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Title: The journal of prison discipline and philanthropy (New series, No. 57), March, 1918

Author: Pennsylvania Prison Society

Release date: September 4, 2023 [eBook #71563]

Language: English

Original publication: Philadelphia: Henry B. Ashmead, Book and Job Printer

Credits: Carla Foust and The Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This book was produced from images made available by the HathiTrust Digital Library.)


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No person who is not an official visitor of the prison, or who has not a written permission, according to such rules as the Inspector may adopt as aforesaid, shall be allowed to visit the same; the official visitors are: the Governor, the Speaker and members of the Senate; the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives; the Secretary of the Commonwealth; the Judges of the Supreme Court; the Attorney-General and his Deputies; the President and Associate Judges of all the Courts in the State; the Mayor and Recorders of the cities of Philadelphia, Lancaster and Pittsburgh; Commissioners and Sheriffs of the several Counties; and the “Acting Committee of the Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Persons.” (Note: Now named “The Pennsylvania Prison Society.”)—Section 7, Act of April 23, 1829.

The above was supplemented by the following Act, approved March 20, 1903:


To make active or visiting committees of Societies incorporated for the purpose of visiting and instructing prisoners official visitors of penal and reformatory institutions.

Section 1. Be it enacted, etc., That the active or visiting committee of any society heretofore incorporated and now existing in the Commonwealth for the purpose of visiting and instructing prisoners, or persons confined in any penal or reformatory institution, and alleviating their miseries, shall be and are hereby made official visitors of any jail, penitentiary, or other penal or reformatory institution in this Commonwealth, maintained at the public expense, with the same powers, privileges and functions as are vested in the official visitors of prisons and penitentiaries as now prescribed by law: Provided, That no active or visiting committee of any such society shall be entitled to visit such jails or penal institutions, under this act unless notice of the names of the members of such committee, and the terms of their appointment, is given by such society in writing, under its corporate seal, to the warden, superintendent or other officer in charge of such jail or other officer in charge of any such jail or other penal institution.

Approved—The 20th day of March, A. D. 1903.

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No. 57







MARCH, 1918



119 South Fourth Street  :  Philadelphia, Pa.

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I give and bequeath to “The Pennsylvania Prison Society” the sum of .... Dollars.


I give and bequeath to “The Pennsylvania Prison Society” all that certain piece and parcel of land. (Here enter the description.)

[Pg 3]



EDWARD M. WISTAR, Provident Building, Philadelphia.


NORRIS J. SCOTT, Moylan, Pa.
JOSEPH C. NOBLIT, 1521 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia.


ALBERT H. VOTAW, 119 S. Fourth Street, Philadelphia.

Assistant Secretary

CHARLES P. HASTINGS, 119 S. Fourth Street, Philadelphia.


JOHN WAY, 409 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.


FRANKLIN SPENCER EDMONDS (Absent 1918 in Europe).
FREDERIC L. CLARK, West End Trust Building, Philadelphia.

General Agent

FREDERICK J. POOLEY, 119 S. Fourth Street, Philadelphia.

Acting Committee


Dr. John Frazer
Fred J. Pooley
William Roser
William Koelle
George W. Wilkins
Mrs. Horace Fassitt
Mrs. Deborah C. Leeds
Mrs. Clara Hodges Allen
Miss R. P. Latimer
Mrs. Mary Ella de Long
Miss Annie McFedries
Joseph P. Byers
Franklin S. Edmonds
Leon J. Obermayer
Dr. J. Treichler Butz


Charles P. Hastings
Isaac P. Miller
John Smallzell
John A. Duncan
Charles McDole
Rev. F. H. Senft
Mrs. Mary S. Grigg
Mrs. E. L. Thompson
Rev. Thomas Latimer
Dr. B. Frank Kehler
Fred Swarts Brink
Harrison Walton
William Morris
Robert B. Haines, Jr.
Dr. J. J. Mullowney


Rev. J. F. Ohl
Harry Kennedy
Henry C. Cassel
Frank H. Longshore
Rev. M. Reed Minnich
Mrs. Layyah Barakat
Miss Emily Whelen
Mary S. Wetherell
George S. Wetherell
W. Graham Tyler
Dr. Charles Williams
C. Wilfred Conard
Chas. C. Simmington
Mrs. Eliza M. Cope
Mrs. Anabel Wallace

Members of the Acting Committee for the State-at-Large


Rev. F. W. Beiswenger

Hon. J. Linn Harris


Mrs. Anna K. Garges

Mrs. B. K. C. Marshall

Mrs. M. G. Spangler


Paul T. Beiswenger

Capt. Nicholas Baggs

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Visiting Committee—Eastern Penitentiary:


Joseph C. Noblit
Rev. J. F. Ohl
Rev. F. H. Senft
Harry Kennedy
William Koelle
George S. Wetherell
Henry C. Cassel
Harrison Walton
Frank H. Longshore
Charles P. Hastings
Charles McDole
John A. Duncan
John Smallzell
Albert H. Votaw
Rev. Thomas Latimer
Rev. M. Reed Minnich
Isaac P. Miller
Dr. Chas. Williams
W. Graham Tyler
William Morris
Leon J. Obermayer
Fred Swarts Brink
William Roser
George W. Wilkins
Chas. C. Simmington
Dr. B. F. Kehler
Edw. M. Wistar


Mrs. Horace Fassitt
Mrs. Layyah Barakat
Mrs. Mary S. Grigg
Deborah C. Leeds
Mary S. Wetherell
Miss R. P. Latimer
Miss Emily Whelen
Mrs. Mary Ella de Long

Visiting Committee—Philadelphia County Prison—Moyamensing:

Joseph C. Noblit
John A. Duncan
Rev. J. F. Ohl
Horace Fassitt
Mrs. Clara H. Allen
Miss R. P. Latimer
Deborah C. Leeds
Norris J. Scott
Albert H. Votaw

Visiting Committee—Philadelphia County Prison—Holmesburg:

Frederick J. Pooley
William Koelle
John A. Duncan

Committee to Visit House of Correction:

William Koelle
Robt. B. Haines, Jr.
Mrs. Layyah Barakat
Fred Swarts Brink

Committee to Visit Prisons in Chester and Delaware Counties:

Norris J. Scott
Deborah C. Leeds
Mrs. B. K. C. Marshall
John Way

On Discharged Prisoners:

Joseph C. Noblit
Dr. Chas. Williams
Mrs. Horace Fassitt
Charles P. Hastings
George W. Wilkins

On Legislation:

Rev. J. F. Ohl
C. Wilfred Conard
Mrs. Eliza M. Cope
Hon. J. Linn Harris
Joseph P. Byers

On Membership:

Isaac P. Miller
John A. Duncan
George W. Wilkins
George S. Wetherell
Robert B. Haines, Jr.

On Police Matrons:

Mrs. Mary S. Grigg
Miss Emily Whelen
Mrs. Mary Ella de Long

Editorial Committee:

Rev. F. H. Senft
Joseph P. Byers
Dr. John Frazer
Albert H. Votaw
Rev. J. F. Ohl

Finance Committee:

W. Graham Tyler
Robert B. Haines, Jr.
Joseph C. Noblit
George S. Wetherell
John A. Duncan


John A. Duncan
Isaac P. Miller
Fred Swarts Brink

[Pg 5]


The 131st Annual Meeting of THE PENNSYLVANIA PRISON SOCIETY was held at the office of the Society in the Forrest Building, 119 South Fourth Street, Philadelphia, on the afternoon of January 11, 1918, President Edw. M. Wistar in the Chair.

Twenty-two members were present.

The minutes of the 130th Meeting were read and approved.

The Report of the Acting Committee for the year 1917 was read by the Secretary. It was approved and directed to be printed in the Journal. (See pages 6-12.)

The Treasurer, John Way, presented a detailed statement of the receipts and payments for the fiscal year ending December 31, 1917, accompanied by a schedule of the securities held for the Society by the fiscal agent, The Provident Life and Trust Company. The report has been duly audited and was accepted. (See page 13.)

On behalf of the Committee on Nominations, the Secretary presented a list of nominations for the Officers of the Society, and for members of the Acting Committee to succeed those whose terms expire on February 1. The election being duly held, the persons nominated were elected to the offices designated in the report of the Committee. (See page 3.)

The Secretary informed the meeting that a number of county prisons were profiting by an Act, introduced to the attention of the Assembly by the State Board of Charities and which was promptly passed, making it possible for prisoners confined in the county jails to be released to work on land owned by the county. Eight counties report that some of their inmates have been working on farms and that the results have been very satisfactory. Fifteen counties have the subject under consideration with a view of trying the experiment next season. The law was approved in July, 1917, hence there was little time to organize for the growing season of last year. Independently of this law, the Court in a few counties had granted special parole to some selected prisoners so that they might be employed on farms either on land owned[Pg 6] by the county or on land belonging to parties who assumed the responsibility of caring for the paroled prisoners.

Regret was expressed that a bill designed to amend the law providing for the Indeterminate Sentence, so that its provisions would correspond more nearly to its title, failed to secure executive sanction.

To nominate the Officers at the next Annual Meeting, the President appointed Rev. J. F. Ohl, Austin C. Leeds, Marriott C. Morris, Mrs. Mary S. Grigg and Mrs. Eliza M. Cope.

Albert H. Votaw,


All the stated meetings of the Acting Committee for the year 1917 have been regularly held with an average attendance of about 16 members. We are gratified to report this apparent increase of interest, indicated by a larger attendance than for several years past. We are entirely aware that several of our very efficient members have business engagements which make frequent attendance impossible. It must also be remembered that some of our members reside at a distance from the city. The presence of 10 members have constituted a quorum, and no meeting has been held without the number required for the legal transaction of business.


The General Assembly of 1917 was notable for activity and interest in reformatory legislation. The Acting Committee favored and urged the passage of several measures, some of which have become law in this Commonwealth.

An Act providing that any person held for costs or fines may, at the discretion of the Court, be released, on agreeing to pay the said charges by instalments, was passed by the Assembly and received the sanction of the Governor.

An Act providing for the establishment of six industrial farms, to which persons sentenced for the shorter sentences in the county jails may be sent, amended by the substitution of nine instead of six, was passed and received executive sanction.

An Act, urged by the Prison Reform League, and which received our hearty sanction, providing for the appointment of a commission of five persons to investigate prison systems in this commonwealth and elsewhere, and to recommend such revision[Pg 7] of the existing prison system as may be deemed wise, for adoption by the next General Assembly, was passed and approved by the Governor.

An Act, proposed by the State Board of Charities, providing that prisoners may be released from county prisons to work on farms belonging to the State or county was passed and received the approval of the Governor. This Act shall remain in force during the continuance of the present war. Already several counties have taken advantage of this Act to the satisfaction of all parties concerned.

An Act, designed to render the present law more effective with regard to the employment of prisoners in the manufacture of articles for State use, we regret to report, perished in the Committee room.

An Act to abolish Capital Punishment passed in the Senate but failed of passage in the House.

An Act amending the present law in regard to the Indeterminate Sentence, so that its provisions may more nearly harmonize with its title, was approved by both Houses of the Assembly, but was vetoed by the Governor.

While we are deeply gratified to report progress, we shall continue our efforts to secure from the next Assembly favorable action in regard to the measures which failed to become statutory in 1917. Public sentiment is a plant of slow growth. Possibly our propositions may have been defective in some particulars. With some slight modification or embellishment, we believe all the measures we have endorsed will soon have place among the statutes of the Commonwealth.

A synopsis of these measures with some explanation and comment will be found elsewhere in the Journal of which this report forms a part.

We desire to acknowledge the valuable services of the Prison Reform League in preparing bills and in conducting hearings before the Committee of the Assembly.


The majority of the prisoners who are released from the State Penal Institutions are dismissed on parole. They are under supervision by the Parole Officers from a few months to some years. Most of these paroled persons have some definite place of employment in view. It may be supposed that the operation of the law of parole has to a considerable extent relieved this Society from former obligations in behalf of the released prisoner. Admitting the value of this work of Parole, we still have a mission for the discharged prisoners.

  1. Quite a number are discharged on their own recognizance. We often assist these in securing employment and provide[Pg 8] them with room and board until they have landed a job.
  2. Many of them who secure employment in large establishments must wait a fortnight or more before they receive wages. We endeavor to care for them till the welcome pay day has arrived. They are often destitute and also their families, so that they find this assistance very acceptable in time of deepest need.
  3. In many employments, the workmen are required to furnish their own tools. Here we have a constant service.
  4. Quite frequently they leave the prison with no funds to pay their transportation to their homes or to their places of employment. We care for these necessities.
  5. There is a service for those who are discharged at the expiration of their sentence. If they desire aid, we are pleased when they come directly to us from the prison, instead of waiting till they are entirely destitute after spending their gate money. It has been our purpose to ascertain in advance what they may need and to be ready to offer a temporary home and satisfactory employment.
  6. Sometimes those who secure employment need for some time the service of a physician. They are directed to a hospital, and meanwhile they must have subsistence.
  7. We are not able to escape some sense of responsibility on behalf of the human derelicts who come to us with their piteous story, whether true or false. They are feeble in mind, in health, in will. They may have “wasted their substance in riotous living.” We do not wish to believe they are wholly irreclaimable, entirely past any hope of redemption. It is little we do, or can do, for them. One of them died the other day at the Philadelphia Hospital. Off and on for years he had tried our patience. He would run well for a brief season, then a tremendous fall from grace. Without a murmur or an apology, he meekly endured the ebullition of our righteous wrath, and left us professing good intentions fortified by the medicine of our wholesome counsel. He said we were the only friends he had in the days of his downfall. When in funds his friends showed their appreciation of his generosity by aiding him in the distribution of his pitifully small earnings. Did he recall in those last days of asthmatic suffering our solemn warnings, our endeavors to point the true way to happiness? While we do not know, we however are unable to regret our poor efforts to restore him to some sense of responsibility.

There is great need of a farm with some simple industry attached to which these unfortunates may be consigned in order to earn their own maintenance.

[Pg 9]


The Committees under appointment to visit the Eastern Penitentiary and the County Prison of Philadelphia have presented reports at each of our meetings. The summary of these reports reveals much faithful labor on behalf of those who are behind the bars.

Number reported visits to the Eastern Penitentiary     462
Number reported interviews with the inmates     7882
Number reported interviews with inmates of the County Prison     5110

These figures indicate activity, interest, sympathy, encouragement, and yet they are inconclusive. That some hearts have been touched, that some men and women have been reclaimed, we do not doubt. The seed has been sown, and often it seems like casting seed upon the waters. The men are here today and they are gone tomorrow. Many of the interviews are brief and are confined to a word of cheer or the ordinary greetings of the day; at other times way opens to point to a better way of life. Every year the efforts of some of the bearers of good tidings result in accessions to the Church.

