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It it I was at it of the law of the right to whip you and I would your view be brutal and predator in a county courthouse the circuit judge sentences a convicted defended 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 for him in your state will he be merely punished or will 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 pup. Paid attention from the 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. People don't want to lie. And you had what you did he was a little what you did a late late. You don't have. That was a prisoner talking. He is an inmate of a state penitentiary where emphasis is on treatment. He was taking part of a group counseling session. One of the devices this institution uses in its efforts at rehabilitation of men prison documents has taken you to a road camp where you have observed a labor force present. You have been briefed on the day to day mechanics of life and prison. You have visited the
classification center the heart of any prison system which aims at treatment of inmates. On this program we examine the means by which treatment is affected and a program of rehabilitation of men who have committed crimes. This is a maximum security type prison. The rehabilitation program concerns itself not only with the physical but with the spiritual as well. The moment we're standing in a prison chapel and as you can hear in the background a group of male voices. Fourteen in number the saint dismissed Catholic choir. Let's listen to you a week. Oh the little
yeah yeah yeah. And then we meet them in a week. Now the polearm and the warden of this prison summarize the rehabilitation objectives of the institution we're responsible not only to safely keep them in our custody during the period of their sentence but were also charged with the responsibility of doing everything in our power. Provide an opportunity for their rehabilitation whenever that is possible we have a rather broad rehabilitation program as harsh as necessary and make prisoners of
our people West. Twenty one or twenty two hundred inmates we have twenty one or twenty two hundred different individuals. Our treatment program of course is designed to meet the individual needs of the various prisoners which we feel are that everything that happens to a man has taken connotations whether in a cell block in the education building of the camps all Brevard maybe an associate warden whose full title is associate warden in charge of treatment took our reporter on a tour of the prison shops. The industry is operating within the institution of what I believe is a license plate stamping plant knowledge a little snooping. Clinton will stand a slim lead it must be at the ranch here. Operations which include the carrying them out range the chicken ranch and the General Mining we produce all the morning and they can milk their year period
and then within the confines of the installation here we have them all again. Next we have our metal fabrication factory. Next we have our own license plate factory or a what we call our metal stamping factory. This plant produces all license plates with street signs and various other stamp signs that are too numerous Some of the associate warden was proud of the production schedule the prisoners maintain but as with all aspects of life in this institution his real concern was above and beyond the number of license plates or cans of food turned out by inmate labor. The thing that's been most intriguing to me here is not in the actual operation of these industries themselves as much as in the human engineering excellence here we are in the business of
men trying to obtain in most instances had no training and in my opinion that is a thing that has been. Challenging every supervisor on the floor. Responsibility. Coverage of the mission. Particular correctional officers on the farm for intents and purposes this prison maintains a school geared to the needs of inmates. It takes those who are functional illiterates and teaches them to read and write. Here is a mathematics instructor describing the purpose behind his work. Man go into vocational panics and fender work radio. Of course
many others a certain amount of mathematics is necessary to do that work successfully and many of them come into this class for a half day to get the same last and spend the other half a day in the shops where they get the practical experience necessary to give them the employment when they leave here. The recreation program at this institution includes facilities for all kinds of games. Quiet games as well as the more vigorous sports the recreation director relates his program to the main objective of treatment I think that sports do a great Have a great bearing on the men here gives everyone something to do. For one thing for example the men love baseball games to watch as a spectator sport. We have those beaches and we have some 700 to a thousand men watching games and some decent sometime and Saturday's mass ended I
actually participating retired teacher man thing first thing they're playing this game for the fun of it next to the sportsmanship for their public relations if they had people from the outside as well as among themselves and then to win if they possibly can. But winning as the criteria. However as you sadly feel that team is a successful team the administrators of this prison are aware of the need for psychotherapy. There are not enough psychiatry or clinical psychologists to treat all the men in lieu of professional help. The president arranges group counseling sessions led by professionals who have had some training in conducting these self-help discussions. The man who speaks next is such a discussion leader. His part time job in the institution is that of accounting officer he comments on the purpose of the group counseling session in terms of purpose it has the same
purpose that any of the rehabilitative measures in our prison system would have which is to enable a man to live outside of the institution in a normal way rather than inside the institution. And it differs from our other devices and programs in that it places the burden of responsibility for and inmates on treatment in its own hands. Our premise is that self-awareness self understanding is the only mechanism that leads back to normalcy. You are about to hear a portion of a group counseling session. The man and the leader make occasional references to a book. This is a pamphlet by Dr Norman Fenton. It is used as a manual or guide for discussions at this institution. It attempts to help the president answer the question What am I getting from prison life. We have edited this tape only to remove identification of persons and
places with a record must be extra care because he is being watched and with that knowledge in mind it behooves a man with a record to be just that much more careful than a man who has never had one. Crying over mini prison coutry to get out stay out two or three years in our yard work and live in give them a stain and of the neighborhood we get along all right they are all you've got to come around and maybe a come along this way one flung out the full and he stay out two or three nights in the bank they don't get enough and they long gone away night again where you can hang out of bed early Still he won't sacrifice the crew but I doubt you give a damn he gotta go back to our attic bed to say there's act think of a gotta go out of prison
