Newspaper Page Text
Text of Report on District Jail Inquiry
A - _A. ^_ (Continued From First Page.) , amined by the United States at torney for the District of Colum bia, and urges that criminal prosecution be instituted wher ever the evidence warrants, and that the full subject matter be laid before the grand jury for consideration and subsequent in dictment of any person or per sons guilty of violation of the law under the criminal code. At the very outset your com mittee cannot bring too strongly or forcibly to the attention of the entire Congress the utter lack of centralized control of the District of Columbia government and multiple divided responsibility which destroys any weight or prestige of authority intended for any group or groups within the unstable and unsatisfactory stricture, for the control and op eration of the District of Colum bia municipal government and a complete lack of a definite and centralized authority. ■This octopus of divided respon sibility finds its tentacles stran gulating all hope of authority which might offer a solution to this immediate problem and other problems which might arise from time to time. Basically and fundamentally your commit tee finds that once again this lack of responsibility and direct authority which are the offspring of the laws which have been en acted by the Congress for the operation of the District govern ment, can be charged with the two-headed monster now threat ening the welfare of the District of Columbia, as a result of which there cannot be safe incarcera tion of the criminals. Congress Held Fundamentally Responsible for Conditions. While the conditions which exist cannot be said to be the direct responsibility of the Con gress, it can be said that the ultimate existing conditions un doubtedly are traceable to the fundamental responsibility of Congress in enacting proper leg islation for the government of the District of Columbia. The issue is clear-cut. Con gress, if it insists upon control of the District of Columbia gov ernment, must accept its full responsibility, and its members must discharge their duties by giving proper weight and con sideration to the problems of the District. If it is not the desire of the Congress to accept that respon sibility and discharge its duty in the fullest, then it most certainly is incumbent upon Congress to divorce itself entirely of the re sponsibility for the District gov ernment and vest that respon sibility and authority in the cit izens of the District of Columbia, who then can be held directly responsible for the conduct of the District government. Your committee has found that the present difficulties in the District of Columbia penal sys tem stem partially from certain basic shortcomings in the organ izational structure and a just commensurate financial support of the District government, and partially from the failure of the Board of Public Welfare, which is the cognizant authority in the control of the penal institutions in the District of Columbia, to comply with fundamental peno logical procedures and standards. Much as it may be desirable to change some of the basic philos ophies underlying the District government and its relation to the Congress, your committee feels it is not necessary to await these reforms before placing its prison system on a basis where it will fully protect the public and faithfully and undeviatingly carry out the orders of the courts. It is in this light that your com mittee makes the following ob servations on the background and causes of the breakdown in the District penal system, and strongly recommends for both a long-range program of improve ment and for coping with imme diate problems. DEFECTS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PENAL SYSTEM. From the evidence developed by the committee it is obvious that the existing situation is due to: 1. DEMORALIZATION OF PERSONNEL: This is the outgrowth of the shortcomings set forth below, some of which are of long stand ing. These have been aggravatecT by recent conflicts in the District penal organizations, and super vision, lack of leadership, con fusion and wartime shortages and handicaps. The demoraliza- j tion extends to guards and offi cials alike. This breakdown of morale is, of course, quickly translated into vacillation, in efficiency, and provides opportu nity for illegal activities. Deplorable Lack of Discipline Charged. Your committee has found a deplorable lack of discipline and recognition of authority in the guard personnel of the District Jail. This breakdown of morale and discipline has resulted from small infractions of general rules of discipline which at the moment perhaps were not of great im portance, but which subsequently developed into a pattern of the whole which brought about utter chaos and confusion. Because of the lack of well defined authority and recognition of that authority discipline was not only broken down to a low level, but it reflected itself also in the high levels of the per sonnel of the jail. Only by reason of sufficient loyal and honest guard and other jail personnel a general breakdown and catas trophe has been avoided. Your committee found a com plete lack of follow-through on orders and regulations and a lax ity in directional discipline, which is expressed throughout the entire custodial system. On an examination of the pub lic hearings you will find repeated assumptions on the part of the executive officers which instead of assumptions there should have been meticulous and continuous supervision and discipline. 