3 stories from Dec. 1957
NYC DOC newsletter:
Inmates Stage
Nativity Show
First Academy
Profile on The
to read
or print
as PDF.

Image left:1st
Page of
659 K

Image right:Last
351 K


Page 2 of the NYC DOC newsletter Correction Sidelights, usually reserved for Commissioner Anna M. Kross' message, was used in the December 1957 issue for starting an article on the Department's Christmas season activities. The article, that bore her editorial in-put though not her byline, continued on Page 3. Here is the full text:

Christmas Around The Department

Christmas means many things to many people. For the men and women, from every walk in life, confined in our penal institutions, Christmas is a most difficult time, because they cannot be with their families and loved ones, to enjoy the celebration of the holiday. In an effort to promote the spiritual significance and message of brotherly love, every effort is made by the Department of Correction, to renew their faith in themselves and their fellow men.

Above is a facsimile of the greeting box across the bottom of Page 2. It occupied about a fourth of the page's total area. The names of 6 DOC top management executives appeared beneath of the message.
Commissioner Anna M. Kross stated that “Christmas time is as good a time as any to start to re-chart the course of thinking and living of our charges.”

Spiritual holiday programs and religious services were held throughout the department, under the direction of Chaplains of various major denominations, who stressed a program of interracial and spiritual values and love for our fellow men. Christmas trees and decorations were on display throughout all our institutions, for our Christian inmates and Menorah lights, celebrating the Feast of Lights, for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah were lit.

Mayor Robert F. Wagner recently demonstrated his interest on improving interracial problems in our great City by kindling the lights of the Menorah at City Hall, ushering in the Jewish Holiday, with Dr. Israel Goldstein, Chairman of the Israel Bond Hanukkah Festival Committee, and Col. Solomon Goren, Chief Rabbi of the Israel Army. The holiday of Hanukkah which started on December 17th coincidentally ended on Christmas Eve.

Eleanor Roosevelt, who attended the 1957 Nativity Show staged at Rikers Penitentiary by inmates from the House of Detention for Women in Greenwich Village, appears in these NYC DOC photos from the archives in the Correction Academy. They show DOC Commissioner Kross listening to speak to inmates in the Women's House of Detention chapel in January 1958 (above) and in July 1958 (below). They did not appear in the December 1957 issue.

The Department of Correction’s combined season’s holiday programs, an important feature of the social activities arrangements, is under direction of the Rehabilitation Program Division.

At the Penitentiary, demonstration of an important and unique phase of this type of programming, took place with the presentation of the Christmas Nativity Play, for the second time in the history of the department by the women of the House of Detention for Women, at Rikers Island Penitentiary for the male inmates there.

The morale-lifting performance given last year by the women has encouraged the department to repeat the performance this year at the Penitentiary.

VIPs who attended the Xmas Nativity Show at Rikers Island were Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Mrs. Susan Wagner, wife of our Mayor, Miss Fannie Hurst, Shad Tubman, son of President Tubman of Liberia, Deputy Commissioners Frederick C. Rieber, and Maurice W. Grey, Director of Operations, Anthony Principe, Deputy Director of Operations, Archibald F. Glover, Hugh L. Tunney, Secretary of the Department and Director of Rehabilitation, Milton Luger.

“Our departmental theme” stated Commissioner Kross, “is that regardless of religious affiliation, we must accept the spirit of brotherhood and fellowship that this important holiday season brings to us all.

Inmate Christmas Programs

During the Holiday Season the Rehabilitation Program Division arranged for special Christmas programs for the inmates at the various institutions. We are indeed grateful for the cooperation of the various civic groups who made these programs possible.

December 19th and 20th
Nativity Show - Inmates of House of Detention for Women

Famed writer Fannie Hurst, who attended the 1957 Nativity Show staged at Rikers Island Penitentiary by inmates from the House of Detention for Women in Greenwich Village, is the subject of a bio by Brooke Kroeger who also authored the Nellie Bly bio excerpted on our web site. For more on Hurst, click the above book cover image (which did not appear in the Dec. 1957 newsletter).
December 23rd
Nativity Show - Inmates of House of Detention for Women
Christmas Variety Show - Inmates of Rikers Island
December 26th and 27th for Inmates
December 30th for Employees

December 19th and 20th
Christmas Variety Show - Inmates of Hart Island.