prison. Mowlam one of them taking a stain out. And I don't go around in a same sex in my neighborhood with people and I couldn't work and do the thing that I had and don't so I give up to stop back at her in events that fall again. I think if a man it was some system need training a man. Different patterns of living and training. Acting as thought would have become a full act. She just changes thoughts all the way around. Think different he would act differently because of people that we call square down they think a little bit and they think about a different way of life. They Will and Jada thing you mean. If he and you know what you did he want to go to work to make mom is not that a criminal is a lady don't be a little late. He steal the coffee stool smock he don't have can do one thing many Hmong new
cars fare very assertive fearful. Yesterday I heard yet there are still Mark Richt voters they're very. And error by going out and stay out all night tonight. Go away and leave and then go away and you still will move. You gotta eat the only thing you know get some mind years later. Seriously go see one of those. I've sat on our respect very very much a character around that. If you're going to stand there must have different
hobbies or you may have the desired areas they are the same are a little enough way when out on the way. Well I knew no one but a few people at MIT the drone thing. It was wait till I. I don't grant not because I'm afraid of anything I feel. To learn to grow. And I go around those people. But I got along in the saddle that go around hang out the neighborhood. Whatever we call hang out. Older people without the noise and me being around 20 paddy of us got along on what we only lower than that next time. Well I don't know that's what I'm trying to find out now
what would I do you know what comes. I think one man started out or I think I asked girlfriend. It was a girl and it may be you know Izzard on the skid row in some bar looking for some just anything that happens to be walking by you know I interested in what is a nice girl or a not nice girl it is water girl period. He's been away from women for five years. He get they throw money at the world he's got about 30 dollars in his pocket maybe 40 maybe 50. His first desire is wanting one thing only and he's going to will satisfy that desire one way or another. He don't care if he's got to go to the lower end of town and a high class and Italian boy always go. He's going to sell you know and I know it's magic bag and straight you know you're back here if you're in a lot of things you know on the issue and run not around I doubt it where we're talking about a good sized satisfaction I
have a lot of time thinking about what about what I swore it out I'm sure I'm starting to think clearly and you wait but here you wait another day I guess. Pictures tonight then empower Medicare for five years and gets out a bill to the little girl says well I'll get my Lander in my trusty little tool that I was stuck on this level that I can't let you get me and it didn't work for you six. Why can't you see behind us and accessible in a strategy on a Saturday. Thank you have a track and your betters. What do you think the solution at night. If somebody said here are the muscle failure poses that look at a recent prisoner health care plan should we have somebody go to somebody that cares a little bit watching you go there you are better off because they say well we'll do this we'll do that with
you but I always gag without it. Maybe 40 bucks in their pocket. They got a Jap. They don't know anybody or people they know it's got tagged with it and they don't even know how it was hung up the right places to go they go to some high class place in mind to stay there for a tractor a couple days next thing you know the people are not in all cases. So glum looks like seemed right for everything formal dinner minus the nightclub in one night. We sell a man's home and how now I'm happy. So it could have been economic. Neat I love it could've been done well or something. Twist it somewhere and I can't find an answer by I'll have a grandpa post-surge orbiter's body and you are very good you're good you're out and certainly are big very early years. So to where you are were very you know you're a hero. Too good for all of them are bad out
really good keep the orange out or at least there's a liar Steve. That theory of mind added animals elaborate where rehabilitative set up in the world where a sickness my hair it made a man know how deep is our he will say how he got to be schooled in that way for you. You float up and down I go to school a guy who desired state he can be the most foolish error but first the diaries are we say our papers are going to their liking everybody want to stay out of a locked gate and think big and fairly want to just come back. We inherited money a lot of your captain but it got here in the air you have already gotten sick armies or whatever and here now you are a force. Yeah I'll say you nothing but say we're going out the next three months yet
when you arranged to sleep or somehow that that would take her some years and I know you're out of there know you're on the lower I Wedeman now less obvious leatherworker to help pay for some of the extra activity you want to do outside because it's it's a good good hobby you make good money and you're good at it now because it's in your work. So it's not a question of not knowing. Some sort of you know you care. Lash is necessary for that in our character as a we are a few people tonight closer to our life. RS You are going to dutifully and here it is an American radio like liberal I haven't got time to get
busted in verse 9 you know where I stay. They gave me too much money to go and work and go work the next morning where we don't purchase Maggie said EAT IT GET LOW it do whatever it no smoking weed as you know Larry and a short story. OK. Now here is Dr. Vernon Fox content authority for this series. A member of the faculty of the School of Social Welfare at Florida State University Dr. Fox. There is considerable difficulty in getting adequate professional coverage for all inmates. The traditional classification committee is made up of the members of the prison administration. The steward the warden the chaplain the medical OP assume
the superintendent of the library the director of the schools and almost all of the high priced help in the institution. The traditional classification system went into existence before professional sociologists and psychiatrists came to the prisons. The pre-professional classification system which is the second type has added a sociologist to this large group of people. He prepares the social history gathers information from other agencies that I've had contact with the man as he comes in and prepares a classification summary for use by the classification committee or this large group in making the decisions as to what assignment he should go on what
type of custody he should have and what sort of a program in toto in which he should engage. However the traditional and the professional classification committees merely make recommendations and their recommendations are then sent to the opposite of the deputy warden who decides himself what assignment the inmate should go into and usually in the traditional and pretty professional classification systems. Usually the recommendation goes into the wastebasket in the deputy warden assigns the man to where he thinks he should work nor where men are needed. The next step is to integrate the pre-professional classification Committee into the prison program as a whole so that the recommendations of the classification committee are followed through.
