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it's been in this is a community of the story of a forgotten one world in which they live or jail and prison of america what are they like there was the story of saul why leading party and by the co produced for the educational television and radio whether i'm featuring joseph being lonely yemen and sociology of men or warriors freedom is
prized by men everywhere and one time another every condition in recent months congress fought and even die insecurity a lot of the men who have been the night for you or have lost a truly know it's me most of it just like the program really feel the full impact of its meaning when we have lost but the fish that has been lifted out of the water or a man that is gasping for breath this is why a prison so far beyond the understanding of most of us it is in short the denial of freedom more than anything else is this weekend literally in may bring them closer together in their misery and their desperation that is why they spend each week in our scheming and plotting conniving to regain their pre order again the privileges that they'll law while in jail or prison any man who administers a large group of regulated man whether he be the general bon ami
that eventually becomes in some degree subject to the will of those men in a moment we'll talk to a prison inmate and learn from him what goes on in the secret recesses of his and the other inmates mines and then to an administrator will tell us of his experience in dealing with the secrets of the prisoners themselves these understanding of the men apart the villages the help of a collective influence and this must be working indeed again capabilities not only of the men themselves are the very administration that stands over a man who had lost their freedom and make a special point of using this to make a collective power of their own to assert their will over the administration or they have no other influence over this situation no other means by which they can control the fortunes of begin to express their own feelings you recognize this fact about social groups generally it can make the difference between a jail which is inconstancy
right and turmoil or one in which the social part of the inmates identifies with that of the warden and your ministry it is true that the one the guards and the other professional personnel must run the president they have the responsibility for doing this but their success has depended upon how well they know that means i would be inmates secretly pop and connive to impose their will upon each other and indeed upon the administration itself no prison is run exclusively by the law and the law the inmates in the least help run the prison and often they can become as influential if not more so than the present administration itself so with these inmates who run the prison might be sleeper paul well it will be determined by the degree to which the warden is aware of his condition in his inmate population about five that the buildings are
divided wire bent on five of the wire that would appear that has been run by the administration and that's the prism of them are pawns moving your american reporters of the institution at the women plenty of the war and he's got the truth is that these men the chairman the character of institutions because they supply the manpower to do its work and there is much that have to be done many to maintain it to whom it to develop new construction projects necessary to their incarceration and another to watch the windows of the violence comparable job in amongst them is the competition for the thumb get this kind of job you ron we all come down in the bakery family kitchens with food that are all assembled here and the only population accepted and sorted and as a result of that they run the institutions with
this you know with their purpose at times it is it is it is oh
no the peak the creek
the key weeks before i've
fallen for you this week it is an update
politicians yeah well if we are
doing the presenters is the inmates who won the presidents' let's ask a lot of americans most distinguished with administrators well it's true i get a lot more to distinguish within the union expects warden john sleep or nineteen years the head of the wisconsin state prison for one wisconsin and a past president of the american correctional association glad to have you with us well i'd like to be able to tell you that the one that always completely runs a person or institution can't quite say that because that is true the inmates an institutional opponent that type of the situation in however the morning
and he's there are a camera and conscious of the problem invest that dedicated to their work and are trained that are qualified that mainly interested in people and sponsor a real constructive forward chances are well composed for themselves if they're not that i know they are not aware of the fact that in a minute president needs protection provided with if they're not fully conscious of the needs to revive growth in clean living quarters the program far more rebuilding of education of psychiatric health and those things then you're gonna find parishioners ready to step in to take over and do something
about the problem just assumes that there's a negotiations that failed and so let's say that the official poet robert may i ever faced with that probably walking through and being willing to take aw there are some places where they do actually take over the program that reflects their will and their purpose in the war the inmates that a lot of the product of their control and certainly save the history of american presence indicates that there are places at times already in mexico or people who are running the program as a matter of fact in some places and certain thousand people live as much as said we watched the walls and not mistake them for the people concerned about what happens in sight fortunately that doesn't go that it's been varying degrees
global partner partner of almost running it up to war posters and not one of the prisoners can take over and to do it in the face of the inadequacy of a failure on the part of the administration recognizes that job what are some of the factors which may work against the success of the prison administration in keeping the prison calling them going in their direction rather than run the first online presence that that system or a non violent the minute that route the people who understand the needs of men are not in tune with the rest of the round you put into effect yet that health now if you're going to have a system in any particular state where you had a very low so it's one that could catapult good people
