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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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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 21 October 2021

Florida's Hard Road During the Depression and War Years

Florida's Hard Road During the Depression and War Years

(p.159) 6 Florida's Hard Road During the Depression and War Years
Hard Labor and Hard Time
Vivien M. L. Miller
University Press of Florida

While convict laborers continued to play an important role in road construction in Florida in the 1930s and 1940s, the character of prison road labor changed in significant ways, as did material conditions in State Road Department convict camps. For example, the de-skilling of road work, due in part to technological changes within the industry, tangibly transformed inmates' work days and leisure time. This chapter charts the initial stages of the evolution of the chain gang into the modern road prison. At the same time, black prisoner complaints to the NAACP in the mid-1930s and the heel-string-cutter scandal of the early 1940s challenged the image of a satisfied and well-treated inmate population in Florida.

Keywords:   John L. Spivak, NAACP, heel-string cutting, prisoner protest, convict road construction, Overseas Highway, Southern Committee for People's Rights, Cool Hand Luke, Prison Industries Reorganization Administration, jails

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