Good Roads, Bad Men, and the Ugliest of Conditions

Edited by Vivien M. L. Miller

in Hard Labor and Hard Time

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780813039855
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780813043760 | DOI:
Good Roads, Bad Men, and the Ugliest of Conditions

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Supporters of the good roads movement recognized that prisoners could help build a modern transportation infrastructure while prison officials in every southern state viewed road construction as a panacea for the problems of prisoner idleness and costly prisoner maintenance. This chapter examines the impact of the good roads movement on prison policy in Florida, the creation of the State Convict Road Force (SCRF), the deployment of convict laborers in state road and highway construction in the 1910s and 1920s, and the conditions of chain gang labor and in the early road camps.

Keywords: convict road labor; chain gangs; good roads movement; prison camp chaplains; chain gang songs; Frank Tannenbaum; Sidney J. Catts; Tamiami Trail; Dixie Highway

Chapter.  10810 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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