Members of our Committee have also visited the prisons in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Doylestown, West Chester, Bellefonte, Media, Allentown and York. Some of these prisons receive regular visits and the reported results are gratifying.

Several Members of the Committee hold religious services at our prisons.


Over thirty years ago, our Acting Committee began to urge that matrons should be employed at the Police Stations in order to care for the women and children who might be arrested or who might ask for assistance. A few matrons were at first appointed in some of the districts where there seemed to be especial need of such help, but at this time nearly every Station House in the city has secured the services of such an official.

Our Committee on Police Matrons constitute our delegation to the Associated Committee of Women on Police Matrons, an organization which meets in the offices of the Society on the second Wednesday of each month. The members of this Association make regular visits to the Matrons, and co-operate with them in their work. They endeavor to secure improved accommodations in the Stations and also to supply the immediate needs of the unfortunate ones who are brought to these Stations either for shelter or for trial. The following associations each send three delegates to compose this body.

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The Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
The Young Women’s Christian Association.
The Mother’s Club.
The Philomusean Club.
St. Paul’s Aid Society.
Married Women’s Sodality of Gesu Church.
Hathaway Shakespeare Club.
The Pennsylvania Prison Society.


At the meeting of the Acting Committee, held September 20, 1917, the Secretary was authorized to issue invitations in co-operation with The Prison Reform League to the wardens and prison officials of the Eastern and Central counties of the Commonwealth to hold a conference on the Glen Mills Farms on the fourth and fifth of October. The consent of Supt. Nibecker, of the Boys’ Department, and of Martha P. Falconer, Superintendent of the Girls’ Department, had been previously obtained. The co-operation of these two officials contributed largely to the success of this meeting, which was the first of the kind held in the State. It was attended by forty persons, a number which exceeded our expectations. It was concluded to form a permanent organization to meet annually and to discuss and formulate methods of penal administration. A full account will be found in the Annual Journal. (See pages 26-37.)


Your Acting Committee is favorable to every sane effort to provide employment for prisoners. We have long contended that idleness was the most conspicuous fault in the prisons of this Commonwealth.

We believe in these times of stress that it is a flagrant fault to waste an ounce of muscular effort. The conservation of all our resources implies that the 400,000 now confined in the prisons of the United States should be compelled not only to earn their own maintenance but to contribute their fair share for the urgent needs of the nation. They may be employed in the preparation of surgical supplies, in canning fruit and vegetables, and in a great variety of manufacturing industries. To this end we give hearty support to a bill now pending in Congress providing that the resources of all our penal institutions be utilized in such a way that the country may derive the maximum benefit from the labor of those behind the bars. Let them “do their bit.” It will help both them and the general public. The executive order of 1904 forbidding the use by the government of prison-made goods or articles should at once be abrogated. Whatever[Pg 11] reason may have been advanced at that time for such an order, surely the present emergency demands every available resource should be conserved.


The meetings of this Association were held this year November 19-23 at New Orleans. There was a good attendance, most of the States being represented by delegates or otherwise. The Secretary of this Society was present as a delegate from Pennsylvania appointed by the Governor and also as a member of the Commission appointed to investigate methods of prison administration. The meetings were both interesting and profitable, and a summary of the proceedings prepared by the Secretary will be appended to this Report. (See pages 93-102.)


The Secretary has continued his inspection of the county prisons with especial reference to improvements made and needed. Several counties have employed their inmates in farming and with uniformly great success. Details of this work will be given in the special report of the Secretary. The effects of our agitation for better conditions in the county prisons are apparent. It will be recalled that one year ago some attempt was made to grade the larger counties according to their efficiency. In nearly all of them, the markings this year indicate some improvement in efficiency. Our method has been used in the inspection of the county prisons of North Carolina, the average grade being stated to be 56 per cent. An inspector of the New York County jails has informed us that he intended to use a similar plan in estimating the efficiency of the county jails in the Empire State.


There is much complaint from almost every penal institution of the Commonwealth in regard to the character of the food and the manner of its preparation and serving. Denunciation of the food is a perennial charge and is common to all public institutions. It is just dawning on the minds of prison boards and officials that it is sound economy to keep the prisoners in health and that nourishing and palatable food conduces to health. The inmates have abundant time both to prepare the food and to serve it in accordance with approved sanitary methods. When it has been shown that such improvement can be made in the quality and wholesomeness of the food without increasing the cost, our prison officials have been willing to give some attention to the matter. The need of a balanced ration to be determined by a[Pg 12] food specialist is beginning to be recognized. There is no thought of providing a luxurious menu, or of adding materially to the cost of provisions. Government is easier when the prisoners are satisfied with the diet.

We commend to the serious attention of officials and managers of all our public institutions, whether for the convict, the blind, the insane, the destitute, the subject of the appointment of an expert dietitian who shall supervise the selection and the preparation of the food, believing the results will amply justify the expense involved whether considered from the standpoint of health or economy.


The General Agent, Fred. J. Pooley, has diligently maintained his mission of mercy at the Central Station. The opportunities for helpful service have been so numerous as to justify his attendance both at the morning and afternoon sessions of the Court of the committing magistrate. In a large number of cases of suspicion or of a trivial character, the Agent has been instrumental in securing the discharge of the prisoners or in placing them at once under the care of the probation officer, thus properly saving them from the evil associations of a term in prison. The magistrates often place the accused person in the charge of our Agent. A home and employment may be found for them, and quite often they are sent to relatives either in this State or elsewhere.

The full report of the Agent will be found in the Journal.


We desire to thank the friends by whose generous contributions our work of restoration and timely assistance has been made possible. So many stranded ones have told us they had no place whatever to go except to our sheltering care.

With the means entrusted to our use, our friends have materially aided in the circulation of information and literature throughout the Commonwealth, which, we have abundant reason to believe, has been greatly instrumental in educating public sentiment and therefore in ameliorating the conditions of our correctional institutions.

For many reasons we are encouraged to continue in this work of reformation in the hope that a sounder method of treating offenders will result in lessening the incentives to commit crime.

On behalf of the Acting Committee,

Edw. M. Wistar, President.
Albert H. Votaw, Secretary.

[Pg 13]


Receipts for the year 1917
To Balance January 1, 1917 $2,096 30
“ Contributions 3,757 28
“ Dues, Annual Members 233 00
“ Fees, Life Membership 100 00
“ Income from Investments 2,315 83
“ Income from I. V. Williamson Charities 720 00
“ Income from Anna Blanchard Fund 220 50
“ Income from Barton Tool Fund 109 76
“ Proceeds Sale of Literature 42 35
“ Returned by Discharged Prisoners 9 22
“ Interest on Deposit Balances 60 51
“ Legacy, Estate Joshua L. Baily, deceased 5,000 00
“ Legacy, Estate H. A. Rogers, deceased 952 50
“ Distribution from Estate Geo. S. Pepper, deceased 60 00
Total Receipts $15,677 25
For Aid to Discharged Prisoners $1,115 73
“ Tools for Discharged Prisoners 61 44
“ Religious Literature for Distribution in Prisons 50 00
“ Journal for 1917, Postage on Same 495 62
“ Annual Fee American Prison Association 5 00
“ Office Rent 525 00
“ Postage, Printing, Stationery, etc. 383 25
“ Office Supplies, Telephone, Incidentals 260 67
“ Expenses of Wardens’ Meeting 30 00
“ Traveling Expenses, Secretary and Agent 442 13
“ Library, Periodicals 33 72
“ Salaries 3,600 00
“ Investment under General Fund 905 25
“ Bequests and Fees transferred to Fiscal Agent 6,052 50
“ Balance December 31, 1917 1,716 94
Total Payments $15,677 25
Report on Funds Held for Home of Industry
Receipts on Account of Income $356 72
Payments to Home of Industry 356 72


John Way, Treasurer.

We, the undersigned, members of the Auditing Committee, have examined the foregoing account of John Way, Treasurer, compared the payments with the vouchers, and believe the same to be correct. We have also examined the securities in the hands of our Agent, The Provident Life and Trust Company of Philadelphia, and find them to agree with the list thereto attached.

John A. Duncan,
Charles P. Hastings,
Isaac P. Miller,

Auditing Committee.

[Pg 14]


During the year 1917 the Agent made daily visits to the cell-room at the Central Station at City Hall. 17,521 men and women prisoners were detained there for preliminary trial, all of whom the Agent visited either at the Central Station or at the untried department at Moyamensing Prison.

Over three thousand prisoners at the Convict Prison at Holmesburg were visited during the year by the Agent.

Number of notices and letters written on their behalf     2425
Number discharged prisoners receiving financial aid     368

The General Agent has visited the cell-rooms of those brought to the Central Station daily since November 19, 1910, and since that time has sent 14,967 letters and notices to the relatives and first friends of those who were arrested. Many have thanked the Agent for this timely notice, thus giving the relatives or friends the opportunity of securing the release of those arrested, often on trivial charges, either by the payment of a fine or release on bail or by direct discharge under the care of parents or the probation officer. In some cases they have been released under the care of the Agent.

The Agent is in daily attendance at the preliminary examination held in room 625 before the committing magistrate, and has found the work so important that he now attends the afternoon session held in the afternoon from 2 to 3 P. M.

Emlen Hutchinson, Esq., has continued his generous donations for the sending of repentant lads and girls to their homes, a service which we greatly appreciate.

Mrs. Horace Fassitt has been of very great service in assisting many who sadly needed aid.

Your Agent will have soon served twenty years in this work, and it is still his endeavor to help those who have wandered from the right path to find the better way. It rejoices his heart to know that many recipients of his kindly favors are now upright and serviceable citizens.

Respectfully submitted,

Frederick J. Pooley,

General Agent.

[Pg 15]



The Secretary during the last year has paid some visits to a few of the county prisons. The tendency is toward improvement in the line of furnishing employment and in sanitary accommodations.


Conditions are much the same as last year. The management is very ably conducted under Warden Lewis. The inmates are largely those who are detained for trial. Out of 445 prisoners, 50 were convicts. Bread is made in the prison, an economical feature whenever the population has an average of thirty or more. Here meats are generally served in the shape of hamburg steaks. We commend this practice to many of our wardens. The meat is eatable, palatable and all the coarser parts may be utilized. The cost of the food in 1916 was 8.4 cents daily for each prisoner, one cent more than the previous year. Considering the higher cost of all provisions, the additional cost is by no means surprising. Too many were detained for non-payment of fines. We trust they are now availing themselves of the law, passed by the late Assembly, allowing those held for costs and fines to be released on condition of agreeing to pay said charges by instalments. Most letters received for those awaiting trial are delivered unopened. Tho it would be a task to inspect all incoming letters, it seems to us that it would be wiser to have a universal rule providing for inspection of all letters.


The apartments of the women have been greatly improved. No women are now hired out. This may or may not be an improvement. If they work out under proper influences and can earn some wages, they may be improved thereby. Doubtless there are difficulties encountered in making satisfactory arrangements for their care. As there appears to be work for them at the institution, the necessity for their finding work outside is not apparent. The women now eat in a large dining-room at concrete tables with surface of rubber composition rendering breakage unusual and affording a surface which is readily cleansed.

The earnings last year of the farm and industries were $111,290—the largest amount ever reported by the institution. The overhead cost of each inmate is in gross 57 cents, but this is reduced to 14 cents in consequence of the splendid earnings. The time may come when this institution will become self-supporting.

[Pg 16]


We are delighted to report some improvements in the prison at Reading. After strenuous effort by some members of the Board, a few men have been allowed to work on the poor farm. In 1917 they succeeded in raising several hundred bushels of potatoes and were helpful in drainage projects. The experiment is considered a success in every point of view. Next year under the law providing for the employment of prisoners on county land, which was approved July, 1917, more land may be cultivated and more prisoners employed.

Striped suitings, which it was once thought was a custom so firmly rooted as to be ineradicable at Reading, have been entirely abrogated, a plain jeans suiting being substituted.

We learned that 22 men were on parole, an increase over the report last year. These men were generally doing well. Thirty-two men and boys had been placed on probation, serving no part of their sentence in jail. They have a small yard in which the men parade thrice weekly for a half hour each time. This is insufficient. Measures should be taken at once to allow more time in the open air under the blue sky.

The women prisoners should be entirely segregated from the men’s quarters.

We now revise our estimate and make it approximately 70 per cent.


The Secretary was hoping to have opportunity to revise his estimate of the efficiency of the prison at Hollidaysburg, but was informed that the Commissioners requested that he should have an audience with them prior to making the usual examination. The Commissioners were not in session at the time of his visit, and so he did not insist upon his right as an Official Visitor. His rule is to be subject to the local regulations. Last year the Secretary was not favorably impressed with the sanitation and some features of the management. He trusts that some improvements have been made. He was pleased to learn that some men were working on the county farm and others on the roads. He did not learn whether the inmates were allowed to use the yard for exercise or whether they had the privilege of remaining outside of their cells longer than two hours a day. Letters ought to be inspected when received.

The fee system is still in use, a practice generally more or less abused. The Commissioners should very seriously consider a proposition to appoint a warden who should purchase provisions by contract. They buy bread. It would be more economical to bake their own bread.

Parole has not yet been instituted in this county.

[Pg 17]

On account of the road and farm work, we increase our estimate of the efficiency from 41 per cent. to 48 per cent.


Twenty-two men are reported to be working on roads. Several men have been raising vegetables on land, part belonging to the county and part rented for the purpose. A good beginning. We think that next year Warden E. H. Knee will endeavor to increase the amount of farm work.

Sixty-five prisoners are reported to be released on parole.

They ought to inspect incoming letters.

Those who enter a plea of guilty may be sentenced any month in the year, and hence the number of those detained for trial is greatly reduced.

They have long discontinued the fee system, the food by contract costing the county daily for each prisoner 8.62 cents. The workers eat at a table, and the warden wishes he had tables for the entire population. They bake their own bread.

On account of the additional number doing good work for the county we have raised our estimate from 59 per cent. to 65 per cent.


We are pleased to report that new and satisfactory sanitary appliances have been installed.

A sufficient amount of provisions is supplied and care is taken in the preparation of the food. What is surprising, when we take into consideration the greater cost of food, is that the cost per diem for each prisoner in 1916 was 11 cents as against 12.3 cents the year before.

All the inmates are kept at work. The industries are carpet weaving and chair-caning. They paid for materials $3,431 and received $5,387.

The authorities are willing to allow some of the men to work on farms but there is no county farm, or land belonging to the county, which is available. Grade raised to 77 per cent.


Here there are about 180 prisoners, say, 150 able-bodied persons, detained in idleness, from a few days to a year with no duties except in the line of domestic service. The bakery, the kitchen, the serving and the work of sweeping and scrubbing give nearly 25 per cent. of them some employment, and the good warden by a system of rotation endeavors to give all their turn at being useful. But what an appalling waste of labor!

