Corpun file 23776
Prescott Evening Courier, Arizona, 14 January 1952, p.1
Patterson Named to Board To Study School Floggings
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PHOENIX. Jan. 14 (AP) -- Gov. Howard Pyle has
asked a complete investigation of conditions at the Arizona
Industrial school at Fort Grant where floggings and other forms
of unusual punishment have been reported.
The chief executive asked the school's board of control to meet
as quickly as possible and said he will ask the legislature to
name a joint senate-house committee to meet with the board.
George R. Ridgeway, superintendent at the institution, admitted
the beatings and said he made runaways walk barefooted
"eight to 10 miles" across the desert back to the
correctional school. He added, however, there have been no
runaways in the past four months.
Ridgeway charged, however, that information about the punishments
has been released to help obtain an appropriation for the newly
formed Arizona Juvenile Crime Prevention bureau, an organization
set up throughout the state to work on juvenile delinquency
Accusations of mistreatment were made by two former inmates at
Fort Grant -- an early-day army post -- and 10 others still at
Judge Charles Bernstein of the Maricopa County Superior court
took statements from all 12 and turned the information over to
Judge J. Smith Gibbons of Apache county, head of the Arizona
Judge Gibbons asked Bernstein and Superior Judges J. Mercer
Johnson of Tucson and W.E. Patterson of Prescott to investigate.
He released the information to the press.
"I'm not trying to hide anything and I'll take all the
blame," Ridgeway said in a telephone interview. "Some
of the boys were whipped with a rope. I whipped some of them
myself. If they ran away I took them to Willcox and made them
walk back barefooted. I would say this is definitely what some of
these boys need. They should have had it a long time ago. Most of
them have been in trouble eight to 10 times."
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