Illinois. Board of State Commissioners of Public Illinois.

Biennial report of the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities of ... online

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The grand jury has recently condemned it, and recommended the
building of a sewer.

Macoupin. — This prison was found to be clean, and the law re-
specting whitewashing fully observed. The defects of the jail are
due to its construction, not to the manner in which it is kept.
There have been no escapes. The number of prisoners, when visited,
was five; but the number received during the year ending May 1,
1880, was thirty- nine.

Madison. — This prison is more ambitious in its design than suc-
cessful in its practical working. The system of ventilation adopted
does not seem to be efiFectual, and the odor in the jail is very bad.
In consequence of the wearing of the paint, the premises present a
dilapidated and dirty appearance. The cell for female prisoners re-
mains as at the time of our former reports: a dark dungeon, with-
out hght or ventilation ; unfit to contain anything which is alive —
human, animal or vegetable. The jail has been made more secure
by placing wir^ screens over each window (a good improvement).
The number of prisoners received during the year ending May 1,
1880, was one hundred and seven, of whom nine were in jail when
inspected.

Marshall.— This is a dark and poorly ventilated prison, but was
found in a state of creditable cleanliness. There have been no
escapes during the year. The number of prisoners admitted from
June 1, 1879, to June 1, 1880, was twenty-one. The grand jury
have condemned it, not only for want of ventilation, but as
insecure.

Mason. — We are sorry to say that this jail has not yet tumbled
down. Fortunately, the number of prisoners during the year end-
ing June 1, 1880, was only eighteen, and still more fortunately,
none of them made their escape. The grand jury has condemned
the prison as not only insecure, but actually unsafe to live in. The
premises are clean and reasonably well kept.

Massac. — The jail is an iron cage, entered by a trap-door from
the story above. The condition of the prison when inspected was
found to be bad in every respect. There were six prisoners in the
cage referred to, and a female prisoner — a negress — in the passage
between the cage and the outer wall. She was kept at night in the
roona above, but allowed the freedom of the corridor below during the
daytime, at her own request, because she complained of loneliness up
stairs. Whether this is a violation of the law on the subject of the
association of the sexes, or not, might be a matter of opinion. It is
not possible to state the number of prisoners during the year, arf
the ]ail calendar was not to be seen.

McDoNouGH. — This jail is dark, but in other respects better than
the average. It is neatly and well kept, and there have been no
escapes. The number of prisoners received during the year ending
May 1, 1880, was twenty- two, of whom four were in the jail when
inspected. The grand jury has lately condemned the jail as inse-



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306

cure, which agrees with the opinion expressed '^ in our report two
years ago.

McHenry. — This prison was found to be clean, and one comer of
it light and well ventilated. The number of prisoners received dur-
ing the year ending June 1, 1880, was nineteen, of whom three
were present when inspected. No escapes.

McLean. — It is not necessary to make any report respecting this
jail, as the county is now building a new one. The number of
prisoners when inspected was twelve. During the year ending June
1, lh80, there were one hundred and fifteen received.

Menard. — The jail is in fair condition for cleanliness, and well
ventilated. Prisoners have escaped within the year by sawing the
window bars. The number received from May 1, 1879, to May 1,
18^50, was twenty-eight. There was only one inmate when in-
spected.

Mercer. — Has a very fair jail, clean, light and sweet. The num-
ber of prisoners during the year ending June 1, 1880, was only ten.
None of them escaped.

Monroe. — This jail is painted, and does not require whitewashing.
It is clean, well-lighted and ventilated, and comfortable. No escapes.
A jail calendar is kept, but was not examined. At the time of in-
spection there was one insane person in the jail, confined there
because he could not be received at Anna, and one prisoner com-
mitted by a justice for beating his wife.

Montgomery. — The suggestion made in our last report, as to plac-
ing an additional iron bar on each side of each of the windows of
this jail has been adopted by the county board. Some prisoners
have escaped during the year through the iron grating in the floor.
The jail, which is of iron, is painted, and therefore the law respect-
ing whitewash does not apply to it. It was found to be light, well-
ventilated, and clean. Only one prisoner was present. The number
of prisoners received during the year ending May 1, 1880, w^as
twenty-seven.

Morgan. — Like the jail just described, this is painted, and needs
no whitewashing. The corridor is clean and light, but the cells are
dark and without ventilation. The jail is of insuflScient size. An
escape was effected from the special cell for female prisoners, by
burning through the door. The number of prisoners when inspected
was eight, but the number received during the year ending May 1
1880, was one hundred and nineteen. It is very much to be desired
that this county should provide better accommodations for its pri-
soners than at present.

Moultrie. — The jail was empty when visited, but clean. It is
very light and the ventilation is good. The number of prisoners
received during the year ending May 1, 1880, was twenty-eight, all
of whom were securely held.