December 17th
Christmas Pageant - Youth of Warwick State Training School Annex

December 29th
Choral Group - Liberal Catholic Cathedral Church of St. Thomas the Apostle.

December 20th
Choral Group - Harlem Branch of the YMCA.

December 21st
Choral Group - Harlem Branch of the YMCA.

The 1957 issue listed "Shad Tubman, son of President Tubman of Liberia," among VIPs at the Rikers Nativity Show. These images of him did not appear in the issue: Shad as leader of 1955 champ Harvard soccer team; as former Liberian Senator returned for annual alumni soccer match 1976; as 2005 Liberian presidential candidate. Images from his web site.
December 19th
Choral Group - Harlem Branch of the YMCA.

December 17th
Christmas Variety Show - Knights of Columbus

December 21st
Choral Group - Harlem Branch of the YMCA
December 23rd Variety Show - by Inmates of Psychiatric Division.

December 11th
Salvation Army Choral Group - Donated Christmas packages

To next story
To story list at top
To NYCHS home page
To NYC DOC history menu page

Page 3 of the December 1957 issue of NYC DOC newsletter Correction Sidelights was used for starting an article on the Department's "First Academy Graduation Exercises" held on Rikers Island. The story continued on Page 4. Here is the full text:

First Academy Graduation Exercises

On Friday, November 29, 1957, 120 diplomas were issued to the students who had successfully completed the course of instruction at the Correction Academy at Rikers Island, since the Academy’s opening on July 8, 1957. The student groups consisted of 102 supervisory Captains and 18 members of the various diagnostic and rehabilitation services. Instructors at the Academy also received Certificates of Merit.

Above is the December 1957 NYC DOC masthead scanned from the issue's Page 2. Below are images of the four top management executives named in the masthead. The images did not appear in the newsletter issue. They come from NYC Correction Commissioner Anna M. Kross' 12 Years of Progress Through Crisis Jan. 1, 1954 to Dec. 31, 1965 report.

The curriculum consisted of instruction in various aspects of penology, law, public relations, custody and security, rehabilitation, leadership, departmental and institutional administration

The Hon. Gustave C. Rosenberg, Chairman of the Board of Higher Education addressed the graduates on the important subject of The Relationship of the Peace Officer and Higher Education and stated:

“Commissioner Kross has been very anxious to have the Board of Higher Education set up an educational program to meet the further needs of Correction 0fficers and we hope very much that it will be possible for us to do so.

“The Board of Higher Education has set up a special program with the Police Academy whereby Police Officers take courses at the Baruch School of City College and work toward an Associate in Police Science degree.

“The work of Correction Officers certainly deserves the establishment of a similar program. The work that you do is most important; it involves the safety and security of the people of the City. It plays an important part in rehabilitation of humans.

“It certainly plays a part in determining whether prisoners, after they leave prison, are full of hatred and bitterness because of the treatment they received while they were in prison or whether they feel that they were treated fairly and with due regard to their feelings as persons.

“The proposed program that Commissioner Kross is anxious to set up with us is something that we would like to do. The chief question is finding the money to pay the expenses for such a program.

“With her usual energy Commissioner Kross is trying to find a way of getting funds, and if her past accomplishments are any indication of her future achievements, I am sure she will succeed.”

Mr. Carl M. Loeb, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Correction also spoke to the group and presented diplomas to the students. The highlights of his remarks are as follows:

The above group image and sign close-up image were scanned and cropped from the same photo on Page 180 of NYC Correction Commissioner Anna M. Kross' 12 Years of Progress Through Crisis Jan. 1, 1954 to Dec. 31, 1965. Its caption reads:

In 1957: The Commissioner and her staff at the first graduation ceremonies of the Correction Academy on Nov. 29, 1957.

The image below was scanned and cropped from another Page 180 photo. Its caption reads:

In 1957: Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Commissioner Anna M. Kross, her staff and invited dignitaries at the dedication of the Correction Academy on July 3, 1957

Both those 1957 photos were taken in front of and beneath the overhead Correction Academy sign at the entrance of its red brick building on Rikers.