working as one million selling three hundred hours half of all states that a plaintiff in recent years ago the dartmouth i think that once they recently over the last couple years in serious trouble over fifty percent on the tides in that institution we're over seventy years of age i asked some of them couldn't even climb up to the upper tier to the institution would give inmates keys to do their duty that person had these kind of men because for the price they paid they could only get memorable or not on other jobs that retired that were laid off you have men like that manning the walls in taking care generally of the prison is charging all of the custodial functions
including some men up against some prisoners who are quite equaled having talent and leadership and initiative the prisoners and so that's just what happens you haven't made a proclamation about some pretty shrewd man composite have a lot of ability of a lot of leadership and they're ready to take over at every sweet ones if you get into politics in the system neither man out every couple years you just contract they're going to take for instance in the southern part of the country you only earth they decided to hire them as they were fighting this program i happened to visit that inquiry going well and we felt that was a great improvement now he's getting
civilians we couldn't and the outside out of these two thousand voters you could pick the best and created out of them were because of the movie that just eighteen dollars more and they won't happen or they weren't even though they weren't the kind of man that could do as good a job from another place that say to that and then is when you can disable the rest room situation room the warden's aware of the law ortiz of song is that there's less congestion is a much more of a problem as it won one of the administration doesn't even take into account this appears leadership and talent which is within the inmate population and has pitted against the car talk anna jenna worden doesn't come to realize the potential in a lot of these fighters he's in trouble and was beginning to lose track of his particular line of work
it's hard for me to see weaker than anyone could be one of an institution for very long work without finding out that the backup is that news is ever present tension of the inmates are ready to giggle one reason there's a lot of the duties a lot of jobs that can be discharged and many areas of course the manned by inmates themselves i suspect some of them regarded as better by the inmates another what does the administration do about the way in which the jobs are infiltrated by the prisoners themselves song going to those who know where they're going and what's left over going to the others well yeah and the repression has to be sure that it's that exciting nine mets are going to work it step must be
saying this week that says that must decide whether and when you don't watch however you have an inmate working in an office would say in the office of the civilian was it that makes it work and if that man isn't strong that man doesn't take him so he soon find peace in my heart pointing out that social was a very fine man he's very talented you do a good job and he gets assigned to the job designing and i'm in a lovely years ago the nineties but in fact it's actually the inmate is because this week employees being taken in and that's a very dangerous things in prisons and yet things like that what you've been commenting represents a long experience and then inside that came out of working through the years of the problem with minutes during the event these are things that would garner a newcomer to know as in his
own experience and background to what extent do we have training in preparation for prison workers are career service of this country yeah there's a very christian program and that throughout the country but unfortunately still in many places a monastery in the morning and i play for anybody many prisoners however do something about the iranian program is only an illustration of what some others are doing our last winter hundred and fifty employees of ours you really unknown five arthur and while one hour sessions of interest rate and what should we explain that and explain to them what the construct of psychiatric services services and swallows man come to understand and work of reconstructive surgeon and seven report
to warn that whereas this is unusual in the penitentiaries in that list is a mark which other presidents monk you know this situation is totally absent for the most part from the jail programs in the united states are run a jail in which there is an insufficient kenya was for the personnel because they are subject to the whims of politics for that the inmates have been a continuity of the period of time when the guards and they are forced to learn how to run the jail from the inmates who've been there before they did they have to make they no longer even more juvenile prisons where we have men serving long sentences one thing i might mention he said something about being there a long time and experienced running ads that point out that we know there's something new every day i've often thought that long road getting things nutrition
working with her and he proposed that the medium of the way they have been working for these insights into what makes a prison take and when possible it can be administered by the authorities and when we possibly can take into account these things that happened on the other side of the fence and speak amongst the prisoners themselves we have as our guest today one of america's most distinguished acknowledges a famous one the head of the wisconsin state prison and walk on wisconsin gordon john c both everywhere very doomed by their life and growth and there are groups in prisons and jails and even enter a prominently into the operation to begin with includes the lives of the men and indeed the influence the lives of the administration's wealth and i'll