2. DIVIDEND RESPONSIBIL ITY AND HESITANCY IN A FIELD OF LAW ENFORCEMENT WHERE DECISION AND FORTHRIGHT ACTION ARE INDISPENSABLE: These have been so apparent and obvious throughout the hear ings that they need no further elaboration here, although it is well that the hearings be studied and the testimony of the wit nesses examined, which indicate that for the most part nobody * ‘ ] I REPRESENTATIVE HEBERT, Makes Report Public. with or without authority knew in which direction to go to keep high levels in definite responsibil ity and instruction. 3. INSUFFICIENT, UNDER PAID, INADEQUATELY TRAINED, AND (IN A PEW CASES) VENAL PERSONNEL: The allowance for personnel at the jail has not kept pace with the growth of the jail and the problems caused by patching up the jail and widening its use not only for misdemeanants and felons awaiting trial, but for women aad those serving sen tence or awaiting action on ap peals. Rapid turnover of per sonnel during the war and the fact that approximately 60 per cent of the emlpoyes are tem porary, war-service appointees, indicates the problem the insti tution has faced. Salaries of guards are not only below those paid policemen and others en gaged in similar work, but are at least one grade below those paid in the Federal system for similar work. Competent jail personnel should be upgraded, and the incompetent dismissed. 4. PLANT AND STRUCTUR AL WEAKNESSES: While the plant and structure of the jail are no real excuse for the escapes, it is nonetheless true that the jail especially is the result of short-sighted, hodge-podge planning and fail ure to make repairs and strengthen weak points which were or should have been ob vious. In this connection your com mittee desires to emphasize the fact that while the plant and structural weaknesses are evi dent, not one of the jail breaks would have occurred had there not been a failure of the per sonnel. In other words, as weak as the physical structure of the institution is, the escaped felons could not have succeeded in their plan of escape if the human ele ment failure had not first en tered into the picture. 5. LACK OF DEFINITE POLI CIES AND REGULATIONS COVERING ADMINISTRATION OF INSTITUTIONS, CONDUCT OF PERSONNEL, AND CON TROL OF INMATES: These have never been re duced to writing in any logical manner and such as do exist have been to take care of imme diate crises or cure some tempo rary conditions. 6. DEFICIENCIES AND SHORTCOMINGS IN BROAD PROGRAM FOR CLASSIFICA TION, REHABILIT ATION, MEDICAL TREATMENT, EM PLOYMENT AND TRAINING OF PRISONERS: Although your committee has laid stress in its investigations upon escapes and improper su pervision of prisoners, there exist as glaring weaknesses and defi ciencies in the program for re habilitation and retraining pris oners. Both personnel and fac ilities are lacking for a well rounded program which would provide the essential information about the individual prisoner and for providing inmates with the vocational and educational train ing, productive employment, medical and psychiatric Services, and the parole preparation re quired to return prisoners to the community better equipped to lead a law abiding life. 7. ABSENCE OP SUBSTAN TIVE LAW SETTING FORTH SPECIFICALLY THE DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES, JURIS DICTION AND AIMS OF THE PENAL SYSTEM AND OF ITS ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUB ORDINATE PERSONNEL: The District penal system, and particularly the jail, has had a “topsy-like” growth out of many laws, appropriation riders and Federal statutes without any codification or modernization of these laws. The jail, for instance, has passed in succession through the hands of the United States marshal, the President, the In terior Department, the Attorney General, the Supreme Court for the District and finally the Board of Public Welfare. Many of these old laws are still applicable in part and should be revised, codi fied and amended. REMEDIAL MEASURES. The correction of all of these deficiencies and providing a com plete answer for all of the Dis trict’s penal problems cannot be accomplished overnight or by leg islative fiat. The situation in the District is complicated not only by the fact that the penal sys tem must handle all offenders from the most petty, usually taken care of by municipal au thorities, to the most serious of fenders, ordinarily the responsi bility of the State. The intricate relationship in the District be tween the local and Federal Government in the field of law enforcement and judicial admin istration adds immeasurably to the difficulty of finding clear-cut lines of action and logical co ordination and integration of fa cilities and methods. Your com mittee therefore recommends two courses of action, one directed to ward interim measures and im mediate remedies and the other looking to a long-range program of improvement. RECOMMENDATION FOR INTERIM ACTION. 1. JOINT ACTION BY THE COMMISSIONERS AND THE BOARD OF PUBLIC WELFARE ESTABLISHING A DEPART MENT OF CORRECTIONS AND DELEGATING TO THE HEAD OF THIS NEW DIVISION ALL NECESSARY POWER AND AU THORITY FOR THE ADMINIS TRATION OF THE DISTRICT’S PENAL INSTITUTIONS. The Board of Public Welfare would under this plan retain only advisory responsibility for broad V penal and rehabilitation policies and the Commissioners would, of course, continue to retain their general executive powers over the corrections department and see that it was efficiently, economi cally, honestly and Intelligently operated. But all administrative details, Including selection, advancement and discipline of personnel, pro mulgation of rules and regula tions, upkeep of plant, main tenance of control and discipline of inmates and development of the details of the inmate treat ment program, would be left in the hands of the Department of Corrections. All of this could be accomplished immediately and without legislative action. Obviously, to accomplish this without legislative action, imme diately and for the immediate safety of the community there must be full co-operation and understanding between the Board of Public Welfare and the District of Columbia Com missioners. They must be in full agreement and accord and waive all technicalities of legislative re course in an effort to guarantee immediately to the District of Columbia in full protection from escaped criminals. In this connection your com mittee strongly and emphatical ly urges that: 2. PENDING FURTHER LEG ISLATIVE ACTION AND SET TLEMENT OF THE FINAL STATUS OF THE PRESENT GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT OF PENAL INSTITUTIONS. THE LOAN OF A COMPETENT DIRECTOR OF THE NEW DE PARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS FROM THE FEDERAL PRISON SYSTEM SHOULD BE OB TAINED: This individual, if obtained, should be given Immediate au thority to put into effect at once all necessary changes in person nel and in operations necessary for the full protection of the public. The situation in the District of Columbia institutions is critical and it cannot be permitted to continue without forthright and competent leadership. Irrespec tive of the outcome of the issues regarding the present general superintendent and their ulti mate disposition, it is obvious that this will require time, and for the immediate future a com petent director must be placed in charge who has not been in volved in any of the present diffi culties. The Attorney General has indicated he would be glad to co-operate and would doubtless make available some trained per son if this could be consistent with his responsibilities for the Federal Prison System. Calls Sperintendent’s Usefulness at End. In this connection, your com mittee does not desire to discuss or make any conclusions relative to charges brought against the present general superintendent, but because of the very nature of these charges and subsequent developments, and the complete breakdown of the morale and dis cipline in the penal system, the usefulness of the general super intendent so far as the District of Columbia penal institutions are concerned, is at an end. Your committee makes the ob servation that regardless of the ability of the present general superintendent, an impasse has arisen whereby he cannot under any circumstances be continued in the capacity of general super intendent. Your committee is also of the opinion that the pres ent resident superintendent of the jail has been made an un willing and unwitting victim of divided responsibility and lack of co-ordination by his superiors in the jail operation and custodial practice. He has been placed in the un fortunate position of being called upon to serve more than one master, and at a loss to know and to determine which one to serve at the moment. This has re sulted in a most unfortunte sit uation, so far as he is concerned, but at the same time Indicates that he, too, cannot continue to serve toward any useful end in his present capacity. Your com mittee, however, makes this ob servation, that the present resi dent superintendent has been made a victim of circumstances over which he had no control and has suffered in his capacity as a result of these circumstances. 3. CONTEMPORANEOUSLY WITH THIS ACTION AND AS A REASSURANCE TO THE NEW DIRECTOR, THE PROPER OFFICIALS WOULD REQUEST AN EMERGENCY APPROPRIA TION OF APPROXIMATELY $300,000 TO BE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE AND CONTINUE AVAILABLE DURING THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR: This would .be used to strengthen the more critical of the existing structural weak nesses in the District Jail, pro vide additional personnel and re ■ classify salaries to the level of of those applying to the Federal system. A. The tightening of the cus todial features of the jail would include: 1. A wire cyclone fence about the jail and at least two guard towers to cost about $42,000. 