C. INSTITUTIONAL RECORDS
AUBURN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
- Auburn Prison - Administration
- Auburn Prison - Finances and Industry
- Auburn Prison - Inmate Records
- Auburn Prison - Inmate Health Records
- State Prison for Women at Auburn
Auburn Correctional Facility is located in Auburn, Cayuga County. It is classified principally as a maximum security correctional facility receiving by transfer males 21 years of age or older. It functions as a general confinement facility, a detention center for males 16 years of age or older, and a diagnostic and treatment center. At present, Auburn has a population of approximately 1,700 inmates.
Auburn is the oldest existing State correctional facility. It was built to relieve overcrowding at Newgate Prison in New York City and received its first inmates in 1817. The "Auburn System" included separate confinement of inmates, congregate work during the day, enforced silence, lockstep walking, striped uniforms, and the use of the lash as punishment. It was the first institution to use separate cells for inmates. There was great interest in this new system throughout the penal community, and Auburn influenced the subsequent construction of many similar prisons in other states. Many of the harsher elements in the Auburn system eventually were phased out by the end of the 19th century.
In 1893, the State Prison for Women opened at Auburn. This prison used the facility that previously served from 1859 to 1893 as an asylum for insane male convicts. When the asylum closed, its inmates were transferred to Matteawan. Women had been previously confined at Auburn from its opening to 1838, when they were transferred to Sing Sing. The new State Prison for Women was the first prison for female felons established in the State. Auburn was utilized for older women who were second-term felons. Auburn coexisted with female reformatories at Albion, Bedford, and Hudson. While separate from the male prison, it still came under the administration of the men's prison. In 1933, the State Prison for Women was transferred to Westfield State Farm and the space was utilized for a greatly expanded industrial facility for the male prison.
On August 6, 1890, the State's first electrocution was performed at Auburn. Subsequent electrocutions were performed at Auburn until 1914 when all State executions were transferred to Sing Sing Prison. In 1929, there were two inmate riots which led eventually to extensive reconstruction of the facility. At present, Auburn contains large industrial facilities and inmates are engaged in producing a number of items including furniture, signs used by public works, and license plates for New York motorists. Since Auburn is not a receiving prison, an extensive classification program is not needed at the facility. Auburn does maintain comprehensive programs of vocational and academic education.
B0030. Annual reports of Auburn Prison and Prison for Women, 1919-1974. 5 cu. ft.
These reports, prepared by various members of Auburn's staff, contain statistical and descriptive information on prison finances, inmate population, labor, education programs, discipline, maintenance, and other matters relating to the operation of the prison.
B0077. Warden's office files, 1901-1973. R 8 cu. ft.
These are the warden's central administrative files containing a wide variety of records relating to inmates and the operation of the prison. Files include: correspondence to and from the warden; statements of inmate earnings; orders of inmate transfer; Special Orders; character references relating to inmates; monthly reports of inmates in segregation; daily prison reports; records of inmates granted furlough; records of inmate punishments; and information on volunteers.
B0069. Daily attendance reports of institution personnel, 1941-1942, 1951-1952. .5 cu. ft.
These are records of employee absences kept by the principal keeper. The records give date, name of staff member, title, reason for absence, and total number of staff absent.
B0071. Daily journal of inspector in charge, 1860-1871. .3 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This journal includes minutes of meetings of the Board of Inspectors with information on staff reports, resignations of staff, and other activities involving the inspectors.
B0028. Correctional Volunteer Services office files, 1970-1974. 1 cu. ft.
These are records relating to volunteer services at Auburn Correctional Facility. They include correspondence and memoranda, printed material on prison volunteer programs, volunteer handbooks, position papers on various topics, and inmate volunteer proposals.
B1230. General journal, 1866-1881, 1888-1893. 1 cu. ft. (3 volumes)
This general journal was the principal accounting record of original entry for the prison, documenting all financial transactions in chronological order as they occurred. Entries cover all prison receipts and expenses such as salaries, repairs, supplies, rations, and disbursements to released inmates.
B1236. General ledger, 1877-1888. .5 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This record functioned as the principal record of final entry for all Auburn's financial transactions. Entries document credits into accounts that the prison received money from and debits from accounts that the prison paid money to.
A1103. Day book of financial transactions, 1821-1825. .3 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This volume is a daily record of all the prison's financial transactions. The volume documents the name of the individual or account, goods and services provided, and amount of transaction.
B1277. Miscellaneous accounts journal, 1907-1920. .5 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This journal documents receipts and disbursements in Auburn's financial accounts such as maintenance, State industries, convict deposits, and special funds.
B1232. Cashbook, 1889-1892. .5 cu. ft. (1 volume)
The function of this cashbook was to provide an on- going record of the prison's income, expenditures, and cash balance. Most of the entries relate to various prison industry accounts such as brass, broom, chair, and iron castings.
B1227. Special funds expenditure journal, 1894-1910. 1 cu. ft. (2 volumes)
This journal documents expenditures in various prison accounts such as repairs, water system, library, and electrocution, arranged by date of expenditure.
B1229. Special funds expenditure ledger, 1893-1899. .5 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This ledger documents expenditures in various prison accounts (repairs, electrocution, etc.) arranged by name of account.
B1234. Expenditure ledger, 1894-1900. 2 cu. ft. (3 volumes)
This ledger documents prison expenditures in a number of categories such as salaries, rations, firewood, clothing and bedding, hospital, repairs, discharge and transportation of convicts, etc. Entries list the date of expenditure, name of individual or company, description of goods and services, and amount paid.
B1228. Disbursement journal, 1892-1900. 1 cu. ft. (2 volumes)
This series documents expenditures in prison accounts, most relating to prison industries such as hollow ware, iron castings, State industries, etc. For each expenditure, the journal lists date of entry, individual/company being paid, and amount paid.
B1274. Invoices, receipts, and vouchers relating to prison purchases, 1932. 1 cu. ft.
This series contains invoices, receipts, and vouchers documenting prison purchases of food, equipment, and supplies from September to December, 1932.
B1226. Contractor bid files relating to the purchase of food, equipment, and supplies, 1930-1932. 1 cu. ft.
This series contains records used in the selection of contractors to provide food, equipment, and supplies for the prison. The majority of the records are copies of specifications and proposals used in the purchase of these items.
B0074. Monthly sales journal, 1932-1938. 1 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This volume records the sale of products manufactured at Auburn. The record lists the name and address of the customer and total amounts purchased in each item category which include wood working, broom and basket, bed and brass, cloth, farm products, and women's industries.
B0072. Expenditures for broom, hollow ware, and iron castings industries, 1893-1897. .3 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This volume lists the monthly expenditures for the broom, hollow ware, and iron casting industries operated by the prison.
B0073. Daily report of moneys received by prisoners, 1907-1909. .3 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This volume documents money sent to inmates from outsiders and contains name of inmate, name of sender, amount, and date deposited.
14610-88D. Inmate case files, 1935-1956. R 140 cu. ft.
Approximately 2,400 case files relate to inmates confined at Auburn from 1935 to 1956. Case files relate to inmates with consecutive numbers between #46554 and #53395. Reflecting Auburn's function as a transfer prison, case files contain many records from institutions of previous confinement, particularly Sing Sing and Elmira.
14610-77A. Inmate case files (Classification Clinic), 1914- 1950. R 21 cu. ft.
Approximately 2,500 partial case files relate to inmates confined at Auburn from approximately 1914 to 1950. The records relate to inmates with consecutive numbers between #34063 and #48133. The case files relate to different inmates than those represented in the 140 cubic feet of case files described above. These records were maintained in Auburn's Classification Clinic. While many files contain typical classification records (staff progress reports, psychological reports, reports of intelligence tests, etc.), the majority of the records are inmate health records such as medical histories, physical examination reports, and clinic and hospital reports.
B0082. Division of Parole. Auburn Prison inmate parole files, 1918-1955. R 117 cu. ft.
These case files were maintained by the Board of Parole to assist in its parole decisions on approximately 5,000 Auburn inmates. They relate to parole applications for Auburn inmates with inmate numbers between #26751 and #52654. While a portion of these records are duplicated in the two Auburn case file series described above, many records in the parole files are unique. These include transcripts of the Board's hearings, the application for parole, pre-parole reports, monthly parole reports, violation of parole reports, and records relating to executive clemency cases. In addition to these case files, the Board of Parole generated the following related series relating to Auburn's male inmates: Minutes of meetings of the Board of Parole, 1905-1952 (B0076); Parole Board ledgers of applicants to be considered for parole, 1924-1935 (B0064); and Parole Board register of inmates paroled, 1893-1926 (B0075).
