Sing Sing – History


Links are provided to descriptive reviews and book summaries. Readings are presented alphabetically by author.

Miracle at Sing Sing : how one man transformed the lives of America’s most dangerous prisoners. Ralph Blumenthal, 2004.  On Warden Lewis Lawes.  Review from the New York Times.  Available at WLS.

Sing Sing: the Inside Story of a Notorious Prison, Denis Brian, 2005.   Review from Publishers Weekly.  Available at WLS.

NewJack: Guarding Sing Sing, Ted Conover, 2000.  Review from the New York Times. Available at WLS.

Fifty Years in Sing Sing: 1879-1929, Alfred Conyes, 2015.  Memoir of prison guard and “keeper”.  Detailed review from the Canadian Criminal Justice Association. Available at WLS.

Twenty Thousand Years in Sing Sing, Warden Lewis E. Lawes, 1942  Reviews from Goodreads.  Available at WLS.


All titles are linked to online sources. Most recent sources listed first.

Sing Sing Historic Prison Museum (2014, 18min) – The video, which provides a rationale and plans for the prison museum, is dominated by a review of the institutions history and covers many key topics in a short time: construction, competing models of rehabilitation and reform, well-known inmates, the women’s prison, depictions in popular culture, media interest, and the electric chair.