A-10747, OCTOBER 26, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 292

A-10747: Oct 26, 1925

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WHO HAVE BEEN CONVICTED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES ON INDICTMENT AND SENTENCED TO IMPRISONMENT FOR THE PRESCRIBED MINIMUM OF TIME. ARE ENTITLED TO A DISCHARGE GRATUITY OF $5. WILL. PAYMENTS FROM SAID APPROPRIATION WILL NOT BE CREDITED UNLESS THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE TO CONTAIN AN EXPRESS PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF DISCHARGE GRATUITIES. 1925: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF J. ARE ENTITLED UPON SUCH RELEASE TO THE USUAL DISCHARGE GRATUITY OF $5 AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID UNITED STATES CONVICTS UPON DISCHARGE OR PAROLE FROM UNITED STATES PENITENTIARIES OR STATE PRISONS. IT IS TO BE OBSERVED THAT THIS ACT WAS PASSED LONG BEFORE THE REFORMATORY.

A-10747, OCTOBER 26, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 292

PRISONERS - DISCHARGE GRATUITY PRISONERS DISCHARGED OR PAROLED FROM THE REFORMATORY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, WHO HAVE BEEN CONVICTED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES ON INDICTMENT AND SENTENCED TO IMPRISONMENT FOR THE PRESCRIBED MINIMUM OF TIME, ARE ENTITLED TO A DISCHARGE GRATUITY OF $5, PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION "SUPPORT OF PRISONERS, UNITED STATES COURTS.' THE PRACTICE OF REIMBURSING FEDERAL AND STATE PENITENTIARIES FROM THE APPROPRIATION "SUPPORT OF CONVICTS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA," FOR GRATUITIES PAID DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CONVICTS UPON DISCHARGE FROM SAID PENITENTIARIES, WILL, IN VIEW OF THE LONG-CONTINUED PRACTICE, BE PERMITTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1926, BUT BEGINNING JULY 1, 1926, PAYMENTS FROM SAID APPROPRIATION WILL NOT BE CREDITED UNLESS THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE TO CONTAIN AN EXPRESS PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF DISCHARGE GRATUITIES.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, OCTOBER 26, 1925:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF J. R. LUSBY, DISBURSING OFFICER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THE QUESTION WHETHER PRISONERS DISCHARGED OR PAROLED FROM THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA REFORMATORY, LOCATED AT LORTON, VA., ARE ENTITLED UPON SUCH RELEASE TO THE USUAL DISCHARGE GRATUITY OF $5 AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID UNITED STATES CONVICTS UPON DISCHARGE OR PAROLE FROM UNITED STATES PENITENTIARIES OR STATE PRISONS.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1875, 18 STAT. 480, AN ACT PROVIDING FOR DEDUCTIONS FROM THE TERMS OF UNITED STATES PRISONERS, PROVIDES:

THAT ON THE DISCHARGE FROM ANY PRISON OF ANY PERSON CONVICTED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES ON INDICTMENT, HE OR SHE SHALL BE PROVIDED BY THE WARDEN OR KEEPER OF SAID PRISON WITH ONE PLAIN SUIT OF CLOTHES AND FIVE DOLLARS IN MONEY, FOR WHICH CHARGE SHALL BE MADE AND ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF SAID PRISON WITH THE UNITED STATES:PROVIDED, THAT THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO PERSONS SENTENCED FOR A TERM OF IMPRISONMENT OF LESS THAN SIX MONTHS.

