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Miscellaneous expenses, United States courts, 1920—Continued. Western Union Telegraph Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., searching records -
$17.00 James M. Withers, Kirk, Ky., commissioner in condemnation proceedings
25. 00 W. J. Piggott, Irvington, Ky., commissioner in condemnation proceedings..
25. 00 T. B. Beard, Hardinsburg, Ky., commissioner in condemnation proceedings.
25.00 W. S. Ball, Hardinsburg, Ky., stenographic services.
5. 00 Total
1,978. 52 Mr. KENNARD. That is made up of four bills. Three of them are for the services of appraisers of land under process of condemnation, and the amounts were allowed by the court. That was in Philadelphia, in the eastern district of Pennsylvania, the amount involved being $600, or $200 to each of three appraisers to determine the value of land to be condemned by the Government. The payment was postponed until the whole matter was disposed of, which delayed the presentation of the bills.
The CHAIRMAN. What about the $59.85 ?
Mr. KENNARD. That is for cablegrams sent for us by the State Department, and which the State Department calls upon us to refund.
The CHAIRMAN. For 1920 you ask a deficiency of $1,978.52.
Mr. KENNARD. I have a list here that I can put in the record covering that. (See page 151.)
The CHAIRMAN. Have all those bills been audited ?
The CHAIRMAN. Was there any balance in the appropriations for the years to which they refer out of which they could have been paid if they had been presented in time!
Mr. KENNARD. In 1919 there was a balance, and in 1920 there was no balance.
The CHAIRMAN. How about 1916 ?
Mr. KENNARD. I have not those figures with me, but I should say there was a large balance in 1916.
NOTE.—The balance carried to surplus fund in the appropriation was $110,163.48.
The CHAIRMAN. For supplies, including the exchange of typewriting and adding machines for the United States courts, etc., you are asking $50,000. Your current appropriation for this purpose is $75,000 and you had $75,000 in 1921.
Mr. SHERWOOD. We had $105.000 in 1921.
The CHAIRMAN. It does not so appear here. I see there was a deficiency.
Mr. Sherwood. There were two deficiencies of $15,000 each.
The CHAIRMAN. Is it necessary to spend $50,000 in addition to the appropriation in this case?
Mr. SHERWOOD. It is absolutely necessary, Mr. Chairman, if we are going to furnish the attorneys and officials in the field the supplies with which to run their offices.
The CHAIRMAN. Why do you need $50,000 ?
Mr. SHERWOOD. Last year, with $105.000 we had to carry over at the end of the year some $7,000 worth of typewriting and addingmachine requisitions, and we had to stop ordering from the Government Printing Office because we had no money.
The CHAIRMAN. Has the War Department or any other department any of this equipment left over that could be purchased?
Mr. SHERWOOD. We have bought from the General Supply Committee all that we did buy, as required under the law, but we are obliged to pay for them. We had to pay for them.
The CHAIRMAN. What rates did you pay, or did you get lower rates!
Mr. SHERWOOD. e pay the original cost of the machine to the party who has it for sale, less the discount of 10 or 15 per cent, according to the condition of the machine.
The CHAIRMAN. Are they always in good order?
Mr. SHERWOOD. Some of them are, but we have had considerable complaint about the condition in which the machines are in the field.
The Public Printer's bill last year was something like $43,000, and this year, for the four months ending in October, it was something like $22,000, which would indicate that it will run in the neighborhood of $60,000 by the end of the year.
Mr. Sisson. To whom do you furnish typewriters?
Mr. SHERWOOD. To all the judges, attorneys, marshals, and clerks of courts. There are 325 places for holding court, and in most of those places there are deputies besides the clerks themselves, and they require them in their business.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you make an inspection to determine the condition of machines when you are asked to furnish them with new ones?
mr. SHERWOOD. We make them explain just why they can not be used, and then we look at our records to see how old the machines are, so as to avoid giving them new machines if they are not entitled to them.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you get an allowance for an old machine when you buy a new one?
Mr. SHERWOOD. We do now, but last year we did not. This year we do get an allowance from the general supply committee.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anything else?
Mr. SHERWOOD. There is nothing else, Mr. Chairman, except that I might say that this money is allotted by the Attorney General for the first three months and for the next three months, making threefourths of the appropriation for the first six months of the year, and that has been practically exhausted, more, perhaps, on account of the large increase in the charges of the Public Printer for the supplies we get from him, which consists of dockets, blanks, letterheads, and so on.
SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES PRISONERS.
The C'HAIRMAX. The next item is for support of United States prisoners, including necessary clothing and medical aid, discharge gratuities provided by law, and transportation to place of conviction or place of bona fide residence in the United States or such other place within the United States as may be authorized by the Attorney General, etc. It appears you have a deficiency of $27,147.58 for 1921. Please explain that.
Mr. KENNARD. That represents the difference between the total amount of expenses and ascertained liabilities, as tabulated carefully for the annual report of the Attorney General, and the amount of the appropriation given by Congress. It is an exact figure, and the money will be needed to pay bills already incurred. I might say that since that report was made we have had some other bills come in that have materially increased the amount, so that there is no doubt about that amount of money being needed. We will submit the bills that have been late in getting in for the next deficiency bill.
Mr. HARRIS. We will have another deficiency under this item because of bills that have since come in.
Mr. Sisson. But this is all of the deficiency for 1921 ?
