Crime Pays in York County
I’m certainly not advocating crime, but when you think of it, salaries for all those policemen, jailers, judges, and attorneys do add to the economy. Building and upkeep of the prisons and courthouses, feeding the prisoners, and all the other fees associated with the justice system also supply work for a lot of people.
I haven’t checked the probably astronomical costs today, but take a look at the crime and court related expenditures below from the 1825-1826 York County budget report, as published in the York Recorder. They make up quite a chunk of the costs for that year.
Amount of commissioner’s orders paid Grand Jurors $334.87.
Paid traverse jurors and constables attending court $1483.87.
Talesman jurors or bystanders $2.00.
Witness fees on state actions $524.75.
Justice fees on state actions $74.57.
Constables fees on state actions $138.84.
Christian Hildebrand for candles for court $7.00
Eli Hendrix, late jailor, fees for victualling prisoners and convicts $59.00.
Adam Klinefelter, present jailor, ditto $158.19.
Charles A. Barnitz., Esq. in behalf of the Philadelphia prison, for victualling and clothing convicts, more than they earned by labor $632.71.
Sundry persons for merchandize for prisoners and stationary for commissioners office $88.72.
Apprehending horse thief, &c. $21.38.
Conveying prisoners from different counties to York jail $2.78.
Repairs in courthouse and offices $18.77.
Repairs in jail $425.05.
Daniel Small, hobbling prisoners &c. $14.75.
Jacob Craumer, victuals for jurors in the case of the commonwealth vs. Thomas Fisher $6.50.
Wood delivered to jail, courthouse and commissioners office $126.25.
George Brickel provision beef for convicts $5.87.
Walter S. Franklin, Esq. Attorney General’s fees $105.50.
William Norris, court cryer $67.50.
Henry Nes., Esq. coroner for holding inquests $42.62.
Charles A. Barnitz., Esq. late attorney for board of commissioners $60.00.
John Zeigler, hauling stone coal for courthouse $5.50.
Ditto sawing wood for commissioners office & court house $4.32.
Stone coal for court house $10.75.
Whitewashing court house $5.00.
A few clarifications and comments on the above:
Talesman jurors weren’t good luck charms. They were jurors summoned if not were not enough persons to make up a jury.
Victualling means providing with food. Interesting that the state deducted the value of their labor from the bill for the Philadelphia penitentiary.
Some prisoners must have been hobbled with a device that fastened their legs together, allowing them to move around, but not enough to run away. Daniel Small is listed as a locksmith in the tax records of that period.
The courthouse was brick, so the whitewash must have been the cupola and trim or perhaps inside painting.
I may have missed a few items and some things are lumped together. Still, the expenses listed above totaled around $4,430 a good portion of the total of $12,882 in county expenditures for fiscal year 1825, over a third of amount spent. Crime might not pay for the convicted offender, but it looks like it certainly provides a livelihood for lot of people. It would be nice, though, if they all had to find other occupations.
Click on these links for York County jail and crime posts.
Early jail break.
More policemen needed in York.
Christmas jail break.
Inmates alarmed by alarm.
Weapons taken off York streets.
Crooks chased by cops on trolley.
Juvenile jewel thief arrested.
Wrong bullets save Yorkers.
York doctors and lawyers fall for scam.
Thieves steel court house spouting.
Arson the cause of major York fire.
Red Lion and Dallastown safes cracked.
York Mayor sticks up for assulted wife.
Front window escape from York jail.
New jail vandalized.
Vandalism in Glen Rock.
York Haven finds not all Slavs troublemakers.
Red Lion crooks chased by trolley car.
Lots of weapons taken off streets.
Juvenile jewel thief.
Wrong bullets in gun.