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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Florida Corrections:  Centuries of Progress
1933-1935

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1935

Inmates begin producing cigarettes in a factory at Raiford. The tobacco is distributed in pouches along with rolling paper and the brand is called "Dee Cee Smoking Tobacco." This practice continues until 1972 when the state switches to rolled cigarettes and then ends in 1978, due to increased knowledge about health risks.

The following is from a letter written by B.H. Dickson, Supervisor of State Convicts, to the Honorable Nathan Mayo, Commissioner of Agriculture, dated January 16, 1935, Marianna, Florida (from the Twenty-Third Biennial Report of the Prison Division of the Department of Agriculture of the State of Florida for the years 1933 and 1934).


Plumbing, electricity installed in prisons...
"...Camps are now equipped with pumping systems from deep wells, elevated water-tanks, sanitary flush toilets, shower baths, and hot and cold water, all connected with sanitary sewerage systems, and where power lines are accessible are equipped with electric lights; kitchens, mess halls, and barracks are kept clean and neat, and prisoners are required to take shower baths and change from work clothes to night clothes before retiring; food is not only good but excellent and plentiful, with a change of diet from day to day."

Advocates the Lash over Confinement...
"I can think of only one suggestion to make at this time that would improve prison conditions; in each and every camp there are a few incorrigible prisoners, say from four to eight to the camp, that prefer the solitary confinement to work on the road, and certain things are done purposely so that they will be placed in solitary confinement, and to get the benefit of the time given them under the rules and regulations for recuperation in the barracks. While I am opposed to the lash being turned loose promiscuously in the hands of the unscrupulous, irresponsible, guards or captains (however, I do not think we have any of that class at this time in my division, but it is not impossible in some instances for men of this class to get on), therefore, I would suggest that the use of the lash be made legal under certain restrictions, to-wit; when necessary for it to be used, to call in the camp physician and for him to prescribe and supervise administering it. This would eliminate lost time and work that the Road Department now sustains under the present conditions, and I think it would be a rare occasion when it would have to be used, if it was generally known that it could be legally used. It has already been fully demonstrated that it is possible to abuse the use of the confinement cells as much so as the lash...."

Today, all prison facilities have full plumbing and electrical facilities, though most prisons are not air conditioned. Also, the lash was discontinued and confinement still exists.

BRADFORD COUNTY TELEGRAPH
13 SEPTEMBER 1935

LAWTEY - WORKING COUNTY ROADS - Large forces from the WPA are busily engaged in repairing the county road from the city limits to the State Farm which was badly damaged by the recent high water.


STORM DAMAGE - The tropical hurricane that swept it from the Bahaman Islands last week gave the citizens of this place a small idea of what they are, did but little damage here except washouts in the streets and roads in this section and damaged the recently set strawberry plants in this section. There were no homes damaged or personal injuries reported.


Group of people passing through gate.
Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory.)

BRADFORD COUNTY TELEGRAPH
20 SEPTEMBER 1935

LAWTEY - RAIN DAMAGE - The heavy rainfall is seriously injuring the sweet potato crop and retarding the setting of strawberry plants in this section. Unless rains soon slack up there will be large damage done here.


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