Nevada Executive Branch Agencies
Corrections, Department of
Prisons, Department of
Under the Territorial laws of Nevada enacted in 1861 the Board of Prison Commissioners was comprised of the Governor, the Secretary of the Territory, and the Surveyor-General. The Board was empowered to "lease, purchase, or build, at the expense of the territory, a suitable building, for the use of the territory, as a territorial prison" and to report to the next session of the legislative assembly, what property it advised to purchase for a territorial prison. In 1864 the composition of the Prison Commissioners was changed to the Secretary of the Territory, the Territorial Auditor, and Treasurer.
In 1864 Nevada became a state, and its Constitutions created the Board of State Prison Commissioners to consist of the Governor, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General. A legislative act of 1873 stated that any two members constituted a quorum, with the full power to transact any required business.
Subsequent legislation in 1877 and 1893 gave the Board supervision of all matters connected with the State Prison. The warden was to be chosen by a joint vote of the Legislature for a term of two years. In 1943 Nevada Statutes provided that the governor was to appoint a warden for the state prison. (Chap. 158, section 4.)
The warden made an annual report to the Board during the first year, which later became a biennial report to the legislature. From 1868 to 1872 the Lt. Governor was ex-officio warden. After those years there was no reference to the combining of two offices. Between 1925-1942 the Superintendent of the State Police was the ex-officio warden. From July 1942 to June 1956, the date of the last volume of the published report, the designation was simply warden.
In 1977 the Governor appointed a Director, who headed the Department of Prisons, and he in turn appointed a warden for each penal institution of the Department.
|Inmate Case Files
|The Inmate File is a compilation of criminal history information and records of correctional supervision concerning individual inmates. The State Archives has custody of the records of inmates twenty-five (25) years after release from the prison system. Among the earliest record groups to be processed in the State Archives, it has its own database. Information that may be obtained from each file includes some or all of the following: 1. Mug shot; 2. Judgment; 3. Fingerprints; 4. Statement of fact; 5. Newspaper accounts; 6. Correspondence: official and personal; 7. Applications for commutation of sentence, conditional pardon, pardon, parole, restoration of citizenship; 8. Official certificate for any of the above (#7); 9. State of Nevada Record of Prisoners; 10. Referrals within prison; 11. Affidavits for #7; 12. Various documents from the Board of Parole Commissioners, Board of Pardons, Board of Pardons and Parole Commissioners; 13. Nevada State Police Bulletin; 14. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation National Bureau of Criminal Identification; and 15. Certificate of Extradition.
||Volume: 467.8 cubic ft.
|Warden's monthly, annual and biennial reports, Superintendent's report on Nevada State Prison and the State Prison Farms, prison contracts and claims, operational logs that record the movement of inmates and guard shifts that form the basis to the institutional reports, as well as specific investigation reports. Records are contained in three regular and two oversize archives boxes. One volume, 1881-1882, NSP-731, original location number 58030102, is missing from the collection.
|Prison Commissioner's Minutes
||8 volumes, 1 box = 2.3 c.f.
|Minutes of the State Prison Commissioners Meetings. The Governor, the Secretary of State and the Attorney General constitute the State Prison Commissioners, any two of whom constitute a quorum.
|Prison Commission Records
|As de facto secretary of the Commission, the Secretary of State's file includes minutes, procedure, operations, and execution manuals, Department of Prison Information Bulletins, and administrative regulations. One item of special interest in this file is a translation of an article from the Italian periodical Epoca, on gambling in the Nevada penitentiary: "In This Prison You Can Become Rich."
|Isolation Prison Logs
||11 volumes = 1.2 cubic ft.
|The logs identify two isolation centers: the medium security at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center, and the maximum security. The records are entered in chronological order; there are notations of any usual happening each day.
|Medical Director's Files
|The Medical Director's Files are loosely arranged in alphabetical order i.e., according to names or topics. The files cover the broad scope of the activities of the prison department. Administrative records include budgets, minutes of the administration, as well as those of the various functional committees, consultation applications, correspondence, and schedules. The legal papers include lawsuits against prison officials and medical staff for medical negligence and malpractice. The medical referrals for cases brought before the Pardon and Parole Board are included in the files.