“All of us are born with the same instincts. The basic differences between us - mental equipment, physical makeup, self control — are what determine our lives. These qualities are inherited.

“All of us who can do so should help to see to it that parents, teachers, and other associates of all children are such that the character of the child is developed to his best advantage.

“The objectives of this new school are, among other things, to teach the employees of our houses of correction some of the fundamentals which will help them rehabilitate the prisoner.

“To my mind, this is the most important job of all of you. Bias and prejudice, making opportunities few for too many of our citizens, indirectly cause much of the delinquency.

“This is our problem, not only because one should take care of others, but also because it is extremely expensive to keep people in jail who might otherwise be rehabilitated.

“The Commissioner and her aides have already expressed these as their personal objectives. I know that most, if not all, of my Board think similarly.

“For this reason I am glad to be associated with the Department of Correction and to be here to help celebrate the first graduation ceremony of the school.”

Commissioner Anna M. Kross gave voice to the great pride with which she joined in the ceremony of presentation of certificates to the graduates of the Academy course and paid tribute to Warden Henry 1. Noble as Director of the Academy, Deputy Warden Grasheim and Assistant Deputy Warden Kukis for their sterling work in the organization of the courses, and the Training Division of the New York City Personnel Department.

The Commissioner emphasized “that it was particularly important in the more forward-looking emphasis on training and treatment that we must have a better understanding among the various groups in the department. - custodial, professional and civilian -- and for the development of a brighter future for our department which has traditionally been overlooked in direct proportion to the misunderstanding of its purpose and objectives.”

Having sworn in the first seven members of the Board of Correction Oct. 14, 1957 Mayor Robert F. Wagner swore in Carl M. Loeb, Jr., right, as the eighth member and chairman of the board on Oct. 28, 1957. The image did not appear in the Dec. 1957 newsletter. Click for more about the birth of the board.
She stressed the fact that “the appointment by Mayor Robert F. Wagner of the Board of Correction under the chairmanship of Mr. Carl M. Loeb, Jr. was the fulfillment of the assurance that steps initiated with so much blood, sweat and tears would not be in vain, and with the establishment of the Board of Correction continuance of forward progress so hardly won is assured, regardless of changes in politics and of commissioners subsequently appointed.”

The second phase of the Academy exercises was a panel discussion motivated through the showing of the film “Shades of Gray,” which depicted through a case work approach, the work of therapists in dealing with mental illness.

The panel consisted of Dr. Paul Benedict, Chief Psychiatrist, Irving Jacks, Assistant Director of Rehabilitation, and Syd Connell of the Diagnostic Unit.

Warden Noble acted as Moderator for the panel.

Rev. E. Frederick Proelss, right, and Fr. Anthony Glaser, S. J., were Rikers' resident chaplains, respectively Catholic and Protestant . . . and good friends.
Most interesting highlight of the day’s activities was the surprise presentation of a sculptured head of Commissioner Kross to her by the youth of the inmate Education Department.

Participating in the overall ceremonies were Deputy Commissioner Maurice W. Grey, Archibald F. Glover, Assistant Director of Operations, and Milton Luger; Director of Rehabilitation. Warden Noble acted as host and is to be complimented on the successful presentation of the program.

Father Anthony N. Glaser, S. 1. delivered the Invocation and the Rev. E. Frederick Proelss closed with the Benediction.

To next story
To story list at top
To NYCHS home page
To NYC DOC history menu page

The NYC DOC newsletter Correction Sidelights had a regular feature entitled "Departmental Organizations" that spotlighted agency affiliated groups. On Pages 4 and 5 of the December 1957 issue, that feature profiled "The Correctionaires," a primarily African American group. Here is the full text of the article:

Departmental Organizations

The Correctionaires

The Correctionaires were organized as a departmental group on July 1, 1939.

The Preamble of its Constitution reads “To inculcate the principles of loyal friendship, to promote the welfare, happiness, and good fellowship of its members, to aid, succor, and befriend its members in time of need.”

