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It is the Senate of the law. You have to be in a county courthouse the circuit judge sentences a convicted offenders within a few hours the former accused will become a convict a prisoner an inmate of a state penitentiary. What kind of institution will he enter. Under what conditions will he live. What will be done to or for him in your state. Will he be merely punished or would an attempt be made to understand him as an individual in need of help to find a partial answer to these questions. Questions to which the public is paid slight attention from earliest times a representative of the Florida State University
visited state penal institutions throughout the United States. The result of these visits is a prison document a series of radio programs in which the individuals involved from the governor to the loneliest person are tell their own stories.
Perhaps the convicted man is one of this group of newly arrived prisoners in a penitentiary system where emphasis is on rehabilitation. The underlying idea of such a system is that criminal behavior is merely one aspect of a total mental health picture. The basic element here is the classification system. The degree of custody that is the amount of freedom a prisoner is allowed and the type of assignment he will receive are determined on the basis of physical fitness intelligence and emotional stability. As you listen to this program bear in mind that only a few years ago the prison system in this state might have served as the horrible example of all of the evils of prison. Our reporter went into this state expecting to find the lash being used. He expected to find the eye for an eye philosophy where the prisoner is given the benefit of no doubt. Instead he found a classification officer a qualified clinical psychologist who had this to say regarding custody. We use basically
two possible questions if you want. It makes sense for them and certainly for every system is why you revised last time I started dating my supervision is a kind of. A better way for eventual release and is also a way to do more if. I think this assembly line is using moral restraint. As against being restrained by. Basic techniques. A few moments ago you heard a group of new prisoners being stripped of their clothes personal belongings starting a processing sequence at the classification and receiving center a classification officer outlines the routine. Processing sequence. As far commander Ryerson transfer trial receiving classification center is placed in a holding cell on his stretcher. Human ear septic BAF
is then fingerprint or. Barring that he goes upstairs to the quarantine proper where he is given. Requiring team clothes white. Jumper. And. A slight sliver is a sign of better. Carnap. He has pictures taken as a marking. The next step would be the classification procedure proper which would be testing. Following the main interview. Then the cross interview immediately preliminary to the classification board meeting. And at the board meeting. His assignment is decided upon. And made to him. And he returned to the ship to give the news. Our reporter was permitted to follow the man from the moment they gave up their clothes were sprayed with an ad aseptic moved into the hospital atmosphere of quarantine. He was present at the testing for intelligence and aptitudes. He did not sit in on the interview in
which the individual prisoner and the psychologist classification officer discussed the man's personal problems. He was however permitted to bring his tape recorder into the final session of review by the Classification Board. Here the classification officer briefs the board with pertinent information resulting from the physical examination. The testing and the interview. He makes a preliminary recommendation. The degree of custody and the type of assignment. The prisoner is then brought before the board is questioned further. He is then usually sent out of the room. The board discusses and confirms or modifies the original recommendation on custody and assignment. The prisoner is brought back and the decision is made known to him. You are about to hear three of the individual final sessions. We have edited these tape recordings only to the extent of concealing the identity of the prisoners and the location of the classification center. This at times interrupts the normal flow of dialogue where editing of a key word would make a phrase or a sentence unintelligible. We have imposed this tone.
The classification board consists of a deputy commissioner of corrections the supervisor of road camp prisons and the central classification officer next case escapee from the state hospital. Roaming widely since that time finally being picked up 13 months for burglary. He's 25 years of age. Using your previously served after school from age 8 through a teen. And most recently left the custody of a man. To explain before he's been arrested numerous times. Tells me. That this is his first trip. Se. He needs help. And he gets a call. Compulsive behavior not being able to clean the rights and the wrongs in this situation. He says he is an epileptic. Plan for the required amount
of medication. Discover has been fractured as a result of seizures. Some time during his manager's eyes or. Diversion. And if he was. Running. Late to her seat or whether America looses because for this or. Six great educational. Background they saw a normal. Score on the. Telephones pass. The recommendation for. Maximum cost. To waive the next. Sarika mess for. Me. To. Her. Meanwhile I will be able to get the records from. The other two that are. Yes no significant factor. Whether that. Was initiated medication. While in the hospital some years
back. Claims of this and never without medical supervision. Never saw or take. While we were all wrong. I think that's highly rational. For action and I think this is. Past behavior. He just passed away for sure as a. Virus causing the feeling. Probably the very reason. For leaving. You're. Usually very also cursed with the side effects. Which you see the third thing last for Larson. Claims that his family. There's been a very sympathetic.
