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Indiana Commission on Public Records

ICPR > State Archives > Collections > Department of Correction > Dillinger Inventory Dillinger Inventory

Index of State Archives Dillinger Collections

Background

John Dillinger's life and crimes made him Indiana's most notorious criminal. Interest in him and, consequently, in records of him at the Indiana State Archives is high. This text describes what is currently available on Dillinger and his gang in the Archives' collections.

No doubt because of their notoriety, Dillinger's and the Dillinger gang's prison records received extra attention, which inadvertently caused some records to vanish before coming to the Archives. In general, efforts to care for the packets of the gang members led to their removal from their specific record series and their location and relocation in "safer" places, which effectively made them less and less accessible.

Dillinger's Indiana State Reformatory and a limited Indiana State Prison record are available at the State Archives. As a service to our patrons, we have provided a webpage devoted to the inventory of the records from the Reformatory.  Visitors will note that some of the materials remain confidential.

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PRISON PACKETS

Prison packets contain a varying amount of documents and information. Essentially, they were designed to contain any loose papers that were generated in the course of serving a term. Walter Detrich's packet, for example, contains 39 items, from the receipt for his personal property surrendered upon arrival at the Prison to the commutation of his sentence.

While most of these documents are forms with meager informational value, there are some more interesting records included. One such is a letter written by Detrich requesting the return of $20.13, which he claimed had been taken from him: "That is enough money to make me independent of my relatives for a year and that in itself means a whole lot to me."

Because the state correctional institutes sampled and retained only 5% of their prisoner packets before transfer to the State Archives, many Dillinger related records were destroyed. Packets exist for these men only : Joseph Burns, James Clark, Russell Clark, Walter Detrich, John Dillinger, Joseph Fox, John Hamilton, James Jenkins, Charles Makley, Harry Pierpont and Edward Shouse.

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MUG SHOTS

Copies of mug shots are available through the Indiana State Archives. It is highly recommended that one does not purchase illegal copies through other sources. Prisoners' images from the State Prison and the State Reformatory are the sole property of the state of Indiana, and should not be posted on any website  or in any publication without permission from the Indiana State Archives, even if the copies were purchased from mug shots or reward posters issued by other law enforcement agencies. If the mug shot was originally taken at the State Prison or the State Reformatory it belongs to the State of Indiana.

Mug shots follow a standard format. On one side of a roughly 4x5 inch card are two photos, one frontal and one profile view of the prisoner. On the reverse is the basic information on the individual: identification number, name, age, crime, sentence, criminal history and so on.

Mug shots exist for these men:  Joseph Burns, James Clark, Russell Clark, Walter Detrich, John Dillinger, Joseph Fox, Eugene Garnett, John Hamilton,  Charles Makley, Harry Pierpont,  Edward Shouse, Homer Van Meter.

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IDENTIFICATION BOOKS

Identification books are very large, standardized volumes recording data on each prisoner's stay at the institution. Walter Detrich's State Prison entry reads as follows:

Register number: 14351
Name: Walter E. Detrich
Alias: Walter E. Dedrich
Color: White
County: Vermillion
Crime: Bank robbery
Sentence: Life
Sentenced: 1-3-1931
Age: 26
Nativity: Mo.
Occupation: Plumber, steamfitter
Previous record and identifications: Wanted by Police Dept. Los Angeles, Calif. Escaped from prison enclosure 9-26-33 Ret escape 1-10-34 In re #288 3-3-44 Return from court 3-13-44 No longer wanted by Los Angeles Calif. Police. In re #5896 7-19-45 Remanded USD Ct. Ret sme day Paroled 1-8-53 12-21-56 Disch. by Exec. Order 21890.

As the identification books were considered the permanent record for a prisoner, no sampling process was followed; consequently, an entry for each gang member who served time in an Indiana state institution should exist. Dillinger was an exception. His record from the Reformatory is available, at the Archives' location A6145, No. 14395. His State Prison entry, though, had been torn out of identification book #3 many years ago. Those missing pages have since been returned after being handed over to the FBI during an investigation.