2. Sallyports, internal elec trically controlled gates, grills and bars, new locking devices, to cost about $50,000. 3. Remodeling dining room and visiting room facilities, to cost about $25,000. 4. Control center, $12,000. (5) Automatic alarm and in ternal telephone system to oost on rental basis about $6,000 per year. B. Increasing the number of personnel at the jail to approxi mately 120 forty-hour-week posts would cost about $145,000 an annually. C. Reclassification of person nel would cost about $20,000 an nually. All of the foregoing estimates are tentative only and based on •quickly assembled data. There are other construction needs, principally a new control corri dor, which can be added later as funds become available. Be fore final decision as to the funds needed is made the District au thorities should be asked to sub mit detailed budget estimates. 4. REVIEW AND REVISE IM M E DI AT ELY RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE CONDUCT OF THE PE NAL INSTTTUTTONS. It seems obvious that a new set of policies and directives are ne cessary covering security pro cedures, disciplinary measures, • CLAUDE O. BOTKIN, Dismissal Recommended. visiting and correspondence priv ileges, receipt of packages, in spection of prisoners, assignment of prisoners to work details, searching of cells, operation of commissary, etc. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF DE TAILED PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING ESCAPES, DIS TURBANCES AND OTHER EMERGENCIES. 6. IN CO-OPERATION WITH Federal system inaugu rate AT ONCE A SYSTEM ATIC COURSE FOR TRAINING PERSONNEL: This would include training in handling of prisoners, use of firearms, jiujitsu and defense methods, control of keys and lock ing devices, and attitudes toward prisoners. In this connection an immediate request should be made of the Federal system and its director for the loan of an ex perienced officer to immediately institute such training as indi cated. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LONG-RANGE ACTION. In addition to the foregoing recommendations which should be implemented immediately, there are a number of steps which should be inaugurated for future consideration by the Con gress. These would include: 1. THE APPOINTMENT BY THE CHAIRMAN OP THE DIS TRICT OF COLUMBIA COM MITTEE OF A SUBCOMMIT TEE TO STUDY AND FORMU LATE A PLAN FOR THE AD MINISTRATION AND DEVEL OPMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PENAL SYS TEM AND DRAFT THE NECES SARY SUBSTANTIVE LAWS FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THE CONGRESS: This committee should be com posed of a member of the Dis trict of Columbia Committee, the chief justice of the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia, a represent ative of the Attorney General, preferably the director of the United 8tates Bureau of Prisons; a representative of the District Commissioners, preferably the corporation counsel, and a private citisen of the District, preferably the chairman of the Board of Public Welfare. It is suggested that this com mittee be immediately appointed to consider seriously the estab lishment by law of a separate de partment of corrections for the District, reporting directly to the Commissioners, and being directly responsible to the Commissioners. The law should carefully but in fairly broad terms define the powers and duties of the depart ment of corrections, but within this framework the director of corrections should be given broad general administrative responsi bility for all operating details. Should Consider All Correction Plans. In considering the structure to be recommended for the District the committee should consider not only the policies and or ganizational pattern followed by the different States, but also the corrections plan recommended by the committee of senior United States circuit judges for the Fed eral Government and incorpo rated in the bill (H. R. 2445) now pending before the Judiciary Committee. It is of the utmost importance that the committee should clarify existing statutes relating to the payment by the Federal Government for prison ers held in or committed to Dis trict institutions. The committee should define by statute who are District prisoners and be handled and supported by the District penal system, and, define by statute those who are to be charges of the Federal Gov ernment, and provision should be made for compensation by the Federal Government to the Dis trict of Columbia for their custody. The committee should also con sider as within the purview of its activities the need for organ izing the District’s penal facil ities, methods of treating alco holic cases, a prison employment and vocational training program, the application of the indeter minate sentencing procedure for misdemeanants, the Integration of the probation and parole sys tems, and