Monday, July 24, 2017

Old Idaho State Pennitentiary - Part Two

I did say I was going to be more upbeat in this posting, so how about a rose garden?   The prisoners worked on the grounds as well as a rose garden.  Notice the hills which surround the prison.
The seed company Jackson and Perkins first tested the Tropicana Rose here.  Through the years different small industries were tried to keep the men convicts from getting too bored.
During the 1930s the building pictured above was a shirt factory.  However, that was the Depression years and lawmakers believed that the common goods produced by convicts should not compete with those of "honest" citizens..  It later became a license plate factory.  During WW11 the prison inmates washed clothes for the local military bases.  The old laundry can still be seen on the tour.
Some of the older buildings in this prison are still standing, as the dining hall.  It was burned during a 1973 prison riot.  Riots happened over the years of this prison's existence.  A governor's committee cited that the heat, poor living conditions and staff problems caused a riot in 1971.  The hospital was burned down then.  Pictured below is what was left of the dining hall after it burned.
Over the years new buildings were always being built- to replace those burnt during riots or just because of overcrowding.  Pictured below is a cell block built in the 1950s.
We were allowed to tour this particular building.  It housed 320 inmates in 4 man cells.  Several cells were set up to look as they might have looked back in the day.  Home sweet home.
The Idaho Botanical Garden lies on a tract of land which use to belong to the prison.  From the prison we did not have to walk very far to get to it.  More on that garden in my next posting.

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