There is no available land belonging to the county on which[Pg 18] they might raise supplies for the institution. Dauphin County needs a prison farm.

Formerly the warden received 25 cents per day for each prisoner whom he maintained. Now the cost is 13.5 cents per day and the menu is far superior to what was formerly dispensed under the fee system. The meat ration is one-half pound daily, which is regarded as too much for unemployed men. They bake their own bread.

Strange to state, notwithstanding the lack of employment, none are paroled. In this respect, the county is very much in the rear of the procession.

As a rule, letters ought to be inspected before delivery.

Of the 168 hours in the week, the men may spend four hours in the open air. Conditions are not as they should be and cannot be improved materially till the question of employment is solved.


The county prison is fortunate in having a warden who does not slumber on his job. If the laws of the State restrict employment in some lines, this warden gets busy in some other lines. It is vexatious to him to see able-bodied men dawdling about with nothing to do. He gives them all the open air possible. On occasion they may play games in their limited enclosure. Recently he has constructed a special building in which the looms are installed. No longer do they work in their cells, where they were obliged to live, eat and sleep in lint-laden air. The men assist in making improvements, and somehow there is something doing in the line of repairs or improvements every minute.

At the personal request of the warden, the Court had liberated some selected men to work on the poor farm, and the result had been exceedingly satisfactory. They raised much of the vegetables for their own use, and what they could not eat at the time they canned for future use. They bake their own bread.

The Court here was one of the first to adopt the principle of parole, and in no county of the Commonwealth have so many offenders been placed on parole and probation and with such good results. Grade increased from 67 to 75 per cent.


Average number of prisoners every day in 1916 was 130, of whom they manage to employ 30 per cent. and would be glad to have all at work. Some 25 men have been at work on roads and farms at a wage of 25 cents per day. The road-making has been very profitable to the county. The general results have been altogether satisfactory.

They buy their bread, but we think they could employ some[Pg 19] of their idle men in making and baking bread and also save money by the operation.

Cost of food 15 cents each prisoner daily, four cents more than the year before. They now serve three meals daily instead of two.

They need sheets and pillow cases. They have abundant help for a laundry.

Unless the men are at work, they are never in the open air, but they have the freedom of the corridors during the daytime.


No special changes since 1916 to report, except that the number of prisoners has decreased about 50 per cent. This may indicate for that county a higher average of morals.

Last summer they were buying a pound loaf of good bread for 5 cents, and while flour is $14.00 the barrel they were not disposed to construct a bake shop.

While they were willing to employ convicts on land belonging to the county, they thought it would be difficult to find among their convicts, many of them serving quite short sentences, enough reliable men to constitute a workable gang.

Food is purchased by contract, and the county allows the prison authorities to expend as much as 20 cents daily for each inmate.

Whoever has power to order repairs ought to get busy. We understand the grand jury usually calls attention to the urgent need of improvements, but their suggestions are unheeded. It is poor economy to allow these unwholesome conditions to continue.


Farmers are encouraged in this county, as labor is scarce, to apply to the parole officer for the privilege of employing some prisoners who can be recommended. Thus, some twenty-five men have been released to work on farms. The results appear to be satisfactory. The men receive wages and the county is not charged with supporting them in comparative idleness. Some of the men are employed in carpet weaving and rug-making, the profit on which in 1916 was $1,500.

When the law providing for the release of prisoners held for fines on condition of paying the charges by instalments was approved, the Court and parole officers immediately put the law to practical use. Within eight weeks the sum of $2,600 was collected on this account—an amount more than saved, since otherwise the men would have been maintained at the expense of the county and not one cent would have been received.

We trust that by this time the new entrance planned for[Pg 20] access to the apartments of the women prisoners has been constructed. Heretofore the women have been obliged to file through a corridor occupied by the men, a custom salutary for neither men nor women.

The work of probation, parole, non-support, truancy and collection of fines under the recent law is all administered from one central office by a general officer with assistants. On the ground of economy and practical results, we commend this policy to other counties.

Percentage of efficiency raised from 60 per cent. to 70 per cent.


As is frequently the custom of county prisons, this prison contains both prisoners committed by the county court and also the city misdemeanants. The city prisoners have been allowed to work outside on the county farm. The authorities have not been willing to assume the responsibility for paroling the county prisoners for outside work. It is quite possible that in the spring of 1918 they may take action under the special legislation of the late Assembly.

There are some acres of ground about the institution which is kept in an admirable order by the inmates, but no space has been set aside or adapted for an exercise ground for the prisoners. This is a matter which should receive attention. The open air is wholesome, and men should not be deprived of this privilege even if they are felons.

This institution was one of the last to adhere to a striped costume, which has finally been superseded by suitings of plain colors.

They ought to add a bakery to their cooking department. We believe this prison would profit by the employment of a professional cook.

The warden manages to find employment for nearly all of the prisoners in some sort of domestic service, tho no special industries are maintained.

A liberal application of the privilege of parole is noticeable in this county. The results are very satisfactory.

General efficiency the same as the year before.


Early in the season of 1917 some men were paroled to work on the county farm. The satisfactory results are reported in our account of the Wardens’ Meeting. The authorities have been so well pleased with this experiment that it is probable next season will witness some enlargement of these activities. Some of the[Pg 21] men have been employed in finishing rugs, but this industry last summer was lagging.

They bake an excellent quality of bread, and prepare a menu somewhat above the average. Their experiment with cocoa nibs was not satisfactory; the men greatly prefer coffee. At some institutions, cocoa is being served occasionally as a substitute for coffee, and the inmates appear to enjoy it. A drink made from cheap cocoa nibs may not have much nutriment, but real cocoa possesses considerable nutriment, while coffee has no value as food, but may act as a stimulant.

Estimated efficiency now rated at 75 per cent.


Here they are considering a proposition to place a gang of laborers on a county farm. The warden is favorable to the experiment and will do all he can to make the effort a success.

So far as we know to date, they are not discharging prisoners, detained on account of fines, on condition of paying costs or fines in instalments. Next year we hope to hear they have established this system which in some other counties has proved to be eminently satisfactory.

The prisoners listlessly parade for an hour and a half each day either in the corridors or in the small exercise yard. They spend the remainder of the time in their cells excepting those who weave carpet or engage in domestic duties.

In 1916 the average daily cost of the food per prisoner was 17.8 cents, and there was an attempt to serve some variety. They purchase bread.

None were reported on the parole list. What is the matter with this county? Are there no prisoners fit for parole? Or is the Court still unconvinced? Will Northampton County be the last to adopt a system, the principle of which is becoming universally recognized?

No change this year in Efficiency grading.


The two departments of this prison, one the convict prison at Holmesburg, the other the receiving prison at Moyamensing, pursue the even tenor of their way. There is little change to report. The sanitary appliances have had much attention within the last few years, and are now in practically perfect condition. The latest cell blocks at the Holmesburg prison represent the best thought in most ways of prison construction. The cells seem like rooms, not cages, the windows deserve the name, and the sanitation is correct. At this prison the solitary system may still be studied. Those who work, however, and there is a goodly[Pg 22] proportion, eat at tables and converse freely at all times while employed. There is still no special work other than domestic service and work of repairs and extensions.

The hospital at both departments is well equipped.

For years prisoners have not suffered much detention on account of non-payment of fines. Fines have been imposed but within the last five years less than 10 per cent. of the amount has been collected. We have no report of the operation of the new law by which fines may be paid in instalments.

Grand juries may come and grand juries may go, but the institution pursues its unwavering course. Sometimes the jury recommends improvements which the management desires as sincerely as the jury. Many of these improvements have been made, and it may be the published reports of the grand jury may have rendered the task of securing appropriations a little more easy. But it is an impossible task for any body of twelve or fifteen men within the time of two or three hours to study the conditions of an institution so as to present a well-developed scheme for its management.

We hold no brief for the Philadelphia County Prison. Doubtless some conditions could be improved. But the jury occasionally in its zeal magnifies a possible wrong or views some punitive feature out of its proper prospective. The discipline for a body of untried prisoners, some of whom may prove to be dangerous criminals, must not be squared by the discipline meted out to convicts who remain year after year in the same institution. You deal with one set as with people you know, the others present unknown dangerous proclivities. The tendency is to treat a body of transients with a stricter set of regulations. Just how far the principles of “The New Penology” have entered the precincts of Philadelphia County Prison, we are not prepared to discuss. There is a medium ground in all things and in prison management, probably the safest plan is to take the middle course. Compared with the “Tombs,” the New York County prison for those detained for trial, the prison at Moyamensing compares very favorably. The advantages, the employments, the general discipline of the New York Convict prisons at Blackwell’s and Riker’s Islands are perhaps in the main superior to our convict prison. The regulations for those held for trial should be as mild and reasonable as is consistent with safety and the convenience of the accused person. While they are not yet convicts, many of them are well-known recidivists, more or less dangerous, some are entirely unknown and need watchful care, so that any system founded on uniform treatment for all is liable to criticism. A system which combines moderate restraint with exactly the right proportion of reasonable freedom presents a problem which a novice can no more readily solve than an ignoramus the elements of an eclipse.

[Pg 23]

Down at Moyamensing they have the buildings and the space for the detention of the untried prisoners, and we have little doubt but that the manager and the court officials, if they were to meet for a conference, could unite in the adoption of regulations which would be satisfactory to all parties concerned. It is to the city’s direct interest to make use of the facilities already possessed. We are inclined to the belief that the construction of a new prison for the untried may be an economic blunder.


We learn that ten men have been working on the county farm.

This county for some years has been allowing men who were fined to be released on condition of making payments on instalments. In 1916 they collected from this source the sum of $2,081.14. If these men and women had been maintained in prison in accordance with the old law of 1836, their board and maintenance would have cost the taxpayers $4,025.38. Hence by the new arrangement a snug profit to the county of $6,106.52. They were pioneers in the rational treatment of those who were fined.

Here they believe in the principle of parole and put it into practice.

Number on parole and probation over 16 years of age     154
Number on parole and probation under 16 years of age     124

Some failures reported, the majority being juveniles arrested for truancy, etc.

They still continue their antiquated toilet arrangements. The closets are flushed by dumping therein water from buckets. The water is readily obtainable from spigots, so that the inconvenience is reduced to some extent, yet this system is justly condemned.

Trusties keep the Court House and the grounds in good order. Some are employed in making carpets and knitting socks.

Except murderers in the second degree, practically all county convicts are detained in the county prison. They have room for them in the old bastile, so why send them to the penitentiary on per diem charges?

The prisoners are turned absolutely loose one hour each day in the prison yard.

General Efficiency the same as the previous year, but on account of the farm work we estimate the grade at 70 per cent.


Here is a county prison reporting for the year 1916 an average[Pg 24] daily number of inmates of 58. And yet they could send 12 men to work at road-making in a prison camp, and 10 men to work on the county farm. The employment record is a vast improvement over the report of the previous year when a few at domestic employments about the jail were the only inmates at work. It is thought that next season the agricultural operations will be increased.

The Directors ought to contrive at once to improve the cooking arrangements or, better still, to construct an entirely new culinary department.

They eat at tables in the corridors. We believe that it would be well for wardens generally to adopt this method. The cells are more readily kept clean, and the appearance has a civilized effect.

There are no sheets and pillows, a lack which some philanthropic organization might supply. They have plenty of time to do laundry work.

On account of the new opportunities for employment, we cheerfully revise our estimate of the Efficiency from 53 to 65 per cent.


No official visit has been paid to the prison at York since the last report. We have learned that conditions are generally unchanged. If this be true, there is much ground for complaint.

There is no employment except that a few assist in domestic service at the prison.

The food supplied is utterly inadequate. A few weeks ago the bill of fare for one week consisted of bread and coffee served twice a day for the seven days and a ration of soup with meat and vegetables was served twice during the week. On one other day three potatoes were dealt out to each prisoner. A certain amount of molasses is given out each week. No prison in the United States or Canada has such scanty fare. The prisoners are allowed to supplement their fare by purchasing supplies from a dealer who calls almost every morning, but the majority of them are penniless. Their friends, if they have any, may bring provision.

The sheriff receives forty-five cents a day for providing this meagre fare. Again and again we have called the attention of the good people of York County to these disgraceful conditions. One hundred and thirty years ago in the prisons of Philadelphia, each prisoner was furnished with water and a half loaf of bread every day. Those who had money could buy additional supplies; others must beg and depend upon friends. The York Prison has maintained a similar system to the present day. There has been no progress. The sheriff follows in the line of[Pg 25] his predecessors. The authorities, under whom this iniquitous system has been allowed to continue, are the responsible parties. If the fare at other prisons, where a sufficient quantity is served, costs from 12 cents to 16 cents per day, the fare at York County prison costs barely 10 cents per day. Possibly the sheriff finds the business profitable, but that has little to do with the matter. The system is wrong. Any plan whereby the superintendent of any prison derives his profit from boarding the inmates is liable to abuse. The only remedy is to change the system. Act 171, Laws of Pennsylvania 1909, provides that all counties having a population between 150,000 and 250,000 must have a warden who purchases supplies by contract. Such a warden may be appointed in counties having less than a population of 150,000. The remedy lies with the citizens of York County. A number of prisons in counties having less than a population of 150,000 are controlled by either a warden or sheriff who serves for a salary and purchases food by contract. In such prisons, the conditions are always better than under the fee system. Grade 40 per cent.

Later. As we are going to press, we learn that proceedings are being brought before the court in York County with a view of making some wholesome changes. This Society endorses the efforts of the good citizens of York to remove an evil which has too long been a reproach to that community.


We gratefully acknowledge the receipt of the following bequests which we received in 1917:

Estate of Joshua L. Baily   $5,000.00
Estate of Henry A. Rogers   952.50

[Pg 26]


Reported by Florence Bayard Kane.

In view of the fact that some important penal legislation was enacted by the General Assembly of 1917, it seemed wise to call a conference of wardens, inspectors and commissioners to consider the effect of this legislation and how it might be put into practice.

Hence a call for such a conference, issued by The Pennsylvania Prison Society and by the Prison Reform League of Pennsylvania, was sent to county commissioners and prison officials in the eastern and central parts of the Commonwealth. Mrs. Martha P. Falconer, superintendent of the Girls’ School at Sleighton Farm, very kindly offered to entertain the members of the Conference at this institution on the afternoon and night of October 4th, and Mr. F. H. Nibecker, superintendent of the Boys’ Department at Glen Mills, cordially agreed to take care of the company on the 5th inst.

Responses from those invited indicated much interest, and the attendance fully justified our expectations.

Nine wardens were present from the county prisons of Easton, Ebensburg, Harrisburg, Hollidaysburg, Lancaster, Media, Norristown, West Chester and Wilkes-Barre. Seventeen Inspectors were in attendance representing the counties of Berks, Blair, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lehigh, Lancaster and Montgomery. The counties of Bucks, Chester, Columbia and York were represented by one or more of their Commissioners.