specialized procedures for handling young, reformable offenders, similar to the youth correction methods followed in California and other States. Proper Legislation Should Follow Report. A definite requirement of this committee should be that it makes a report on its findings in a period not to exceed two weeks from the time of its ap pointment. Your committee then strongly urges that the proper legislation, as recommended by the committee, be immediately prepared and introduced into the Congress for prompt action. Your committee feels strongly in regard to obstacles placed in the way of the efficient opera tion not only of the penal insti tutions, but of the metropolitan police, by misunderstanding and misconception of the functions of the Civil Service Commission. While your committee appre ciates the value of the protection of the individual under the civil service laws of the Nation, it cannot escape the fact that the most efficient and effective police force in the world today is the BRAKES RELINED 4 WHEELS COMPLETE «■ _ «fP iuick special nl./S PONTIAC 1 I OLDSMOBILE ** conSuBuiE'snfict 90S N ST. N.W. Ml. 9B0S Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is not hampered by the restrictions of civil service. The executive of the Police Department should have full au thority to select as police officers those individuals he considers most competent and able, to pro tect the safety of the general public and the enforcement of the law and the apprehension of its transgressors. In submitting this report your committee in ho way desires to reflect upon the splendid civic service being rendered by the civic-conscious citizens who com prise the Board of Public Wel fares. The testimony before the committee showed that not one member of that board of public spirited citizens, who serve with out pay, has ever had any expe rience in the operation and con duct of penal institutions. It is patent, therefore, that while their desires and motives are undoubtedly of the highest, and certainly most laudable, they cannot be expected to be experts in a field of endeavor in which they had had no previous expe rience. Urges Removal of Control From Welfare Board. Without Implying any criticism of the present director of Public Welfare, who is loaded with far too many and diverse respon sibilities, it seems obvious to this committee that under no circum stances should he, the director of Public Welfare, be in charge of the District Penal System. We think further that matters disclosed by the present inquiry emphasize that under no circum stances should the general su perintendent of prisons, the res ident superintendent of the jail, or the director of public welfare be a part of the administering or custodial structure of the reme dial plan for the penal system recommended by your commit tee. Your committee is of the opin ion, and emphatically so, that the necessity of public safety and the proper administration of the penal institutions of the District of Columbia are of far greater importance than the clashing of personalities Involved. Your committee also empha sizes the fact that it casts no re flection on the honesty of the in dividuals Involved, but must insist that there be a general reorgan ization, and the only manner in which this can be acocmplished is for the immediate appointment of the trained and experienced penal officer to be made available by the director of the United States Bureau of Prisons until such time as permanent legisla tion can be enacted into law and future definite responsibility and authority established. Your committee also recognizes the laxity of certain members of the metropolitan police who were assigned to guard duty in the City Jail, which laxity and disregard of instructions either directly or indirectly contributed to two con-, demned prisoners' escape from the death cell. The committee de plores the reprehensible laxity of the two members of the metropol itan polioe which directly con tributed to the escape of the two convicted murderers. Police Chief Should Check Force for Proper Personnel. The major and superintendent Of police of the Metropolitan Police Force should therefore make a complete survey of his department and separate from the service any individual officers who do not meet the high stand ards which should be justifiably expected of police officers of the District of Columbia. Your committee in this in stance re-emphasizes again the misunderstanding of the major and superintendent of the Metro politan Police in relation to the civil service regulations, and urges that an immediate meet ing be held with the proper au thorities of the Civil Service Commission in an effort to tem per the strict sense of the law with the application of common sense in the public Interest. Your committee is also of the opinion that the Board of Com missioners should have expedited the disposition of charges pend ing against the general superin tendent of penal institutions, which have contributed a great deal to the over-all picture of confusion which exists. The de lay by