Historic Infamy: Indiana State Reformatory

c. 1911

“The present day Pendleton Correctional Facility can trace its origin to the banks of the Ohio River in Jeffersonville, Indiana. The first Indiana State Prison was constructed in Jeffersonville in 1821. In 1861, the facility at Michigan City was established and Jeffersonville became known as the Indiana State Prison South and the institution at Michigan City was designated as the Indiana State Prison North. The housing of offenders was primarily determined by the geographical location of the sentencing court whereby the old National Road (U.S. 40) was established as the dividing line.

In 1897, as a result of the penological reform movement prevalent at that time, the Jeffersonville facility was designated as the Indiana Reformatory.”

IN.gov
IDOC: Facility History

This Day in Infamy: Vigo County Prisoner Escapes

February 5, 1881 – A man, identified only by the surname Hill, was on his way to begin serving his sentence at the Indiana State Prison South in Jeffersonville when he managed to give his police escort the slip. The train the pair was traveling on had slowed as it approached a crossing and, seeing that the Vigo County deputy sheriff accompanying him was momentarily distracted, the shackled convict took his chances. He jumped from the moving train and made good his escape.