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THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
Published Weekly by the
University of North Caro
lina for the University Ex
FEBRUARY 10. 1926
CHAPEL HILL, N C.
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS
VOL. XII, NO. 13
Editorial Boards E. C. Branson. S. H. Hobbs, Jr.. L. R. Wilson. E. W. Knight. D. D. Carroll. J. B. Bullitt. H. W. Odum.
Entered as second-class matter November 14. 1914. at the Postoffice at Chapel Hill. N. C.. under the act of August 24. 1912
OUR PRISON INMATES
The United States Department of
Commerce has recently issued a Cen
sus of Prisoners as of January 1, 1923,
with comparative data for January 1,
1910. The table which appears else
where ranks the states according to in
mates in prison on January 1, 1923, per
100,000 inhabitants. The second column
shows the percent increase or decrease
in the prison inmate ratio from 1910 to-
North Dakota makes the best showing
of all the states with only 60.6 inmates
in all prisons per 100,000 inhabitants on
January 1, 1923. Nevada with 270 prison
inmates per 100,000 inhabitants makes
the worst showing and ranks last.
North Carolina with a prison inmate
rate of only 66.1 ranks sixth. In other
words only five states reported fewer
persons in all prisons per 100,000 inhabi
tants on January 1, 1923, the date on
which the census was taken. This
splendid rank is rather surprising to
most of us in view of certain local con
ditions, especially our propensity for
moonshining and homicides, and our
fairly large negro ratio.
However, as one might reasonably
suspect, our prison inmate ratio is on
the increase as shown in the accompany
ing table. The prison rate decreased
during the thirteen-year period in thirty-
seven states, and increased in only eleven
states, North Carolina being one of the
eleven showing an increase.
The prison population of the United
States reported on the census-taking
date numbered 109,619, or99.7 per 100,000
population. The rate in 1910 was 121.2
per 100,000 inhabitants. The thirteen-
year decrease was 17.7 percent.
It is estimated on the basis of records
for the first six months of 1923 that a
total of 367,493 persons were committed
to prison in the United States during
that year, or 326.1 persons per 100,000
inhabitants. Which means that in a
county like Mecklenburg or Forsyth if
three hundred people were committed
to prison during a year the rate would
be representative of the United States.
In respect to commitments to prison
during the year 1923 North Carolina
makes an excellent showing. Our com
mitment rate was 102.2 per 100,000 in
habitants, against the United States
average of 326.1. On a population basis
only one state sent fewer persons to
prison in 1923.
Only Fraction of Oifenders
Statistics on sentenced prisoners,
while they show in a way relative con
ditions by states, are not an adequate
index of felonies or misdemeanors. Of
the prisoners arrested, only a small part
are indicted and convicted. Of those
convicted a large number get off with
suspended sentences, while a still larger
number get off with payment of fines.
Thus the limited number who are com
mitted to prison represent only a small
fraction of the full number of offenders.
The amount of crime in a state is only
one of the factors which combine to
determine the number of offenders who
are sentenced and imprisoned. The local
machinery and policies of law enforce
ment, which largely influence the num
ber of prisoners, differ widely in various
areas. The suspended sentence and the
probation are being applied to an ever
increasing ratio of convicted offenders.
In some states probations and suspended
sentences are more often applied than
The three outstanding offenses for
which prisoners were committed in 1923
were drunkenness, disorderly conduct,
and violating the liquor laws. Prisoners
committed for drunkenness decreased
nearly fifty percent from 1910 to 1923,
while commitments for violating the
liquor laws increased 326 percent.
There were also large increases in
commitments to prison for violating the
federal drug laws, traffic laws, city
ordinances, for homicides, rape, bur
glary, and forgery.
However, there was a large decrease
in total commitments to prison, from
479,787 in 1910 to 367,493 in 1923. The
rr.te decrease per 100,000 inhabitants
’.'’as 37.7 percent. The decrease in com-
itments to prison was due not so much
decrease in crime and convictions as
L' changes in the disposition made of
convicted cases. As has already been
stated, the increasing tendency to em
ploy the suspended sentence is a great
factor. Also the growing tendency to
employ fines instead of imposing prison
sentences is a cause. Another impor
tant factor is the juvenile court and the
largely increased number of juvenile
reformatories to which juvenile offend
ers are now sent, who formerly were
sent to prison.