the Commissioners was most unfortunate and contributed in no small measure to the gen eral confusion. Your committee unhesitatingly accepted the grave responsibility of conducting this public investi gation. and just as unhesitatingly discharges its duties by making this report and recommendations, but points out that unless the recommendations as set forth are acted upon immediately and forthrightly, conditions which are critioal will become more critical, and therefore urges immediate and prompt action. Respectfully submitted, OREN HARRIS, J. M. COMBS, SID SIMPSON, JOSEPH O. O’HARA, F. EDWARD HEBERT, Chairman. D. C. Jail (Continued From First Page.) the problems of the District.” If Congress wishes to evade that re sponsibility, the subcommittee said, “then it most certainly is incumbent upon Congress to divorce itself en tirely of the responsibility for the District government and vest that responsibility and authority in the citizens of the District.” In recommending the new depart ment of corrections, the subcommit tee said: “The Board of Public Welfare would under this plan retain only advisory responsibility for broad penal and rehabilitation policies and the Commissioners would, of course, continue to retain their general executive powers over the correction department and see that it was effi ciently, economically, honestly and intelligently operated. “But all administrative details, in cluding selection, advancement and discipline of personnel, promulga tion of rules and regulations, upkeep of plant, maintenance of control and discipline of inmates, and develop ment of the details of the Inmate treatment program, would be left in the hands of the department of cor rections. Legislative Action Not Needed. “All of this could be accomplished immediately and without legislative action. "Obviously, to accomplish this without legislative action, imme diately and for the immediate safety of the community, there must be full co-operation and under standing between the Board of Public Welfare and the District of Columbia Commissioners. They must be in full agreement and ac cord and waive all technicalities of legislative recourse in an effort to guarantee immediately to the Dis trict of Columbia its full protec tion from escaped criminals.” Proposing the "loan” of a tempo rary director of corrections from the Federal prisons system, the sub committee added: “This individ ual, if obtained, should be given immediate authority to put into effect at once all necessary changes in personnel and in operations nec essary for the full protection of the public. “The situation in the District of Columbia institutions is criti cal and it cannot be permitted to continue without forthright and competent leadership.” Gill’s Usefulness Held at End. It was pointed out that the At torney General had indicated he would be glad to co-operate and undoubtedly would make available some trained person to direct local prisons. The committee said it did not de sire to discuss or make any conclu sions regarding the charges against Mr. Gill. Yet, the report added, “be cause of the very nature of these charges and subsequent develop ments, and the complete breakdown of the morale and discipline in the penal system, the usefulness of the general superintendent so far as the District of Columbia penal institu tions are concerned is at an end.” The report added: “Your com mittee makes the observation thgi regardless of the ability of the pres ent general superintendent, an im passe has arisen whereby he cannot under any circumstances be con tinued in the capacity of general superintendent. "Your committee is also of the opinion that the present resident superintendent of the jail has been made an unwilling and unwitting victim of divided responsibility and lack of co-ordination by his superiors in the jail operation and custodial practice. He has been placed in the unfortunate position of being called upon to serve more than one master and at a loss to know and to de termine which one to serve at the moment. Situation Called Unfortunate. “This has resulted in a most un fortunate situation, so far as he is concerned, but at the same time indicates that he, too, cannot con tinue to serve toward any useful end in his present capacity. Your com mittee, however, makes this observa tion, that the present resident su perintendent has been made a vic tim of circumstances over which he had no control and has suffered In his capacity as a result of these circumstances.” The report assailed “divided re sponsibility and hesitancy In a field of law enforcement where decision and forthright action are indis pensible." It was stated: “This octopus of divided respon sibility finds its tentacles strangulat ing all hope of authority which might offer a solution to this im mediate problem and other prob lems which arise from time to time. "Basically and fundamentally your committee finds that once again this lack of responsibility and direct authority which are the offspring of the laws which have been enacted by Congress for the operation of the