When I was assigned to Woodbourne in March of 1997, my first goal was to learn what I could about the personality of the prison so that I could complement it rather than detract from it.

Established 1935.
As I met staff (current and retirees), I recognized right away that there was a tremendous amount of pride, tradition and success associated with the prison. That personal pride, interesting history and one of the truly unique and detailed architectural designs ever found in a prison made it obvious that its history needed to be recorded and shared.

The idea was put out there, the staff jumped all over it, and the Woodbourne Historical Committee was formed.

The iron gate outside the infirmary. It uses motifs found in the brickwork.
They first produced a two-page Woodbourne fact sheet, next a 1999 Historical Calendar depicting the unique architecture of the facility, and now this comprehensive booklet called "A History of Woodbourne Correctional Facility, 1935 - 1999."

As one of the committee members commented, "This historical work is a labor of love." Truly good work is done by people who are motivated by pride and unselfishness. We all owe a debt of gratitude to those who worked so tirelessly on this project so that all can share in the rich history of the "Bourne."

Enjoy our booklet.

John P. Keane
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