Ogle. — In respect of light, ventilation and cleanliness, this jail
deserves commendation ; but it is very insecure. The iron work ift
of poor quaHty, and prisoners are held only by constant care and



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307

watching. The number received during the year ending June 1,
1880, was thirty-three; none of whom escaped. Two were still in
prison at the time of inspection.

Peoria. — As stated in our last report, this is one of the best jails
in the state ; in good repair and very clean. It is light and com-
fortable, but the ventilation is imperfect, in consequence of the failure
on the part of the flues to operate successfully. The number of

Erisoners received during the year ending June 1, 1880, was one
undred and ninety-three. No escapes. Nine prisoners were present
on the day of inspection.

Perry. —Since our last report, the prisoners in Perry county have
amused themselves by adorning the walls and ceilings of their cells,
marking off the walls in panels and frescoing them in colors, so as
to make them present a very neat and tasty appearance. Eleven
present, when the jail was visited. The number received during the
year ending April 1, 1880, was twenty-four. One prisoner escaped
by passing the keeper at the door.

Piatt. — No escapes during the year. No change in the condition
of the jail, which was found to be clean; but the cells are dark
and poorly ventilated. Corridors are light and airy. The number of
prisoners during the year ending May 1, 1880, was only ten.

Pike. — The jail calendar shows fifty-five prisoners received during
the year ending June 1, 1880, of whom twelve were present, when
this prison was inspected. The jail is regularly whitewashed, and
was found to be clean, light and comfortable. The defect in its con-
struction is, the absence of any sewer.

Pope — Has an abominable jail; without light, heat or ventilation, —
and the prisoner who escaped during the last year, by knocking down
the jailor when he entered to clean the cell, can hardl^ be blamed
for his conduct. The law respecting whitewashing is a dead letter,
and it is doubtful whether the whitewash would show if it was put
on.

PuLASKi.-^This prison is clean, light and airy ; and prisoners kept
inside the iron cage are securely held. But one escaped during the
year — through the window^ when allowed the freedom of the cor-
ridor. The number of prisoners during the year ending September
1, 1879, was eleven. The law respecting whitewash is not observed.

Putnam. — The grand jury of Putnam county have reported the
jail *4n good condition.'* The value of their opinion will appear if
reference is made to the description of the prison in our last report :
'*In the lower cell is an iron cage about eighteen feet cube, made
of flat bars, crossing at right angles, two inches apart, surrounded
on all sides by a narrow passage. This gloomy dungeon, without
light or ventilation, except what is admitted through two horizontal
windows, next the ceiling, is entered by a solid oak door, sheathed
on both sides with iron, only four feet square. A privy seat com-
municating with a vault beneath, allows foul odors to come up into
-the prison. In summer, prisoners are let out into the corridor at
night, and sleep on top of the cage, to get a breath of air. This is



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308

one of the worst jails in the state. Its only merit is its security,
which is not great." The jail is regularly whitewashed, and there
have been no escapes. It is a pleasure to be able to say that dur-
ing the year ending June 1, 188'J, only four prisoners were re-
ceived.

Eandolph.— There is no change in the condition of this jail. It
is a dark disagreeable cellar under the jailor's house. The grand
jury condemns it for want of ventilation and for dampness. It ap-
pears to be clean, but is as dark as a dungeon, so that dirt would
not show if it were present. The law respecting whitewash is observed.
Two prisoners escaped during the year by digging through the floor,
and two others rushed past the jailor. The number of prisoners
received during the year ending April 1, 1880, was thirty-one.

Richland. — We reported this jail two years ago as insecure. Prison-
ers have escaped within the year by unlocking the door of an iron
cell, and breaking through the outer wall, which is of brick, not
lined. Fourteen prisoners were received during the year ending
June 1, 1880; but the calendar required by law is not kept. The
law respecting whitewash is observed. This jail was found in
moderately clean condition, light and airy; but an offensive odor
from the vault pervaded the prison.

EocK Island. — This jail is in very good condition, well taken care
of and the prisoners well treated. No escapes during the year. The
number of prisoners received during the year ending June 1, 188 \
was two hundred and ninety-seven, of whom seventeen were present
when the prison was inspected. Two of them were women. The
number of prisoners received in this county is greater than in any
county of the state, except Sangamon and Cook.

Saline. — A wretched jail and in bad condition. There has been
no improvement since our last report. The grand jury has con-
demned it, on account of the foundation being insufficient and for
want of general repair. There have been no escapes during the
year. The number of prisoners received during the year ending May
1, 1880, was seventeen.