The State Board of Charities was represented by Mr. Louis Wolf, a member of that body, and by Wm. McGarry, an agent of the Board.

Judge J. F. Hause, of West Chester, graced the occasion with his presence.

Miss Florence Bayard Kane, of the Prison Reform League, and John Way and Albert H. Votaw, of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, were present. Robert Dunning Dripps, Esq., Secretary Public Charities Association, was present on the evening of the 4th inst.

Most of the company arrived about noon at Sleighton Farm and were soon doing ample justice to a bountiful lunch provided by the efficient helpers of Mrs. Falconer. After an inspection of the buildings and grounds and noting the excellent work of the girls on the Farm and the fifty-acre kitchen garden the company[Pg 27] assembled in the commodious audience room to consider the objects of the meeting.

Secretary Votaw called the meeting to order and served thereafter informally as Chairman. He said he was convinced that persons engaged in the same sort of work often were the gainers by comparing their views and experiences. As a teacher he had learned to value the opportunities afforded by the Teachers’ Institutes. Not that he always adopted new methods proposed, for he learned that the personal equation must be considered and that all persons were not adapted to use identical methods. What would succeed with one might result in failure with another. At the same time, there was inspiration and much profit from such conferences. He ventured to say that the county prisons in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania were all diverse in their administration. There was lack of team work. While it was not recommended that all should follow exactly the same form of management, there was undoubtedly much to be gained by comparison of methods and results.

This meeting, however, was called particularly to consider recent legislation. The following letter from Governor Brumbaugh, addressed to E. M. Wistar, President of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, was read:

Mr. Edward M. Wistar,
Philadelphia, Pa.

My Dear Mr. Wistar:

I have the letter of Mr. Votaw, calling my attention to a meeting to be held at Darlington, Pa., October 4th and 5th.

The purpose of the meeting, as I understand it, is to ascertain in what way recent legislation affecting prison labor may be most practically and effectively applied to conditions in this Commonwealth. I am heartily in favor of the wise employment of the prisoners in our penal institutions, and steadfastly favored and approved all legislation having that end in view.

I consider, therefore, this conference most opportune, and trust that its deliberations may result in practical guidance of great moment to Pennsylvania.

It may be of interest to you to know that we are now planning to utilize such of our prison labor as we can in connection with the Highway Department, not only because we believe this is right as a fundamental principle, but because in this emergency it will release other labor for national service without impairing the road construction program of the Commonwealth.

I wish your convention great success, and beg to be

Very truly yours,

M. G. Brumbaugh.”

[Pg 28]

The wardens were first asked to relate their experience with regard to the recent law allowing the wardens or superintendents of prisons to release the inmates for work on land belonging to the county or state.

Warden George W. Allen, of Media, being called upon, told the Conference that he had been employing from seven to fourteen men on the county farm since early in the spring, even before the Act had received executive sanction. At his request Judge Isaac Johnson had, as privileged under the law granting parole to county prisoners, paroled certain selected inmates for this purpose. None of the prisoners had violated their parole nor attempted to escape. They were taken in a van every morning to their work with one guard, and had worked faithfully and with pleasure. They had cultivated about 20 acres of land. The entire cost of the venture was about $1100.00, a sum which the results had fully justified. The expense had been equally shared with the Poor Directors and also the proceeds. They had raised cabbage, soup beans, lima beans, carrots, turnips, potatoes, beets, tomatoes and other produce. What was not used at once by the prisoners was dried, canned or stored for winter use. No wages was paid to the men. The result had been satisfactory to all parties concerned.

Dr. J. K. Weaver, Prison Inspector, of Norristown, informed the assembly that nineteen men had been sent to the Poor Farm, whose officials had taken charge of them and had provided them with food and lodging. There had been no difficulty whatever in maintaining discipline. The men had worked well and with enjoyment. A few privileges were allowed, such as swimming in the river when the day’s work was done, and no one had attempted to escape. They were paid 60c. a day for their work, payable at the time of their release. One man earned $52.80.

Warden Lemuel Roberts, of the Norristown Prison, informed the meeting that this employment of prisoners in Montgomery County had been initiated by presenting a petition to the Court to parole a few selected men to work on this Farm. The Court consented to parole three men for this purpose, and the experiment was so completely successful that the number thus paroled was gradually increased to nineteen. He was convinced that the payment of 60c. per day had served a double purpose in giving the men an incentive and a reward for good conduct and also in enabling them to go forth with a little cash to pay their expenses while searching for further employment. Without money and without friends, very often released convicts resort to crime for their maintenance.

Warden John F. Clower, of West Chester, stated that the County Home had refused to employ prisoners for the reason that they had already an abundant supply of labor from their own[Pg 29] inmates. They had bought from the Farm supplies of vegetables at a lower rate than in the open market. For winter use they had canned 400 jars of tomatoes and a large quantity of sauerkraut.

Five of the inmates had been paroled to neighboring farmers, for whose labor the prison had received $25.00 per month, the prisoner receiving no large share. In this prison the men are almost all employed constantly at work in making carpets, caning chairs and weaving cloth for their clothing. In 1917 they had sold products amounting to $5,387. A small allowance, about 19c. weekly, is paid to the prisoners.

Mr. Thomas J. Fretz, an Inspector of Lehigh County, stated that a number of prisoners had been paroled directly to farmers. It was stipulated that the men should receive the prevailing customary wage for this work and that this sum should be paid to the families of the paroled men, or given to them on their discharge. In some instances wages sufficient to pay certain costs had been deducted from the amount paid to the prisoner.

Mr. Edward Taenzer, Inspector of Berks County, informed the meeting that this season they had employed prisoners on their County Farm, and that the experiment had been a decided success from every point of view. Two years ago an effort had been made to employ the prisoners on this land, and this proposition had been heartily approved by the Inspectors, the County Commissioners, the Directors of the Poor and the local press. The Solicitors of the Boards, however, held that such action was illegal, admitting that work on roads was the only employment allowed to prisoners except behind the bars. Since the beginning of the great war Mr. Taenzer and others renewed their efforts to find employment for the prisoners on farms, meeting with formidable opposition, but since the legal bar was removed by recent legislation the prisoners have been hard at work, giving satisfaction to all concerned. The selected men are taken by conveyance to the Farm and work for eight hours daily. They have produced from four to five hundred bushels of potatoes and a like proportion of other vegetables. Just now they are working on the drainage project. The Poor Directors provide the midday meal, and it is expected that hereafter they may provide for the necessary supervision. The men receive no pay for their labor, but esteem it a great privilege thus to be employed.

Secretary Votaw stated that the consensus of opinion was evidently favorable to the employment of county prisoners on farms as far as possible. He invited Agent McGarry, of the State Board of Charities, to comment on the attitude of this Board on this subject. Mr. McGarry said that the Board had for many years advocated such employment and that the emergency created by the war had made such legislation possible.

[Pg 30]

The Acting Chairman then called the attention of the conference to Act. No. 399, which received the approval of the Governor on the 20th of July, 1917. The law had practically been unheralded, but its execution would revolutionize conditions in all the counties of the State. The Act provides for the division of the State into nine Districts, containing from five to ten counties, in each of which Districts there shall be established an institution to which all convicts, sentenced to a term of ten days or more, may be sent. It seemed to be formulated with a view to the general betterment of the prisoners confined in the county jails. The fact that there was no clause making it compulsory to send prisoners to such institution was regarded as a weak feature.

General discussion followed. There were many present who had not seen the law, or even heard thereof. There was a general opinion that this law should be carefully considered before the conference should come to a settled conclusion.

Secretary Votaw hoped that at least one of the nine Districts would give the experiment a fair trial. It was evident that existing conditions in the county jails would have to be changed, and the officials ought to be warned that some action must be taken. Was there any better proposition to be considered? Since the Allegheny penal farm already contained five or six hundred acres, and since most of the adjoining counties were already sending many of their prisoners there, paying at rate of 50c. daily per prisoner, he suggested that the District in which this workhouse was situated might readily convert this institution into one of these Industrial Farms. While at this institution to which convicts from Pittsburgh are sent, it seems possible to put ten-day, and even five-day, prisoners to some profitable work, it would be poor economy to transport ten-day prisoners from the more distant counties to said District Farm.

Mr. McGarry raised a question as to the disposal of existing jail properties.

Secretary Votaw said that they would be still needed for short termers and persons awaiting trial, but that portions of such jail property might be profitably disposed of. Very often the county jail stood on rather valuable real estate which might sometimes be sold for sufficient to meet the county’s quota on the new District Institution. To illustrate that existing prisons must still be used as places of detention, it was shown during the meetings that at the recent visits of Secretary Votaw in his capacity of Official Visitor, one third of the inmates in thirteen of the larger counties were being detained for trial. It is to be hoped that the problem of furnishing employment to the untried prisoners may be found.

Mr. Louis Wolf was inclined on first reading of the bill to think that it would prove impracticable.

[Pg 31]

It was explained that this Act might have imperfections, but that it was really the only solution of the problem of employment for prisoners as far as conditions existed in this Commonwealth. If the products of convict labor are not allowed to be sold in the market some other way must be devised to set these idle people to work. In these times of dire stress, not an ounce of energy should be lost. Our Government needs the labor of every man, good or bad, in order to increase the production of food supplies, and for manufacturing purposes. Wherever the farming proposition for prisoners had been fairly tried there was no indication of receding. Reports from most places where prisoners were employed in agricultural pursuits were enthusiastic. In the State of Massachusetts misdemeanants are generally sent to Bridgwater Industrial Farm where, under efficient management, several hundred acres of land, thought to be almost worthless, have been reclaimed, and now are returning a large yield of fruits, vegetables and grain crops. In the State of Indiana within the last three years a farm of about 1200 acres has been purchased by the State, to which now all misdemeanants sentenced to a term of sixty days or more in the county prisons are to be sent. It is at the option of the Court whether those sentenced for shorter terms shall be sentenced to this farm prison. Eventually it is thought this farm will be entirely self-supporting. There were many escapes the first year, but since a law has been enacted making it a penal offence to escape or to endeavor to escape the number of fugitives has greatly decreased. The proposition is not new and is being tried out with greater or less success.

Inspector W. B. Meetch, of Dauphin County, said that the prison at Harrisburg just now had a population of 207, of whom 53 were sentenced to a term of sixty days or more. These men might be available for farm work, but the Court is averse to the principle of parole. However, he was inclined to believe that the privileges of free men should be denied to the wrongdoer in order that there might be some contrast between the condition of the law-breaker and the man who was observant of the rules of justice. He would exercise great caution in reference to presenting them with the opportunities to escape. Men were sent to prison to be punished.

It was pointed out that the modern idea did not wholly discard the element of punishment in the treatment of criminals, but, for the benefit both of society and the individual, placed extreme emphasis on efforts to reform the wrongdoer and furnish him with incentives to become a useful member of the community instead of a perpetual menace. There is the publicity of a trial, the confinement to certain limits whether behind walls or within other definite limits, the restraint of a discipline to which a free man is not subject. This is regarded as sufficient punishment[Pg 32] in these days. We have discarded the stocks, the pillory, cropped hair and the striped suit. The disgrace is sufficient without these barbaric accompaniments. In the effort to treat the criminal as a human being very much like the rest of us, since we all acknowledge that we have sinned, modern methods have found the best remedy for the restoration of the prisoner. If we treat him as an outcast, he will remain an outcast who will harry the community to the end of his days. Above all, cease to detain him in idleness, which is the worst remedy for immorality of any sort.

Warden Wm. A. McIlhenny, of Harrisburg, stated that there was no land owned by Dauphin County which was available for the employment of his prisoners. The county farm was limited in size and was cared for by the regular inmates of the County Poorhouse. He had no doubt that if the law allowed prisoners to work on other than county land, some kindly disposed land owners would freely grant land for such purpose.


Mrs. Falconer was called upon to explain the methods on Sleighton Farm. She made an earnest plea that women or girls who are prisoners be allowed to work in the open air. Although all the inmates of the institution have a thorough course in housekeeping and sewing, she was sure that these are not invariably the best occupations for women. She stated that there was no room for question that country life and sounds and smells and diverse occupations were the most helpful for such weak sisters as fall by the wayside. No other work is so suitable to children or adapted so well to their powers as work out in the open. She had felt it essential to have a woman of ability and character to have general management of the farm work, inasmuch as many of those committed to her care were, in a sense, oversexed and they needed to be associated constantly with good women. This was a rule in the selection of all her assistants. As far as possible, men are eliminated from the activities on the farm, so that these girls come entirely under the wholesome influence of young women specially trained for the various kinds of employment on the farm. The enthusiasm and enjoyment connected with the varied occupations on the farm have strong psychological value.

As “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” so the same method would have the same effect on “Jill.” Hence, a reasonable amount of amusement is encouraged. Whatever gift any girl may have, in the line of song or music or recitation, is developed. They have various entertainments in their assembly room.

In consequence of the present stringency and high prices, she had been obliged to change the menu, and the results have been carefully observed. For instance, meat has been almost[Pg 33] entirely dropped from the bill of fare, and so far there has been no indication that the health of her community had suffered. There is no tea or coffee for any one on the place, nor stimulant of any sort. They have abundance of milk, cottage-cheese, cocoa, cereals and all the dry and green vegetables they can eat. The ration has been scientifically studied so that the physical requirements may be satisfied. This report was exceedingly interesting to the wardens present, all of whom have been confronted with the serious nature of the food problem.

This summer a few of the girls in groups of four or five have been paroled to work on some neighboring farms. They receive twenty cents an hour for their labor and are allowed to retain their wages. In some instances they have gone without supervision. The results have been very satisfactory.

Miss Farrall, Head Farmer, spoke of the pleasure of the children in propagating the plants in the hot house, in setting out the plants, in watching their growth and in all the varied agricultural processes. Besides the actual work on the farm the girls had been employed in road-building, even the concrete work being done by them. They have installed a new drainage system. They are trained in the care of hogs and poultry, and on the newly acquired farm adjacent to their premises they hope soon to develop some dairy industry. The children have done nearly all the work on a fifty-acre garden. They have already gathered 1100 bushels of potatoes, and the harvesting of the crop is not complete. They have planted, cultivated and husked seventeen acres of corn. They are raising turnips, parsnips, salsify, beets, carrots, and have succeeded, in spite of the worms, in harvesting 1000 heads of cabbage. They had used their green house this season in drying large quantities of vegetables for winter use.


In the intermission between the afternoon and evening sessions there were three events of considerable interest.

  1. A baseball game, in which a nine from the visitors contested with a nine of the school. No game of the year anywhere elicited more enthusiasm. The score was 15 to 12 in favor of the home nine. In the last inning the visitors, who had been somewhat ahead, went “all to pieces,” and the 500 girls retired from the bleaching grounds to their quarters exultant over the famous victory of the nine of Sleighton Farm.
  2. A delicious supper served by the girls of the farm.
  3. A charming vocal concert given by the girls in the Assembly Room, under the direction of Mrs. Falconer.