District govern ment can be charged with the two headed monster now threatening the welfare of the District of Co lumbia, as a result of which there cannot be safe incarceration of the criminals.” The subcommittee found that present difficulties in the penal system “stem partially from certain basic shortcomings in the organi zational structure and a just com mensurate financial support of the District government, and partially from the failure of the Board of Public Welfare, which is the cog nizant authority in the control of the penal institutions, to comply with fundamental penalogical pro cedures and standards.” Pointing out triat the changes in the basic difficulties relating to the administration of the District gov ernment cannot be awaited, the re port said the prison system mean while could be placed on a basis “where it can fully protect the pub lic and faithfully and undeviatingly carry out the orders of the courts.” i The committee found “a deplor able lack of discipline and recogni tion of authority in the guard per sonnel of the District Jail.” This breakdown of morale and discip line, it was added, “has resulted from small infractions of general rules of discipline which at the mo ment were not perhaps of great im portance but which subsequentl' developed into a pattern of the whole which brought about utter chaos and confusion." In speaking of insufficient, under paid, inadequately trained and (in a i-■ -■■■■ ——— ■ ■■■ ■ — ■ : BUY HERE WITH CONFIDENCE We specialise in Estate Diamonds — always below market value. Backed by more than 50 years’ expe rience in fine diamonds. WE PAY HIGHEST PRICES FOR DIAMONDS AND OLD GOLD KAHN-OPPENHEIMER 903 F St. H.W. RE. 9823 few cases) venal personnel, the com mittee pointed out that salaries of guards not only were below those paid policemen and others engaged in similar work, but at least one grade below those paid in the Fed eral prison system. "Competent jail personnel should be upgraded and the incompetent dismissed,” the committee said. Shortsighted Planning. “While the plan and structure of the jail are no real excuse for the escapes,” it added, "it was nonethe less true that the jail is the result of shortsighted, hodge-podge planning, and failure to make repairs and strengthen weak points which were or should have been obvious.” The subcommittee said it felt strongly “in regard to obstacles placed in the way of the efficient operation not only of the penal in stitutions, but of the Metropolitan Police, by misunderstanding and misconception of the functions of the Civil Service Commission.” It was added: “While your committee appre ciates tire value of the protection of the individual under the civil service'laws of the Nation, it can not escape the fact that the most efficient and effective police force in the world today is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is not hampered by the restrictions of civil service.” Competent Guards Stressed. It was held that the head of the police department should have full authority to select the most com petent men he could get. "In submitting this report,” it was added, "your committee in no way desires to reflect upon the, splendid civic service being ren dered by the civic-conscious citizens who comprise the Board of Public Welfare. The testimony before the committee showed that not one member of that board of public spirited citizens, who serve without pay, has ever had any experience in the operation and conduct of penal institutions. It is patent therefore that while their desires and motives are undoubtedly of the highest and certainly most laud able, they cannot be expected to be experts In a field of endeavor in which they have had no previ ous experience.” The Commissioners were criticized for not expediting the disposition of charges against Mr. Gill, "which have contributed a great deal to the overall picture of confusion which exists.” The report added: “The delay by the Commissioners was most unfortunate and con tributed in no small measure to the general confusion.” The emergency appropriation which the subcommittee suggested would be used to build a wire fence about the jail and at least two guard towers and to make a number of other structural improvements. An automatic alarm and internal tele phone system would be part of the program. Jail personnel would be increased to approximately 120, which would cost about $145,000 a year. It was estimated that reclassifying salaries would cost no more at the outset than $20,000 annually. In addition to the chairman, the investigating subcommittee included Representative Harris. Democrat, of Arkansas; Combs, Democrat, of Texas; Simpson, Republican, of Il linois, and O’Hara, Repuublican, of Minnesota. Gill ^Continued From First Page.) tration or D. C. penal institutions.” pie report called for designation of a temporary superintendent by the Federal Bureau of Prisons pend ing establishment 9f a city depart ment of corrections. It recom mended dismissal of Mr. Gill, who has just been tried by a special three-man non-official board on in