Many prisons now have the integrated classification Committee in which the decisions of the prison staff are followed through and actually put into effect inside the prison and the man's case is reviewed periodically to make changes of assignments and sometimes to recommend for or against parole or at the expiration of his sentence. The newest and most progressive type classification committee however is what we call the professional classification committee where the director of classification a high ranking custody man and the man's own counselor the inmates own professional counselor sits as a board of three men on the classification committee to decide and recommend the program for the man. In addition to this classification
program there are several ways of using professional help for the treatment of prisoners. Some states have the diagnostic deep ball in a reception center which receives all the new prisoners. The psychiatric and psychological help in these states is frequently concentrated in this one place. They do a good study of the man and recommend a program of treatment and then forward him to the institution to which they have assigned him. And the man gets into a traditional prison program too frequently that happens. Another type of approach that is seen in several states is the psychiatric unit within the prison itself. In these psychiatric units four or five psychiatrists at least in
one state there have been five psychiatrists in one institution. Do intensive work on a few cases. Another type of approach is to have a group of psychologists and social workers divide the inmate population into various case loads where counseling can take place. Because the case loads run from 400 50 to 700 men. Any concept of intensive therapy is absurd. However all prisoners get a little coverage in order to meet this terrific problem of volume. The group therapy program hasn't been introduced in several
prisons. Group counseling which we have just heard is only one type of group participation in which prisons have attempted to make up for the lack of professional personnel. There are many other types of group counseling and group therapy in existence in American prisons. In most of the group therapy programs there are two common elements. One is safety in the group anything that is said is held within the group and not discussed anywhere else either officially or unofficially. And the second is that. All members of the group are interested in therapy their own self improvement whether it is a rather pre-professional group counseling or a highly professional
group psychotherapy which is found in some states. The elements of safety and therapeutic objectives remain. The methods of handling group therapy are varied. They can be either directive or none directive. For example in the directive approach a therapist makes a lecture or presents a film or introduces a subject and the subject is then discussed in the group as it relates to each of the individuals in the nun directive approach. However which seems to be the most fruitful. There is no structuring of the problem of discussion by the therapist but rather a non directive guiding by suggestion by questions
and by interpretating the discussion of the inmates. No single approach to changing deviant behavior in large groups of people has been found in the complimentary use of all approaches in each institution appears to be ideal. While this is a costly process it could certainly be no more costly than the present costs of crime committed by persons once housed in our prisons but untouched by our rehabilitative processes. This has been a prison document a series of programs on the adult male in the state penitentiary. This program we have examined the devices used in rehabilitation. All references to actual persons and places have been purposely deleted. We are indebted to prison officials all over the country and throughout the
world for their cooperation and enthusiasm for the project. It is our sincere hope that prison documents may provoke in each of you I desire to understand the philosophies and problems in the correctional department of your own state. Production has been by the staff of W FSU Af-Am Florida State University Tallahassee field recording by Thomas St.. Tape editing and engineering by Bill Ragsdale. Narration script and production supervision by Roy Flynn. Prison document has been produced under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center and is distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the ne AB Radio Network.
Prison document
Producing Organization
Florida State University
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program studies some of the mechanics by which treatment is affected in a prison system geared to rehabilitation of inmates, and presents a group counseling session.
Series 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: 58-11-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:55
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Chicago: “Prison document; Treatment,” 1958-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 23, 2024,
MLA: “Prison document; Treatment.” 1958-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Prison document; Treatment. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from