At 8.30 in the evening the conference assembled in the reception room of the Administration Building. Consideration of[Pg 34] the bill providing for the establishment of nine industrial farms was resumed.

Mr. Robert Dunning Dripps spoke of the admirable purpose of the bill, though admitting that certain modifications were probably needed to render it thoroughly effective. He was emphatic in condemnation of the conditions now existent in the county jails. The employment of all prisoners must be guaranteed. So far as possible they should be employed in the open air, in order to build up their physical condition. Such work, under wise handling, has solved some of the economic problems of prison management. We have too many jails. Fewer prisons with equal conditions of population and opportunities could be administered more effectively and economically. Farm penal institutions in many places have gone beyond the experimental stage and have revealed amazing possibilities of reformation, economy and ease of administration. Witness our State Farm at Bellefonte, various penal farms in New York, the misdemeanant farms in Massachusetts and Indiana, and the large penal farm at Guelph, Ontario. Farm work could be managed by the inmates of county jails with less risk on the whole than by the convicts sent to the penitentiaries. If a few escape the harm they would do to any community would be less on the average than hardened convicts who receive the long sentences. He recalled that all properly managed insane asylums have their inmates in the open air as much as possible and give them every opportunity to engage in the work of raising the supplies of food. It is all wrong to pen up a thousand men in close confinement because some half dozen of them may try to escape. He did not speak as a mere theorist, because, as Director of Public Safety, he had been responsible for the management of the House of Correction, where he had observed the beneficial effects of working on the farm and the ease with which this sort of work could be administered.

Mrs. Falconer emphasized the viciousness of idleness. She knew of the wholesome results of allowing women to work in the open, and, of course, it must readily follow that men would be equally improved.

Mr. Pascoe, Warden of the prison at Easton, stated that he had about 100 prisoners who are only partially employed in carpet weaving. He has a small exercise yard where his men are allowed to parade about an hour daily. With his scant space and opportunities he is hampered. He would be very willing to make arrangements to have his men work on the Poor Farm about seven miles away if the authorities would grant the privilege. He is entirely aware of the evils of idleness, and would welcome the opportunity to employ his inmates in farm work. Possibly a few might escape, but the harm they might do would[Pg 35] be entirely out of proportion to the injury done to the men by the present system of detaining them in idleness.


It was the first visit of most of the men to this highly cultivated farm of 500 or more acres, and they were both surprised and delighted to have a visible illustration of what may be accomplished by lads and young men in the line of husbandry. They were received very graciously by Superintendent Nibecker, who, after some explanation of the general system, conducted them over the plantation. There was an exhibit of corn (many stalks being fifteen feet in height, with two ears), pumpkins, cowbeets, turnips, etc., which would make a creditable showing before any body of experts. The dairy of blooded stock was inspected, and a piggery inhabited by over 200 fine specimens of porkers was much admired for its fine sanitary condition. The report in 1916 showed that about forty products of the farm were valued at $23,581 and that the expenses charged to the farm amounted to $8,033, thus showing the handsome balance of $15,548 to the credit of the farming operations.

The Conference met for a brief session in the parlor of the institution. On motion, Mr. Edward Taenzer, of Reading, was made Chairman of this meeting. Mr. Votaw had already suggested that there might be a service in forming a more permanent organization of prison officials of this Commonwealth. There were many features of administration to be discussed, and he thought mutual benefit would accrue from an occasional conference, annual or semi-annual, to compare views and methods. Especially would such conference be of value and of great influence in being able to present to the General Assembly their united views, based on practical experience, with regard to proposed penal legislation, and also to suggest and promote measures for improvement of penal conditions. This proposition appeared to receive the unanimous endorsement of those present.

Chairman Taenzer suggested annual conferences and hoped that an effort would be made to equalize the working of the laws in all counties. Many of the counties operated under special legislation. The County of Berks, working under an Act of 1848, was at a decided disadvantage, compared with other counties. There was no uniformity in regard to turnkey fees, and many other customs, some of them belonging to a past age.

On motion of Mr. Votaw the following Committee was appointed to make arrangements for another similar conference to be held probably next autumn, and to draft regulations for the government of the body: Edward Taenzer, Chairman; Warden Clower, of West Chester; Warden McIlhenny, of Harrisburg; Warden Obetz, of Lancaster, and Agent McGarry, of the State[Pg 36] Board of Charities. On motion, A. H. Votaw was appointed Secretary of this Committee.

A vote of thanks to Mrs. Falconer and to Mr. Nibecker was extended for their generous hospitality and for their many courtesies to the conference. It seemed that nothing which pertained to the comfort and pleasure of the visitors had been left undone.

The Conference adjourned with a feeling that this meeting had been successful and that a permanent organization would be of decided service to the best interests of the Commonwealth.

After a bountiful lunch, served by the assistants of Superintendent Nibecker, the members of this memorable Conference dispersed to their several homes.



Wm. A. McIlhenny Harrisburg
Rich. F. Pascoe Easton
Lemuel Roberts Norristown
John B. Riddle Hollidaysburg
Edw. H. Knee Ebensburg
J. Carson Obetz Lancaster
Michael F. Whalen Wilkes-Barre
John F. Clower West Chester
Geo. W. Allen Media


Theo. J. Fretz Allentown
Edward Taenzer Reading
Dr. J. K. Weaver Norristown
Jesse L. Jones West Chester
J. Howard Lumis West Chester
Alex. C. Whitcraft West Chester
Wm. P. Sharpless West Chester
E. Marshall Hamell Media
F. G. Thomas Yeadon
M. G. Brubaker Lancaster
Adam Sweigart Lancaster
Thomas Erb Lancaster
Eli Good Lancaster
D. G. Lindsay Lancaster
Wm. P. Schwartz Altoona
Calve Walker Altoona
W. B. Meetch Harrisburg

[Pg 37]


John D. Jenkins York
D. F. Knittle Bloomsburg
D. M. Golder West Chester
Watson Davis Doylestown
Allen Zetty Doylestown
Wash. Cadwallader Doylestown
John E. Baldwin West Chester

Louis Wolf, Member State Board Charities.
Wm. McGarry, Agent State Board Charities.
Robert Dunning Dripps, formerly Director of Public Safety, Philadelphia.
Judge, J. F. Hause, West Chester.
Miss Florence Bayard Kane, Philadelphia, Member Prison Reform League.
John Way, Treas. The Penna. Prison Society.
A. H. Votaw, Sec. The Penna. Prison Society.
Phebe N. Votaw, Lansdowne.

Reading Matter for Prisoners.

The late John J. Lytle, than whom no one was more deeply interested in the welfare of prisoners, year after year by special effort solicited contributions for the purchase of periodical literature suitable for distribution to the inmates of our prisons. A journal known as “Sabbath Reading,” issued weekly, was selected, a periodical judiciously edited and full of wholesome and instructive matter presented in an attractive style. This periodical has been hailed with enthusiastic appreciation. We have reason to believe that it is very generally read. Regret has been expressed when we felt obliged to curtail the number distributed. Calls are numerous these days, and our charitable friends are straining their resources to the utmost to meet the various demands for worthy purposes. Should this work, however, appeal especially to any of our friends, we will gladly apply any funds for this specific purpose.

[Pg 38]


The County Industrial Farm, Workhouse and Reformatory Act of 1917.

Under this Act the State is to be divided into Nine Districts, in each of which is to be established an Industrial Farm to which prisoners sentenced to serve terms in county jails are to be sent. Each Institution is to be managed by a Board of Trustees which shall be composed of one county commissioner from each county of the district, to be appointed by the judge of Quarter Sessions.

The members of the first Board of Trustees shall be appointed to serve until the expiration of their respective terms of office as county commissioners. Each Board of Trustees is hereby authorized to select a suitable site for such Industrial Farm and to make arrangements for the erection and equipment of the necessary buildings. The Farm is not to exceed five hundred acres in extent. The buildings are to be “plain and inexpensive in character,” and the labor as far as possible is to be supplied by the convicts committed to said institution.

The ninth section of the Act provides that the court of Quarter Sessions in any county “may, in its discretion, transfer from the county jails and prisons, respectively, to such penal farm those who have been sentenced to the county prison for any crime, misdemeanor, or felony (murder and voluntary manslaughter excepted),” and also those detained for non-payment of fines and costs, or for non-support; in fact, any persons legally confined in the county jails except those who are held for trial. And hereafter the court may, in its discretion, send those convicted as above directly to said Industrial Farm.

Resources of the Site.

As far as practicable the selection of the site for the farm shall have reference to its advantages for various forms of husbandry, fruit-growing, stock-raising, for brick-making, for the preparation of road and paving material, and shall have good railroad, drainage, sewage and water facilities. The prisoners are to be employed in work “on or about the buildings and farm” in raising stock and supplies for the use of said institution and for the use of other public and charitable institutions in the District.

“All road material, brick, tile and concrete prepared” at these[Pg 39] farms not needed for the purposes of the institution, shall be offered for sale at a price to be fixed by the Board of Trustees, the proceeds to be applied towards paying the overhead expenses of said institution.


“All inmates shall be clothed and treated as provided for in this Act, and in the rules and regulations of the industrial farm.”


“If any person refuses to perform the work assigned to him or her, or is guilty of other acts of insubordination, the superintendent shall punish such person by close confinement and a diet of bread and water only, or in such other manner as the rules and regulations ... may prescribe.”


A separate apartment in the institution shall be appropriated to inebriates and drug users which shall be called the Inebriate Home. Any person habitually addicted to intemperance or to “dope” may on application be admitted to this Inebriate Home, the bills for expense being paid weekly by such applicant. It is further provided that if any inmate of this Home is able to pay the expense of his keeping, the court committing such person is authorized to make an order directing the amount to be paid by the said inmate.


The original cost of the farm and buildings and all fixed overhead charges “shall be paid by the counties constituting the district, in the ratio of their population according to the last preceding United States census.” “The cost of the care and maintenance of the inmates shall be certified monthly to the counties from which inmates have been committed. Such cost shall be paid by the counties in proportion to the number of inmates committed from each county.”


On first reading there were some provisions of the Act which seemed impracticable. But we believe these minor imperfections may easily be corrected by future legislative enactment. The general principle of the Act is sound and in accordance with the trend of public sentiment. Massachusetts and Indiana both have[Pg 40] Industrial Farms for prisoners serving short-time sentences. The State of Indiana has one such farm in successful operation, but we are informed some officials are convinced that it would have been wiser to institute two or three such farms. The original bill we favored provided for six such plantations. However, the nine farms may each have over 500 inmates to be cared for and employed.

It may be unfortunate that the farms are limited to 500 acres. Allegheny County now has a farm of over 600 acres, and has under cultivation about 500 acres. This county will be united with four other counties in the management of the Industrial Farm for the Second District, and 500 acres will prove insufficient. It may be wise to amend the Act making it possible to secure a farm of 1000 acres if thought desirable. It has been found to be an economical proposition to establish penal farms on waste land and by means of drainage, leveling, removing of rocks and scientific tillage and fertilizing to make the “wilderness blossom as the rose.” On a Penal Farm in Florida may now be seen flourishing corn and cane fields where three years ago was the lair of alligators. At Occoquan, Va., Warden Whittaker has transformed barren, arid, scrub pine lands, costing from five to fifteen dollars per acre, into a splendid plantation abounding in orchards, grain fields, gardens and small fruits. Similarly very cheap land at Bridgwater, Mass., has been cleared off and changed into a handsome productive farm.

It might be easier to limit the amount of money to be expended for the site, the only condition being that the farm should contain at least 500 acres.


Escapes were quite numerous from the Indiana State Farm when they first were trying the experiment. The passage of a State law severely penalizing the man who escapes (he is nearly always caught), justly punishing him with several years of imprisonment at the State Penitentiary has lessened the number making effort to escape.

Prisoners Awaiting Trial.

Some of these prisoners are held from thirty to ninety days. Why not allow them the option of languishing in idleness at the detention prison or of engaging in healthful occupation on the farm? The option should be given, as they can not be compelled to work. Such privilege should be granted with circumspection. The Court not generally being in session when such offenders are arrested could not pass judgment as to whether such privilege should be granted. The nature of the accusation must be taken[Pg 41] into consideration. We are sure that a goodly number of those who are thus held might be sent to the Industrial Farm, but the details connected with such permission are yet to be arranged.


Nothing is said in the Act with regard to any compensation. It is expected that these farms will ultimately become self-supporting and may to some extent become a source of profit. We think it is within the province of the Board of Trustees to fix the compensation. An addition to the Act as soon as practicable should be enacted providing for compensation to be sent, part to the family, if in need, of the prisoner, and a part to be held for the prisoner at the time of his discharge. The wages will be graded with reference to the character of the labor. It is a wise provision of the law that the labor of prisoners in the construction of the buildings shall be availed of as far as possible.


On a farm of 500 acres containing tillable land and stone quarries, a large number of men may find employment, but it will require very intensive farming to employ 500 men and make the venture financially profitable. Hence on every farm some one or two industries should be allowed not requiring highly-skilled labor, since the population is a rapidly shifting crowd. The bill very properly specifies brick, tile and concrete work, and the crushing of stone for road-making. A large number of men may be thus employed, but please remember that there are nine of these penal farms. There should be one or two industries suitable for mechanics and for indoor employment on each farm. The sale of the products should not be confined to the district in which any farm is situated. Let the soap-making industry be established on one of these farms. The product might be sold to all public institutions in the State. In one or two farms, there might be found the broom-making industry. In several farms canneries, under the best sanitary regulations, should be established. Underwear and socks for all public institutions could be made at two or three of these penal farms. Working shirts and overalls are properly made at such institutions. The manufacture of plain cloth of several inconspicuous patterns should be encouraged. One factory could make cloth sufficient for the other nine institutions. Ash cans and garbage cans for all municipalities are products of prison labor in several States.

We have by no means exhausted the list of industries suitable for the labor of prisoners. Every suggestion as mentioned above has been tried and found to work satisfactorily elsewhere.

In all cases, especially with regard to farm products and[Pg 42] canned goods, it should be specified that the surplus may be sold in the open market. Suppose more potatoes should chance to be raised than the public institutions should need. In these days we tolerate no waste. We doubt whether there is a farmer in the Commonwealth who would object to the sale of the surplus in the open market. The competition would be negligible, as we think it would be with any other industry.

Inebriate Home.

