Warden Elbert v. Nash on Running Penitentiaries Essays

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WARDEN ELBERT V. NASH
February 7, 1945 Thomas Whitecotton a former Captain with the Missouri Highway Patrol, accepted the position of Warden of the Missouri State Penitentiary. His mission? “clean up” the penitentiary.
A year later, Missouri formed the Department of Corrections. Whitecotton, became its new Director. Together with Missouri Governor Phil Donnelly, the two set out to take control of Missouri's prisons.
Prisoners at MSP rioted in September of 1954. The Missouri Highway Patrol and local law enforcement entered the prison to quell the riot, before all the buildings were burnt to the ground.
In the aftermath of the disturbance, four inmates lay dead, 29 injured and four guards assaulted. Administrators estimated the damage at
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Louis Globe-Democrat writer, in the 1960's, states that he took it upon himself to write about the “appalling Conditions” at the Missouri prison. According to Buchanan, he received several complaints from former inmates at the prison. He decided to investigate the allegations.
In July of 1963, along with Warden Nash and 15 witness's, Patrick Buchanan watched the execution of convict Sammy Aire Tucker. A man who had a killed a police officer during a robbery.
Wearing a black blindfold, shorts and shoes, Tucker uttered his last words, “Thanks for everything.”. The scene horrified Buchanan. A scene Warden Nash, had saw four times.
February of 1964 brought more criticisms to the penitentiary. In a study done by Myrl Alexander, Director of the Southern Illinois University Center, he stated in a 15 page report, that there were “many” problems at the penitentiary.
The report blamed Warden Nash and his officers. Officers who received a mere $262 per month, were said to be under trained, and too old for the job. The study reported 490 acts of violence in a 30-month period. Warden Nash attempted to compromise, stating that he would use more communication skills and come down harder on his staff.
In the summer of 1964, Warden Nash attempted to integrate black inmates with white inmates. June 9th, several white inmates jumped 11 black inmates on their way back to their bunks. The whites wore pillow cases over their heads to hide their identity.
A few minutes later, one black

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