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Norfolk’s “Model Prison Community”: Howard Belding Gill and the Social Process of Prison Reform
The Prison Journal  (IF1.19),  Pub Date : 2021-02-03, DOI: 10.1177/0032885521991074
Matthew DelSesto

This article explores the social process of criminal justice reform, from Howard Belding Gill’s 1927 appointment as the first superintendent of the Norfolk Prison Colony to his dramatic State House hearing and dismissal in 1934. In order to understand the social and spatial design of Norfolk’s “model prison community,” this article reviews Gills’ tenure as superintendent through administrative documents, newspaper reports, and his writings on criminal justice reform. Particular attention is given to the relationship between correctional administration and public consciousness. Concluding insights are offered on the possible lessons from Norfolk Prison Colony for contemporary reform efforts.