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GOVERNOR McNUTT FILES

On 3 March 1934, John Dillinger is alleged to have used a wooden pistol to escape from the Lake County Jail in Crown Point, Indiana. The escape provoked a public response of nearly universal outrage, as well as an official investigation from the Governor's office. The principal focus of the anger was the apparent friendliness and laxity of the Lake County sheriff and prosecutor; they treated Dillinger as a celebrity, even posing for photos with him.

Gov. McNutt answered the numerous letters of complaint about the incident with the unvarying refrain: "The Indiana law does not give me any authority to remove from office a County Sheriff or a Prosecuting Attorney."

Two folders of correspondence, newspaper clippings and reports on the escape and subsequent manhunt are in the McNutt papers for 1934, at A7135.

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GANG MEMBERS

These men are listed in Cromie and Pinkston's Dillinger: A short and violent life as being members of Dillinger's gang: Burns, Joseph; Clark, James; Clark, Russell; Copeland, Harry; Detrich, Walter; Fox, Joseph; Goldstine, Sam; Gray, Jack; Hamilton, John; Jenkins, James; Makley, Charles; McGeoghagen, Daniel; Murphy, Edward; Northern, Earl (left behind in Michigan City jailbreak); Pierpont, Harry; Shaw, William; Shouse, Edward; and Van Meter, Homer.

However, it is more appropriate to look at these men as a network of accomplices who occasionally worked together. Below is a loose sketch and not meant to be complete.

Dillinger Accomplices

Mooresville 1924

Edward Singleton

John Dillinger

 

Summer 1933 After Parole White Caps

Sam Goldstein

Clifford Mohler

William Shaw

Paul Parker ISR #23663

 

Summer 1933

George Whitehouse

Frank Whitehouse

Clifford Mohler

Fred Brenman

 

September 1933

Harry Copeland,  ISP12231, 21792

Homer VanMeter, ISP 11561

Hilton Crouch, ISP 12347, 16730

Merritt Longbrake

 

 

Michigan City Escapees

Joseph Burns (real name John C. Heaps) ISP 8073

James Clark, ISP 14352

Russell Clark, ISP 12261

Walter Detrich, ISP 14351

Joseph Fox, ISP 13883

John Hamilton, ISP 11963

James Jenkins, ISP 13100

Charles Makley, ISP 12636

Harry Pierpont, ISP 11014

Edward Shouse, ISP 13915

 

After Crown Point

Homer Van Meter

Possible contact with Joseph Burns

 

Merger with Nelson

Baby Face Nelson

Tommy Carroll

Eddie Green

 

Known Informants

Harry Forster

Meyer Bogue

Fred Brenman

 

Original Gangs

Culver Bandits/ Burns Gang

Joseph Burns (real name John C. Heaps), ISP 8703

Joseph Byers, ISP 8706

Art Silbert (Abe Silver) ISP 8704

Peter Fox (Charles Penders) ISP, 8705

 

Badgley-Clark Gang

Frank Badgley, ISP 9658, 12174, 23887, 24277

Russell Clark, ISP 12261

Edward Clark

Charles Hovious

 

Joseph Fox (13883)

Martin O’Leary (13884)

 

John Hamilton

John Hamilton ISP 11963

Ray Lawrence  ISP 11962

 

Harry Pierpont’s Accomplices

Earl Northern ISP 12354, 18194

Everett Bridgewater

Thaddeus Skeer

William Berhens, ISP 12491 and 17432

 

Baron Lamm Gang

Baron Lamm

James Clark

Walter Detrich, ISP 14351

 

Friends

Charles Northern,  ISP 13354

Mary Northern Kinder

Dale Kinder

William Behrens, ISP 12491 and 17432

Dick Day,

Maurice DelaTour, ISP 12217

Martin O’Leary ISP 13884

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Preliminary Inventory of Items in the John H. Dillinger Packet #14395, received from Indiana Reformatory, Indiana Department of Correction on February 6, 1998.

Note to researchers: Inmate #14395: John H. Dillinger = John Herbert Dillinger, the son of John W. Dillinger, sometimes referred to as John W. Dillinger Sr. Items are listed in order, as they appeared in the original packet.

