A-10934, OCTOBER 19, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 270

A-10934: Oct 19, 1925

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WHO WERE SENTENCED TO SERVE SIX MONTHS OR MORE IN A STATE PRISON. IT IS NOT COMPULSORY. THE AUTHORITY TO FURNISH "ONE PLAIN SUIT OF CLOTHES" WAS EVIDENTLY INTENDED TO PROVIDE THE PRISONER WITH SUCH ARTICLES OF CLOTHING AS WERE NEEDED FOR THE PRISONER'S COMFORT AND TO ENABLE HIM TO MAKE A DECENT APPEARANCE UPON HIS RELEASE. IT IS THEREFORE NOT NECESSARILY CONFINED TO A COAT. SHOES WHEN NECESSARY MAY BE FURNISHED BUT ARE REQUIRED BY DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE CIRCULAR NO. 957 TO BE PROCURED FROM THE LEAVENWORTH PENITENTIARY UPON REQUISITION. THERE IS ACCORDINGLY NO AUTHORITY TO FURNISH MORE THAN ONE EACH OF ANY ARTICLE OF CLOTHING. NEITHER IS THERE ANY AUTHORITY TO FURNISH ARTICLES OF CLOTHING THAT COULD NOT BE DESIGNATED AS "PLAIN.

A-10934, OCTOBER 19, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 270

GRATUITIES - CLOTHING TO FEDERAL PRISONERS ON DISCHARGE THE "ONE PLAIN SUIT OF CLOTHES" AUTHORIZED TO BE FURNISHED DISCHARGED FEDERAL PRISONERS, WHO WERE SENTENCED TO SERVE SIX MONTHS OR MORE IN A STATE PRISON, MAY CONSIST OF SINGLE ARTICLES SUCH AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO PROPERLY CLOTHE AND PROTECT THE PRISONER FROM THE WEATHER, BUT MAY NOT CONSIST OF A QUANTITY OF ANY ONE ARTICLE OR ANY ARTICLE WHICH MAY NOT BE DESIGNED AS "PLAIN; " NOR OF CLOTHING EXCEEDING THE LIMITATION FIXED BY ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION. IT IS NOT COMPULSORY, HOWEVER, TO FURNISH THE MAXIMUM ALLOWED BY REGULATION.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, OCTOBER 19, 1925:

WILLIAM H. MONSEN, INSPECTOR OF THE MILWAUKEE COUNTY HOUSE OF CORRECTION, APPLIED JULY 28, 1925, FOR REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. 093550, DATED JULY 20, 1925, DISALLOWING HIS CLAIM FOR $53.50 REPRESENTING CHARGES FOR ARTICLES OF CLOTHING FURNISHED UNITED STATES PRISONERS ON DISCHARGE, THE NAMES OF THE PRISONERS AND ARTICLES FURNISHED BEING ENUMERATED AS FOLLOWS:

CHART CHRIS HOCHGROVE, 12 PAIRS OF SOCKS ---------------------- $12.00 MAX MACIEJEWSKI, 1 SHIRT -------------------------------- 4.50 ANDREW MORGAN, 1 SHIRT $7.50, 1 SHIRT $4 ---------------- 11.50 JAMES RODDY, 2 SUITS OF UNDERWEAR ----------------------- 12.00 JOHN SKOWVAN, 5 PAIRS OF SOCKS -------------------------- 5.00 FRED ZUBER, 1 SHIRT ---------------- --------------------- 8.50

53.50

THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1875, 18 STAT. 480, SECTION 1 OF WHICH RELATES TO THE COMMUTATION FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR OF FEDERAL PRISONERS IN STATE OR TERRITORIAL PRISONS, PROVIDES IN SECTION 2 THEREOF:

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.

