A New Photo History of Elmira Reformatory

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Elmira Reformatory historyElmira Reformatory (Arcadia Publishing, Images of America series, 2014) from local authors Dr. William G. Hinkle and Bruce Whitmarsh contains more than 200 images of this well-known facility in Chemung County, NY.

The Elmira Reformatory, established in 1876, is an important part of both local and national history, especially in the history of prisons and prison reform.  Archival images, the majority of which were provided by the Chemung County historical Society, depict scenes of everyday life at the reformatory that remains in use today as the Elmira Correctional Facility.

The authors review the origins of the facility and discuss how the reformatory was created out of 19th century attitudes about crime and justice and mostly founded on the principles and experience of Zebulon R. Brockway.

Elmira Reformatory is an interesting view of the activities carried on inside the reformatory and the evolution of the criminal reform model. Exploring prison reform in the past, the book hopes to better educate readers about both former and current models of the reformatory system.

All author profits from the sale of the book are being donated to the Criminal Justice Department at Chowan University in Murfreesboro, NC, and to the Chemung County Historical Society in Elmira, NY.

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