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The Osborne Association

1938-43 Reports on reformatories

TENNESSEE: STATE TRAINING AND AGRICULTURAL SCHOOL FOR BOYS, PIKEVILLE



"Rules, Regulations, and Disciplinary Policies -- The school principal, who also serves in the capacity of assistant superintendent, is in direct charge of discipline. There are no printed rules or regulations for the guidance of either the staff or the children. It was stated that boys with a good conduct record are given preference in work assignments and are also considered for earlier release.

Punishments -- Corporal punishment is permitted by law and is the definite policy of the institution. The school principal administers all whippings. He uses a leather strap, 20" long, 1" wide, and 1/8" thick, which it was said is applied to the clothed buttocks of the boys. All whippings take place in the school building in the presence of the entire population. From one to ten licks are given, depending on the estimated seriousness of the offense and on the boy's reputation in the institution. The school principal stated that approximately fifteen boys are whipped every month. Boys may also be set back in the date of their release as a form of punishment. Segregation is not resorted to, largely because there is no available space ... No records of disciplinary actions are kept.

Until July 1, 1938, the institution had a system of boy monitors. In that month, however, one of the children killed a monitor and the system was discontinued.

Boys who attempt to run away are whipped. Returned runaway boys have been customarily placed in shackles for a period of a week. During the nine months preceding the visit, the school principal stated, no boys had been so treated. There have been no successful runaways during the last two years and but two attempts have been made since May, 1938."




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