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Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Florida Corrections:  Centuries of Progress

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Inmate population
December 31, 1932:

The State Prison at Raiford's population reaches 2,000 male and female inmates, with the remaining 1,210 inmates working at road prisons, work camps and other facilities. There are 85 employees on payroll.

J. S. BLITCH, superintendent of the state prison farm at Raiford, who recently underwent a major operation in St. Luke's Hospital, will return to his home at the farm today, attaches at the hospital said. Mr. BLITCH, for a while, was in critical condition but steadily gained strength until at the present time is well on the road to recovery, it was said.

BLITCH is able to return to his home. Jacksonville.

Florida Prison Farm #2, located in south Florida (Belle Glade, Palm Beach County), is constructed and opened. In 1961 it will be renamed Glades Correctional Institution.

Notice of Mr. Blitch's death
The Board of Commissioners elects Chapman to become Superintendent of the Florida State Prison Farm after Blitch dies and sends the above Western Union telegram (dated June 20th, 1932, sent at 4:29 p.m. by Doyle E. Carlton, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners State Institutions, Tallahassee, to Leonard F. Chapman in Raiford).

Leonard Chapman is appointed the new warden at the State Prison Farm at Raiford in 1932 after Blitch's death. He remains there for 25 years while he implements his strong ideas about better health services, education, working habits, as well as contact with the community. He forbids the word "convict" and encourages "inmate." He introduces staff uniforms and grade school. He adds courses such as carpentry, millwork, and plumbing. Chain-link fences replace solid barriers, so inmates could see the world. At the end of the 1930s, horizontally striped inmate uniforms are discontinued.

Leonard Chapman
Superintendent Leonard Chapman (Photo courtesy of FPC.)

Leonard Chapman
Leonard Chapman, appointed warden at State Prison Farm at Raiford in 1932. He served for 25 years and had a strong philosophy about good health, education, work habits and contact with the community.

Leonard Chapman
1937 photo of Leonard Chapman conducting a radio broadcast from his office.

Uniformed Staff Members
Leonard Chapman introduced staff uniforms

Auto Mechanics Workshop
Chapman began training programs in automobile mechanics.

Group of Inmates
Inmates in the yard at Raiford.

Community gets involved with Corrections.
Chapman also got the community involved.

August 10, 1932

Mr. L. F. Chapman
Florida State Farm

Dear Mr. Chapman:

I thank you for yours of the Fourth with reference to the death of Jesse Roberts.

This was unfortunate, of course, but I do not see how the guard could be expected to allow the prisoner to run away.

Very truly yours,

Doyle E. Carlton


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