have freedom combined with you on that impression of the moment that you might want to the inmates of the prison into a community event artist community of interest and dealt with by the administration determines the industry which this collective expression of the commitment to the community and how it will influence them it's largely a matter of how much it is recognize what they've done with ian by those who administered by the necessities of life that this is according to a predictable future but the president failed to give conventional out that the man who headed the problems of rehabilitation and then apply for them a satisfaction of the drive for individual and group expression this desire to sydney who turned up on the men themselves and through them and let the president get elected are the movement and criminal and rather than confront the purposes of the institution in the eye in this
way the inmate set the terms and values of the vote in secret unknown decline of the best intentioned of that was that the prisoners have a ronco of management as well known and everyone observed that it ranges all the way from such an expression we mourn as leprechauns wrong with your they know more about it than we do anyway for example that on the rain that question that a woman says i run the globe and allow everything i say is the lab and they would do what i wanted to be an important factor that comes when we quickly run the mop them in the war game wardens on the car lot because this kind of warning the outlaw all they can be and secret defiance of the reasons that the inmates are usually such things as inadequate that mccarthy reports on the heavy handed partisan politics from the journal
reporter nell what's known as the prison not so well as the inmates themselves that i don't think that they can find and the understanding of the region and of course they weren't as any improvement of reflected in the fact and the commitment of the administration and then on the other hand there's a sense in which the secret like in the line and become important because there are opportunities limited budgets of an open and constructive activities to preoccupy the mines and the length of the man in the woods in making it the main course be redirected to the energies of that community and the channel in with intimate way in legitimate direction the inmates have a role in running the prison and this romantic legitimate and of course on the other hand in a given a pass the negative aspects and learning opportunities for individual
and group saw expression beans they are appointed the energies of the inmate population into a legitimate count and indeed a competent of vegetables that which is in fact running will explore opportunities for legitimate law and true expression community education you do ms
Community of the Condemned
Episode Number
Who Runs the Prisons?
Producing Organization
WTTW (Television station : Chicago, Ill.)
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
The special guest this episode is John C. Burke. Mr. Burke is warden at the Wisconsin State Prison at Waunpin, WI. An inmate views about who really controls the operation of a prison are expressed during an on-location interview. Criminologist Joseph D. Lohman sketches the relationship of the administration to the inmate community and the ways in which the inmates' group influences the administration. Burke and Lohman explore the prisoner's role, both legitimate and otherwise, in prison management, and discuss the redirection of this community activity into legitimate channels which a professional staff can provide. Lohman notes the need for constructive outlets for individual and group expression, without which inmate energies are directed into hostile and anti-social channels. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Series Description
Community of the Condemned brings to the public a searching study of penal institutions and correctional systems and their inmates, indicating the damage done by outmoded penal practices which follow upon lack of understanding, inadequate information and public apathy. In each case, nationally-known criminologist Joseph D. Lohman discusses the problem with a group of guest experts. On-location filmed prison scenes and direct interviews with actual prison inmates are seen. Various differences in prisoners are investigated along with the multiple kinds of institutions, often too all-equipped to allow beneficial results. The dramatic need for new procedures, new kinds of institutions and correctional programs, and professional, well-trained staffs to administer them is indicated during the series. Joseph D. Lohman, nationally-known criminologist and Sheriff of Cook County, Illinois since 1954, is the host for this series. Lohman is Consultant on Juvenile Delinquency to the Ford Foundation and has been a member of the staff of the University of Chicago since 1947. He was chairman of the Division of Corrections of the State of Illinois from 1949-1952, and chairman, Parole and Pardon Board of the State of Illinois from1952-1953. He has been a director of the American Prison Association and a director and past president of the Illinois Academy of Criminology. Lohman received his B.A. degree from the University of Denver and his M.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1931. The 26 half-hour episodes comprising the series were originally recorded on videotape. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Talk Show
Social Issues
Published Work: This work was offered for sale and/or rent in 1960.
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Moving Image
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Guest: Burke, John C.
Host: Lohman, Joseph D.
Producing Organization: WTTW (Television station : Chicago, Ill.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2302805-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 16mm film
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: B&W
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2302805-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 16mm film
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: B&W
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Identifier: [request film based on title] (Indiana University)
Format: 16mm film

Identifier: cpb-aacip-512-gx44q7rq23.mp4 (mediainfo)
Format: video/mp4
Generation: Proxy
Duration: 00:29:28
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Chicago: “Community of the Condemned; 9; Who Runs the Prisons?,” 1958-00-00, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 3, 2023,
MLA: “Community of the Condemned; 9; Who Runs the Prisons?.” 1958-00-00. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 3, 2023. <>.
APA: Community of the Condemned; 9; Who Runs the Prisons?. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from