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Hard Labor and Hard TimeFlorida's "Sunshine Prison" and Chain Gangs$
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Vivien M. L. Miller

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813039855

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813039855.001.0001

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Good Roads, Bad Men, and the Ugliest of Conditions

Good Roads, Bad Men, and the Ugliest of Conditions

(p.46) 2 Good Roads, Bad Men, and the Ugliest of Conditions
Hard Labor and Hard Time
Vivien M. L. Miller
University Press of Florida

Supporters of the good roads movement recognized that prisoners could help build a modern transportation infrastructure while prison officials in every southern state viewed road construction as a panacea for the problems of prisoner idleness and costly prisoner maintenance. This chapter examines the impact of the good roads movement on prison policy in Florida, the creation of the State Convict Road Force (SCRF), the deployment of convict laborers in state road and highway construction in the 1910s and 1920s, and the conditions of chain gang labor and in the early road camps.

Keywords:   convict road labor, chain gangs, good roads movement, prison camp chaplains, chain gang songs, Frank Tannenbaum, Sidney J. Catts, Tamiami Trail, Dixie Highway

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