Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online

For Participating Institutions

Rhode Island State Prison and Providence County Jail records (1995-291)

Rhode Island State Archives

Rhode Island State Archives
337 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903
Tel: 401-222-2353
Fax: 401-222-3199
email: statearchives@sos.ri.gov

Scope & content

This collection consists of approximately 31 cubic feet of records, spans the years 1807 to 1972 and includes records from the Providence County Jail as well as the State Prison. Most of the items are bound volumes which include commitments, discharges, punishment or discipline books, inmate logs, and correspondence. Other items include visitors' passes, sports statistics log, and guards' daily log. Many of these items include such information as nativity, crime, sentence, time served,, cell #, religion, family members and occupation.

In addition, financial records include actual invoices submitted from various businesses serving the prison, monthly bill ledgers, debtor cash books, and cash account books. One interesting item is a debtor ledger (1839-1848) or "Creditors for Debtors Board" which lists the names of those who incurred the debt on behalf of the prisoner. This item includes such information as length of stay, attorneys' names, and total cash owed and received.

Administrative records include the warden's monthly reports (1848-1872 with gaps), prisoner industry production ledgers (1913-1914, 1914-1916), requisitions, and sales book, monthly stock books, prisoner expense ledgers, a store ledger (noted as "variety store") and day books.

Physician Records include medical books which indicate ailments and treatments of prisoners, clinical charts, an assessment book, and hospital inspection logs.