« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be spread upon the Journal of the Senate, and a copy be delivered to the family of the deceased.
ALLDREDGE, Senator. Which resolution was adopted.
Senator Beardsley offered the following resolution : MR. PRESIDENT:
I offer the following resolution and move its adoption: That a committee of five be appointed by the President of the Senate to act with a like committee of the House to wait upon the Governor and to notify him of the organization of the two Houses of the General Assembly convened in special session, to inform him that they are ready to proceed to the transaction of legislative business, and to learn at what time the Governor will deliver his message.
BEARDSLEY, Senator. Which resolution was adopted.
Senator Richards offered the following resolution : MR. PRESIDENT :
I offer the following resolution and move its adoption: That a committee of three be appointed to notify the House that the Senate has been organized and is ready to proceed with legislative business.
RICHARDS, Senator. Which resolution was adopted.
Senator Kiper offered the following resolution : MR. PRESIDENT:
I offer the following resolution and move its adoption : That a committee of three be appointed to act with a like committee from the House to escort the Governor to the House Chamber to deliver his message to the joint session.
KIPER, Senator. Which resolution was adopted.
Senator Ratts offered the following motion and moved its adoption : MR. PRESIDENT:
I move that William M. Louden be elected assistant secretary of the Senate for this special session.
RATTS, Senator. Which motion was carried.
Senator Ratts offered the following resolution: Mr. PRESIDENT:
I offer the following resolution and move its adoption: That the rules of the regular session of the Seventy-second General Assembly of the State of Indiana be the rules of the special session until such time as changes may be made therein.
Ratts, Senator. Which resolution was adopted.
A committee from the House appeared and reported that the House is organized and ready for business. The committee also invited the Senate to meet with the House to listen to the Governor's message.
Senator Van Orman offered the following resolution: IR. PRESIDENT:
I offer the following resolution and move its adoption: That the Senate do now repair to the Chamber of the House of Representatives to receive the message of the Governor.
VAN OBMAN, Senator. Which resolution was adopted.
The Senate and House met in joint session at 11:00 o'clock a. m., December 14, 1921, with Lieutenant-Governor Branch presiding.
MEMBERS OF THE SEVENTY-SECOND GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF INDIANA IN SPECIAL
SESSION: I have invited you to meet in joint session this morning to lay before you the facts underlying the necessity for calling a special session of the legislature at this time. During my experience as your Governor I have endeavored at all times to be frank with you and with the people of Indiana, and I therefore assume that you are familiar with the history of the reformatory removal question from the passage of the act up to the present time. For the purpose of refreshing your mind, however, I wish to briefly read you the facts in the case as they exist.
The State Prison, or what was known later as the State Reformatory, was established at Jeffersonville in the year 1821, just one hundred years ago. Additions and betterments were added from time to time in the endeavor to keep it up with the demands of a growing population.
In February, 1918, a most destructive fire occurred, burning or damaging many of the buildings and destroying much of the usefulness of the institution as a reformatory. By that fire the trade school building, the ice and cold storage plant, chapel and library, workshops, officers' quarters, administration building, general kitchen, the inmates' and officers' dining room, and the interior of two cell houses were practically destroyed. Since then the administration building and some of the other buildings have been cheaply and temporarily rebuilt or repaired. A new dining-room and kitchen for inmates was built last year. At present the laundry, boilershop, shoe shop, bath house and the parole and identification departments are housed in temporary wooden structures.
Immediately following this destructive conflagration, the removal to some more central location was suggested and met with generous popular approval. The reasons advanced for such removal were sound and logical. The old prison or reformatory was built at a time when the thought uppermost in the minds of the people and the courts was punishment by imprisonment of the criminal with no thought of attempted reformation.
The buildings remaining did not meet with the ideas and requirements of a modern reformatory and the erection of new and additional buildings would make the whole proposition a patch-work affair, even after the expenditure of several hundred thousand dollars.
The records show that in the past five years over 75 per cent of the inmates committed to the reformatory came from the territory north of a line drawn east and west across the State, including the cities of Richmond, Indianapolis and Terre Haute. The cost of railroad transportation from the county seat towns and cities included in that area is over 100 per cent more to Jeffersonville than to Indianapolis. This is a matter of much importance when you consider that not only the car fare of the prisoner is involved, but also the round trip fare of the officer accompany. ing the criminal. It is regrettable that it is the practice in some counties to send a deputy with each convict regardless of how many are in the party. This is an expense to the county that is in most cases unnecessary and unwarranted, but it should be considered in making an estimate of the saving that would follow by having the institution more centrally located to the territory contributing the majority of its population.
Soon after the fire, Governor Goodrich appointed a commission, consisting of Senator Winfield Miller of Indianapolis, ex-State Senator Robert Bracken of Frankfort, George A. H. Shideler, General Superintendent of the reformatory, Dr. Samuel E. Smith, Superintendent of the Eastern Hospital for Insane, and Amos W'. Butler, Secretary of the Board of State Charities, to thoroughly investigate the advisability of relocating the reformatory and report to him in time to lay the proposition before the Seventy-first General Assembly. convening in January, 1919. This committee made a thorough investigation of the whole problem and on December 27, 1918, submitted a report to the Governor recommending the removal of the reformatory and submitting a bill they had prepared, providing for the accomplishment of that purpose. This bill was introduced and passed by the House, but failed to pass the Senate, as it did not meet the approval of the people of southern Indiana at that time. It was also argued that the question should be delayed on account of the high cost of building materials and labor, and thus the matter of relocating and rebuilding was abandoned for the time being. The necessity, however, of determining upon some fixed policy concerning the future of the reformatory was regarded as pressing and vital by those who were acquainted with the purpose and the physical condition of the property.
