JANUARY 23, 1938
L. L. Stanley, prison physician at San Quentin for the past 25 years, gave many interesting details of his work in a talk given at Rotary club Tuesday.
Stanley pointed out that the prison was first established on a barge at Vallejo in 1849, that Vallejo at the time had aspirations to be the capital of California and did not appreciate having the prison in their “front yard,” so the barge was towed down the bay and anchored at the point where the prison is now located.
From that small beginning, the prison has grown to one of the largest in the United States. Stanley first became connected with the institution in 1913, at which time he had only one convict assistant, who, after the operation, would steal the alcohol the instruments had been sterilized in and get gloriously drunk.
Stanley told of how, in the early days, dentistry was practiced, teeth being pulled by inmates while others forcibly held them down. The dental department now is ultra-modern, with 30 technicians on the staff.
Since his affiliation with the prison, Stanley stated that 50,000 men had come under his observation that over 800 had died there and more than 150 hanged.
He described the procedure of receiving new inmates, telling of the thorough physical examination given in which it is found that 10 percent have syphilis, 1 percent have tuberculosis, and 10 percent are feeble-minded.
Through research, every effort is made to improve the physical condition of convicts before glandular treatment and voluntary sterilization.
Dr. Stanley told of many personal experiences in connection with his work, his talk being greatly enjoyed by the Rotarians.
Other guest accompanying Dr. Stanley were his wife and his mother, Mrs. M. E. Stanley and Smith’s cousin. Mrs. D. A. Knox of Garden City. Kansas.
William Bromley was program chairman and introduced the family guest.
Visitors included Dr. R.A. Cushman, Howard Martin, James E. Busch, Arthur Tracy, Dr. R. B. Toller, Mrs. C. M. Fulkerson, and Chet Collins of Santa Rosa.
Henri DeLotti, manager of Sun Glo Dry Ice Corporation, was announced as a new member.
George Merk presided.