Sangamon. — The jail in this county has been enlarged by build-
ing a new cell-house, containing thirty-two cells, in two tiers, back
to back, two rows in each tier, and eight cells in each row. The
number of cells in the old jail is eighteen, making fifty cells in all.
There is also a dungeon for refractory prisoners in the basement
of the court-house without light or air. The number of prisoners
in confinement, when inspected, was fifty-four, of whom forty were
oflfenders against the statutes of Illinois, and fourteen were United
States prisoners, taken on contract. The number of prisoners re-
ceived during the year ending May 1, 1880, was four hundred and
ninety-eight, of whom sixty-nine were committed by the United
States court. The prison is neat and clean, but not at all what the
needs of the county require. It was claimed by the board of super-
visors at the time when the addition was built that it was not pos-
sible to accomplish anything more radical in the way of reform ; but
the prison, as now constructed, does not afford the facilities for



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809

classification contemplated in the chapter of the revised statmtes
concerning jails and jailors. There have been no escapes during the
year. This jail is uncommonly well guarded both by day ana by
night.

Schuyler. — This county is agitating the question of building a new
jail, which is certainly much needed, if the character of the jail
only is taken into consideration; but the number of prisoners re-
ceived during the year ending June 1, 1880, was only six, of whom
three were present when inspected. The jail is properly whitewashed
and cleaned, but an offensive odor is apparent, and the cells are
dark.

Scott. — The grand jury have again condemned this jail as inse-
cure and improperly ventilated. It is dark and full of vermin. The
condition of the jail in respect to cleanliness was satisfactory. White-
. wash is applied to the waUs regularly, and a proper calendar is
kept, showing ten prisoners received during the year ending June
1, 1880. At the time of inspection the prison had only one inmate.
Escapes have been eifected within the year by unlocking the door
with false keys.

Shelby. — Thirty-three prisoners were received during the year
ending April 1, 1880, all of whom were safely held. This jail requires
no whitewash, as it is freshly painted every year, and its condition,
when inspected, for cleanliness, ventilation, light, and comfort was
good.

Stajik. — This is a jail which needs to be lighted by a lamp in the
day time in order to see the floor. We repeat the description of it
contained in our last report: **One of the very worst jails in the
state; underground; brick walls lined with rotten logs; only one
cell, with plank floor and log ceiling; two small windows; no sewer-
age ; and miserably bad ventilation. It has been repeatedly (and
deserv^edly) condemned by the grand jury, and has not a single good
• point. Prisoners if detained for more than a few days are taken to
Peoria county for safe keeping." The grand jury condemned it for
general worthlessness, and the question of the erection of a new
jail is under consideration, but action upon it is prevented in con-
sequence of a struggle in the board of supervisors respecting the re-
moval of the county seat from Toulon to Wyoming.

St. Clair. — Since our last report, the St. Clair county jail is
heated by steam. A steam heating company has been formed in the
city of Belleville, which lays its pipes through the public streets,
furnishing heat at a fixed rate. The grand jury has condemned the
jail as of insufficient size, and recommended the building of a new
one. Advantage has been taken in this county of the law permit-
ting county boards to employ persons convicted of petty larcency, at
hard labor, by providing a stone pile for breaking stone upon the
county farm. The number of prisoners received during the year
ending September 1, 1880, was two hundred and thirty-four.

Stephenson. — A good jaU, well kept, clean, light, airy and com-
fortable, although it is not whitewashed as often as the law requires.



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310

Thfe number of prisoners during the year ending June 1, 1880, was
eighty-seven. No escapes. Ten prisoners were present on the day
of inspection.

Tazewell. — This jail was found to be moderately clean but dark
and poorly ventilated, and pervaded by an offensive odor from the
vault beneath. The law respecting whitewash is observed, and a
proper calendar is kept, which shows fifty-four prisoners received
during the year ending June 1, 1880, of whom four were present
when inspected. Escapes have been effected within the last year
by cutting through the wall.

Union. — The Union county jail represents the least value for the
amount of money expended upon it (twenty thousand doUars) of any
prison in the state. It has been condemned by the grand jury for
want of ventilation. It is dark but clean and secure. No prisoners
have escaped within the year. The number received during the
twelve months ending December 1, 1879, was forty-five.

Vermilion. — One of the best jails in the state, although, perhaps,
unnecessarily expensive. The jail is kept in as clean and comfort-
able condition as possible, and is painted throughout, annually. There
were ten persons present at the time of inspection, one of whom
was an insane woman. It is not possible to state the number re-
ceived during the year, for the reason that, although the jailor has
been provided with a calendar in proper form, there appears to have
been an omission to make the record for the period of four months.

Wabash. — The jail in this county has been torn down to make
room for a new court-house in process of construction. The county
board has not yet passed any order for the building of the new jail.
The county had seven prisoners upon its hands during the year
ending June 1, 1880, of whom two were in confinement at Albion,
in Edwards county, when that jail was inspected. All prisoners
are sent to Edwards county for safe keeping for the present.