It is specified that each of these farms shall have a separate apartment in the institution for the treatment of inebriates and drug users. What becomes of the proposition to establish a State Farm for the care of inebriates? Just such an institution was authorized by the Assembly of 1913. If this farm is established, and if nine other Inebriate Homes are to be constructed, it might seem that an appalling amount of dipsomania and anesthetic torpor is found in Pennsylvania. We suppose the intent of the Act is to retain, until cured, or greatly improved, those unfortunate wretches who spend a large part of the year in durance in thirty-day and sixty-day sentences. Philadelphia can supply a thousand of such derelicts, possibly Pittsburgh another thousand, and the remainder of the State a goodly proportion. Many of these people can do good work when not under the influence of intoxicants. We doubt the wisdom of segregation in every instance. If they mingle freely with those who are not drunkards or addicted to opiates, they may derive some benefit from such association. The separate treatment should be reserved for those who have become greatly impaired by bad habits.

There is also very great need of providing separate quarters for those afflicted with tuberculosis and venereal disease.


Original cost of farm and buildings paid by counties according to population. Overhead expenses to be paid by counties according to population. Care and maintenance of inmates to be paid by counties for each inmate sent. Each county pays for transportation of its inmates to the institution. The transportation of the convict when discharged will be charged, so it appears, to overhead expenses of the institution.

Thus, every county will pay pro rata according to population a share of the expense of purchasing the land and erecting the buildings, also the same proportionate share of the net expense of conducting the institution, or of the amount left when receipts are deducted from the expenditures. It is to be hoped[Pg 43] that at some time the receipts may exceed the expenditures. In that event we suppose the balance will be credited pro rata to each county, though the Act is silent on this point.

In addition every county will pay transportation, care and maintenance of its own inmates. No inmates, nothing to pay on this head.

It will require an expert in institutional management and in bookkeeping to determine just what items should be charged to care and maintenance, and to general expenses. What difference will it make? Simply this. Some counties naturally will send a smaller proportionate number of inmates than others. A few counties may have but one or two inmates during the year. Each county will receive two bills for payment. One will be for its share of overhead expenses. The other will cover the cost of maintaining the prisoners sent from said county. If certain charges which might be debited to care and maintenance are charged against overhead or general expenses, then the auditor of the county sending few or no prisoners will justly protest a system of bookkeeping which charges to general expenses what ought to be charged to care and maintenance. Questions will arise quite difficult to decide, hence, there should be some regulations adopted of universal application to the nine institutions.

Discretionary Power of the Court.

According to this Act, the Court “may, in its discretion, sentence” a convicted offender to the county jail, to the Industrial Farm, or to any penal institution legally entitled to receive convicts. We repose much confidence in the judiciary of this State. But we trust that they will agree to send all convicts, sentenced from forty days to two years, or to whatever time they think it advisable to send them to the State Prisons, to these Industrial Farms. They may exercise an option below twenty days, depending on the proximity of said farm. Allegheny County sends hundreds of prisoners, sentenced for ten days and less, about ten miles away to the Industrial Farm. Philadelphia transports likewise a large number of short termers about fifteen miles to the House of Correction on its farm of several hundred acres. The State of Indiana makes its obligatory to send all convicted of misdemeanors, who are sentenced to sixty days or more, to the State Industrial Farm. The option of the Court may be exercised when the sentence is less than sixty days.

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania there is no team work with reference to the place where convicts may be incarcerated. Some counties, especially the smaller ones, have an understanding that all prisoners sentenced to one year or more should be dispatched to the penitentiary. In other counties[Pg 44] a person may serve a sentence of twenty years in the county prison. How would this schedule work?

Ten days or less County Jail
Ten to twenty days, Either County Jail or the Industrial Farm
Twenty days to two years The Industrial Farm
Two to three years, Either the Industrial Farm or the Penitentiary
Three years and over The State Penitentiary

Of course it is understood that lads and lasses may be sent to Glen Mills, Sleighton Farm or Morganza; and that older boys may be sentenced to the Reformatory at Huntingdon.

Possible Objections.

Some county officials may point with pride to their prison, perhaps rather recently constructed, with admirable sanitary features, and affording some opportunity for employment. What is to become of such plants? We know of no county prison in the State whose facilities would be equivalent to the advantages afforded by the farm. Some prison will be needed at every county seat as a place of detention. Portions of the real estate may sometimes be sold for a handsome sum, or used for some other public purpose. We know of very few county prisons for whose construction we entertain much respect. Most of these jails need entire renovation. Some of the newer type resemble cages for animals—a type of building we condemn.

The latest ward constructed in the Philadelphia County Prison at Holmesburg embodies some of the best features of modern prison construction. We should regret to have this disused. The latest cell-block at the Allegheny County Workhouse is a model of its kind. And the new dining room at this institution is admirable from every point of view. Our private suggestion is that the Trustees of the Second District, in which five counties are comprised including Allegheny, shall arrange to take over this Penal Farm, or the Allegheny County Workhouse, and constitute it as the Industrial Farm for this District. The buildings and the land are already there, and an efficient institution conducted now on the lines enumerated in the Act establishing these Industrial Farms. The other counties of the District have been for some time sending their convicts to this workhouse, paying Allegheny County a per diem rate for each prisoner sent from their respective counties.

We wish we could devise a satisfactory scheme for the consolidation of the counties of the First District in which Philadelphia County is located.

[Pg 45]

Do we dare to suggest the pooling of the interests of the House of Correction and the County Prison at Holmesburg so that the two prisons may be combined under the same management, thus making the Correctional Farm available for both institutions? Can more land be secured, or reclaimed from the marshes of the Delaware?

In the State of Indiana the general expenses and the overhead expenses are paid by the State. The counties pay 55 cents daily therefore for each convict sent. It is justly argued that as all indictments charge the offender with violating the peace and dignity of the State, the State should assume responsibility for its own protection. In the Act now under consideration, it is provided distinctly that the various counties of each District are to be responsible for the expenses on some pro rata basis. The taxpayers of the State will pay the bills whether paid by State or counties. We believe on consideration there will be some advantage derived from the financial policy as proposed in this bill. It will undoubtedly happen that some farms under more expert management will tend to become self-supporting or to reduce the overhead expense to a small figure.

The counties of such a District will be subject to comparatively slight taxation for the support of the prison. Information will promptly spread to the other Districts, so that the Trustees will seek that kind of an administrator who can show the best results. Friendly emulation should work no evil. There is one cautionary word. Some administrator, who has more ambition to make a good financial showing than to adopt reformatory measures, may be tempted to exploit the men under his charge to their detriment. A superintendent should be chosen, not only for business ability but also to inspire the inmates with higher ideals of life. He will get the best out of his men by allowing certain privileges and compensation for faithful effort. Any other sort of manager should be removed.

Rules and Regulations.

The regulations of each one of the Industrial Farms are to be framed by the Trustees of said farm. It is specifically provided that the duties of the officers, the clothing and treatment of the inmates, the penalties for insubordination, the government of the Inebriate Home, shall be prescribed by the Trustees.

We believe it will be found advisable for the Trustees of these various institutions to meet and formulate some general regulations. We advise that the Act be amended so that meetings may be held at least once each year. In fact, several meetings should be held prior to the operation of these farms in order that the same principle may obtain in regard to their[Pg 46] management. Each Local Board should have ample leeway to make rules according to the particular needs and environment of the individual farms, but it is very essential that a uniform policy should be adopted with regard to certain features.

  1. Industries. Care should be taken that the specific industries should not be duplicated. For instance, soap-making should be assigned to one of the institutions, not on a large scale by all of them. Certain manufactures may be more economically conducted where water power may be readily obtained.
  2. Clothing. We trust no form of degrading conspicuous dress may be found at any institution. It is possible for some Board to require the stripes which have been generally discontinued.
  3. Penalties. Section 10 prescribes that the superintendent shall punish a refractory prisoner by close confinement and a diet of bread and water only, “or in such manner as the rules and regulations ... may prescribe.” We submit that corporal punishment of any description should be abolished. It would be possible for some Board of Trustees to sanction the whipping post or the hose treatment—penalties which belong to a barbaric age. We suggest that the Trustees limit punishments to confinement, restricted diet, deprivation of privileges and reasonable fines, and if such measures prove unavailing the culprit should be remanded to the county jail.
  4. Bookkeeping. Uniformity is highly desirable. The greatest care should be taken to discriminate as to what expenses belong to the general upkeep of the institution and to the care and maintenance of the prisoners. The estimate of the charges to each county is to be based upon such discrimination.

Uniformity in a few other matters may be desirable, but care should be taken not to hamper the individual Boards by general rules about petty affairs.


We have dwelt to some extent upon the possible defects of this law which, however, has admirable features. In any achievement, involving as many changes as are contemplated in this Act, there will be difficulties encountered. At first we were inclined to see lions in the way, but when we see the effect of the conversion of compulsory idleness into productive efficiency, we may conclude that the difficulties are not insurmountable.

We trust that some Board may soon take action and inaugurate this work, which is one of the greatest reformatory movements known in the penological annals of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We very much hope that next season may find at least one of these institutions in actual operation.

[Pg 47]

Appointment of Trustees.

The following list shows the counties composing each district, and the names of the Trustees so far as we have learned of their appointment:—

First District

Philadelphia, George F. Holmes
Chester, David M. Golder
Bucks, Watson Davis
Montgomery, Roy A. Hatfield

Second District

Beaver, Edwin L. Johnson

Third District

York, John D. Jenkins
Cumberland, A. E. Sieber
Northumberland, Fred. R. Dornsife
Perry, Allen B. Thompson

Fourth District

Washington, Thomas Hill
Fayette, Logan Rush
Indiana, W. B. Wagner
Cambria, T. Stanton Davis
Westmoreland, George W. Deeds
Greene, George Moore
Somerset, Joseph B. Miller
Clearfield, H. H. Spencer
Bedford, Thomas C. Bradley

Fifth District

Centre, Isaac Miller
Huntingdon, Josiah C. Hall
Franklin, Ross S. Gordon
Mifflin, Geo. W. Dunmire
Blair, Robert F. Bankert
Juniata, W. A. Kinzer
Snyder, Henry Bowersox

Sixth District

Erie, Josiah F. Rogan
Mercer, A. W. Beil
Clarion. Frank McCall
Warren, E. M. Lowe
Elk, W. M. Thomas
Crawford, M. G. Beatty
Venango, Pressley H. Culbertson
Forest, J. C. Scowden
McKean, O. S. Gahagan
Jefferson, Harvey L. Grube

Seventh District

Cameron, John W. Lewis
Lycoming, Joseph H. Nicely
Montour, James Ryan
Sullivan, Charles W. Warren
Tioga, James Crawford
Clinton, James L. Kemmerer
Columbia, Charles E. Welliver
Union, William Ruhl

Eighth District

Bradford, Charles L. Crandall
Wayne, Earl Rockwell
Monroe, Thomas Shiffer
Wyoming, H. W. Place
Susquehanna, F. H. Ball
Pike, E. J. Darragh
Carbon, Thos. B. Craig
Lackawanna, John Von Bergen

Ninth District

Berks, J. Calvin Herbine
Schuylkill, B. J. Smith
Lehigh, Oscar L. Henninger
Northampton, Elmer P. Peifer
Luzerne, R. A. Beisel

[Pg 48]


Act No. 111, approved by the Governor, May 17, 1917, grants permission to any Court or sentencing authority to dismiss any person held for non-payment of fines and costs on condition of agreeing to pay said charges by instalments.

In previous publications of this Society, it has been shown that the practice in the 67 counties of the Commonwealth is far from uniform. The law of 1836, except for first offenders, is still in force, which prescribes that when a fine is $15.00 or less the defendant may be detained 30 days in prison; if the fine is more than $15.00, the term of imprisonment is 90 days. Comparatively few counties observed this regulation. Many counties detained the prisoner as many days as there were dollars in the fine.

Some counties have already profited by availing themselves of the privilege of Act No. 111. In one county the sum of $2600.00 had been collected in fines on the instalment plan in less than three months. Formerly the county collected nothing, and in addition maintained the prisoner who was detained in idleness. If the prisoner thus detained could do any service to the county in the line of road-making or other useful employment, his detention would be considered sensible. To present him with board and lodging for a hundred days with no employment, because he owes the county a hundred dollars, is an absurdity.

The privilege of paying the fine and costs in instalments ought to inure to the benefit of all parties concerned.

Employment of Prisoners on County or Almshouse Farms.

Act No. 337, approved by the Governor, July 17, 1917, authorizes the employment of convicts at the county jails “at agricultural labor on any county or almshouse farm of the county ... by the poor authorities of such county under the direction of the warden.” Section 2 of the Act releases the warden from liability in case of the escape of said convicts while thus employed, if due care has been exercised.

The beauty of this Act consists in the fact that it can be immediately put into execution. No formal meeting of Boards is necessary to consider the matter. No expense is required for buildings and land. This enactment is exactly in line with Act No. 359, Laws of Pennsylvania, 1915, providing for the employment of prisoners at road-making. The law of 1915 provides[Pg 49] for the payment of wages to those thus employed and forbids the wearing of stripes. We infer that no conspicuous degrading dress is to be worn. We hope that under the present Act, no degrading costume will be imposed upon the workers and that some compensation shall be given.

Already the counties are reaping benefit from this recent enactment. But with next season we believe many of the counties will avail themselves of the opportunities afforded by this Act. Some counties have taken immediate action. The following reports have been received showing what has been accomplished. However, in several of these counties the Court had previously to the passage of this legislation granted special parole to certain prisoners in order that they might be employed on farms. The passage of this law, however, will make it vastly easier to place the men on farms. The machinery of parole is sometimes a little cumbersome.

County.     Employed.
Berks     Ten men employed three times weekly.
Cambria     A number of prisoners on farms and roads.
Delaware     Fourteen men on farm.
Lehigh     Twelve men paroled to farmers.
Luzerne     Not allowed by Court to county prisoners. City prisoners work on almshouse farms.
Montgomery     Six to ten men every day.
Westmoreland     Twenty-five working on jail farm.
Schuylkill     They have employed ten men on county farm.

Fourteen other counties are considering the proposition with intent to begin operations in the spring of 1918.

Montgomery County pays a wage of 65 cents per day.

Berks County estimates that the prison has saved $900 the first season.

Fayette County. Men work on roads and farms. Wages daily, 25 cents. It is estimated that the county saves many thousand dollars annually by working the convicts on the roads.

Some further details of what has been accomplished in the way of producing supplies for the prisons may be found in the Report of the Wardens’ meeting at Glen Mills.

About half of the counties of the State have a prison population per diem of fifteen or less, possibly the majority of these detained for trial; hence, the farming proposition has little interest for them.

This law will be extremely beneficial to the prisons wherever[Pg 50] it is properly applied. Calculate, if you please, what the labor of ten men on any well managed farm will produce. Nothing whatever is said in the law as to the distribution of the produce. The crop may be divided on some equitable basis with the poor authorities. It may all go to the prison on some terms to be agreed upon. What cannot be used at the time may be canned for use in the winter. We suppose in some cases the surplus may be sold, or exchanged for other necessities of the institution.

