Published date01 April 1986
Date01 April 1986
Subject MatterArticles
Since joining The Pennsylvaina Prison Society last summer,
much of my time has been spent in making plans to celebrate our
200th anniversary in 1987. To plan for the future, it has been nec-
essary to study our history. That retrospective has revealed a
number of significant accomplishments by the Prison Society, not
the least of which has been working for the establishment of sep-
arate facilities for distinct groups of offenders. For example, in
1792, the Society was instrumental in establishing separate prison
facilities for women; in 1828, we led the drive to remove children
from the jails in Pennsylvania; and in 1852, we successfully peti-
tioned the legislature for the removal of the insane from prisons
to mental hospitals.
This issue of The Prison Journal addresses another distinct
group of offenders, the mentally retarded or otherwise develop-
mentally disabled, whose disadvantaged position within the crim-
inal justice system has until recent years, been overlooked. Santa-
mour’s article vividly describes the disadvantages experienced by
these individuals at every step within the system. As an agency
whose primary mission is to monitor conditions within the prisons
and jails, the Prison Society is especially concerned with the victim-
ization of the mentally retarded offenders within our penal institu-
Pugh’s article describes the model program for the develop-
mentally disabled offenders established in the Texas Department
of Corrections (TDC). This program was developed as a result of the
federal district court’s order in Ru iz v. Estelle and required several
years of negotiations between the parties. As a member of the
Special Master’s staff in Ru iz for four...

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