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Corrections: Part I — Penal and Prison Reform

Report given at the Seventh Annual Conference of Charities and Corrections, 1880. Read By Henry W. Lord, Chairman of The Committee. “Not the slightest idea of organized reformatory measures as connected with prisoners, ever entered into the hearts of men until almost within the memory of persons now living; and the first thought of systematized prison labor as an element of discipline was an American idea, reduced to practice in the early part of the present century.”

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Virginia Industrial School for Colored Girls

The residents of the Industrial School were, for the most part, delinquent or dependent colored girls sentenced to prison by local judges and then paroled to the school. There were no foster homes for colored girls who needed care and jail or prison was the only alternative. It is reported that several of the girls were “feeble minded” and a few arrived with contagious diseases…the goal of the school was to teach self-direction and character building with the expectation that… a girl could be “paroled” to a private family in the Richmond area and work for normal wages.

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