C. INSTITUTIONAL RECORDS
SING SING CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
Sing Sing Correctional Facility is located at Ossining, Westchester County. It is classified as a maximum security confinement facility for males 21 years of age and older. It also serves as a detention center for males 16 years of age or older and a diagnostic and treatment center. Presently there are approximately 2,200 inmates confined at Sing Sing.
Sing Prison opened in 1826 to replace Newgate Prison in New York City. Newgate, the first State prison, was established in 1797. In addition to felons, the first individuals sent to Sing Sing included mentally incompetent and insane inmates who, by 1848, were all transferred to the Utica State Hospital. In 1839, the Mount Pleasant Female Prison opened at Sing Sing with women being transferred there from Bellevue and Auburn. In 1877, this prison closed and women were sent to county penitentiaries until the new women's prison at Auburn was opened in 1893. All executions in the State were performed at Sing Sing from 1914 to 1963 when the last execution was performed in New York. In 1969, the location for all executions was moved to Green Haven Prison.
In 1970, the name of the facility was changed to Ossining Correctional Facility and, in 1985, it received its present name. There is a full range of programs operating at Sing Sing including academic, vocational, college, and graduate work.
B0143. Inmate admission registers, 1865-1971. R 76 cu. ft. (148 volumes)
These volumes record basic information on inmates received into the prison. The format of the registers changed over time and slightly different information was recorded for different periods. Basically the registers contain information on such subjects as the inmate's family background, criminal history, arrest and sentencing for present crime, physical characteristics, education, religion, and work history.
B0148. Inmate admission register for federal prisoners, 1896-1908. .2 cu. ft. (2 volumes)
These registers provide information on inmates received from federal courts. The registers include inmate name, sentencing information, place of birth, ability to read and write, physical description, and possible release date.
B1238. Principal keeper's daily journal, 1917-1918, 1938. 1 cu. ft. (2 volumes)
This journal includes the date, morning and evening inmate count by institution location and grade, number of inmates received and discharged, and number of officers on duty.
B1239. Daily inmate census report, 1927-1928. .3 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This census provides a daily count of inmates at each prison location.
B1241. Night watch journal, 1931, 1952-1953. .3 cu. ft. (2 volumes)
These volumes provide the date, location, name of officers on duty, and remarks on any special occurrences.
B1240. Log of inmate escapes, 1911-1919. .3 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This volume logs each inmate escape and includes name of inmate, date received, crime, length of prison term, date escaped, date if captured, and remarks.
B0146. List of foreign born prisoners, 1944. R .1 cu. ft.
Arranged by country, this list provides inmate name, age, date of admittance, country of birth, crime, and sentence.
B0144. Inmate newspaper (Star of Hope), 1901-1902, 1905-1906. .4 cu. ft. (2 volumes)
These are issues of the bi-weekly publication printed by and for inmates. The issues contain short articles on work, health, sports, editorials, fiction, poetry, etc.
B1243. File of governor's commutations of sentence, 1917-1923. .3 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This consists of approximately fifty original commutations of sentences signed by the governor.
B0147. Admission registers for prisoners to be executed, 1891-1946. R .5 cu. ft. (2 volumes)
These volumes contain summary information on inmates who were sentenced to be executed. They include inmate name, sentencing information, place of birth, age, occupation, marital status, physical description, and information on family and background.
B0145. Case files of inmates sentenced to electrocution, 1939-1963. R 15 cu. ft.
These files contain a significant number of records relating to each inmate sentenced to death at Sing Sing. Among other records these files include: warrant of execution; investigation report; notice of appeal; correspondence relating to the inmate; record of past offenses; Sing Sing admission form; receiving blotter; medical examination report; psychologist report; certification of execution; and a post-mortem report.
B1244. Log of actions relating to inmates scheduled for execution, 1915-1967. R .4 cu. ft. (2 volumes)
This log tracks events relating to inmates scheduled for execution at Sing Sing. The volume provides name and inmate number, date received, county of sentencing, the week the execution was scheduled, name and address of family, and name of attorney. The log notes date of actions such as: receipt of appeals; receipt of respite or commutation by the governor; notice received from Court of Appeals affirming execution decision; discharge by reversal of judgement; and time execution was performed.
B1242. Log of actions relating to inmates awaiting execution, 1892-1907. .3 cu. ft. (1 volume)
This volume includes names of inmates under a death sentence and dates of actions relating to them. Actions include commutation to life sentence; grant of new trial; died while awaiting execution; escaped; awaiting execution; and disposition of case on reversal of judgement.