Early in the fall of 1920 the well-known and well-established firm of Colgate & Company of New York City was seeking a western location for an extension of their increasing business. They desired a location which would give them a commanding position with reference to the southern and western trade, and it appea red to them that the river cities of southern Indiana would meet their demands and offered a satisfactory location for their projected branch. Their attention was called to the possibilities of converting the old reformatory at Jeffersonville into a desirable property for their purpose, and at the same time locate themselves advan. tageously from the standpoint of a strategic place for the operation of their business.
Negotiations were opened up. A tentative price of $350,000 was talked about, exclusive of such fixed and removable equipment and machinery as could be utilized to advantage by the State in the construction of a new institution. As a basis for my judgment of the value of the property, I relied greatly upon the appraisement made by the highly reputable and responsible firm of McMeans & Tripp in June, 1918. After a careful and exhaustive survey, they declared under oath that the estimated value of the property embodied in the Colgate & Company transaction was $270,342.95. After this appraisement had been made, the State spent in additions and betterments the sum of $75,009.21, making a total of $345,352.16, an amount considerably below the price talked about as the sale price of the property.
Realizing that we had at least one good, live, prospective purchaser, the property was duly advertised for sale, according to law, and the date for opening bids was fixed for April 19, 1921. On the date set it was found that the offer of Colgate & Company in the sum of $351,101.01 was the only bid received and the property was therefore declared sold to them and a certified check for $105,330.31 accompanying their bid was accepted and turned over to the State Treasurer.
A bill for the relocation and erection of a new reformatory was drawn and was introduced and passed by the Seventy-second General Assembly. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 2, 1921, and thus became a law. This bill was based upon the assumption that the State Farm and the reformatory could be united under one management and that the necessary buildings for the two institutions would be erected upon adjoining sites without detracting from the highest degree of usefulness and efficiency of either. This would certainly look to an uninformed business man as being a reasonable and economic proposition.
After considerable investigation of the practicability and feasibility of the proposal, and acting upon the unanimous advice and opinion of a score of the most learned, experienced and successful men who have given their life to the problems offered by the criminal class and who have had daily and practical observation and training in handling criminals of both types, the plan of locating the two institutions together was abandoned by the removal commission with the consent of the Governor.
It was also found that on account of the physical daily requirements of an institution of this kind and the utter failure of that territory to furnish such requirements, the penal farm site or any location adjoining same could not be thought of.
This mistake was due in part to the unfortunate necessity under our Constitution of inducting a newly elected executive into office after the assembly has convened before he has had any opportunity to acquaint himself with the great problems which immediately confront him and upon which he must promptly declare himself.
The proceedings of the commission attempting to locate the reformatory under the Act has been fully set forth in a printed report, a copy of which was mailed to each of you in order that you might be thoroughly informed as to every move made and every reason why the relocation was abandoned under the provisions of the law established.
The succeeding steps leading up to the calling of this special session are well and tersely set out by the following letter written by Colgate & Company, following an interview I had with their representative in Washington, D. C.. on Wednesday. November 16, 1921 :
"Colgate & Company desires to make a further proposition to the State of Indiana with reference to the property at Jeffersonville, our offer for which was accepted hy the State in June of this year. The matter stands as follows:
"The Act of the regular session of the legislature of 1921, which authorized the sale, stipulated that the new institution was to be completed by October 30, 1922. Our bid provided, accordingly, that we might withdraw if delivery of the property were not made by that date, and it was accepted with that condition.
"You subsequently advised us that the commission appointed under the Act had found that its provisions so restricted their action that it was impracticable for them to proceed. At that time, however, it was thought that certain amendments to the State Constitution with reference to tasation, then about to be voted upon, might be adopted, in which case there would of necessity have followed a special session of the legislature to carry out the changes in the tax laws which the amendments contemplated. It was your intention in that event to propose to the legislature amendients to the Act of 1921, which would make it possible to proceed with the location and construction of the new institution and thus to carry out the sale of the old one to us. The defeat of these amendments, however, seemed to leave no hope of carrying out the purchase unless we were willing to await the 1923 session of the legislature and that we could not possibly do.
"While confronted with this situation and the apparent necessity of withdrawing our bid and giving up wholly the plan for a plant at Jefferville, we are advised that it has been suggested that in the public interest there be called a special session of the legislature for the specific purpose of amending the Act of 1921,
“We could not ask that favorable consideration be given to this suggestion on any grounds relating solely to our interest in the matter. We believe we are in a position, however, to add to the considerations of public interest which might add to the expediency of calling a special session.
“In the expectation of getting possession of the property at an early date, we have made extensive arrangements with that end in view. We have had plans for remodeling the buildings drawn; have obtained the publication of freight rates: and have laid new plans for all our western business. On all of this we have spent large sums of money. If we have to look for a site elsewhere, much of this expense will be duplicated and there will be added the very much greater cost incident to further delay in starting our plant, and to the general upset it would cause in our arrangements. This would all mean a heavy loss. In the hope that it may facilitate the calling of the special session and that this loss may be avoided, we beg to make this further proposition to the State of Indiana.
"If the Act of 1921 is amended by February 1, 1922. in a manner that will enable the commission to proceed at once upon the location and construction of the new institution, we will add to the amount of our original offer the further sum of $30.000, pavable when the property is delivered to us. We also propose that in the event we may be enabled to take over the property at Jeffersonville in whole by September 15, 1923, that we will