The law at least may be commended for brevity and for the absence of any restraining features. Credit must be given to the State Board of Charities for proposing and at once securing the passage of this economic measure. The law is to be in force during the continuance of the present war.

We trust the law will be amended so that the prisoners may be allowed to work on land leased or donated for such purpose. There are some large counties where there is no land available for this laudable purpose. The bill introduced by Mr. Walker of Philadelphia contained such a provision and also a clause explicitly stating that the surplus of products may be sold at the best prices obtainable.

Commission To Propose a Revised System of Prison Management.

Act No. 409 provides “That the Governor is hereby duly authorized to appoint a commission of five persons, two of whom shall be learned in the law, and at least one of whom shall be an active official of a correctional institution within this Commonwealth, to investigate prison systems and the organization and management of correctional institutions within this Commonwealth and elsewhere; to recommend such revision of the existing prison system within this Commonwealth, and the laws pertaining to the establishment, maintenance and regulation of State and county correctional institutions within this Commonwealth, as it shall deem wise, and to report the same to the General Assembly at the session of 1919.” Another section of the Act provides for the appropriation of the sum of Five Thousand Dollars in order to meet the necessary expenses of this commission, incurred in the performance of their duties.

The Commission has been appointed and has already begun the work of investigation. Two of the members attended the sessions of the American Prison Association at New Orleans and by interviews with penological experts, both administrators and students, derived valuable suggestions in regard to the special features of penal management which should be carefully studied in other States. The Commission aims to proceed with great[Pg 51] caution, being aware that what may have been successful in some States may be unsuited to conditions in other States. While its members have authorized no statement of its aims for publication, it may be safely stated that there is no desire to effect a revolution in our present system, but to modify and add to the present regulations so as to attain the highest efficiency consistent with right and justice. The Commission is unanimous in the belief that employment must be found for all prisoners in the State and county prisons. There are some conflicting elements with regard to the question of prison labor, and it will be the aim of the Commission to devise some system of employment which may as far as possible be helpful to the prisoner, when he is discharged, which may teach him self-respect, and the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, and which may reduce the administrative expenses to a minimum, even to the extent of making our penal institutions self-supporting. To accomplish this desirable purpose, the law of 1913 providing for the manufacture of articles for State-use must be greatly strengthened; and the establishment of two or three industries for the manufacture of articles or the production of material for State-Account must be seriously considered. We are aware that the relations of prison labor to other labor must be thoughtfully and considerately observed so that the interests of all parties may be conserved. We submit that when several thousand men are thrown out of employment or are detained in idleness, the entire community sustains a loss. On this subject the Commission will welcome any suggestions from officials or any persons interested in this important matter.

The Commission is composed as follows:

Fletcher W. Stites, Chairman, Crozer Building, Philadelphia. (Attorney and Member of the Assembly of 1917).

A. E. Jones, Attorney, Uniontown, Pa.

Mrs. Martha P. Falconer, Superintendent Girls’ House of Refuge, Darling P. O., Pa.

Louis N. Robinson, Professor of Economics, Swarthmore College, Pa.

Albert H. Votaw, Secretary The Pennsylvania Prison Society, Philadelphia.

State-use System.

Several bills were introduced in the late Assembly designed to strengthen the Act of 1915 in regard to the manufacture of articles by prisoners for the use of the public institutions, but we regret to report that, save the reference of these bills to committees, no action was taken.

[Pg 52]

We admit some friction in getting the various public institutions in any State to agree to purchase prison-made articles, yet in those States where such system has been in use for some years, there is little tendency to take a backward step. Unless there is a provision that public institutions shall, whenever practicable, procure their supplies from the Prison Labor Commission, little progress can be made. Everybody agrees that prisoners ought to be put to work, and that it is a shame to detain them in utter idleness, but when it comes to using the products of their industry, there is reluctance and a feeling that the other fellow may use such goods.

We are glad to report that the Prison Labor Commission of Pennsylvania has made a beginning, yet up to this time the output is far below the capacity of the available workers. At the Huntingdon Reformatory, the license tags for automobiles to the number of one million are being made, a decidedly economical arrangement for the State. Brushes, mops and brooms are made at the Western Penitentiary and at the Eastern Penitentiary a shoe factory has been initiated, and also knit goods are made in this institution. We believe that a business of a million dollars yearly may be built up in this State with prison-made goods, and in order to make this worth while, the State should make ample provision for the administration of this proposition. No State has been successful in establishing the State-Use system which did not make it obligatory upon the public institutions to patronize the industries established by the State. It goes without saying that the quality of the goods or articles made in these penal institutions must be satisfactory.

Capital Punishment.

The Acting Committee gave hearty support to the bill for the abolition of Capital Punishment, and deeply regret that this relic of a barbarous revengeful age is to be continued in this Commonwealth.

The bill passed the Senate by a handsome majority, and there was every indication that it would pass the House with votes to spare. A day or two before the vote was taken, there was an explosion in a munition factory near Chester, which at first was thought to have been caused by spies or alien enemies. Great loss of life resulted, and the idea that such a heinous crime could not be punished by death, if the bill should be passed, so wrought upon the minds of the members of the Assembly that many of them changed their attitude, casting their votes against the bill. This shocking accident was never traced to the agency of any person or persons; however, it was felt by many that in the event of the commission of such a crime, death was the only adequate penalty.

[Pg 53]

The Indeterminate Sentence.

A law for the imposition of a maximum and a minimum term of imprisonment on convicts sent to the penitentiaries of the State was passed in 1909. It was provided that the minimum should not exceed one-fourth the maximum sentence.

In 1911 the law was amended to apply to convicts of the State when sent to the penitentiary or to the county jail. It was further amended by striking out the one-fourth provision and vesting the authority to determine the maximum and minimum entirely in the Court, except that the maximum was not to be greater than the law for any particular offence may prescribe. The Court has power by this law to make the minimum sentence any time at all to within one day of the maximum. A convict whose offence by statute may be punished by an imprisonment of twenty years could have a minimum sentence fixed at any time from one day to nineteen years, eleven months and twenty-nine days. There were four prisoners at the Eastern Penitentiary at the time the last report was made whose maximum was twenty years and whose minimum was the same lacking one day. There were thirty-eight prisoners sentenced to a maximum of twenty years whose minimum was eighteen years or more. According to the old law of commutation for good behavior, every one of these prisoners would have been entitled to freedom on good behavior at the end of twelve years and three months. This law of commutation for satisfactory conduct had been in vogue for fifty years and we have not learned that the judiciary of the State had issued any remonstrance. The number according to the last report whose maximum was twenty years was 86. These under old law of commutation might be released in 12 years, 3 months. Of these 86, under present law, 55 will remain longer than under commutation. And under present law, 31 may be released earlier than under commutation. It is the inequality of sentences which has produced dissatisfaction. We have confidence in the judiciary of the Commonwealth, but we know that they differ in regard to time of expiation. How could it be otherwise? It might be supposed that judges might welcome an opportunity to place the responsibility of determining the time of release, or of ascertaining when a convict is ready to resume the duties of citizenship, upon some judicious body of men or women chosen with regard to their special fitness for such a responsible task.

The Assembly was convinced of the righteousness of the plea for an indeterminate sentence which might more closely correspond with its title than the law as amended in 1911, hence the members of the Assembly by a solid majority amended the law of 1911 so that any convict who had served one-third of the maximum sentence as prescribed by the Court should be eligible[Pg 54] for parole. Mark that the law explicitly states that such convicts are eligible for parole, not that they shall be paroled. The time when they should be paroled, if paroled under any event, is decided by the Parole Board. Granted that we have a judicious Parole Board, who can better decide when a man is entitled to liberty, the judge or the jury who note the crime and see the man at the time of his trial, or the men who are supposed not only to know the circumstances of the crime but also to become familiar with the man’s attitude and general character? In this country freedom is man’s birthright, and if by some error or mischance he loses that liberty, it should be restored to him as soon as he shows that he can safely be trusted with it, and that he appreciates its value.

But notwithstanding the favorable vote of both Houses of the Assembly, Governor Brumbaugh was not convinced of the correctness of the principle involved and so interposed a veto. With all due deference to the Chief Magistrate of this Commonwealth, we honestly differ with him in regard to this particular matter. The veto message was quite brief, the fear being expressed that some guilty of second degree murder, altho the circumstances might readily indicate a malicious murder of the first degree, might under the proposed act regain their freedom in something less than seven years. The statute provides a sentence of twenty years for murder of the second degree, but under the operation of the proposed amendment the guilty person would be liable for parole at the end of six years and eight months.

It seems to be forgotten that the Parole Board exercises judicial functions, and very often refuses parole when the minimum time has expired. Eligibility to parole is far from synonymous with election to parole. The circumstances are closely investigated, and the record of the trial is carefully studied. In the case of any outrageous murder or burglary, the Board of Parole is amply justified in detaining the applicant beyond the time of the minimum sentence. In many cases the Board has very properly refused the application for parole and in a number of instances has decided it best to retain a criminal to the end of his maximum term.

Granted that the Parole Board may occasionally err on the side of mercy, the wrong, sorrow, misery caused by the failure to secure this legislation will far outweigh the possible danger from the very few who might be prematurely returned to the outside world. Today the Commonwealth is supporting in almost complete idleness some hundreds who have demonstrated that they are ready to resume citizenship and to support themselves and families and yet they are compelled to remain as a burden to the community.

[Pg 55]

We are placing an immense burden upon the Inspectors of our Penitentiaries who in this State constitute the Boards of Parole. They are men with a high sense of civic responsibility, who do a large amount of faithful service without financial remuneration. They will not ask for any release from duties which the State may impose on them, but in justice to them we submit that the time has come for at least consideration of a proposition to appoint a special Board of Parole who shall receive compensation for their services. The work, if properly performed, demands a large amount of care and study.

Employment of Prisoners on the Highways.

Act 314 empowers the State Highway Commissioner to arrange with the managers of prisons to employ the inmates thereof at manual labor for “the construction ... or maintenance of the State Highways....”

The workers are to receive wages from 40 to 60 cents per day, and are to be subjected to no cruel treatment.

The law is an excellent one and should result, since there is great scarcity of laborers, in very great benefit to the Commonwealth, in fact, in the settlement of the good roads problem.

Recently the Rhode Island Legislature has made it possible to employ convict labor on the public highways. Two gangs of thirty-one men each were thus employed last summer, and it is reported that the results are very satisfactory to the road officials.

Missouri has also joined the ranks of States that use convict labor in the construction of highways. “The Old Trail highway, running from Kansas City to St. Louis, is being improved ... over a stretch of swampy land that has been the despair of the Old Trail highway promoters, and the work is being done entirely with convict labor under the direction of State engineers.”

[Pg 56]


A. H. Votaw.

The subject of food supply is engaging the attention of the nation. There are a hundred million mouths to feed in this country, and we have undertaken to feed almost that number abroad. Hence we need to study the actual value of various foods and to eliminate all waste.

Not only the food value of the daily menu is to be considered but the preparation of the food is of vital consequence. I am fortunately able to give a concrete instance of the importance and economical value of a scientific method in the selection and preparation of a dinner for a company of 1200 prisoners. I was visiting recently a large prison farm in one of the Southern States. The superintendent had just indicated his progressive spirit by employing a skilled institutional dietitian to spend a few days in their culinary department. Orders were issued for the cooking force to obey implicitly the instructions of the temporary chef.

Two Prison Menus.

The day before he took charge the following stew had been prepared, the method being much the same as in nine-tenths of the public institutions of the United States. The ingredients were as follows:

874 lbs. beef @ 12c. $104.88
200 lbs. rice @ 8c. 16.00
Total cost $120.88

“In this stew the meat was put on, bone and all, in hot water and stewed for about two hours; then it was dipped out and the rice was boiled in the liquor which remained. The meat was tough and unpalatable, and the rice worse, many of the prisoners saying that altho they had not tasted beef for more than a month they could not eat it.” After the meal large quantities of the meat was gathered up for the garbage can.

The day previous to my visit, under this dietitian the following ingredients were used for a stew:

[Pg 57]

390 lbs. beef @ 12c.   $46.80
303 lbs. white potatoes @ $1.25 bushel   8.25
70 lbs. onions @ 5c.   3.50
3 lbs. baking powder @ 10c.   .30
40 lbs. flour @ 6c.   2.40
½ lb. pepper @ 30c.   .15
5 lbs. lard @ 30c.   1.50
Total cost   $62.90

“The beef was cut clean from all the bones and cut into small one-inch cubes. It was then put in equal quantities in five thirty-gallon kettles and these were then filled to about two-thirds their depth with cold water at 4 A. M. This was kept simmering till 10 A. M. when the sliced onions were added. At 10.30 the pepper, salt and potatoes were added, and then the dumplings which had been prepared were added, care being taken not to place enough in any one pot at one time to bring it below the boiling point, always putting on the lids immediately in order to prevent the cold air from making the dumplings heavy. The dumplings were a great success considering the crude equipment, and were made as follows:

“Forty lbs. of flour, 2½ lbs. baking powder, 5 lbs. lard. The flour and baking powder were rubbed together until thoroly incorporated, then very cold water was added until the mass was of sufficient thickness for rolling. It was then rolled into sheets one-half inch thick and cut in semi-circular or crescent shapes with a biscuit cutter and added to the stew as above stated. The secret of light dumplings is to see that boiling is uninterrupted, and that the cover is put on immediately after they are put in, and that it be kept on for twenty minutes to hold in the heat which is over the surface of the liquid. It is this top heat which expands the gas produced by the baking powder and also cooks the dough.... Thirty-two cans of strong beef broth were obtained from the bones and were canned. The bones were steadily boiled for many hours and the fat was from time to time skimmed off. Several gallons of fat were thus obtained, which, having been clarified, were used later in seasoning a mess of green beans. The broth was sent to the hospital.”

I have given the formula and also the method of preparation as it was reported in order that the care involved might be shown. There is no lack of help at any of our penal institutions, so that the additional time and labor may not be taken into account.

The next day a pork stew was prepared and was also hailed with enthusiasm. The pigs which were fattening on the contents of the garbage pails lamented the advent of the chef. There[Pg 58] was universal commendation of the mess which was served. Happiness reigned. Smiling faces were seen everywhere.

The difference in cost of the two meals was $57.98 in favor of the toothsome meal.

Let us estimate the saving at $50.00 per day.

Saving in one week $350.00. Saving in 52 weeks $18,200. If thus an institution may save $18,000 annually, is it not wise economy to employ an expert dietitian?

But we must not be carried off our feet by mere figures. The actual value of the two meals, one prepared by the old haphazard method, the other in accordance with the true principles of cookery, must be compared.

The beef and rice stew in actual units of food values exceeds the value of the dumpling meal. But the satisfaction afforded by the dumpling meal would carry an almost unanimous vote in its favor.