THE AUTHORITY TO FURNISH "ONE PLAIN SUIT OF CLOTHES" WAS EVIDENTLY INTENDED TO PROVIDE THE PRISONER WITH SUCH ARTICLES OF CLOTHING AS WERE NEEDED FOR THE PRISONER'S COMFORT AND TO ENABLE HIM TO MAKE A DECENT APPEARANCE UPON HIS RELEASE. IT IS THEREFORE NOT NECESSARILY CONFINED TO A COAT, VEST, AND TROUSERS, BUT THERE MAY BE FURNISHED, WITHIN THE LIMITATION FIXED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, SINGLE ARTICLES OF PLAIN CLOTHING NECESSARY TO THE PRISONER'S COMFORT AND APPEARANCE, SUCH AS A COAT, VEST, TROUSERS, OVERCOAT, HAT, UNDERCLOTHING, COLLAR, HOSE, SHIRT, ETC. 2 COMP. DEC. 344. SHOES WHEN NECESSARY MAY BE FURNISHED BUT ARE REQUIRED BY DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE CIRCULAR NO. 957 TO BE PROCURED FROM THE LEAVENWORTH PENITENTIARY UPON REQUISITION. THE FACT THAT THE ACT LIMITS THE CLOTHING TO "ONE PLAIN SUIT" INDICATES AN INTENTION THAT THE CLOTHING SHOULD BE LIMITED TO THAT NECESSARY FOR ACTUAL WEAR BY THE PRISONER WHEN RELEASED; THERE IS ACCORDINGLY NO AUTHORITY TO FURNISH MORE THAN ONE EACH OF ANY ARTICLE OF CLOTHING, NOR ANY ARTICLE NOT NECESSARY FOR IMMEDIATE USE AT TIME OF DISCHARGE. NEITHER IS THERE ANY AUTHORITY TO FURNISH ARTICLES OF CLOTHING THAT COULD NOT BE DESIGNATED AS "PLAIN," SUCH, FOR INSTANCE, AS SILK SHIRTS AND ARTICLE OF LIKE NATURE. AS THE ACT DOES NOT PLACE A DEFINITE VALUE ON THE CLOTHES TO BE FURNISHED THERE IS NO VESTED RIGHT IN THE PRISONER TO DEMAND, NOR AUTHORITY IN THE PRISON TO FURNISH, CLOTHING OF ANY PARTICULAR VALUE OR ANY CLOTHING WHATEVER BEYOND WHAT IS REQUIRED TO MAKE HIM PRESENTABLE IN APPEARANCE AND TO AFFORD REASONABLE PROTECTION FROM THE WEATHER, HAVING DUE REGARD FOR THE SEASON OF THE YEAR IN WHICH HE IS RELEASED.

SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1891, 26 STAT. 839, ENTITLED,"AN ACT FOR THE ERECTION OF UNITED STATES PRISONS AND FOR THE IMPRISONMENT OF UNITED STATES PRISONERS, AND FOR OTHER RPOSES," PROVIDES:

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 ONE-YEAR SENTENCE REQUIRED BY THIS ACT HAS BEEN REDUCED BY RECENT APPROPRIATION ACTS TO A SENTENCE OF NOT LESS THAN SIX MONTHS, 43 STAT. 223. WHILE THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1891, SUPRA, HAS PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO PRISONERS CONFINED IN FEDERAL PRISONS AND PENITENTIARIES, THE LIMIT OF $12 THEREIN FIXED FOR SUCH PRISONERS IS AN EXPRESSION BY CONGRESS OF WHAT IS CONSIDERED NECESSARY IN SUCH CASES AND MAY BE ACCEPTED, THEREFORE, AS A PROPER BASIS FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN FIXING SUCH A LIMIT FOR PRISONERS CONFINED IN STATE PRISONS TO WHOM THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1875, SUPRA, HAS REFERENCE.

THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1924, 43 STAT. 222, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1925, APPROPRIATES UNDER THE HEADS OF THE RESPECTIVE UNITED STATES PENITENTIARIES---

FOR CLOTHING, TRANSPORTATION, AND TRAVELING EXPENSES, * * * GRATUITIES FOR PRISONERS AT RELEASE, PROVIDED SUCH GRATUITIES SHALL BE FURNISHED TO PRISONERS SENTENCED FOR TERMS OF IMPRISONMENT OF NOT LESS THAN SIX MONTHS,

AND UNDER THE HEADING "SUPPORT OF PRISONERS: "

FOR SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES PRISONERS, INCLUDING NECESSARY CLOTHING AND MEDICAL AID, DISCHARGE GRATUITIES PROVIDED BY LAW * * *.

THIS OFFICE IS ADVISED INFORMALLY THAT FORMAL INSTRUCTIONS HAD NEVER BEEN FURNISHED TO THE VARIOUS STATE PENITENTIARIES REGARDING THE KIND OF CLOTHING TO BE FURNISHED TO DISCHARGED FEDERAL PRISONERS, BUT THAT SUCH INSTRUCTIONS ARE TO BE ISSUED IN A SHORT TIME. A REPORT BY AN INSPECTOR OF PRISONS DATED JUNE 19, 1925, ADDRESSED TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, STATED THAT HE HAD NOW INSTRUCTED THE NORTH MILWAUKEE COUNTY HOUSE OF CORRECTION IN THIS MATTER AND THAT THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF ALL FEDERAL PRISONERS HAS PROMISED HIS COOPERATION. IN VIEW OF SAID REPRESENTATION AND THE FACT THAT THE CLOTHING FURNISHED DID NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM VALUE AUTHORIZED BY THE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND WAS FURNISHED TO AND RECEIPTED FOR BY THE RESPECTIVE PRISONERS, AND THE CLAIM NOW HAVING ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENDITURES MADE BY THE PRISON IN THIS INSTANCE WILL BE ALLOWED UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES PRISONERS, 1925.'

UPON REVIEW $53.50 IS CERTIFIED DUE THE MILWAUKEE COUNTY HOUSE OF CORRECTION.