NYCHS presents John Law -- The Name, The Legend, The Man.

In the above photo image, John Law is shown teaching a class of prison guards in the Central Guard School at Wallkill.

Note the cathedral-like windows, in the image detail left. They appear to match those in the detail from the previous image -- that of the football team.

The school had come into existence about four years prior to Law's arrival at Wallkill. Corrections Commissioner Edward P Mulrooney instituted it in anticipation of the necessity to hire more 500 new guards to comply with a new law establishing an 8-hour work day for state prison, reformatory, amd hospital staffers.

Wallkill Prison was picked as the school's site because of its central location and because the new institution was the agency's only reduced-security facility. Relatively "open," it had none of the kind of barriers that might hinder training and instruction.

The school, in effect, centralized training that begun in 1931 -- four-week in-service programs -- first at Auburn, Sing Sing, Clinton, Great Meadow and Attica; later at the system's other institutions.

Opened in November, 1936, with 80 recruits, the Central Guard School ran an eight-week, 320-hour curriculum. The next year the curriculum was also offered as in-service training to staff appointed prior to the school's establishment..

The Central Guard School at Wallkill closed in April, 1942.

The photo is part of the John Brenden Law memorabilia entrusted to the NY Correction History Society by his daughter, Dr. Suzanne Law Hawes. All rights retained and reserved. Requests to use for educational and historical non-commercial purposes should be e-mailed to

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