.
Item # Date of Document Contents Condition/Description
1.
Created 9-16-24 Packet Cover, #14395,
Parole #GP 1110
Binding 1/2 Torn
2.
Created 9-16-24 Photo Inside Cover
Sideview, frontview #14395
Glued to Cover
3.
1-1929 Board of Pardons-Reform Torn in Pieces
Onionskin Paper Separated from Binder
4.
7-28-33 D.O.J., U.S. Bureau of Investigation Edges Torn, Onionskin
Separated from Binder

Everything Below is in Metal Clasp Binder

5.
6-13-49 IN Reformatory letter, L.R. Schug
to Noland C. Wright, Re: J.H.D.
Carbon Copy
6.
1-22-35 Letter, Supt. Fulson Prison (Calif.)
to Albert H. Mundt
Pink paper, Rough Edge
7.
1-17-35
Stamped:1-21-35
Letter, Albert H. Mundt
to A.F. Miles
Original
8.
1-28-35
Stamped:2-1-35
Letter, Mundt to Miles Edges Folded
9.
2-06-34
Stamped:2-7-34
D.O.J., U.S. Bureau of Investigation
Transcript of Record of J. H. Dillinger
Two- (2) pp.
Blue Mimeograph Paper
10.
1-1-34
Stamped:2-3-34
Transcript of Record,
J. H. Dillinger, Two- (2) pp.
Blue Mimeograph Paper
11.
11-20-33
Stamped:11/22/33
D.O.J., U.S. Bureau of Invest.
Transcript of Record Two- (2) pp.
Folded on Edges, Onionskin paper
12.
11-21-33 Supt. to J.E. Hoover
(J.H. Dillinger & Walter Steed #13292)
Reverse side has red stamp of IN Ref.
Carbon Copy
13.
10-17-33
Stamped:10-20-33
Revocation of J.H.D. Parole by
Executive Order #8133 Governor McNutt
Gold Seal, Edge Fold
14.
10-20-33
Stamped:10-20-33
Letter, Ref. Supt. to L.E. Kunkel,
Warden
Front side has red stamp of IN Ref.
Carbon Copy
14.
10-20-33
Stamped:10-20-33
Letter, Ref. Supt. to L.E. Kunkel,
Warden
Front side has red stamp of IN Ref.
Carbon Copy
15.
Stamped:
10-2-33
D.O.J., Transcript of Record for
J. H. Dillinger
Onionskin
16.
9-26-33 Letter, A.F.D. to Governor McNutt Carbon Copy
17.
9-22-33 Letter, Alfred Dowd to
A.F. Miles, Supt.
1/2 sheet
18.
(1933-34?) Pink-Note, "Headlines are full
of him this morning", Miles?
4x5 in si

Also available digitally are numerous editions of the Roster of State and Local Officials, which is printed annually.

