YUMA Territorial Prison Ms.
Larned Period 4 01/5/17Jonathan Hernandez.The Yuma Territorial Prison took in its first pioneer on July 1, 1876. The prison was built because they needed to keep criminals from being reckless amongst others.The prison was built west of the confluence Colorado river. People who committed crimes such as murder,rape,burglary and many other offenses. Some of the inmates even built their own cells and all the other cells that are still here today.. It all started with a contest the prison was constructed based on plans developed as the result of a contest.
Rather than pay for a professional architect, a contest was held to create a plan for the prison, were moved to a new facility in Florence, Arizona.The Yuma territorial prison left a great impact /culturally reputation/ prison reform/prisoners The winner of the contest received a $150.00 and the constructionbegan in 1875.
The Prison continued in operation for 33 years when, due to overcrowding, all inmates had no choice to move Florence,Arizona, where it was much safer and more secure to run a prison.Present day Yuma is one of the cities with the highest unemployment rate, with an 18.4% unemployment rate and over 94,000 people live in the city. However, the average income is around $40,000 with a higher income for men versus women.The average age is 31 years old. Yuma is also known as the world’s winter agriculture capital.
The square miles of Yuma,Az is 121.1 mi squared.”In January 2010, Arizona State Parks announced plans to close the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park due to state budget cutbacks. By March 2010, through the efforts of the “Chain Gangs”, the Yuma community rallied to raise $70,000 in donations to keep the park open and operating.
The City of Yuma arranged a lease of the park from the state, and the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area took over daily operations”. In my opinions that’s crazy how the prison was almost lost but luckily with all the help and the donations it’s still around till this day. The Prison held a variety of law violators and crazy criminals with dangerous records , including the legendary stagecoach robber Pearl Hart There was a High school being built at the time and when it was finished the students would play football. When the school’s football team played against phoenix and unexpectedly won, the Phoenix team called the Yuma team “Criminals”.Yuma high used the nickname with pride, sometimes shortened to it “Crims”.The schools symbol is a face of a hardened prisoner, and the students student merchandise shop is called the Cell Block. This is how yuma high school came to be and became very known.
In fact having the prison come out on a film may have finally prompted the locals to regard the prison has having a historical value. In 1941 it came out as a museum, and became a historic park. The museum was outfitted with photographs and exhibits displaying the life lead by the inmates. In 1961, this museum became a state historic park.Haunted or not, a lot of tourists still visit this state historic park. It gives the people a glimpse of the place’s history.
Of course, through the museum, anyone can see how it was like being a convict a century ago, and those were the many ways the yuma territorial prison was changed culturally, it crazy how history back then has made an impact in today’s world/prison and how the way prisines run things now in today’s prisons are runned more efficient now.Inside the Yuma Territorial prison there were three thousand and sixty nine prisoners. 29 of those prisoners were women and the rest were men.
With the prisoners there was no more room for all of these in coming inmates. They would have six people to each cell if they had to use the restroom they would have to use buckets and you only got your bucket changed if they liked you and if they didn’t clean out your bucket they would just let it sit there and the cells would smell horrible.As the more prisoners came, the more prisoners there were to hack out more cells out of the sturdy granite. A total of 111 prisoners died within the prison and its cells, mostly due to tuberculosis. A graveyard was even dedicated for the convicts a few yards outside of the prison, where the deceased’s cobblestones, that include their names, are gone and scratched out. After the last convict left in 1909, the prison has been destroyed and restored in many different ways.Some prisoners were coming in and out they called it a home for how long they were staying there and how they were treated..
Like the way they runned the prison was like organized , it helped keep criminals in one in one cell without them easily running and escaping. As it was built on such a high hill, it would have made it hard for the inmates to have escaped as easily as any other prison or jail house. With granite walls and cells, it took a mastermind to be able to fully escape the “hell hole” that was the prison. Even after being able to pull off a clean escape from around or above the prison walls, the prisoners still had it coming they had to get past the miles of pure desert that was left to get to anywhere in Yuma, California or anywhere else. The contents within and around the Territorial Prison was enough to keep away returning criminals away from harming any innocent people anywhere, since they were sent from many places around the state.In my opinion i don’t think this was right on how the prisoners were treated so good they should be punished for what they did that’s how they got in there in the first place they shouldn’t get luxuries that the town doesn’t have, like it’s not right and the prisoners get a source of education so when the prisoners do their time for their crime they get a second chance in life.
With all this being said they beds in the prison were infested with bugs and this caused the inmates to get lice and eventually get sick as the inmates got sick many deaths were caused. Over a hundred or more people died because of tuberculosis. This sickness was the most common it was only common because it would spread around the cells.
How they fixed that problem was they would give the inmates iron bunk beds its like they almost cared for them a little bit.The prison even had shops and other educational programs for the criminals to get them back to society. For example out of the three thousand sixty nine prisoners two become famous Pearl Hart was a female criminal many newspaper people wanted to know her and she was known as “Legend” she would even give 1 dollar to each passenger,then she got into acting but sadly was very bad at it , she was just the criminal she was.The prisoners were the first ones to get electricity and water which was crazy because there inmates and they are getting treated pretty well.All though the prison did had its flaws.
It got so bad that it made inmates want to escape. Most of that that escaped either failed because they were shot down by the guards or even most of them commited suicide. Only about 26 people escaped and actually made the escape very successful. If you ever got caught prisoners were sent to the dark cell. This shows how the prison and prisoners were changed dramatically and how the yuma territorial prison had its marks in history.SOURCESYuma Territorial Prison Source Packet. Yuma , Az, Charles R. Eatherly, 1961.
Accessed 1 Jan. 1961.Union High School District, 2017, pp. 27-30.
Accessed 3 Jan. 2018.Yuma Territorial Prison Source Packet.
Yuma , Az, Thomas Gates, Superintendent. Accessed 4 Jan. 2018.Yuma Union High School District #70. Yuma Territorial Prison Source Packet. Yuma , Az, Yuma ONLINE WEB PAGESAZStateParks, “Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park,” azstateparks.com/parks/YUTE/index.html, December 2012Yuma Prison AZ, “Yuma Territorial Prison Museum & Park – Historic Yuma AZ,” www.yumaprison.org/