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Board of State Prison Inspectors (1838-1877) | State Archives Catalog

Name: Board of State Prison Inspectors (1838-1877)

Historical Note:

The Board of  Prison Inspectors was established by an act of the General Assembly in February, 1838. It was established to provide "the oversight, management, and control" of the new state prison completed in that same year. The board's responsibilities included the Providence County Jail as well as the State Prison. It was empowered to appoint  a warden and a physician, and could also "license any proper person who will serve without compensation, to visit convicts as a moral and religious instructor." The board also undertook the promulgation of rules and regulation governing the management  of the inmates and their behavior, and oversaw the finances and purchases of supplies and equiplment, as well as the labor of the prisoners.(Rhode Island. Public Laws 1838, Crimes and Punishment, Feb. 3, 1838).

In 1877, the General Assembly adopted a resolution by which the Board of State Prison Inspectors was to be merged with the Board of State Charities and Corrections "and cease to have a separate existence." Rhode Island. Acts and Resolves. January 1877.

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