IT IS TO BE OBSERVED THAT THIS ACT WAS PASSED LONG BEFORE THE REFORMATORY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OR ANY OF THE THREE UNITED STATES PRISONS WAS ESTABLISHED, AND THAT IN SECTION 1 OF THE ACT REFERENCE IS MADE TO PERSONS SERVING IN ANY PRISON OR PENITENTIARY OF ANY STATE OR TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES. NO SPECIFIC REFERENCE IS MADE TO DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PRISONS PRESUMABLY FOR THE REASON THAT ALL UNITED STATES CONVICTS SENTENCED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WERE AT THAT TIME CONFINED IN STATE OR TERRITORIAL PENITENTIARIES AS DESIGNATED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, THERE APPEARING TO BE NO PENITENTIARIES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IT IS REASONABLE TO ASSUME, HOWEVER, THAT CONGRESS BY THE ABOVE PROVISION OF LAW INTENDED THE GRATUITY THEREIN PROVIDED TO BE PAID UPON DISCHARGE FROM PRISON IN THE CASE OF ALL PRISONERS WHO WERE CONVICTED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES AND SENTENCED TO SERVE IN A PENITENTIARY FOR THE PRESCRIBED MINIMUM OF TIME, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHERE, WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES THE PARTICULAR PRISON CONCERNED MIGHT BE LOCATED. THIS CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROVISION IN QUESTION FINDS SUPPORT IN THE FACT THAT SECTION 2 OF THE ACT IN AUTHORIZING THE GRATUITY PROVIDES THAT THE GRATUITY SHALL BE PAID UPON DISCHARGE FROM ANY PRISON. IF THERE WERE NO FURTHER LEGISLATION ON THE SUBJECT, THIS PROVISION MIGHT BE REGARDED AS CONCLUSIVE OF THE MATTER. BUT THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1891, 26 STAT. 839, PROVIDED FOR THE ERECTION OF THREE UNITED STATES PRISONS AND CONTAINED A PROVISION AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 6. THAT EVERY PRISONER WHEN DISCHARGED FROM THE JAIL AND PRISON SHALL BE FURNISHED WITH TRANSPORTATION TO THE PLACE OF HIS RESIDENCE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME OF HIS COMMITMENT UNDER SENTENCE OF THE COURT, AND IF THE TERM OF HIS IMPRISONMENT SHALL HAVE BEEN FOR ONE YEAR OR MORE, HE SHALL ALSO BE FURNISHED WITH SUITABLE CLOTHING, THE COST NOT TO EXCEED TWELVE DOLLARS, AND FIVE DOLLARS IN MONEY.

THE EFFECT OF THIS SPECIFIC PROVISION RELATIVE TO FEDERAL PRISONERS IN THE UNITED STATES PRISONS WAS TO EXCLUDE SUCH PRISONERS FROM THE OPERATION OF THE PROVISION IN THE ACT OF 1875, SUPRA, RELATIVE TO PRISONERS IN STATE PRISONS.

THE PURCHASE OF SITE AND ERECTION OF BUILDINGS FOR THE REFORMATORY OR PRISON NOW UNDER CONSIDERATION AND THE CONFINEMENT OF UNITED STATES PRISONERS THEREIN WERE PROVIDED FOR BY THE ACTS OF MARCH 3, 1909, 35 STAT. 717; AUGUST 5, 1909, 36 STAT. 122; JUNE 25, 1910, 36 STAT. 785; JULY 21, 1914, 38 STAT. 548; SEPTEMBER 1, 1916, 39 STAT. 711; MARCH 3, 1917, 39 STAT. 1039; AUGUST 31, 1918, 40 STAT. 949. NEITHER OF SAID ACTS NOR ANY SUBSEQUENT ACT MAKING APPROPRIATION FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT OF PRISONERS IN SAID REFORMATORY PROVIDES SPECIFICALLY FOR DISCHARGE GRATUITIES, SUCH AS ARE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR UNITED STATES PRISONERS DISCHARGED FROM OTHER UNITED STATES PRISONS AND STATE PRISONS. BUT IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT PRISONERS NOW AUTHORIZED TO BE CONFINED IN THE REFORMATORY ARE OF THE SAME CLASS WHICH THERETOFORE WERE CONFINED IN OTHER UNITED STATES PRISONS OR STATE PRISONS AND GIVEN THE GRATUITIES ON DISCHARGE, AND THE FURTHER FACT THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1916, SUPRA, IT IS WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO DETERMINE WHETHER PERSONS CONVICTED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND SENTENCED TO IMPRISONMENT IN THE PENITENTIARY SHALL BE CONFINED IN THE REFORMATORY OR IN A STATE OR FEDERAL PRISON, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO REASON FOR DENYING THE DISCHARGE GRATUITY TO UNITED STATES PRISONERS DISCHARGED FROM THE REFORMATORY. THEREFORE, I AM CONSTRAINED TO HOLD THAT THE MERE ABSENCE OF ANY SPECIFIC PROVISION RELATIVE TO SUCH GRATUITIES IN THE STATUTES PROVIDING FOR THE CONFINEMENT AND SUPPORT OF PRISONERS IN THE REFORMATORY IS NOT SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE OF A LEGISLATIVE INTENT TO PRECLUDE THE PAYMENT OF SUCH GRATUITIES TO DISCHARGED PRISONERS OF THE CLASS FOR WHICH THE GRATUITIES THERETOFORE HAD BEEN AUTHORIZED. THEREFORE IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO DETERMINE WHAT APPROPRIATION, IF ANY, IS AVAILABLE FOR SUCH PAYMENTS. IN THIS CONNECTION THREE APPROPRIATIONS ARE FOR CONSIDERATION, NAMELY, ,REFORMATORY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA," "SUPPORT OF CONVICTS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA," AND "SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES PRISONERS.' THE FIRST NAMED OF THESE THREE APPROPRIATIONS IS IN THE FOLLOWING TERMS:

FOR MAINTENANCE, CUSTODY, CLOTHING, CARE, AND SUPPORT OF INMATES; REWARDS FOR FUGITIVES; PROVISIONS, SUBSISTENCE, MEDICINE AND HOSPITAL INSTRUMENTS, FURNITURE, AND QUARTERS FOR GUARDS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES AND INMATES; PURCHASE OF TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT; PURCHASE AND MAINTENANCE OF FARM IMPLEMENTS, LIVESTOCK, TOOLS, EQUIPMENT; TRANSPORTATION; MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF NON-PASSENGER-CARRYING MOTOR VEHICLES; SUPPLIES AND LABOR, AND ALL OTHER NECESSARY ITEMS, * * * (ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1241.)