B0029. Case files of inmates discharged by death, 1933- 1963. R 5 cu. ft.
Case files of inmates who died at Auburn were pulled from the regular case files and kept separately. In addition to normal case file records, these contain records relating directly to the inmate's death including Department of Health burial permits, copies of telegrams to relatives, and a copy of the death certificate.
B1222. Inmate record cards, 1915-1970. R 38 cu. ft.
This series contains summary record cards for approximately 18,000 Auburn inmates released from 1915 to 1970. The cards contain summary information on each inmate's background, criminal activity, behavior and progress during confinement, and release from Auburn.
B1276. Classification Board inmate record cards, 1930-1939. R 1 cu. ft.
Approximately 1,500 individual inmate record cards provide summary information on inmates received at Auburn throughout the 1930s. The cards contain results of psychiatric interviews, psychological tests, and intelligence tests, and include psychiatric and administrative classifications used to place inmates in appropriate housing and programs.
B0059. Male inmate identification file, 1921-1936. R 2 cu. ft. (2 volumes)
These volumes, known as a "Bertillon Ledgers," provide detailed descriptions of the physical characteristics of each inmate. Included are detailed measurements of each inmate's head and hands, descriptions of the inmate's color, hair, teeth, and scars, marks, etc., and also information on the inmate's sentence and criminal history.
B0062. Daily reports of male population, 1879-1952 (with gaps). 1 cu. ft. (4 volumes)
These reports, varying over time, provide daily statistical information on the inmate population. This information includes the number of inmates confined at Auburn, admitted, transferred, in hospital, sent to Asylum, escaped, died, in segregation, and at other locations in the institution.
B0066. Registers of indefinite and definite sentences, 1897-1932. 1.2 cu. ft. (6 volumes)
These volumes provide summary information on each inmate such as crime, residence, term of sentence, and date of parole or discharge.
B0067. Registers of male inmates received, 1870-1891, 1900-1953. R 6 cu. ft. (6 volumes)
These volumes contain summary information on each inmate received into Auburn including date received, Auburn class (A, B, or C), physical characteristics, crime and sentence, occupation, nativity and family, and locations and dates of previous confinements.
B0068. Registers of male inmates discharged, [ca. 1816]-1894, 1908-1949. R 2 cu. ft. (6 volumes)
These volumes contain detailed information on inmates discharged from Auburn including their background, criminal history, sentencing data, work and behavior during confinement, and details about discharge.
B0031. Register of commutations, 1889-1912. 1 cu. ft. (4 volumes)
These volumes record information on inmates who had their sentence commuted. Included is information on the inmate's crime, sentence, date received at prison, work assignments, and date of discharge.
B1272. Inmate work assignment record cards, 1915-1932. 2 cu. ft.
Approximately 4,200 inmate record cards were used to record locations of inmate work assignments, including the various prison work camps. For each inmate, the cards provide name, number, sentence, location of assignment, and date each assignment began.
B1237. Inmate account ledger, 1873-1895. .5 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This ledger records credits and debits pertaining to inmate cash accounts.
B1231. Journal of inmate fines and compensation, 1917-1929. .5 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This volume, relating both to Auburn Prison and the State Prison for Women, lists names of inmates with number of days and amount of money fined.
B1223. Inmate punishment ledger, 1873-1941. R 2 cu. ft. (6 volumes)
This ledger documents inmate offenses and subsequent punishments given. The ledger provides summary information on the inmate's crime with a description and location of the offense and the name and type of punishment given.
B1224. Weekly reports of punishments imposed, 1934-1972. R 14 cu. ft.
This series contains copies of weekly reports listing disciplinary action imposed on Auburn inmates. For each case of disciplinary action, the reports lists the date and description of the offense, inmate name, officer making report, and punishment given. Many of the reports also include a more detailed report of the prison officer and a report of a hearing held to determine the punishment to be imposed.
A0780. Daily punishment reports, 1836-1846. .5 cu. ft. (1 volume)
These short narrative reports include the name of the prison officer, name of inmate, date and nature of offense, and punishment given.
B1271. Daily reports of inmate and officer infractions and punishments, 1968-1973. R 2 cu. ft.
This daily log lists infractions of the rules and penalties imposed on both inmates and prison officers.
B1225. Correspondence and report file relating to inmate escapes and captures, 1927-1934. R 1 cu. ft.
