money to pay me the same way that you did. Yes, that's right. Then what happened? Sometime in the winter of nineteen forty nine, my boyfriend and I decided that we didn't have enough money to buy, so and we decided to try breaking into our home and our neighborhood to see if we could steal the money required by the police and. And what happened? I was arrested and sent away for several months. By this time I had become neurotic and I was sent to a mental institution for treatment for about six months after I was discharged, I returned home and went back to high school in Akron. And you're still at that high school? You're not? That's right. After I was at school a few days, I started
on the heroin again. I met another boyfriend and he began supplying the stuff to me. I found that the girls and boys in my group was still using dope, and that also encouraged me to get back to using that. I know that from other places in my neighborhood where I could buy heroin, my boyfriend and I were buying it from other kids. We played with these other kids. Kids of your own age? Yes, that's right. How much did you pay for? We paid our capital of heroin. I started again by taking two capsules and graduated to about four capsules a day. It cost me about three dollars or four dollars a day. My boyfriend also supplied me whenever he could with heroin. We would go out together and get high. I used to sleep with him whenever we got high. I used to play truant from school. Every once in a while I finally broke up with the second boy. But I continue to use heroin. I use money, which my mother gave me for spending money. And I began to have sexual relationships with all the men in my neighborhood.
He gave me my wallet. One man or more than one. There was one man. And did he give you money? He gave me money whenever I would sleep with him. I love this man. He was a man in his late forties. I finally broke away from him. For the past few months I have been friendly with another boy and he has taken a sincere interest in me. I have known this boy for a long time. Although he knew all about my habits, he did not condemn me for it. He has tried to help me. He has encouraged me to stay away from using dope and I have not taking any heroin for the past few months. I hope I will not go back to using dope anymore. I don't go to parties on dates with my old group of friends because I don't want to get mixed up and taking heroin anymore. And this whole group of friends of yours, they are still taking heroin and smoking marijuana, aren't they? Yes. And that's the reason you don't want to go back and associate with them any more than you have. That's right.
General, I was the first witness in this in this hearing I should like to have called testify Commissioner Albert Williams, commissioner of the Department of Correction of the city of New York. Hello. No, I have no state the White House. Raise your right hand, you solemnly swear that this hearing will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but to tell you about the. I you give your full name address, please, I would Nation of Correction Officers 100 Center Street at our
commissioner. You have occupied the office of Commissioner of Corrections of the City of New York. For how long of four years and six months. And prior to your becoming the commissioner of Corrections of the City of New York, you are aware you are not appointed and held a position, many positions with the New York City Police Department. I did. How long at all were you attached to the uniformed police city of New York? Thirty three years. I take it that you came up through the ranks, originally held every rank and more recently on just prior to becoming commissioner of corrections of the city of New York. What was your last post with the New York City Police Department? Deputy police commissioner? Now, Commissioner, sometime about April 9th and 10th of this year, you received a communication from the attorney general of the state of New York, did you not? I did. And in that communication, you specifically requested to make a survey
of cases which had been entered in the penal institutions of the city of New York, where there was evidence of narcotic use, narcotics sale or possession of narcotics, as well as those cases involving cases of voluntary commitments for narcotic use. Is that correct? That's right. And in pursuant to the request addressed to you by the attorney general of the state on April the 9th. Nineteen fifty one, did you thereafter forward to this office? Several reports. I did. Now, before we get into the report, Commissioner, will you please tell us how many penal institutions in all does the Department of Correction of the city of New York exercise jurisdiction up? Well, the institutions we refer to would be and operate on a 24 hour basis. There are the five city prisons, one in each borrow. There's a two hospital. Prison was one of Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, the other Bellevue Hospital. And we have a White House division and a penitentiary
division on Rikers Island. We have a women's house detention hearing of our Manhattan, and we have the New York City Reformatory at New Hampton, Orange County, New York police commissioner, as of yesterday. What was the status of inmates in all of the prisons operating under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections, the city of New York? As of yesterday, there was five thousand seven hundred and five prisoners. Is that a very high figure? That's the highest sentence we've had in ten years. You say that's the highest senses that you had of inmates and city institutions for the past 10 years, right. And only exceeded three times during the past 40 years. Oh, that was two years of welfare and one year prior to the world's best. Now, Commissioner, do I stated fairly and correctly when I say that the prisoners which are received in these several institutions operated under your jurisdiction, are properly characterized as short term prison?
