"We hope, by the fall, it will all be in place,"
He noted that some of the items also may be displayed on the museum's website but that no formal exhibition of them is planned at this time.
Schaming said that more than 2,000 objects are being examined and sorted to determine which ones can be kept by the museum and which ones are personal property that should be given back.
"Two families of correction officers who died wanted their fathers' belongings returned," Schaming said. "That's what triggered this.
"There never was a spreadsheet saying what was there," he explained. "
Schaming said that items found include illegal drugs and the keys to the main gates of the prison. He noted that they are being divided into contraband, such as handmade weapons and other forbidden items, and personal property, such as clothing, handwritten letters and wallets. "As you can imagine, it's very sensitive," he said.
Hundreds of letters and other documents from inmates had been accessible for public viewing at the State Archives for the last three years but recently were withdrawn.
"The inventory found that we have many personal items that raise all kinds of privacy issues," archivist
Schaming said four truckloads of the objects, held as evidence in an unheated Quonset hut at State Police Troop A headquarters in
"It was packaged in dusty old boxes and bags," he said. "There were trash cans full of baseball bats. Many of the objects had old
Officials with the state
They added, "There was a lot of contraband -- weapons and baseball bats -- and a lot of things that were easily identified and not attributed to individuals. A lot of them were in plastic evidence bags. They're in pretty good shape."
The corrections officials added that they found "nothing of relevance to any outstanding inquiry."
After everything is sorted, work will begin on returning personal items.
"We have to make outreach efforts to people who may be alive or to their families," they said. "It may not be that easy to contact them, but we'll make our best efforts.
"The problem will be that we'll end up with some amount of property not connected with any individual and have to figure out what to do with it."
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