The state commission of prisons consists of seven members appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate for a term of four years, and the institutions under its supervision in 1910 were the Sing Sing State Prison,' at Ossining, the Auburn State Prison at Auburn, the Clinton State Prison at Dannemora, the New York State Reformatory at Elmira, the Eastern New York Reformatory at Napanoch, five county penitentiaries, and all other institutions for the detention of sane adults charged with or convicted of crime, or retained as witnesses or debtors.
The best-known lettres de cachet, however, were those which may be called penal, by which the king sentenced a subject without trial and without an opportunity of defence to imprisonment in a state prison or an ordinary gaol, confinement in a convent or a hospital, transportation to the colonies, or relegation to a given place within the realm.
A husband who wilfully abandons his wife, leaving her destitute, or who refuses to support her when he is able to do so, may be punished by imprisonment in the state prison not exceeding one year or in the county jail or workhouse not more than six months nor less than fifteen days, and for ten days, in the discretion of the judge, he may be kept on a bread and water diet.
Among the public buildings are the capitol, the United States government building, a United States mint, and a state orphans' home; in the vicinity are the state prison and a United States government school for Indians.
From Providence, including the Workhouse and House of Correction, the Hospital for the Insane (1869), the Almshouse, the State Prison and Providence County Jail, the Sockanosset School for Boys, and the Oaklawn School for Girls, are supported entirely or in part by the state.
Under the supervision of a board of prison commissioners, which appoints the superintendent and warden of each, are a reformatory prison for women at Sherborn (1877), a state reformatory for men at Concord (1884), a state prison at Boston (Charlestown), and a prison camp and hospital at Rutland (1905).
The causes for a divorce are adultery, sentence to confinement in the state prison for three years or more and actual confinement at the time of the suit, intolerable severity, wilful desertion for three consecutive years or absence for seven years without being heard from, or wanton and cruel refusal or neglect of the husband to provide a suitable maintenance for his wife.
The state prison is at Raleigh, although most of the convicts are distributed upon farms owned and operated by the state.
On more than one occasion before 1840 Mas-a-Tierra w as used as a state prison by the Chilean government.
The state supervisors must inspect each state prison camp and each county prison camp every thirty days.