The Prison Public Memory Project uses art, history, dialogue, and technology to engage communities in conversations about the complex roles of prisons in society.

The Project has ambitious plans to work with local individuals and organizations across the country to recover, preserve, interpret, and honor the memories of what took place in these important institutions.

We started in Hudson, New York...


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Hudson's prison histories: three institutions over 120 years

In the midst of the nation’s first great depression that began in 1873 with the collapse of the New York City financial markets, the House of Refuge for Women was built in Hudson, 30 miles south of the state capital of New York in Albany. Opened in 1887, the House of Refuge was only the second reformatory for women established by law in the United States and...

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In 1904, when the New York House of Refuge for Women in Hudson, NY closed, the New York State Training School for Girls took its place to establish a separate place of confinement for “incorrigible” girls between the ages of 12 and 15 who had previously been housed with boys on Randall’s Island in New York City or at the State Industrial School in...

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Photo courtesy of Google Earth™ mapping service.

Photo courtesy of Google Earth™ mapping service.

A year after the New York State Training School for Girls at Hudson was closed, the Hudson Correctional Facility took its place. Opened in October 1976 as a minimum-security (and later medium-security) prison for young adult men under the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services and Community Supervision... 

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