Chapter

Florida's Hard Road During the Depression and War Years

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813039855.003.0007
Florida's Hard Road During the Depression and War Years

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While convict laborers continued to play an important role in road construction in Florida in the 1930s and 1940s, the character of prison road labor changed in significant ways, as did material conditions in State Road Department convict camps. For example, the de-skilling of road work, due in part to technological changes within the industry, tangibly transformed inmates' work days and leisure time. This chapter charts the initial stages of the evolution of the chain gang into the modern road prison. At the same time, black prisoner complaints to the NAACP in the mid-1930s and the heel-string-cutter scandal of the early 1940s challenged the image of a satisfied and well-treated inmate population in Florida.

Keywords: John L. Spivak; NAACP; heel-string cutting; prisoner protest; convict road construction; Overseas Highway; Southern Committee for People's Rights; Cool Hand Luke; Prison Industries Reorganization Administration; jails

Chapter.  12682 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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