NYC Women House of Detention programs section in 1954-65 report
Report cover By Anna M. Kross
[Part 3 of 3]
More than a generation ago, NYC
Correction Commissioner
Anna M Kross issued a 746-page review
of her dozen years heading
the city jails. She entitled it
Progress Through Crisis: 1954 -1965
NYCHS logo
Pages 114-121 detailed Women's House of Detention program successes and limitations. All the text and most images appear in this presentation.

[Part III of text extracted from NYC DOC 1954-65 report pages 114-115. The body text here is from Page 115.]

Women House of Detention 14
In 1957: The Food Trades Class at the House of Detention for Women offers training in cooking, pantry work and proper food service. [From Page 130.]

Stressing pride in personal appearance, a necessary psychological concomitant of rehabilitation, special classes have been held to instruct women prisoners in the formulae for dress and manner improvement.

Each inmate of the House of Detention for Women is permitted a periodic morale-building beauty treatment including hairdo ard manicure at the institutional Beauty Salon, which was licensed by the State in 1959 as the Number Ten Greenwich Avenue Beauty School (established by the Commissioner with the indispensable help of volunteers).

Women House of Detention 15
In 1957: Trainees are given training in the fundamentals of dressmaking before assignment to the Manfacturing Industries inmate clothing production shop. [From Page 120.]

By the end of 1964, twenty young women had graduated after taking the State-prescribed courses at this initutional School, had thereafter passed the New York State Cosmetology Examinations, and had been awarded their State Certificates.

It is noteworthy that every one of these former prisoners, having acquired this honorable vocation, has made good her chosen profession, and that not a single one of these rehabilitated women has turned to prison.

Women House of Detention 16
In 1957: The new library quarters soon had well filled book shelves. Many of the volumes were donated by the volunteer groups and made amply available to the women prisoners. [From Page 120.]

Each graduate is supplied a complete beauty kit by our volunteers when she has received her State Certificate, to enable her to compete successfully with young women who have had their training in outside schools.

This is a far cry frorn the absolute dearth of educational, vocational, recreational and hobbycraft activities that existed in 1954.

Much credit for the programming available today is owed to the Friendly Visitors,
Women House of Detention 17
In 1957: At the House of Detention for Women a Diagnostic Clinic was in its second year of operation on the second floor of the institution in rooms formerly used as the doctors' quarters. Group testing to determine personality patterns and intelligence is employed as a guide . . . in helping the inmate adjust both institutionally and upon discharge. [From Page 120.]
the Quaker Committee for Social Rehabilitation and other private citizens with a heart for having contributed their time, money and interest.

From our volunteers, under the guidance of our Social Service Staff, have come many donations, not only of money for indigent prisoners but of such everyday necessities and comforts as eye-glasses and orthopedic shoes, books and newspapers and magazines, carfare home and temporary board and lodgings for needy discharged prisoners, aid in finding jobs, and other similar help.

Women House of Detention 18
The Beauty Culture School initiated at the House of Detention for Women offers practical occupational training. The course has the sanction of the State Education Department for apprenticeship credit. [From Page 121.]

All this has, perforce, been done on a scale never large enough even to begin fill the need.

An excellent groundwork has been laid on which to build an expanded, all-inclusive treatment program for women prisoners whenever the wherewithal becomes available.

Full implementation of this Rehabilitation Program for women prisoners that has been set into motion must await allocation of adequate funds, sufficient personnel and ample facilities.

Women House of Detention 19
The sentenced inmates at the House of Detention Women make their own "going home" clothes thanks to funds and materials provided by volunteer organizations. . . . . [From Page 121.]

The latter are already in sight since architect's plans are now being detailed on the drawing boards.

The Rikers Island site for the new women's prison has already been cleared, and funds for construction have been allocated.

Women House of Detention 20
Housekeeping classes at the House of Detention for Women include baking and cooking and aim to inculcate new values in the running of the home. The female inmates take pride and gain a sense of accomplishment . . . . [From Page 121.]
Women House of Detention 21
In 1960: The inmates at the House of Detention for Women staged a series of seasonal theatrical presentations for the members of the volunteer organizations and for the entire inmate population. [From Page 121.]

[ To Part I ] <----> [ To Part II ]

[NYCHS Home Page] [Chronicles Starter Page]
[Women's Jail in Harlem] [1st Ladies: KBD, AMK & Mrs. FDR] [A Tale of Jail in The Village]