That's right. They are. Are they not prisoners who have come to you for incarceration from either the Magistrates Court, the courts or special sessions within the city of New York and on occasion from the county court and the Court of General Sessions in the borough of Manhattan? That's right. What normally prisoners who are sentenced to long terms in the county courts and the Court of General Sessions in the boroughs, Manhattan are not incarcerated in the institutions under your jurisdiction. So that is the fact that they're not going to get a few of them. You get relatively a small number. Now, the statistical reports which you have made to the office of the attorney general cover these short term prisoners, do they not? That's right. They are prisoners who have been incarcerated for periods from anywhere from 10 days to approximately a year. That's right. You may have several, several hundred that may be there on indeterminate, but they do are characterized the short term prison. That's right.
You don't have the hardened criminals who go to the state prisons on long sentences. You. If necessary, you may refer to your copy of your report. May I specifically call your attention to that portion of your report, which is reflected in your communication to the office of the attorney general on May the 1st, 1950? What have you got before you. I have not during the year nineteen forty six. Will you tell us how many cases were sentenced to institutions under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Corrections in the year nineteen forty six on charges involving the possession and sale of narcotic drugs, I should say, possession or sale of narcotic drugs? Two hundred forty one male. Possession and thirty six female, that would make a total of two hundred and seventy seven in all, would it not work?
And we have under the sale we have four males that are not normally people who are sentenced on sale are sentenced on felony charges. Isn't that so? So so that the overwhelming bulk of people who are apprehended and convicted on charges of sales of narcotics would normally be sentenced to long term imprisonment in state prison, not under your jurisdiction? Is that not the fact? Well, I'm not saying that what the judge is going to do, but, you know, I'm not suggesting that, you know, you just got a new commissioner. But I say normally, isn't it the fact that people who are apprehended and convicted on a charge of sale will end up in state prison and not under. Not in prisons under your jurisdiction. So that's why I stated correctly, Commissioner, that during the entire year of nineteen forty six, adding together the statistics, would you have already supplied, which include those who have been incarcerated under the prisons, under your jurisdiction for possession and sale, both male and female.
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1951-06-11--excerpt, New York's Narcotics Hearings
New York's Narcotics Hearings
Part 2
Producing Organization
WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
Most of the first side of this disc consists of the WNYC describing the scene before the hearing actually begins. After the hearing opens, we hear from New York State Attorney General Nathaniel Goldstein and Assistant Attorney General Sidney Tartikoff. A young woman is heard by transcription disc describing her descent into drug addiction.
Series Description
"The New York State Attorney General's Narcotics Hearings, consisting of the first phase of investigation, were broadcast in full on WNYC. The Hearings covered the problems of drug addiction among teen-agers, and were broadcast with a view to acquainting the public with a serious community problem."--1951 Peabody Awards entry form.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Media type
Producing Organization: WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Speaker: Goldstein, Nathaniel
Speaker: Tartikoff, Sidney
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-f814d7f0d9a (Filename)
Format: Grooved analog disc
Generation: Transcription disc
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Chicago: “WNYC News; 1951-06-11--excerpt, New York's Narcotics Hearings; New York's Narcotics Hearings; Part 2,” 1952-01-12, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 9, 2022,
MLA: “WNYC News; 1951-06-11--excerpt, New York's Narcotics Hearings; New York's Narcotics Hearings; Part 2.” 1952-01-12. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 9, 2022. <>.
APA: WNYC News; 1951-06-11--excerpt, New York's Narcotics Hearings; New York's Narcotics Hearings; Part 2. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from