By Age Groups
Most of the prisoners in the United
States belong to the younger age groups.
Except for the large number of reforma
tories the number of youthful prisoners
would be much larger. Nearly two-
thirds of all prisoners in the United i
States are between 18 and 34 years of’
age. More than one-third of all prison ■
inmates fall within the 25 to 34 years i
age group. In ratio to population there ■
are more commitments for the 21 to 24
years age group, whil^e the 18 to 21 years
age group also makes a bad showing.
The decrease in the prison ratio below
18 years of age is due not to fewer
offenders but to the largely increased
number of juvenile courts and juvenile
It seems that the negro finds it very
easy to land in prison. On a population
ratio basis nearly three times as many
negroes are in prison as whites. Eight-
tenths of one percent of all negroes in
the United States were in prison in 1923.
The low rank of several southern states
in the accompanying table may be at
tributed largely to their large negro
population ratios. The high standing
of North Carolina, which has a large
negro population, may be due to a
superior type of negro in our state.
But even so, we can’t understand
why North Carolina has so few prison
inmates. Are courts in North Carolina
too lenient? Are our judges applying
fines and suspended sentences more
often than judges in other states? What
effect have the recently instituted juve
nile courts and additions to juvenile re
formatories had on keeping the prison
population down? If crime is as preva-
lent in North Carolina as press reports
lead one to believe, then our offenders
fail to get prison sentences. If our
courts are applying a fair proportion of
time sentences, then North Carolinians
are more law-abiding than citizens of
We don’t claim to know the answer,
but we should like to point out that on
a population basis more stills were de
stroyed in North Carolina last year than
in any other state in the Union. Count
ing stills and distilleries nearly twice as
many were captured last year as there
were prisoners in all prisons of every
sort in the state.—S. H. H., Jr.
OUR FEDERAL TAX
For the fiscal year ending June 30,
1926, North Carolina paid into the
federal treasury taxes amounting to
$166,962,875. Only four states paid
more, namely, New York, Pennsyl
vania, Michigan, and Illinois. North
Carolina’s high rank is due to her
tobacco industry, Michigan’s rank to
her automobile industry, and so on.
The ultimate consumer pays the tax,
not wholly the state in which it is
collected. No^^h Carolina is just as
responsible for her contribution as is
any other state.
North Carolina pays almost as much
to support the federal government
as all the rest of the South combined.
North Carolina paid 43 percent of the
federal taxes paid by the entire
South for the last fiscal year. Our
nearest competitor, Virginia, trails
us by nearly one hundred and twenty
million dollars. Our federal tax for
the year 1926 would run our state
government.for eleven years!
LOCAL MARKET PROBLEM
At the regular meeting of the North
Carolina Club, Monday night, a paper
dealing with the local market problem
was presented by C. G. Grady, of
Johnston county. The speaker first
pointed out the importance of the local
market problem, due to the fact that it
affects practically everybody in the
state, town and country. He made it
clear that the rapid progress which
North Carolina is making is being made
in spite of unsound marketing facilities
and arrangements. Progress in wealth
accumulation is not state-wide. Rela
tively only a small percent of our popu
lation has accumulated much wealth.
Our progress has been mainly along in
dustrial lines. But the majority of our
people are farmers. The farmers, the
majority, can improve their status by
establishing better local marketing
arrangements whereby they can obtain
a more reasonable profit for their labor.
By doing this the present partition or
dividing line which tends to separate
the rural and urban people will gradually
Mr. Grady went on to say that it is a
deplorable fact that North Carolina
farmers do not produce enough food to
supply our 2,760,000 inhabitants, our
work animals, and our small number of
consumptive livestock. Every year close
to a quarter of a billion dollars is being
sent to other states for imported food
supplies. And yet North Carolina has
an abundance of fertile soil on which
the greatest variety of plants grow
The lack of livestock of the food and
feed variety in North Carolina was
pointed out. Only about one-fifth of
the value of farm wealth produced each
year is produced by livestock and live
stock products. The eastern half of
our state, especially, is one of the
most poorly developed livestock regions
in America. It seems that, with the ex
ception of mules and horses, our live
stock units decrease while our popula
tion increases. On nearly one-third of
our 283,500 farms there are no con
sumptive livestock of any description.