Warren. — The grand jury has endorsed our report upon this prison,
made two years ago, by condemning it as unfit for the confinement
of human beings. An improvement may be noted in the manner in
which it is kept. It is now in a condition of cleanliness, although
pervaded by an offensive smell. The present sheriff does not allow
prisoners even to spit on the floor. Any prisoner who violates this
rule may be beaten for the offense by his fellow prisoners, who
usually take advantage of their privileges in this direction, for the
reason that in case any tobacco juice is found upon the floor all
tobacco is taken from the inmates of the jail. The rule werks very
well in practice. The number of prisoners received during the year
ending June 1, 1880, was twenty-two, of whom six were present
when inspected. The law respecting whitewash is complied with.

Washington. — This jail is in fair condition, and remains as de-
scribed by us in our last report. Eighteen prisoners were received
during the year ending April 1, 1880. None escaped. The jail,
when inspected, was empty. The law respecting whitewash is not
observed.



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811

Wayne. — The only excuse for this jail, which has been condemned
by the grand jury, for general worthlessness, is found in the fact
that the county has not much need for any prison, only seven
prisoners having been received during the y^ar ending June 1,
18S0, of whom four were present when inspected. No escapes
within the year. The jail is regularly whitewashed, and appeared
to be as clean as it can be kept.

White. — This jail has been enlarged and improved since our last
report, and is in ver>^ much better condition than when inspected
heretofore. The number of prisoners received during the year ending
January 1, 1880, was seventy-two. The jail is whitewashed regu-
larly, and was found in good condition.

Whiteside.— A clean, well lighted and well ventilated prison. In-
stead of being whitewashed, it is painted annually. The number of
prisoners received during the year ending June 1, 1880, was fifty-
three, of whom eight were in confinement on the day when inspected.
No escapes.

Will. — This jail was built thirty-five years ago, and, at the time
of construction was regarded as a model ; but great improvements in
the building of prisons have been made since that day. The light
and ventilation is poor, but the jail was in a creditable condition of
cleanliness. The grand jury have condemned it for want of venti-
lation. There have been no escapes within the year. Fourteen
Srisoners were present when inspected, and the number received
uring the year ending June 1, 1880, was one hundred and eight.
The law respecting whitewash is duly observ^ed.

Williamson. — The prison was not found as clean and comfortable
as the construction of the premises will admit. It is a miserable
jail, but there have been no escapes within the year. The number
of prisoners received from April 1, 1879, to April 1, 1880, was thirty-
five.

Winnebago. — One of the best jails in the 'state, except in respect
of ventilation. A system of flues in the rear of the cells, with an
artificial current secured by heat, has been adopted, which may
serve its purpose in the winter season; but in consequence of the
position and size of the windows, there is not much circulation of
air in the summer time. The jail is painted, and does not require
whitewashing. There were eight prisoners present when inspected,
but the number received during the year ending June 1, 1880, was
forty-three. No escapes.

Woodford. — This jail has been cleaned and put in good order
since our last report; but it is one of the worst in the state, and
has been condemned by the grand juiy for want of ventilation, want
of light, and general worthlessness. The number of prisoners re-
ceived during the year ending June 1, 1880, was fourteen. Only
one was in jail when inspected. The law requiring whitewashing is
observed.



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APPENDIX IV.

The Medical Charities of Cook County.



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THE MEDICAL CHAKITIES OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINO



BY ROSWELL PARK, A.M., M.D., DEMONSTRATOR OP ANATOMY IN TH

CHICAGO MEDICAL COLLEGE, AND ASSISTANT SURGEON OF THE

CHARITABLE EYE AND EAR INFIRMARY, CHICAGO.



Read at' the Seventh, Annual Conference of Charities and Correction, at Cleveland. Ohi •

June 29. 1880.

Cook County, with Chicago its principal feature, of course does
not lack its quota of purely or quasi charitable institutions. With
those which do not come under the above head, this paper has
nothing to do. Of those properly included the following is a com-
plete list, with a very brief account of their condition, accommoda-
tions, means of support, and any matter of special interest. *

The United States government maintains here the Marine Hospi-
tal. It has now a large and elegant structure on the lake shore,
two miles north of the city limits, capable of accomodating 300
patients. .As means were not lacking during its erection, it has all
the conveniences and appliances which experience could suggest. It
is under the surgical supervision of the local oflBcer of the marine
hospital service, for which each ofi&cer and seaman of the United
States commercial marine is taxed ten cents a week.

The state of Illinois maintains here the Illinois Charitable Eye
and Ear Infirmary. This is open to the indigent of the state, and
is tfuder the control of trustees appointed by the governor. It was
organized as a private charity in 1858, and received by the state
in 1871. The average number of house patients is about eighty-



Online LibraryIllinois. Board of State Commissioners of Public IllinoisBiennial report of the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities of ... → online text (page 30 of 36)