ze
19.
8-1-33 Letter, A.F. Dowd to Frank Massey
Muncie
Carbon Copy
20.
7-29-33 Letter, (Michigan City,)
Frank D. Hope to A.F. Dowd,
Two- (2) pp. Reformatory
Front side has red stamp of IN Ref.
Typed
21.
8-1-33 Long Distance Telephone,
Dowd to Capt. Nelson
1/2 sheet, Pink
22.
7-1-33
Stamped:8-2-33
Memo, F.S. Patterson to A.F. Dowd
Front side has red stamp of IN Ref
1/2 sheet, White
23.
7-29-33 Long Distance Telephone Note,
Dowd to Nelson
1/2 sheet, Pink Carbon Copy
24.
7-29-33 Long Distance Telephone Note,
Dowd to Hope
1/2 sheet, Pink Carbon Copy
25.
7-29-33 Long Distance Telephone Note,
Dowd to Dowd (For file)
1/2 sheet, Pink Carbon Copy
26.
7-29-33 Long Distance Telephone Note,
Dowd to Nelson
1/2 sheet, Pink Carbon Copy
27.
7-29-33 Statement, William Allen Shaw
#23546 RE: Muncie Robbery 6-1933
Marked with green X
Typed
28.
6-28-33
Stamped:7/7/3
Monthly Parole Report,
J.H. Dillinger - Questionnaire
(Signatures) J.H.D., J.W.D.
Pink, Legal, torn edges
29.
7-21-33
Stamped: 7-24-33
Report of Visit, Paroled Man
Frank D. Hope (Signature)
1/2 sheet, Pink
30.
7-11-33 Transmittal, Dowd to J.H.D. 1/2 sheet, white
31.
5-23-33
Stamped:5-24-33
Change of Address for J.H.D.,
J.H.D. to Supt. J.H.D
(Signatures) J.H.D., J.W.D.
1/2 sheet, white
32.
5-24-33
Stamped:5-25-33
Clerk, State Prison to Reformatory 1/2 sheet, white
33.
9-15-24 Parole Agreement #1110,
Two sided page, J.H.D.
(Signature)
Legal
34.
5-22-33 Parole Agreement #GP1110,
(Part of above Agreement)
Legal, Double sheet
35.
9-15-24 Commitment #5417 Sheet,
10 to 20 years Assault and Battery
Four- (4) pp. bound
Legal, Edges Torn,
4 pp. Double Sided
36.
9-15-24 Commitment #5417 Sheet,
2 to 14 years Conspiracy to commit
a felony (Different from Item 35)
Four- (4) pp. bound
Edges Torn,
4 pp. Double Sided
37.
5-20-33 Agreement to Employ J. H. Dillinger,
John W. Dillinger Sr, (Signature)
2-sided
38.
5-22-33 Letter, Supt. Howard to Reverend
(Form Letter for Local Church)
Misspelled Dillinger's name (Dillenger)
39.
5-22-33 Letter, Re: Parole, Supt. to
WH Daly, State Prison
Front side has red stamp of IN Ref
Carbon Copy
40.
5-18-33 Letter, Dowd to J.H.D
Front side has red stamp of IN Ref
Carbon Copy
41.
N/D Agreement, Unsigned (Enclosed
with Governor's Parole Item #40)
2 sided Page
42.
N/D Information Sheet, Parole Dept. 1/2 sheet, Goldenrod
43.
5-10-33 Executive Order #7733, Gov. McNutt,
Parole of J. H. D., Gold Seal
Legal size
44.
10-10-24 to 10-17-28 Prison Index Card, Disciplinary Board
Record, IN Reformatory
8x6 Card, 1/2 sheet, White
45.
7-15-29 Receipt, State Prison to
Reformatory for J.H.D
1/2 sheet, White, Carbon Copy
46.
7-15-29 Letter, Re: Transfer J.H.D. to Prison,
Stoner to A.F. Miles
1/2 sheet, Carbon Copy
47.
7-15-29
Stamped:7-15-29
Letter, Re: Transfer J.H.D. to Prison,
Waymire to A.F. Miles
1/2 sheet, Blue
48.
7-15-29 Letter, Re: Transfer J.H.D. to Prison,
Reform to Warden, State Prison
Carbon Copy
49.
7-15-29 Executive Order #4519 by Governor,
Leslie, Transfer of J.H.D. from
Reformatory to State Prison
Legal, Gold Seal
50.
7-16-29 Letter, Re: J.H.D. new address,
Supt. to J.W.D.
1/2 sheet, White, Carbon Copy
51.
7-16-29 Letter, Re: Transfer of J.H.D.,
Dowd to W.H. Daly, Warden
1/2 sheet, Carbon Copy
52.
N/D Reformatory Classification Record,
Summary
Legal, Onionskin Torn Edges
53.
N/D
Dates on card
10/10/24 -10/17/28
Index Card, J.H.D.'s Reformatory
Discipline Record, Parole Dept
4x5 Index Card, 2 sided Card
54.
4-10-29 J.H.D.'s Divorce of Wife, Waymire to
R.E. Slater, Mail Dept.