The farmers do not provide themselves
with meat, milk, butter, and eggs.
What they want is money. In an at
tempt to satisfy this desire they raise
cash crops. Yet money seems to be
one of the things they do not have. The
cause of this is in a large measure
our crude and antiquated system of
marketing, and excessive production
Cotton and Tobacco
Cotton, our greatest crop, needs to be
marketed more orderly throughout the
year, as there is demand for it. Co
operative cotton marketing associations
have sprung up in every state in the
South. The cotton farmers are organiz
ing into separate state associations
which they hope later to combine into
one selling organization. The purpose
is for the farmers to own the selling
machinery, so that they can dispose of
their crop as it is needed, and receive
for it exactly what it brings in a fair
market, minus the actual cost of selling.
The marketing of tobacco is as unbusi
nesslike as that of cotton. Our present
system, or rather non-system, is just
about as unbusinesslike and wasteful
as could possibly be imagined. The
farmer gets up early in the morning,
races to market, dumps .the entire
productof a year’s toil, often unguarded,
in a pile on a warehouse floor to be auc
tioned off to speculators who often
make more profits in a few seconds
than the farmer makes (iUt of his year’s
labor. Associations for the marketing
of tobacco, just as for cotton, are needed.
Our Tri-State Association is experienc
ing rough sailing, but it is hoped that it
will weather the storm and develop
finally into a truly cooperative associa
tion. The tobacco association is simply
a marketing method by which all
member-farmers combine into one or
ganization to dispose of their product
in an orderly manner, to eliminate
speculation, waste, and unnecessary
middlemen, to market their tobacco
through their own hired agents direct
to the manufacturer and to receive the
price he pays, minu#the actual cost of
marketing. The marketing of other
products is equally as poorly cared for
as cotton and tobacco. Farmers will
fail to accumulate their fair share of
wealth as long as they fail to market
their products in an orderly and business
It was pointed out that many groups
of farmers over the state have recently
been experimenting with group market
ing of poultry, livestock, etc., with
satisfactory results. The car lot market
ing plan will help our farmers to get
better prices for their surplus products.
The farmers, through state and com
munity organization, can market poul
try, cattle, potatoes, watermelons, and
vegetables of all kinds in car lot ship
ments. This will enable the producer
to make more profits and also to pro
duce on a larger scale.
Curb markets, if properly managed,
will also help to solve the local market
problem. The plan works somewhat as
follows: The farmers, on certain days,
bring their fresh vegetables, eggs, and
poultry to town and sell them directly
to the housewife from the curb. In
this way the producers, by eliminating
the middlemen, make more money, and
at the same time the consumers get
better and fresher vegetables at lower
prices. There is usually a committee
composed of a producer, a consumer,
and the home or extension agent ap
pointed to pass on all problems that
come up in connection with the market.
Another plan of marketing local pro
duce Is through municipal markets.
The plan is simple and is worked here
and there with great success, especially
in the larger towns. The producers
organize, buy or rent a place, and sell
their produce directly to the consumer.
Each man has a stall or booth where his
produce is put on sale. This plan is
working successfully in some of the
larger cities, and there is no reason
why it could not be used with profitable
results in all the larger towns of North
With the completion of our hard-sur
faced roads still another plan for market
ing produce can be worked out. It must
be carried on in the vicinities of the
cities and larger towns. It is called
roadside markets, and is worked on
somewhat the same plan as the curb
markets. Small stands are built on the
roadside by farmers having vegetables,
eggs, poultry, etc., for sale. The house
wife drives out from her home in the
course of her daily spin and purchases
her supply of vegetables, poultry, eggs,
and so on, directly from the farm.
