CDCR Time Capsule Jan. 5, 1912: Former officer says prison reform begins at home

CDCR Time Capsule Jan. 5, 1912: Former officer says prison reform begins at home

Former Correctional Officer William Conroy, who worked at San Quentin from 1903 to 1907, wrapped up his series on prison life by giving his opinions on where real prison reform should begin. The story was published in the Santa Cruz Evening News, Jan. 5, 1912. This is the last of his series. Just five years after these stories were originally published, Conroy was killed in a vehicle accident. He was 45 years old.

CDCR Time Capsule Jan. 3, 1912: Former officer describes a San Quentin visitor tour

CDCR Time Capsule Jan. 3, 1912: Former officer describes a San Quentin visitor tour

Former Correctional Officer William Conroy, who worked at San Quentin from 1903 to 1907, described what visitors saw when they toured San Quentin prison. The story was published in the Santa Cruz Evening News, Jan. 3, 1912. This was part of a short series Conroy wrote for the newspaper. At the time it was published, Conroy worked for the Santa Cruz Fire Department.

CDCR Time Capsule Jan. 1, 1912: Former officer describes food at San Quentin

CDCR Time Capsule Jan. 1, 1912: Former officer describes food at San Quentin

“If I remember right, it is about 1,800 pounds of flour a day, six sacks of potatoes, about 25 pounds of coffee, while 10 or 12 (sides of beef) come to the prison every week. The beef all comes in quarters from the city. Then there are oatmeal and syrup. The prison food is good, and (there is) plenty of it – a prisoner can help himself to all he wants of bread and beans, spuds and mush; but the meat is dished out to him by waiters (as well as) the syrup and sugar. A prisoner gets sugar two times a week. The kind that is used at the prison is what is known as golden C, which is of a light brown color, and can be pressed into a cone the same as an ice cream cone,” wrote former Correctional Officer William Conroy in 1912 as he describes the food served in state prisons.

CDCR Time Capsule Dec. 19, 1911: Former officer describes inmate jobs

CDCR Time Capsule Dec. 19, 1911: Former officer describes inmate jobs

“All the carpenter work, plumbing, brick work, machine work and blacksmith work, in fact every conceivable variety of work done at San Quentin, is done by prisoners, as they are mostly masters of every imaginable trade,” wrote former Correctional Officer William Conroy, who worked at San Quentin from 1903 to 1907. In the Santa Cruz Evening News, Dec. 19, 1911, Conroy described jobs held by inmates, the system used to show an inmate had completed an assignment and their usual work schedule.