Mr. HARRIS. No, we will have another one because of bills that have since come in. We have one that amounts to pretty nearly $10,000, which came in since this was submitted.
Mr. KENNARD. It is difficult to tell why these State institutions do not promptly render their bills.
Mr. Sisson. This is an actual deficiency?
Mr. KENNARD. This is an actual and ascertained deficiency; yes, sir.
Mr. KELLEY. Go ahead with 1922.
Mr. KENNARD. We have asked $300,000 in addition to the $800,000 already appropriated, because our expenditures for the previous year were approximately $1,100,000, and we know to an absolute certainty that they will be at least as great, and in all probability much greater, for the present year because of a larger number of prisoners.
Mr. Sisson. What about the cost of taking care of the prisoners? Has that cost decreased ?
Mr. KEY. That cost has remained the same during the last two years, but it varies throughout the United States. It varies from about $3 a day in certain districts in Alaska to 35 and 40 cents in some districts in the States.
Mr. Sisson. You make contracts with the institutions in some instances, do you not?
Mr. Key. We have an agreement in nearly every instance.
Mr. Sisson. In some States, however, you pay just what is charged under the laws of the State for other prisoners?
Mr. Key. We pay that if we can not get them to lower the cost; we try to get it cheaper if possible, and in some instances we can. and if we can we do so. We do not accept the State rate without any question and we try to negotiate a contract on a basis which is separate from the State rate. In many instances our rate is lower than the State rate, because we set up the plea with the jailers that we should not be saddled with the overhead expenses of the jail, and in arriving at the State rate those expenses are generally taken into consideration.
Mr. BYRNs. How does the cost of keeping prisoners in county jails and in State institutions compare with the cost in the United States penitentiaries?
Mr. Key. Last year it cost at Leavenworth a per diem of 89 cents a day and a fraction, while in the States it varies from about 35 to 40 cents a day to $3 a day in Alaska.
Mr. Berns. Of course, Alaska is an exception.
Mr. Key. That is what we pay them to keep the prisoners, feed them, and in some instances we get medical attention, but in some instances we do not.
Mr. Sisson. Where it goes up to as high as $1 you get medical attention?
Mr. Key. There are only one or two States where it is $1. Those States are Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, and New Mexico, where living is high.
Mr. KELLEY, At the last available date how many did you have altogether?
Mr. Key. How many prisoners?
Mr. Key. That is hard to say, because the number varies from day to day, and we do not get the information in that way. The figures I am compiling for last year show that we will have had nearly 1,300,000 days' subsistence. We get it that way.
Mr. Sisson. You call it prison days?
Mr. Key (interposing). And get the quarter; and it is safe to say that for the first quarter of this year there will be an increase because our prisoners are constantly increasing.
Mr. Sisson. How do you account for that constant increase-increased crime?
Mr. Key. It is due to the prohibition law, the narcotic law, and the motor vehicle act.
Mr. Sissox. The Federal act in reference to motor vehicles ?
Mr. KELLEY. Your shortage in all of these funds represents just about one month's activity, does it not?
Mr. KENNARD. Well, as a rough statement, yes; but as to prisoners it represents much more than one month. It is really small when compared with the enormous jump in business. In regard to these claims for back years, to which the committee has taken exception, I would like to get into the record, and would like to have the attention of the chairman invited to it, that these claims are a greater annoyance to the department by far than they are to the committee; they are pestiferous in the extreme, and if Congress will give us some legislation penalizing the holding out of claims against the Government until we can ascertain only with difficulty whether they ought to be paid or not, we will appreciate it very much.
Mr. Sisson. Most of these claims are the claims of the counties and States, and we can not afford to penalize the counties and States when it is largely a question of kindness on their part in taking care of these prisoners. I think we are doing pretty well, and I do not object if they hold out their bills.
Mr. KENNARD. I will illustrate an extreme case. A United States commissioner will sometimes fail to render any bill against the Government until he dies, and then his estate renders it, or he may wait until he goes out of office and then he will send in bills for 10 or 15 years. I had one come in the other day that ran back some 7 or 8 years, and we must pass it, if correct and lawful, whereas if Congress would provide that if not presented within a certain time the appropriation would not be available, it would do away with this difficulty.
Mr. HARRIS. It would satisfy us to have all such cases go to the Claims Committee.
SUPREME COURT, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
Mr. KELLEY. The next item is for miscellaneous expenses of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia and its officers. Tell us about that item.
Mr. KENNARD. We are asking here for only $9,000, which will make, with the original appropriation, $24,000, whereas we used in the previous year $30,000; but the expenses of 1921 were largely augmented by the famous Arnstein case, which was twice tried, and they will not be so great in the current year. However, they will be materially more than the original appropriation, because, as the committee is well aware, the business of the courts in the District of Columbia is very much greater than it used to be. We use this appropriation for reporting cases in the courts, for which we pay on the folio basis and per diem basis; we estimate for such service $6,500; we also use it for experts, principally experts to determine the mental condition of supposed insane defendants; we estimate for that purpose $2,500: printing and binding, $2.700; communication service, telephone and telegraph, $800; and the big item is the payment we must make to the Department of the Interior for heating the courthouse and court of appeals buildings. If the experience of the previous year is to be our guide it will cost us about $10,000; it cost us over $9,700 in the previous fiscal year, and coal is about as high as ever. Miscellaneous items, too numerous to mention, are estimated at $1,500. This is the manner in which we arrive at the figure of $24,000.