Stonewall Jackson Youth Reform School, Concord, NC

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Comments (3)

BForbes on April 8, 2010

Some of the following is taken from Wikipedia: Stonewall Jackson Manual Training and Industrial School was established by an act of the state legislature in 1907 and opened in 1909 as the first juvenile detention facility in North Carolina. Due to the school's pioneering status and the quality of several of its early buildings, the Stonewall Jackson Training School Historic District has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Established to provide a place for troubled youths separate from adult prisoners, it was considered a progressive institution in its day. Its founding was the result of twenty years of organizing by women's groups in North Carolina, lobbying for construction of a reformatory for boys as part of prison reform. Boys were generally incarcerated for relatively minor scrapes with the law, including school truancy.

In 1948 as part of continuing statewide efforts to limit "feeblemindedness" and improve the population, the Stonewall Jackson Training School was the site of sterilization by vasectomy of six teenage white males, in operations authorized by the state Eugenics Board (a shameful and often hidden part of American history).

At its peak the facility held about 500 youths. At times there were inhumane conditions in which youths were attacked and raped by other inmates. Prison activist Russell Smith stated he suffered such attacks there when imprisoned in the 1960s from age 13-15. As an adult (and after time in state and federal prisons), Smith became an activist against prison violence, founding both the "National Gay Prisoner Coalition" (NGPC) and in 1980 People Organized to Stop Rape of Imprisoned Persons (POSRIP).

In the 1970s, ideas about treating youths changed, and they were seldom incarcerated for offenses as minor as delinquency. The state reduced the population at the facility. Now called the Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Facility, it is used for serious offenders involved in drug abuse and weapons-related charges. About 150 young men are generally held here. Sixty acres of the facility are enclosed by a 15-foot-high fence.

In 1999, a fifteen-year battle between the school’s administrators and history buffs over several of the institution’s buildings ended. School administrators agreed to help preserve some of the oldest campus buildings if allowed to demolish other derelict buildings on the property. This picture shows one of several original dormitories, long abandoned and awaiting funds for restoration. A mighty scary-looking place, one might consider taking wayward youths there and telling them that's where the bad kids go...

Victor1974 on May 23, 2010

nice shot

Sebastian McShane on November 24

I am an independent filmmaker and am putting together a documentary of the Stone Wall Jackson School. If you have any pictures or information, or were at the school as a resident or employee ane would be willing to be interviewed, please contact us at ( Thank you.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 3, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by BForbes
    • Camera: Canon PowerShot A560
    • Taken on 2010/02/18 12:56:48
    • Exposure: 0.002s (1/640)
    • Focal Length: 5.80mm
    • F/Stop: f/2.600
    • ISO Speed: ISO80
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash