Series 80460
Board of Pardons and Parole Correspondence

Dates: i 1914-1948; 1982-

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These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Scope and Content

The primary activities of the Board of Pardons are documented in this correspondence. The Board has the legal responsibility for determining, under guidelines established at court sentencing, the amount of time a prisoner should be incarcerated and the conditions under which release could be granted. Following release from prison, the board maintains jurisdiction over the offender; and if conditions of release are violated, it has the authority to return the violator to prison. In addition to illustrating the exercise of these responsibilities, some of the correspondence provides information about individual prisoners, which is used by the Board to help make decisions about individual cases. Established procedures used in the meetings to consider case loads presented to he Board and criteria used to make determinations for release or continued incarceration are also discussed in the correspondence.

Attachments to the correspondence include "Information reports" from court officials, court transcripts, petitions, agendas, applications for release, newspaper notices, affidavits, and summaries of the results of hearings. The first communication about an individual prisoner is usually the information report sent to the Board of Pardons by district court judges after sentencing is concluded. Among other things, an information document summarizes the judges knowledge of the case and expresses an opinion about how long the term of imprisonment should be. A court transcript is often attached to this information document, which usually includes a statement made by the district attorney about the plea or the conduct of the trial. The other documents appear sporadically, depending upon the nature of a case.

The following variables--often the subjects of individual letters--are used by the Board in making decisions about offenders: earlier violations of conditions of release; past arrest record; the number of times previously incarcerated; past work history; opportunities for adequate employment upon release; behavior while in prison, such as participation in education, job training, religious, or other programs which they felt showed improved attitudes and conduct; and a history of conformity to rules and regulations of the prison or jail.

In making their decisions, board members correspond with district courts, the Attorney General's Office, the state executive office, Adult Probation and Parole personnel, district attorneys, county commissioners, prison officials, private lawyers, private agencies, employers, clergymen, the prisoners themselves, and private citizens who are usually the friends and relatives of the criminal offender.


Chronological, thereunder alphabetical by surname

The correspondence in archives custody is broken down into three chronological subseries: 1914 to 1922; 1927 to 1933; and 1934 to 1948. Each is arranged alphabetically by the last name of the prisoner concerned and then chronologically. Whenever documents are attached to letters, they are arranged by the date on the front of the first document. A fourth subseries for the years 1934 to 1948 covers general administrative functions of the Board, as opposed to individual cases and is arranged chronologically.

Related Records

Prisoners' pardon application case files from the Board of Pardons, Series 328, has further background data about many of these same prisoners.

Schedule of proceedings from the Board of Pardons, Series 330, of the Board of Pardons contains discussion of specific cases mentioned in the minutes.

Minutes from the Board of Pardons and Parole, Series 332, of the Board of Pardons contains discussions of specific cases mentioned in the minutes.

Criminal extradition records from the Lieutenant Governor, Series 348, has a variety of documents relating to some of the fugitives.

Prison commitment registers from the Department of Corrections. Inmate Services, Series 80388, contains a variety of documents relating to prisoners during these years.

Custody History

Records produced before 1949 have been in archives custody for several years.

Access Restrictions

This series is primarily classified as Public. The secondary classification is Private.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Gaps in Series

Missing from the series are files of those prisoners whose names began with the letter"N" from the 1914-1922 subseries. Correspondence covering years from 1923 to 1926 is also missing, and no correspondence from 1949-1981 has been located.

Processing Note

Current records were scheduled in 1982 to be retained by the agency for two years before being transferred to the archives. Archival processing was completed in 1988 by Brent Brinkerhoff.

Indexing Terms

  • Utah. Board of pardons--Management.
  • Prisoners--Utah.
  • Pardon--Utah.
  • Rehabilitation of criminals--Utah.
  • Crime--Utah.

Container List

1 Correspondence, 1914-1922, A-M
2 Correspondence, 1914-1922, O-Z; Correspondence, 1927-1933, A-C
3 Correspondence, 1927-1933, D-P
4 Correspondence, 1927-1933, R-Y; Correspondence, 1934-1948, A-E
5 Correspondence, 1934-1948, F-P
6 Correspondence, 1934-1948, R-Z; Administrative Correspondence, 1934-1947

Page Last Updated October 18, 2012.