(no correspondence)
1/2 sheet, White Onionskin
55.
1-23-29 Handwritten Request for interview,
J.H.D to A.F. Miles (Signature)
1/2 sheet, Pink
56.
12-27-28 Letter, Supt. to Robert J. Wade,
Appearance before Pardon Board
1/2 sheet, Goldenrod
57.
12-26-28 Handwritten Letter, Robert J. Wade
(Attorney - Martinsville) to Supt. Miles
58.
11-22-28 Letter, Waymire to AF Miles
(30 Days Guard House)
Blue
59.
11-15-28 Handwritten Request for interview
J.H.D. to A.F. Miles(Signature)
1/2 sheet, Pink
60.
10-24-28 Memo, (Disrespect for Court)
Supt. to Dillinger
1/2 sheet, Goldenrod
61.
10-20-28 Handwritten Request for Interview,
J.H.D. to A.F Miles.(Signature)
1/2 sheet, Pink
62.
10-17-28 Letter, F. Rhoades to Institutional Court, Hiding Pen & Ink and Destroying Property 1/2 sheet, White
63.
N/D Memo from Mail Dept., Re: Pen & Ink found in mattress, R. Hinkle to Capt. L. Parkes 1/2 sheet, Cream
64.
10-17-28 Officer's report #105, Violation of Rules, by Rhoads
65.
2-22-28 Memo, Re: Reply to Request for Interview, Supt. to J.H.D. 1/2 sheet, Goldenrod
66.
2-18-28 Handwritten Request for Interview, J.H.D to Supt. Miles (Signature) 1/2 sheet, Pink
67.
7-22-27 Letter, Permission to Visit, A.F. Miles to Audrey Hancock
68.
7-22-27 Carbon Copy of Item #67 Goldenrod
69.
7-22-27 Memo, Request for Interview, Supt. to J.H. Dillinger 1/2 sheet, Goldenrod
Carbon Copy
70.
7-22-27 Handwritten Request for Interview,
J.H.D. to Supt.(Signature)
1/2 sheet, Pink
Carbon Copy
71.
7-21-27 Handwritten Letter, Sister of J.H. Dillinger, Audrey Hancock to A.F. Miles (Signature) 1/2 sheet, White Lined Paper, Three (3) pp., Handwritten
72.
4-25-27 Receipt Yellow Note, 4x5
73.
N/D Receipt, Money for Shoes White Note
74.
3-12-27 Report, C.F. Williams, Physician to Supt. Miles (Confidential) 1/2 sheet, White
75.
3-12-27 Letter, (Illness) Chaplain to Mrs. Bryl Dillinger (wife) of J.H.D (Confidential) 1/2 sheet, Onionskin, Carbon Copy
76.
3-13-27 Memorandum, Illness Waymire to A.F. Miles (Confidential) 1/2 sheet, Blue
77.
12-31-26 Institutional Court Report 1/2 sheet, White
78.
12-31-26 Officer's Report #245, Violation of Rules
79.
12-27-26 Institutional Court Report, Talking in Mess Hall Line 1/2 sheet, White
80.
12-27-26 Officer's Report for #202, Violation of Rules
81.
8-15-26 Report to Institutional Court, Re: Sparring in Cell 1/2 sheet, White
82.
8-16-26 Officer's Report #99, Violation of Rules
83.
06-17-26 Supt. to Mrs. J. W. Dillinger Carbon Copy Goldenrod
84.
5-21-26 Handwritten Letter, Mrs. J.W. Dillinger to Supt. Miles (Signature) Stationery, Lined, 4 pp., Ink Handwriting
85.
5-21-26 Report to Institutional Court (Pants without number) 1/2 sheet, White
86.
5-21-26 Note, Pants Issue, E.C. Moore to Waymire 1/2 sheet, White
87.
5-28-26 Officer's Report #144, Violation of Rules 1 pp., White
88.
2-24-26 Report to Institutional Court, Making & playing cards 1/2 sheet, White
89.
2-25-26 Officer's Report #117, Playing Cards, Violation of Rules
90.
7-25-25 Note, Supt. to J.H. Dillinger (Visits) 1/2 sheet, Goldenrod
91.
4-13-25 Note, Supt. to J. H. Dillinger (Discharge from Navy) 1/2 sheet, Goldenrod
92.
1-15-25 Discharge Certificate from Navy (Signature)(Seal)(Confidential) 1/2 sheet, White 2 sided
93.
6-11-25 Letter, Re: Ed Singleton Supt. to W.H. Daly Goldenrod
94.
1-29-25 Report to Institutional Court, Disorderly Conduct 1/2 sheet, White
95.
1-31-25 Officer's Report #104, Rules of Violation
96.
1-30-25 Supt. to F.A. Muncey Co. Flynn's Magazines 1/2 sheet, Goldenrod
97.