Reverence to his cause in the past but actually. There. Are. Other interesting point the fact that he was a hospital orderly. Aside. Which I think he's. Another. Like him. Madeline prior series him out just. For a week or a fine person to. Come. Room. Verify this is related to sex deviation or are they themselves having a record of psychiatric history who are interested in working in a hospital you know. Helping other people. Out going to sympathy you're a projection of their own.
Coming. Down. Here on our commissar. Rumors come around. And. Somebody hears you. Because. Recently. Jeremy was. Told you're counting Gio and I. Always hear a cry for your family are safe rowing safer. Than. I was so. Over my head with a crew to my things. What we were doing for my hospital for you might.
Mean matters. Exactly. Rest. Rest and all of you going to John Kerry. Oh you're. Right there's a very. Long time I was 12. When I. See my feet. They don't care at all. Well. Nobody's come see my getting sick. When I knew he. Was right and the money to get me a coke or cable or so I am he was the greatest. And. He just told me we. Had to build a new kitchen. And. Place the memories they have paid to kill him some I. Used to use one now.
Thank God it was the way it is now. Ten. Dollars there soon we. Will know where the cage. Went in it yeah. Telephone toward off the wall carryin the big axe. But the top e's. Got a home right over top where the hero going about they. Just took all the money I got twenty six hours to make. Their dollars 40 cents. And I scared. That money in every bank. I started spending money like I do I have hard hours of hard work at the work now are dark and it was late. I knew think I stepped on somebody's going nowhere coming. You know like oh I don't go for it
anyway I just think of all grandmothers. You manage you were forced to through each night. Where you are at all any part of. Israel. Two weeks what do you eat when first you never know when he jabbered for nineteen. Forty nine. And then one foot in the spring on. The first period I went there was because there are 14 1954. I stood here October 7 left grounds up to resent 54. And I still awake till the examiner said 55. And I went back and stood up. One night one more thing to Mark. Going through hell or more. Might. Just get off some strange. Reason why you know.
I just didn't sink very much. So you have never heard Walker next made history by giving her so. She'll walk up to your place Kreis. Sure she's got a problem. For you. And I. Are going to. Pick up a typewriter and I know our allies. Take on showers that want to see ourselves. But honor guard sure. You use narcotics and. I knew ours. Well how on earth. Hour. These back oh no. No no I would
never think I was eight years old I was thinking. But of course you're right because I. Never think that I'm wrong in my line. You know I think that whenever more. The world we're going to get very. Little. Sign. The preceding case presented unique problems due to the element of severe mental illness. In contrast the next case is that of a mild mannered tractable man. He has however been convicted several times for
forgery. During his past periods of imprisonment he has been a model prisoner. X case for three years obtaining money by false pretenses. He claims that 243 cases have already been crossed we have over cation record. It's interesting also that he was used as a trustee for a verbal recommendation for trustee. Records and identification. I think this guy. Logically after. Consideration. Of the possibility that two holes as a gas as an overpriced. Coffee. You mean I
know that and I know. You where you are here. Yes. You know that. If. You. Really. Know. Where you are you. Think. I'm the Greenman I think going along with you know I think you know. Continue your. Federal system yourself for us.
In contrast to Willie the next case represents the most vicious criminal type which the classification board is likely to encounter. He was arrested with another man for burglarizing ice cream stands after his arrest it was discovered that he was traveling in a stolen car. His wife had already been convicted on the stolen car charge chiefly on the testimony of the man who had been his partner in the hold ups. The board had decided to hold the partner for psychiatric examination. He they felt was the weak follower of the man whose case you are about to hear this morning here. Federal or direct as possible. Texas hold mail order as well. Claro filing specific charges. I'm not at this point. This man is much more calculating collector than the visual
superficially more stable. And makes no complaints as to physical or mental disability is rather better. He's hardly ever disguised as tech during his wife's situation. She already has been vetted. As mask twenty three men arrested for one time previously is recommended for. All custody taken in the US to stay over as an. Extra. Extra meaning Suber. Time custody if there are any reservations we going to board members in and I actually asked them.
Oh I. Know. Oh. No not really ready for war with or. Large. Thanks AS. Well as then you know there are always. Flowers. He didn't bargain for. Your. House.
You know where. They are. Now. Well I might now. But they said they were now Ross that case. So if you're a lawyer. Who was. There and was close to your. Have you been arrested. Or maybe. That's just my read.
What is your very. Last two years I was working. For that was. My. Birthday. Are. They saying oh you sure whine. Well my books are here. Well I don't know whether. I will. Or for. The record. We know our record you know where we
are. Well now I know your heart because. I think you know we were right. This is a pretty well well. Well read and. That's a letter.
Bar three or four years. There is no. Once. You. Get your American released from segregation cases of war or this review is. Considering. Reform. One of the cases reviewed by the board involved three young men who had been sent to prison for
car theft. Each had a record of previous arrests for minor offenses drunkenness vagrancy and the like. Normally rap partners co offenders are separated in prison. The board decided to permit these three young men to stay together. Our reporter taking his clue from the almost convivial air of the hearing said he assumed that the young men were being permitted to remain together because there was hope for them. Since criminals go they were nonprofessionals a classification officer commented. All right now here is Dr. Bernard Parks of the faculty of a school of social welfare at Florida State University. We have comment on the material you have heard even in the prisons that
make an effort to be treatment oriented. It is always difficult to keep the focus of diagnosis and treatment and the prisoner himself. We have just heard a most tractable inmate the one most hopeful of the future told that he could be used to good advantage to the prison system. Here is a prison system just coming out of the punishment era but not yet treatment oriented the treatment oriented prison makes job assignments and other phases of the program. According to the needs of the individual not according to the needs of the institution frequently these needs are complimentary. Sometimes they are not when compromises have to be made to obtain workers for the institution. The most hopeful intractable inmates are for practical purposes of economy of effort
maintained in their programs that were designed for their improvement. The hardened more intractable lawn term prisoner is most frequently assigned to jobs for the benefit of the prison system rather than for his benefit. Correctional Services in America are moving in the direction of providing individual treatment for the persons who have demonstrated the presence of personality problems by their commission of crime. We have just heard about an institution which is making that shift a prison in transition. This has been a prison document a series of programs on the adult male in the state penitentiary on this program we have examined a classification center all references to actual persons and places have been purposely deleted. We are indebted to prison officials over the country and throughout the world for their cooperation and enthusiasm for the project. It is the sincere hope that prison document may
Prison document
Classification and receiving center of a prison
Producing Organization
Florida State University
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program examines the classification and receiving center of a prison system which has only recently experienced reform. The board discusses and interviews prisoners, and makes known their prison assignments.
Other Description
A documentary series that examines prisons and their purposes.
Broadcast Date
Social Issues
Law Enforcement and Crime
Media type
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Engineer: Stone, Thomas
Engineer: Ragsdale, Bill
Narrator: Fleming, William
Producing Organization: Florida State University
Writer: Flynn, Roy
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 58-11-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:54
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Chicago: “Prison document; Classification and receiving center of a prison,” 1958-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 17, 2022,
MLA: “Prison document; Classification and receiving center of a prison.” 1958-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 17, 2022. <>.
APA: Prison document; Classification and receiving center of a prison. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from