Chapman and the Big House

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:
Chapman and the Big House

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In June 1932 a new era began at Raiford with the formal appointment of Leonard F. Chapman as superintendent of the state prison farm, a position he would occupy continuously until his retirement in December 1955. Chapman sought to implement reforms at Florida's state prison that were similar to those at other big house prisons in the interwar period. This chapter explores Chapman's ideas on prison and prisoner management, his emphasis on rehabilitation, his roles as inmates' confidant and disciplinarian, and his interactions with the Grade 2 prisoners. Despite Chapman's claims to have improved conditions at Raiford, the perpetuation of Jim Crow practices and the absence of a separate women's facility ensured that the prison experiences of African American and many female inmates were inferior to those of white male inmates.

Keywords: Leonard F. Chapman; Nathan P. Mayo; prison guards; big house prisons; Joe Tracey; executions; rehabilitation

Chapter.  11509 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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