1-27-25 Letter, Muncey Co. to A.F. Miles, Flynn's Weekly 3/4 sheet, White
98.
1-23-25 Letter, Supt. to Muncey Co. Goldenrod
99.
1-19-25 Letter, Re: J.H.D. Subscription Muncey to Miles 3/4 sheet, White
100.
1-12-25 Letter, Re: J.H.D. Subscription, Muncey to Miles 3/4 sheet, White
101.
1-08-25 Letter, Supt. to Muncey Co. Goldenrod Carbon Copy
102.
11-07-24 Inmate Eligible for Parole Sheet 1 pp. Pink, Torn
103.
1-06-25 Letter, Muncey Co., A.F.Miles, to Supt. 3/4 sheet, White
104.
1-03-24
changed to 25
Letter, J.H.D. Subscription, Supt. to Muncey Co 1 page Goldenrod, Carbon Copy
105.
N/D Blank Card 4x5 Blank unattached Goldenrod
106.
12-31-24 Letter, Re: Subscription Muncey Co. to Supt. A.F Miles 3/4 sheet, White
107.
12-29-24 Report to Institutional Court, Attempted Escape 1/2 sheet, White
108.
12-24? Memo, J.H. Dillinger Attempted Escape, Assist Supt. Blue Carbon Copy
109.
12-29-24 Officer's Report #137, Violation of Rules, Re: Escape Blue Carbon Copy
110.
12-01-24 U.S. Navy to Supt. Re: Service Record (Confidential)
111.
10-31-24 Letter, T.H. Greeson? to AF Miles Carbon Copy
112.
10-06-24 Letter, James P. Burcham to Supt. (Reliance Specialty Co.) Screw Machine Products, 620 West Merrill Street, Indianapolis Brown, Torn
113.
09-20-24 Letter, Information on J.H.D., AF Miles to James Burcham
114.
10-17-24 Memo, J.D. returned on Oct 16, Assist Supt. to Supt. A.F. Miles 1/2 sheet, Blue
115.
09-22-24 Letter, Re: J.H.D., E.F. Hadley to Supt. Miles
116.
10-14-24 Receipt for J.H.D., Morgan Co. Sheriff 1/2 sheet, White
117.
10-11-24 Subpoena, Morgan Co. Circuit Court for J.H.D. 3/4 sheet, White
119.
10-10-24 Officers Report #32, Violation of Rules
120.
10-01-24 Memo, (J.H.D. Returned 9-9) Assist Supt. to Miles 1/2 sheet, Blue
121.
09-26-24 Receipt, Morgan Co. Sheriff for J.H. Dillinger, as witness 1/2 sheet, White
122.
09-24-24 Morgan Co. Court Subpoena for witness 3/4 sheet, White
123.
9-19-24 Reformatory, Bureau of Identification Conviction, Speeding 1920 3/4 sheet, White
124.
N/D 1924? Reformatory, Identification Classification Statement of Inmate (Signature cut off) Legal, Carbon Copy
125.
1924? Addresses of Relatives, Dept. of Identification
126.
09-16-24 Description of J.H. Dillinger: 5'7" height 157 lbs. weight 1/2 sheet, White
127.
09-19-24 Biographical Statement (Confidential) Legal size, Bottom Torn
128.
09-19-24 Letter, Reformatory School Classification & Sample of Penmanship (Signature) 3/4 sheet, White
129.
09-19-24 Physicians Report, 5'6" height 158 lbs. weight (Confidential) 3/4 sheet, White
130.
09-17-24 Receipt for J.H. Dillinger, Supt. to Clerk of Morgan Co. Court 1/2 sheet, White
131.
09-16-24 Reformatory Sheet of Arrival of New Inmate Letter, Onion skin Paper
132.
N/D Back Cover of Packet, Blank Top, Inside Label - #14395 John Dillinger G.P.#1110 Torn & folded
133.
Outside Back Cover of Packet Blank

Total number of pages/items:

    1 Packet folder
    1 Photograph (2 Views)
    146 pages/items

8/27/98-Preliminary Inventory, John H. Dillinger Packet #14395: Transferred to the State Archives Division, ICPR, by the Indiana Department of Corrections on 2/6/98

This packet was presented to F.Gerald Handfield Jr., State Archivist, Indiana Commission on Public Records and Charles Coffey, Indiana Department of Administration, by Commissioner Edward Cohn, Indiana Department of Correction. David Patterson of IDOC was also present in the IDOC Commissioner's Office E334, Indiana Government Center-South.)

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