In Senate, Jan. 22, 1852, this Fourth annual report of the inspectors of State prisons of the State of New York records the yearly developments at the Auburn, Sing Sing, and Clinton prisons. The report focuses on the financial transactions, construction projects, disciplinary events, and general health of inmates at each prison. The document was submitted to the Legislature during the period when inspectors were elected. Their uniformly optimistic tone here supports the concerns of New York Prison Association members that the inspectors offered little substantive oversight. The numerous timetables and ledgers are also of interest for the history of 19th Century prison reform, as this was an era of increasingly minute biopolitical control which involved the measurement of populations and institutionalization of policy.
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