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THERE IS NO EXPRESS PROVISION IN THIS APPROPRIATION FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE DISCHARGE GRATUITY UPON RELEASE FROM THE REFORMATORY. IT IS UNDERSTOOD, HOWEVER, THAT SAID APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN USED FOR SUCH PAYMENTS UPON THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE PHRASE "AND ALL OTHER NECESSARY ITEMS" COVERED THE ITEM OF DISCHARGE GRATUITY, AND IN THIS CONNECTION REFERENCE HAS BEEN MADE TO THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY IN 12 COMP. DEC. 205. IN SAID DECISION IT WAS STATED:

UPON THE QUESTION OF THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH SUCH EXPENSES ARE TO BE PAID, SAID SECTION 2 (OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1875) PROVIDES "FOR WHICH CHARGE SHALL BE MADE AND ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF SAID PRISON WITH THE UNITED STATES.' THE ACCOUNTS OF SAID REFORM SCHOOL WITH THE UNITED STATES ARE NOW KEPT WITH AND PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION "REFORM SCHOOL, WASHINGTON, D.C., 6," SUPRA, AND I THINK UNDER THE ABOVE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1875, THE EXPENSES IN QUESTION MUST BE CONSIDERED AS "OTHER NECESSARY ITEMS" IN SAID APPROPRIATION.

WITHOUT EXPRESSING ANY OPINION AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF SAID DECISION IT IS TO BE OBSERVED THAT THE APPROPRIATION NOW CARRIED AS "REFORMATORY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA," IS NOT THE SUCCESSOR TO THE APPROPRIATION "REFORM SCHOOL, WASHINGTON, D.C., " WHICH WAS UNDER CONSIDERATION IN SAID DECISION AND WHICH HAS BEEN SUCCEEDED BY THE APPROPRIATION "NATIONAL TRAINING SCHOOL FOR BOYS" (SEE ACT OF MAY 27, 1908, 35 STAT. 380), NOW UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. SEE ACT OF FEBRUARY 27, 1925, 43 STAT. 1033. IT IS FURTHER TO BE NOTED THAT AT THE TIME THE ABOVE DECISION WAS RENDERED NO OTHER APPROPRIATION WAS AVAILABLE TO PAY THE DISCHARGE GRATUITY TO PRISONERS UPON RELEASE FROM THE REFORM SCHOOL. THE GRATUITY AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1891, 26 STAT. 840, WAS APPLICABLE ONLY TO THE PRISONERS TO BE DISCHARGED FROM THE FEDERAL PRISONS AND PENITENTIARIES AUTHORIZED TO BE ERECTED BY SAID ACT, AND THE APPROPRIATION "SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES PRISONERS, 1906," 33 STAT. 1208, CONTAINED NO SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR THE PAYMENT OF DISCHARGE GRATUITIES. SEE ALSO 26 COMP. DEC. 992.

THE APPROPRIATION "SUPPORT OF CONVICTS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA," PROVIDES:

FOR SUPPORT, MAINTENANCE, AND TRANSPORTATION OF CONVICTS TRANSFERRED FROM THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; EXPENSES OF SHIPPING REMAINS OF DECEASED CONVICTS TO THEIR HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES, AND EXPENSES OF INTERMENT OF UNCLAIMED REMAINS OF DECEASED CONVICTS; EXPENSES INCURRED IN IDENTIFYING AND PURSUING ESCAPED CONVICTS AND REWARDS FOR THEIR RECAPTURE, TO BE EXPENDED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, $150,000. (ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1240.)

NEITHER DOES THIS APPROPRIATION PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT OF DISCHARGE GRATUITIES. 26 COMP. DEC. 992.

THE APPROPRIATION "SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES PRISONERS" EXPRESSLY PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF DISCHARGE GRATUITIES, AS FOLLOWS:

FOR SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES PRISONERS, INCLUDING NECESSARY CLOTHING AND MEDICAL AID, DISCHARGE GRATUITIES PROVIDED BY LAW AND TRANSPORTATION TO PLACE OF CONVICTION * * * (ACT OF FEBRUARY 27, 1925, 43 STAT. 1033).

