Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center

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Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center
Stonewall Jackson Training School Historic District
Old Version of Stonewall Jackson Training School.jpg
Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center is located in North Carolina
Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center
Location SR 1157, Concord, North Carolina
Coordinates 35°21′51″N 80°35′54″W / 35.36417°N 80.59833°W / 35.36417; -80.59833Coordinates: 35°21′51″N 80°35′54″W / 35.36417°N 80.59833°W / 35.36417; -80.59833
Area 76.3 acres (30.9 ha)
Built 1909
Architect Asbury,Louis H.
Architectural style Colonial Revival
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 84001966[1]
Added to NRHP March 15, 1984

The Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center is a juvenile correctional facility of the North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention located in unincorporated Cabarrus County, North Carolina, near Concord.[2]

The 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. The school was named for Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. The institution is located three miles (5 km) from Concord. Originally encompassing 290 acres (1.2 km2), the campus is 88 acres (360,000 m2). Walter Thompson was the first principal.[3][4]

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, this was considered a progressive institution. Its founding was the result of twenty years of organizing by white women's groups in North Carolina. They lobbied for construction of a reformatory for white boys as part of prison reform.

Particularly influential were the King's Daughters (North Carolina) from 1902 on, and the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). The North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs (NCFWC) and the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) also participated in campaigning strongly to raise funds and influence the legislature. When the King's Daughters promised to name the school after General Stonewall Jackson, many Confederate veterans in the legislature finally approved the project, which was authorized in 1907. As a sign of their influence, four women were named to the board of the school.[5]

Boys were generally incarcerated for relatively minor scrapes with the law, including school truancy.

"At the school, the young men lived in a series of dormitory style buildings, and received an academic education as well as learning a trade. Students worked in industries including shoemaking, printing, barbering, textiles, and a machine shop. Many of the young men worked on the school’s farm, learning modern agricultural techniques, and maintaining the fields and cattle herds that supported the school. The print shop produced a small newspaper called The Uplift."


Both white and African-American women's groups pressed the legislature for similar facilities for white girls, and for African American boys and girls. Such facilities were not constructed for several years: the first, for white girls, was built in 1918 in Moore County and called Samarcand.[7]

Post-World War II[edit]

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. Most sterilizations were performed on girls and women rather than boys or men. North Carolina was one of the last states that continued to perform sterilizations on people under state care.[8]

During the decades of its existence, the School was criticized for abuses common in many detention facilities, such as overcrowding and prisoner violence. 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. The size of the campus had been reduced earlier when the extensive agricultural program was dropped. 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 (4.6 m)-high fence.[6]

Since 1992 the center has had a Pet Therapy Program, in which youth learn to care for dogs. Animals are sometimes made available for adoption outside the center.[9]

Notable inmates[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ "Youth Development Centers." North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Retrieved on August 8, 2010. "Contact Information: 1484 Old Charlotte Road Concord, N.C. 28027"
  3. ^ "Jackson's history dates back to 1909", The Independent Tribune, 2006-09-04, Retrieved on 21 Aug 2008
  4. ^ Peter R. Kaplan and David William Brown (January 1984). "Stonewall Jackson Training School Historic District" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  5. ^ Anastasia Sims, The Power of Femininity in the New South, Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1997, pp.119-122
  6. ^ a b "Stonewall Jackson Training School", North Carolina Historical Marker Program, accessed 8 Jan 2009
  7. ^ Anastasia Sims, The Power of Femininity in the New South, Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2006, pp.119-122
  8. ^ John Railey and Kevin Begos, "DETOUR: In '48 state singled out delinquent boys", JournalNow/Winston-Salem Journal, 2002, accessed 8 Jan 2009
  9. ^ Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center, Petfinder, accessed 9 Jan 2009

External links[edit]