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Records of the Kansas State Industrial Reformatory

Creator: Kansas State Industrial Reformatory

Date: 1885 - 1987

Level of Description: Coll./Record Group

Material Type: Government record

Call Number: Unavailable

Unit ID: 214394

Abstract: The records for the Kansas State Industrial Reformatory (KSIR) mostly focus on the inmates who were incarcerated at the Reformatory, including information gained when arriving at the Reformatory as well as records from throughout their incarceration. Many of these records about individual inmates fall under restrictions in Kansas statutes and therefore may not be available for researchers.

Because of the relationship between the Reformatory and the higher-level state agencies that have overseen it, such as the Board of Administration or the Department of Corrections, many related records are found under these other agencies. Broader searches therefore may be necessary in order to find all records relevant to a topic.

Space Required/Quantity: Circa 51 cubic feet

Title (Main title): Records of the Kansas State Industrial Reformatory

Administrative History

Administrative History: In the mid 1880s penal reformers recognized the need for a Reformatory in Kansas. The emphasis of the reformatory system was on reforming youths through vocational training and academic education. A main difference between prisons and reformatories was the sentencing structure that was used. Prisons during that time set fixed sentences, such as 5 years, 10 years, 20 years. These sentences were reduced by "good time" that was earned, generally one day served for one day good time. Reformatories introduced the concept of indeterminate sentences, such as 1-10 years, 3-10 years, etc. Inmates could shorten indeterminate sentences by exhibiting good behavior while in prison.

The reformatory was structured to handle inmates between the ages of 16 and 30 years of age. They had to be new commits, having never served time in prison before.

The Kansas State Industrial Reformatory (KSIR) came into existence in 1885 when Governor John Martin signed a bill that the State Legislature had passed, authorizing the purchase of land to be donated in order to build a reformatory. The site chosen for the new reformatory was Hutchinson, in the south-central part of the state in Reno County.

After numerous delays in construction, in August 1895 a 50-man brick cell-house was completed and the first 30 inmates were transferred from the Kansas State Penitentiary (Lansing) to KSIR. The reformatory expanded and changed its focus over the twentieth century, changing its name to the Hutchinson Correctional Facility and providing facilities to house maximum-, medium-, and minimum-security adult male offenders.

[Kansas Department of Corrections, "Hutchinson Correctional Facility History." http://www.dc.state.ks.us/facilities/hcf/history (accessed 1 October 2008).]

[Wilder, Bessie. Governmental Agencies of the State of Kansas, 1861-1956. Lawrence: University of Kansas Publications, 1957.]


No Locators Identified

Related Records or Collections

Related materials: Records of the Department of Corrections
Records of the State Reception and Diagnostic Center

Index Terms


    Kansas. Dept. of Corrections
    Hutchinson Correctional Facility -- History
    Kansas State Industrial Reformatory -- History
    Kansas State Industrial Reformatory -- Records and correspondence
    Hutchinson (Kan.)
    Juvenile corrections -- Kansas
    Prisons -- Kansas
    Youth -- Kansas

Creators and Contributors

Agency Classification:

    Kansas State Agencies. Kansas State Industrial Reformatory.
    Kansas State Agencies. Department of Corrections. Hutchinson Correctional Facility.