efficiency, incompetency and insub ordination by the Board of Public Welfare, and of Jail Supt. Claude O. Botkin. The subcommittee also insisted its recommendations had no bearing on the findings of Mr. Gill's trial board headed by Walter M. Bastian, prom inent Washington attorney. Commisisoner Guy Mason took a similar attitude, pointing out that the one resulted from an investi gation of the jail administration while the other findings would be based on specific charges. Charles V. Morris, secretary of the corrections division of the Coun cil of Social Agencies, supported the congressional recommendation for a separate department of corrections, but said the District “would be los ing one of the best penologists in the country” if it fires Mr. Gill. The congressional committee NEW CENTER MARKET WASHINGTON'S LARGEST FOOD MARKET NOW OPEN ■ 80 MERCHANTS TO SERVE YOU 5th-K & L Sts., N.W. HEW CENTER MARKET Dealers Assn. * » * flouted civil service rules requiring dismissal for cause when it said Mr. Gill should go "just because of an impasse,” he charged. Taking th< administration of penal systems from the Board of Public Welfare would remove the "impasse” over penal administration, he said. ; It was "unfortunate,” Mr. Morris added, that the congressional com mittee made its recommendations before any inquiry board hearing charges of inefficiency against Mr, Gill had reported its findings. Prancis W. Hill, member of the inquiry board which conducted g seven weeks’ hearing on the charges, said he did not believe the Commis sioners could dismiss Mr. Gill with out, at least, considering the recom mendations of the inquiry board. ' Civil service rules do not require • a hearing on charges used as a basis for dismissal, but when the em-, ployer has gone beyond the written rules and accepted the right to a, hearing “I don’t see how the em ployer then could act before the recommendations are in,” he com mented. Corrections Department Urged. Mr. Morris, observing that he had give “a great deal of study to the District’s penal problem.” said he believed a corrections department responsible to the commissioners would eliminate the conflicting re sponsibility that has created the difficulties in which the penal sys tem is enmeshed. Edgar Morris, chairman of the Welfare Board, could not be reached for comment on the recommenda tion taking administration of the penal system away from his group.' A. Harding Paul, vice chairman, who has fought for continuation of the present system to "give the pub lic a say" in the operation of its* institutions, said he preferred to read the report before commenting. The District Commissioners will receive Monday a recommendation either for removal or reinstate ment of Mr. Gill from the inquiry board that began hearings two months ago on charges of Ineffi ciency filed by the Board of Public Welfare. Mr. Bastian. chairman, announced today that the Inquiry board has reached its verdict but would make no announcement of its decision. The findings will be written out today and tomorrow, and copies will be sent to the Commissioners and attorneys in the hearing, who can make them public, Mr. Bastian said. Civil Service feulee Govern. The possibility that the inquiry board’s recommendation might dif fer from the congressional jail rec ommendations is of no concern to Mr. Bastian, he declared. The In quiry board is operating under Civil Service regulations and in any case it is up to the Commissioners to make the final decision for removal or reinstatement, the chairman pointed out. Defense Attorney John J. Wilson pressed for an early report when the hearings closed last Friday so that Congress could have the “bene fit of the thorough Investigation” of the charges ordered by the Commis sioners. Suspension of Mr. Gill by the Wel fare Board followed the escape of five. felons from the District Jail November 24, but the charges of In efficiency, insubordination and vio lation of Welfare Board regulations were not connected with the escapes. Out of 16 original charges, three have been abandoned by the Wel fare Board and one droppef by the inquiry board. The Civil Service Commission ruled that six of the charges were not sufficiently specific to support removal proceedings. T2m inquiry board, however, heard all of them. Marine Charged in Theft After Capture by Guard Rex Earl Shaffer, 20, Marine, sta tioned at the Naval Gun Factory, was charged with housebreaking and grand larceny today in connection with theft of rings and bracelets valued at $175 from The Gift Shop, 514 Tenth street N.W., where he was captured last night by a guard sta tioned in the Lincoln Museum, across the street. The guard, Joseph P. Eaglin, 30, colored, 1153 Sumner road S.E., told his superiors that at 3:10 am., he heard the crash of glass and looked across the street to see a man, whom he identified as Shaffer, breaking into the store through a smashed window. Mr. Eaglin said that when Shaffer refused to obey a challenge to halt, he brought him Into the museum, together with the loot. The guard then telephoned Park Police.