The majority of these records consist of correspondence, telegrams, and general releases notifying local police officials of inmate escapes and asking for assistance in the capture. Among other records are prison officer reports on the escape, reports from the warden to the Commissioner of Correction, and statements from the arresting officer used in claiming a reward for the capture.
B1006. Inmate scrapbook, 1962-1970. R .2 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This scrapbook, kept by an Auburn inmate, is entitled "Revolutionary Thoughts and Liberation." It contains photographs of weapons, riots, and bombings, and articles relating to African-American leaders and radicals.
B0052. Physician's office files, 1915-1968. R 5 cu. ft.
These files include a broad range of records relating to the duties of Auburn's physicians over a long time period. Included are: admissions reports with detailed information on the inmate's physical characteristics and background; statistical reports providing summary information on the number of inmates treated in the clinic or hospital; reports on immunizations and special diseases; injury reports; budget and maintenance reports; pharmacy reports; etc.
B0057. Physician's registers of inmates admitted, 1900-1938. R 6 cu. ft. (8 volumes)
These registers provide summary information on each inmate admitted including background, physical description, medical history, and present health condition.
B0051. Physician's register of inmates discharged, 1909-1948. R 41.5 cu. ft. (3 volumes)
These volumes provide information on discharged inmates including a summary of the condition of the inmate's health when admitted and upon discharge.
B0065. Psychological evaluation reports, 1935-1942. R 1.5 cu. ft.
Compiled by Auburn's Classification Clinic, these files relate to individual inmate mental aptitude and educational achievement. Included are reports summarizing the inmate's background, scores on intelligence and personality tests, and general academic interest and aptitude.
B0085. Psychological evaluation tests, 1938-1961. R 4.5 cu. ft.
This series contains instructions and materials for the psychological testing of inmates. Included are mechanical assembly tests, mazes, cards and blocks, completed written tests, personality inventories, and charts of inmates tested.
B0010. Psychological examination reports, 1955-1962. R 3 cu. ft.
The majority of this series consists of reports describing individual inmates' results on intelligence tests, ink blot tests, and in counseling sessions.
B0058. Hospital daily statistical summary, 1904-1919. .3 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This is a daily statistical report of numbers of inmates in institution; sick in hospital; excused from labor; in punishment; and admitted and discharged.
B0056. Register of deaths, 1888-1937. R .3 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This record of inmates who died in prison includes inmate name, place of birth, age, crime, race, and date and cause of death.
B1235. General journal, 1893-1895. .5 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This journal is the principal accounting record of original entry for the women's prison, listing all financial transactions in chronological order. Entries cover all prison receipts and expenses incurred during the period.
B1233. Expenditure ledger, 1898-1910. 2 cu. ft. (3 volumes)
This ledger documents prison expenditures in categories such as salaries, rations, clothing and bedding, etc. For each expenditure, the ledger lists the date, name of individual receiving payment, description of the goods and services, and amount paid.
B0053. Registers of female inmates received, 1893-1933. 1 cu. ft. (2 volumes)
These registers contain summary information on female inmates including occupation, color, marital status, crime, sentence, etc.
B1273. Inmate record cards, 1921-1933. R 1 cu. ft.
This series consists of summary record cards for approximately 350 women released from the prison. Included is information on the inmate's family, background, crime and sentence, health, work assignments, behavior, and release.
B0054. Female inmate identification file, 1909-1933. R .5 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This volume, known as the "Bertillon Ledger," provides detailed descriptions of the physical characteristics of each inmate. Included are detailed measurements of each inmate's head, face and hands, descriptions of the inmate's color, hair, teeth and marks, and also information on the inmate's sentence and criminal history.
B0063. Daily reports of female population, 1893-1906. .3 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This is a daily statistical record of inmates that includes the number of women confined, received, and discharged.
B0055. Register of female inmates discharged, 1893-1919. 1.5 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This record of women discharged from Auburn includes basic summary information about the inmate's background, crime and sentencing, confinement, and release.
B0060. Register of commutations for female inmates, 1920-1930. .3 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This register provides summary information on women discharged from Auburn by commutation of sentence. It provides information on the crime and sentence, amount of commutation earned, and date of discharge.
B0050. Division of Parole. Auburn Prison female inmate case files, 1920-1930. R 2 cu. ft.
These records were maintained by the Board of Parole at Auburn. The files relate to the application, parole decision, and parole of several hundred women confined at Auburn.