Jester State Prison Farm
|Jester State Prison Farm|
|Elevation||79 ft (24 m)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Area code(s)||713, 281, and 832|
|GNIS feature ID||1378416|
The Jester State Prison Farm refers to a complex of Texas Department of Criminal Justice prisons for men in unincorporated Fort Bend County, Texas. Individually they are Jester I Unit, Carol Vance Unit (Jester II Unit), Jester III Unit, and Jester IV Unit.
Previously the complex was known as Harlem, the Harlem Prison Farm, or the Harlem Plantation. The state of Texas purchased the prison farm property in 1885 or 1886. Previously the property held several private plantations that used convict leasing. The plantations included the Harlem Plantation and several adjacent tracts of land. Harlem I Unit and Harlem II Unit opened in 1885.
In 1908 the State of Texas bought the Riddick Plantation, which was next door to the Harlem property. The state incorporated that property into the Harlem Farm.
In September 1913 several prison guards in one of the units punished twelve African-American prisoners by placing them in a 9 feet 3 inches (2.82 m) long, 7 feet 3.5 inches (2.223 m) wide, and 6 feet 11.5 inches (2.121 m) high enclosure called "The Hole." The temperature in the enclosure went over 100 °F (38 °C), and convicts asked the guards to let them out. The guards did not let them out, and 8 of the 12 convicts died of suffocation.
Aerial view of the Jester State Prison Farm, January 27, 2002, U.S. Geographic Survey
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- "Jester I Unit." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 9, 2010.
- "Vance Unit." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 9, 2010.
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- "Jester III Unit." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on October 5, 2011.
- "Jester IV Unit." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on October 5, 2011.