Above is a facsimile of the greeting box across the bottom of Page 5. It occupied about a fourth of the page's total area. The names of 11 DOC wardens appeared beneath of the Christmas message. The image's background -- bluish green (teal?) -- resembles the color of the paper on which the Christmas issue was printed in red ink, except the paper's color was darker. The issue's color combination worked well enough for reading large size type, but not for reading ordinary size text. For this and other reasons, our replication employs light green as the background color for printed page images at the top of this web page.

This organization was formed to develop and preserve the spirit of comradeship and fellowship among the members; to improve individually and collectively the civic services of its members; to focus the efforts of its members, kindred organizations and the community in the improvement of the administration of justice so as to more effectively combat crime and juvenile delinquency, and to promote and support those efforts to improve human relationships in the communities of its members.

Specifically, this organization fosters:

1. Improvement of group relations within the Department of Correction and in the communities of its members.

The above image of Commissioner Anna M. Kross and Mayor Robert Wagner honoring Deputy Warden James C. Harrison for role in Rikers officers and inmates rescuing people aboard the Northeastern airliner that crashed on the island Feb. 1, 1957, did not appear with December 1957 Correctionaires story. It did appear in an earlier issue of Correction Sidelights. It is reproduced here because Harrison was a past president of the "The Correctionaires." Click image for more about him and the 1957 air crash response.
2. Adopt and further the accepted concepts of modern penology.

3. To promote the understanding of our inherent problems in the Department of Correction, and to secure the cooperation of kindred organizations in order to more effectively perform our civic duties in an effort to reduce crime and juvenile delinquency.

4. To aid, succor, and befriend its members in time of need.

5. To promote and support the persons or organizations seeking to improve the working conditions of the members of this organization.

Past Presidents:

Assistant Deputy Warden, Penitentiary, Rikers Island

Administrative Assistant, Fiscal Control Division

Captain, Manhattan House of Detention for Men

Correction Officer. Manhattan House of Detention for Men

The above image of Deputy Commissioner Frederick C. Rieber swearing in Jesse L. Behagen as Deputy Superintendent (Warden) for the Women's House of Detention, Greenwich Village, did not appear with the December 1957 story about "The Correctionaires." It did appear in a 1962 issue of Correction Sidelights." It is reproduced here because Behagen was a trustee and past president of the "The Correctionaires." Click image for more about her.

Captain, Branch B’klyn. House of Detention for Men

Attendant, Courts (Former Correction Officer)

Correction Flicker, Bronx House of Detention for Men

Captain, Penitentiary, Rikers Island

Deputy Superintendent, House of Detention for Women

Officers. Year 1957
JAMES BYRD Treasurer

The sketch above did not appear in the December 1957 DOC newsletter. It is of Marcus Garvey who presided at a 1920 convention in NYC from which was issued a "Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World" signed by black leaders and activists. Among them was Dugald Augustus Wade. Was Dugald A, Wade listed in the 1957 DOC newsletter as a past president and then current Correctionaires executive secretary related to the Dugald Augustus Wade listed as signing Garvey's 1920 Declaration? Click image for more about Garvey.
DUGALD A. WADE Executive Secretary
JOHN A. GUZMAN Secretary
JAMES RAWLINS Financial Secretary
JAMES CARTER Sergeans-at-Arms
THEODORE WHEATON Entertainment Committee

Charitable Endeavors:

Its charitable endeavors include support for the following organizations:

- . - National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. For its work to accord full civil rights to all.

- . - Young Men’s Christian Association- For YMCA work, and especially its branch for boys.

- . - The Urban League. For its work for equality of opportunity for minorities in employment, housing, education and health and welfare services.

- . - Miscellaneous charities resulting from appeals from organizations in the Department of Correction, and many other community organizations.

Religious Aspects:

A thought the Correctionaires always keep in mind: To pray, as St. Francis of Assisi,

“Lord make me an instrument of thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy."

To story list at top
To NYCHS home page
To NYC DOC history menu page

The New York City Department of Correction reserves and retains all rights
to its texts, its images, and its illustrations that it used in its departmental publication
Correction Sidelines including those reproduced above, or linked thereto, from the December 1957 issue.
The New York Correction History Society retains and reserves
all rights to the design of this web version of the original printed material,
including additional text explaining the background and context of the original.