THIS APPROPRIATION IS USED TO PAY DISCHARGE GRATUITIES TO UNITED STATES PRISONERS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE THE SAME UPON BEING DISCHARGED FROM STATE OR COUNTY PRISONS AND, IN VIEW OF THE GENERAL TERMS IN WHICH IT IS MADE, APPARENTLY IS INTENDED TO COVER THE PAYMENT OF THE GRATUITIES ON DISCHARGE AS "PROVIDED BY LAW" IN ALL CASES EXCEPT WHEN SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION THEREFOR IS MADE ELSEWHERE AS IN THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FEDERAL PENITENTIARIES AT ATLANTA, GA., MCNEIL ISLAND, WASH., AND LEAVENWORTH, KANS. IT SEEMS CLEAR, THEREFORE, THAT THIS APPROPRIATION IS THE ONLY APPROPRIATION PROPERLY CHARGEABLE WITH DISCHARGE GRATUITIES PAYABLE TO UNITED STATES PRISONERS DISCHARGED FROM THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA REFORMATORY. HOWEVER, NO OBJECTION WILL BE MADE TO THE CONTINUED USE UP TO JUNE 30, 1926, BUT NOT THEREAFTER, OF THE APPROPRIATION "REFORMATORY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" TO PAY THE DISCHARGE GRATUITIES OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO UNITED STATES PRISONERS DISCHARGED OR PAROLED FROM SAID REFORMATORY.

IN THIS CONNECTION ATTENTION HAS BEEN DIRECTED TO THE FACT THAT IN THE CASES OF PRISONERS SENTENCED TO THE PENITENTIARY BY COURTS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND CONFINED FOR THE TERM OF THEIR SENTENCES IN FEDERAL PENITENTIARIES SUCH PRISONERS UPON DISCHARGE ARE PAID THE GRATUITY FROM THE PENITENTIARY APPROPRIATION, AND THE PENITENTIARY IS THEN REIMBURSED FROM THE APPROPRIATION "SUPPORT OF CONVICTS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.' HEREINBEFORE SHOWN, THIS APPROPRIATION DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY EXPRESS PROVISION FOR THE PAYMENT OF DISCHARGE GRATUITIES, AND AS SUCH GRATUITY DOES NOT CONTRIBUTE TO THE SUPPORT OF THE CONVICT DURING THE PERIOD OF HIS IMPRISONMENT BUT IS PROVIDED AND INTENDED AS A MEANS OF MEETING HIS NEEDS IMMEDIATELY AFTER DISCHARGE, THIS APPROPRIATION WOULD APPEAR NOT TO BE AVAILABLE FOR REIMBURSING THE PENITENTIARY. 26 COMP. DEC. 992. IN VIEW, HOWEVER, OF THE LONG CONTINUED PRACTICE OF REIMBURSING PENITENTIARIES FROM THE APPROPRIATION "SUPPORT OF CONVICTS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA," PAYMENT FROM THAT APPROPRIATION TO REIMBURSE THE PENITENTIARIES WILL BE PERMITTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926. BEGINNING JULY 1, 1926, HOWEVER, SUCH PAYMENTS WILL NOT BE CREDITED UNLESS EXPRESS PROVISION IS CONTAINED IN THE APPROPRIATION "SUPPORT OF CONVICTS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA," AUTHORIZING SUCH PAYMENTS.

AS TO THE QUESTION OF PRISONERS PAROLED FROM THE REFORMATORY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THE SITUATION SEEMS TO BE PRACTICALLY THE SAME SO FAR AS THE PAYMENT OF DISCHARGE GRATUITY IS CONCERNED AS IT IS IN THE CASE OF DISCHARGED PRISONERS. THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1910, 36 STAT. 819, PROVIDES, SECTION 1:

THAT EVERY PRISONER WHO HAS BEEN OR MAY HEREAFTER BE CONVICTED * * * AND IS CONFINED * * * IN ANY UNITED STATES PENITENTIARY OR PRISON, FOR A DEFINITE TERM OR TERMS OF OVER ONE YEAR, * * * MAY BE RELEASED ON PAROLE AS HEREAFTER PROVIDED.

THE PAYMENT OF THE GRATUITY UPON PAROLE IS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 8 OF THE ACT. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE TITLE TO THE TRACT OF LAND UPON WHICH THE REFORMATORY WAS TO BE ERECTED WAS AUTHORIZED TO BE TAKEN IN THE NAME OF THE UNITED STATES BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 5, 1909, 36 STAT. 122, AND THIS WOULD TEND TO SHOW THAT SAID REFORMATORY IS A UNITED STATES PRISON WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF 1910, SUPRA. ..END :