During recent years the constant cry
has been to diversify, meaning to grow
food and feed on every farm in addition
to the usual money-crop or crops,
Diversification has been preached until
many of us have begun to thoroughly
dislike the word. From information
assembled recently by E. J. Bodman,
Vice-President of the Union Trust Com
pany, Little Rock, Arkansas, Chairman
of the Agricultural Committee of the
Arkansas Bankers’ Association, and a
leader in the banker-farmer movement
of twenty years’ standing, it would seem
that there is still a pressing necessity
for awakening thousands upon thousands
of farmers in the South to the impera
tive need of mixed farming as a fixed
Mr. Bodman’s investigation of so-
called foodless farms, covering the
states of Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma,
Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, Geor
gia, Mississippi, North Carolina and
South Carolina, ten states in all, devel
oped the following astonishing informa
Thirty-seven percent of all or 945,333
farms were found to be without a dairy
Forty-six percent of all or 1,172,726
farms made no butter.
Thirty-three percent of all or 960,980
farms did not raise a chicken.
Twenty percent of all or 600,411 farms
produced no eggs.
Twenty-three percent of all or 697,247
farms had no garden.
Fifty-six percent of all or 1,438,644
farms did not raise a pig.
Fifty-eight percent of all or 1,481,297
farms raised no sweet potatoes.
Seventy nine percent of all or 2,006,^
393 farms raised no Irish potatoes. •
Twelve percent of all or 299,827 farms
raised no corn.
Eighty-six percent of all or 2,186,606
farms raised no oats.
Fifty-four percent of all or 1,382,918
farms raised no hay or forage.
Seventy-six percent of all or 1,942,-
445 farms grew no cane for syrup.
Ninety-five percent of all or 2,416,966
farms had no pure-bred animals.
Can your farm be classified as a food
less farm? If so,' why notvmake your
plans to get out of this class in 1926?—
G. A. Cardwell.
WHAT PRICE CRIME?
Shameful to state, one out of every
300 persons in the United States is put
into jail or prison every year.
That percentage doesn’t include the
people who are assessed fines or those
who are placed on probation instead of
being jailed or fined.
Of the half-million people sent to
penal and correctional institutions in
the United States in 1910, 91^ percent
were sent to jails and workhouses. Half
of them were committed to jail for the
non-payment of fines.
We have an enormous investment in
the 10,000 jails, lock-ups and police
stations in the country. The prisons
use 135,000 acres of land worth $30,000,-
(K30 and machinery and tools worth
$4,000,000. Occupying these lands and
buildings are 75,000 men.
Yet our prisons don’t pay!
Americans are the most murderous
people in the civilized world. We had,
in 1921, 8.6 homicides per 100,000 people.
And, as far as we can judge from sta
tistics, the rate has been steadily in
creasing during the last two decades.
The newer crimes, such as automobile
stealing, are growing by leaps and
Crimes cost an enormous amount of
money. In 1922 it was estimated that
criminals cost the taxpayers of the
United States three billions of dollars.
—Prof. J. L. Gillin, Univ. of Wisconsin.
NUMBER OF PERSONS IN PRISONS
Per 100,000 Population January 1, 1923
In the following table, based on Census of Prisoners for 1923, issued by the
U. S. Department of Commerce, the states are ranked according to the number
of inmates in prison on January 1, 1923, per 100,000 population. The data cover
state and federal prisoners, and county and municipal penal institutions, as jails
and workhouses. The second column shows the rate increase or decrease for
each state for 1923 over the year 1910. Thirty-seven states had a smaller ratio
of population in prison on January 1, 1923, than on January 1, 1910.
North D^ota with only 60.6 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants makes the
best showing.', Nevada with 270.0 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants cbmes last*
Only five states have a better record than North Carolina, whose prisoners num
bered 66.1 per 100,000 inhabitants. However, we were one of the eleven states
whose prison inmate ratio on January 1 increased over 1910.
Department of Rural Social-Economics, University of North Carolina
Rank States present
1 North Dakota ..
2 New Hampshire.
.... + 10.6
4 South Dakota....
28 Washington 96.4...
6 North Carolina ..
31 New York .
11 New Mexico . ..
35 Virginia ..,
12 South Carolina..
14 New Jersey
41 West Virginia....128.2..
21 Tennessee.. ..
46 Wyoming ’
23 Rhode Island...
' 48 Nevada ....