Let the dumpling meal have about 200 lbs. of meat added, and there will still be a saving of about $36.00 per dinner, or $13,180 annually.

My contention is that it will be wise for all institutions to consider methods of preparation both for the sake of the health and happiness of the inmates, and for economy.

Employment of a Chef.

Recently I visited a large penal institution near Boston, Mass., where a food expert had been employed for more than a year. The experiment was overwhelmingly successful. Formerly the food was prepared altogether under the care of inmates, some of whom were more or less acquainted with cooking and serving, generally less familiar. Men were coming and going, hence there was irregular service in the kitchen, and often novices rendered the food unpalatable. The authorities wisely employed a head chef who should direct the work of the bakery and kitchen. The result amply justified the experiment. A balanced ration was served, the food was appetizing, a large variety appeared on the tables from time to time, the hospital was less frequented, and the expense of provision had not been increased. In every way the institution was benefited by the new method.

Sing Sing.

The most convincing illustration is from Sing Sing. We quote from a report made by Dr. George W. Kirchwey who succeeded Warden Osborne.

“When I assumed the responsibilities of the office of Warden and began to make a closer study of conditions at Sing Sing, I was struck by the amount of ill-health and the lack of[Pg 59] proper medical care of the inmates. The men seemed to be generally anaemic and undernourished. Many of them were afflicted with disease of one kind or another. Many of them were stunted and deformed, and a large number, it seemed to me, were mentally defective or mentally diseased.

"The first thing to which I turned my attention was the problem of supplying an adequate and nourishing diet and of improving the unsanitary and unwholesome conditions under which the food was prepared and served to the inmates generally. In this work I had the services of a committee of inmates and of a food expert, Dr. Emily C. Seaman, of Teachers’ College, Columbia University. The task was not an easy one, because it called for something like a revolution in the prison dietary without increasing the cost, limited to 15 cents a day per man. As the result of the painstaking work of Dr. Seaman and the food committee, the quality of the food was so improved that in a short time the attendance in the mess-hall, which is voluntary, increased by 40 per cent.

“They are now serving a diet at Sing Sing which is, upon the whole, satisfactory and comes as near to being a balanced diet as the means at our disposal will permit. What is needed is not so much an increased allowance by the legislature for the purchase of food, as the addition to the prison of an extensive farm which will furnish eggs, vegetables, milk, pork and other supplies at reduced cost. Every prison should have such a farm connected with it. The food reform involved the reconstruction of the old badly ventilated, ill-smelling mess-hall and the building of a new kitchen with modern appliances for the preparation of food, as well as the training of the inmate cooks, waiters, etc., for their duties.

“The large force of men—about 125—employed in the preparation and serving of the food are carefully selected and regularly examined twice a month by the prison physician. The men are required to keep themselves as neat and clean as waiters in a respectable outside restaurant. The kitchen is a model of what an institutional kitchen should be. In the dining hall, the long slate slabs, miscalled tables, at which the men have been required to feed for countless years, are being replaced by attractive tables seating ten each, at which the processes of serving and eating may go on in a civilized fashion.”

Investigation of N. Y. Prison Association.

In the 72d Annual Report of the Prison Association of New York we find an exhaustive study of the rations at the State penal institutions. Two assistant secretaries have given a large amount of time and attention to this matter and we propose to[Pg 60] make some quotations from this report.

“The principal defects may be presented under the following headings:

  1. Insufficiency in the amount of food allotted.
  2. Wrong relative amounts of different classes of food, making it difficult to serve balanced rations.
  3. Unsatisfactory method of distribution of food among the prisoners.
  4. Inadequate system of food allotment and estimates at the central office.”

Their observations at Sing Sing confirm the report of Warden Kirchwey.

“With a view to varying the daily menu as much as possible a new dietary was established early in the year by Dr. Emily C. Seaman, of Columbia University. A new kitchen was provided in what was formerly known as the old boiler room, with concrete floor, and walls and ceiling enameled white. New equipment was installed, including potato steamers, aluminum kettles, steam kettles, an electric meat chopper, electric potato paring machine, large gas range for roasting meats, and large coffee urns. Those employed in the kitchen and mess hall are dressed in white duck suits. Tables with white enameled tops and chairs with backs are being installed in place of the old tables and stools. The new arrangement is reported to have improved the quality and cleanliness of the food served.”

A Scientific Ration.

In order to make our contention clear, it seems necessary to impart some technical information.

The value of food is estimated in calories. A calorie may be expressed in terms of heat or in terms of work. In the laboratory and by experimentation with human subjects the value of all foods has been very scientifically demonstrated. Foods largely consist of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, which have the function of supplying the body with energy or the power to work. The proper proportion of these constituents of food makes up a balanced ration which satisfies our physical needs in the way of nourishment. We get our carbohydrates from bread, fruits, vegetables, sugar and all grain products. Fats are derived from meats, eggs, butter, milk, nuts, etc. The proteins are derived from meats, eggs and some vegetables, especially beans.

A calorie in terms of heat is defined as the amount required to raise one pound of water four degrees Fahrenheit. In terms of work or physical energy a calorie represents the amount of food required to lift 100 pounds about 30 feet.

It has been ascertained that the average amount of calories[Pg 61] required daily is about 3000 calories for a man who takes exercise. 2500 calories are regarded sufficient for a man who does not take exercise.

Now a good balanced ration for the average man who is working moderately may be estimated in the following proportion:

Carbohydrates     2000 calories
Fats     800 calories
Proteins     300 calories
      3100 calories

Dietary for a Prison.

At the request of the Prison Association of New York a dietary, with cost values, was prepared by Mr. William Golden, General Inspector and Dietitian of the Department of Correction, New York City, and Dr. Emily C. Seaman, Instructor in physiology and chemistry in Teachers’ College, Columbia University. They suggested a dietary for fourteen consecutive days and made an estimate of the cost. The average daily cost for each prisoner was 18.4c, based on prices February, 1917.

As a sample we present their proposed bill of fare for three alternate days:


Breakfast—Oatmeal with milk and sugar, fruit, bread, coffee with milk and sugar.

Dinner—Roast beef, cornstarch pudding, rice, carrots, raisin sauce, bread, coffee with milk and sugar.

Supper—Vermicelli soup, graham bread, tea with sugar.


Breakfast—Puffed wheat with milk and sugar, bread, coffee with milk and sugar.

Dinner—Bread, coffee with milk and sugar, salmon, scalloped rice and tomatoes.

Supper—Bread pudding with raisins, bread, tea with sugar.


Breakfast—Rice with syrup, graham bread, coffee with milk and sugar.

Dinner—Roast beef, baked potatoes, peas, graham bread, gelatine, coffee with milk and sugar.

Supper—Cornstarch pudding, gingerbread, tea with sugar.

Now the dietary given above was prepared with special reference to the physical requirements of the human system. The ingredients are in the correct proportion to insure health and happiness. Let no one think this menu is extravagant. The following table presents the exact amounts given to each person with the cost value. It will surprise many a warden to note that[Pg 62] the total cost is little in excess of the usual monotonous and haphazard dietary.

Daily Amount and Cost for Each Inmate.

Oatmeal, 1 oz. $ .00234    
Milk, ½ pint .01743    
Beef, 9 oz. .06283    
Coffee, ⅔ oz. .00530    
Fruit, 1 piece .01    
Cornstarch, ½ oz. .00138    
Raisins, 2 oz. .01016    
Bread, 24 oz. .03375    
Rice, 1 oz. .00219    
Cheese, ½ oz. .00735    
Vermicelli, 2 oz. .0084   $ .16113
Estimated value in calories, 3000.      
Puffed wheat, 1 oz. $ .00235    
Milk, ½ pint .01743    
Salmon, canned, 4 oz. .05313    
Rice, 1 oz. .00219    
Tomatoes, 2 oz. .00644    
Bread, 24 oz. .03375    
Raisins, 2 oz. .01016    
Coffee, ⅔ oz. .00530    
Tea, .11 oz. .00115    
Sugar, 2 oz. .00741   $ .13931
Estimated value in calories, 2600.      
Rice, 1 oz. $ .00219    
Syrup, 1 oz. .00226    
Milk, ½ pint .01743    
Sugar, 2 oz. .00741    
Bread, 24 oz. .03375    
Roast Beef, 9 oz. .06283    
Potatoes, 10 oz. .025    
Peas, 2 oz. .01087    
Gelatine, 2 oz. .00375    
Cornstarch, ½ oz. .00276    
Gingerbread, 8 oz. .02    
Tea, .11 oz. .00115    
Coffee, ⅔ oz. .00530   $ .19470
Estimated value in calories, 3800.      

[Pg 63]

The average cost for these three days for each inmate, 16½ cents.

Now this is an imaginary bill of fare, not supposed to be served in any institution in the world. It is a suggestion of possibilities. The new service at Sing Sing may approximate to this list of eatables.

Eats in a Michigan Prison.

In the report of the Michigan State Prison for two years ending June 30, 1916, we find the daily menu for every meal in a whole year. Twenty-six pages of the report are taken up with this schedule of eatables.

An extract from this report explains the unusual pains to publish the bill of fare.

“An old adage states that one of the avenues to a man’s heart is through his stomach. The now existing system of intensive farming, and of canning the surplus fruits and vegetables not consumed by the prison commissary has furnished the Michigan State Prison with unusual opportunity to supply food products. The opportunity is reflected in the following menu, showing the food actually served during the last fiscal year.”

We present the menu for a few days selected from different times of the year:

Saturday, July 3, 1915.

Breakfast—Oatmeal, milk, sugar, bread, butter, coffee.

Dinner—Fried pork steak, mashed potatoes, cream gravy, stewed tomatoes, bread, iced tea, cookies, strawberry shortcake.

Supper—Lunch from dinner, bread, coffee.

Sunday, August 1, 1915.

Breakfast—Hot biscuits, syrup, fried potatoes, bread, butter, coffee.

Dinner—Roast beef, browned potatoes, beans, lettuce, radishes, bread, mince pie, iced tea.

Supper—Lunch from dinner, bread, coffee.

Wednesday, December 15, 1915.

Breakfast—Liver and bacon, steamed potatoes, bread, gravy, coffee.

Dinner—Boiled beef, fried parsnips, steamed potatoes, onions, mashed turnips, tomato pickle, bread.

Supper—Bean soup, corn bread, crackers, bread, coffee.

[Pg 64]

Thursday, February 24, 1916.

Breakfast—Baked hash, gravy, bread, coffee.

Dinner—Baked beans, pork, syrup, steamed potatoes, bread, buttermilk.

Supper—Rice soup, corn bread, crackers, bread, coffee.

Tuesday, May 23, 1916.

Breakfast—Creamed potatoes, apple jelly, bread, coffee.

Dinner—Boiled pork, stewed beans, horseradish, mashed rutabagas, green onions, bread, buttermilk.

Supper—Rice soup, rhubarb pie, bread, coffee.

Complete menus are given for 364 days, or for 1092 meals. No, we were not quoting from the Ritz-Carlton cuisine, but from the culinary department of a western penal establishment.

Elmira Reformatory.

The daily bill of fare at the Elmira Reformatory shows that the question of the serving and the variety of food has had careful thought. We quote from a recent report of the State Commission of Prisons, N. Y.

“This institution has one of the best equipped kitchens in the State. It is kept scrupulously clean and the waste has been reduced to a minimum. A physician makes frequent inspections which include an examination of the inmates employed in the kitchen and mess halls. Special white suits are provided.”


Breakfast—Rolled oats, bread, coffee, syrup.

Dinner—Beef soup, corned beef, boiled potatoes, bread, coffee, pudding.

Supper—Stewed raisins, spice cake, bread, butter, syrup, tea.


Breakfast—Creamed rice, bread, coffee.

Dinner—Roast beef, brown gravy, potatoes, bread, coffee, rice pudding.

Supper—Roast beef hash, bread, butter, syrup, tea.


Breakfast—Rolled oats with milk and sugar, bread, coffee.

Dinner—Macaroni with tomato sauce, creamed potatoes, rice pudding with raisins, bread, coffee.

Supper—Creamed rice, bread, butter, syrup, tea.

[Pg 65]

Albany, N. Y.

From the same report we learn of a more modest menu at the Albany County Prison. Besides the conventional bread and coffee served every morning, there was always an additional article of food. Beginning with Monday in one week, these articles in consecutive order were oatmeal, hash, rice and syrup, cornbeef hash, oatmeal, hash, rice and jelly.

For supper the invariable ration was bread, beef stew and tea. For dinner, always bread and coffee, meat four times weekly, pea soup one day, bean soup one day, and on Sunday beans and eggs.

This menu is above the average for variety and quantity.

There are many institutions still serving bread and coffee night and morning, and a dinner of weak soup, with more or less meat and vegetables.

Buying for Institutions.

In the last report of the Board of State Charities, Ohio, Mr. Henry C. Eyman, of Massillon, makes some wise suggestions in regard to some economical variation of the dietary.

“By a little care in arranging the diet list a great saving may result. It is easy to reduce the total cost of your food supply 25%. Does that look unreasonable? Well, let us analyze some prices. We must use present-day prices because we know not what tomorrow may bring. Suppose you have potatoes on the bill of fare twice daily, or fourteen times a week, the cost for 1000 persons would be at present prices, $32.00 per meal, or $448.00 per week. Now substitute for potatoes, rice three times, hominy twice and corn meal mush three times, your total cost of potatoes will be six times $192.00; rice three times $6.00; hominy twice $4.00; corn meal mush three times $5.00, or a total of $207.00, as against $448.00, or a saving of $241.00 per week, or $12,532 per year. Now let us substitute evaporated peaches, evaporated apples and evaporated apricots for these same goods canned. Fruits should be used once daily. The canned fruits will cost an average of $14.00 a meal for 1000 persons, while the evaporated fruit will cost an average of $4.00 for same number, a saving of $10.00 per day, or $3,650.00 a year. Now you will admit that fish is a desirable article of diet for at least 32 weeks a year. Suppose fish be placed on your bill of fare twice a week for 32 weeks, or in all for 64 meals. Beef, pork or mutton will all cost about the same, or for 1000 persons $45.00. Fish for same number, $18.00 to $20.00, or a saving per meal of $25.00 to $27.00, or for the year, $1670.00. Now, in these three items just mentioned we have effected a saving of $16,000.00, or more than 25% of your entire food cost. The entire food cost for 1000[Pg 66] persons will run between $40,000.00 and $45,000.00 per annum.

“It is an easy matter to take every article of food which makes your dietary, calculate food values and prices and make your bill of fare in accordance therewith. Entirely too much meat is used by all of us. Beans, peas, asparagus, milk, cheese and spinach make an excellent direct substitute. This is conservation, without loss in heat units or even in the tastiness of the food.”

Dietary in Illinois.

In the Institution Quarterly, published by the Public Charity Service of Illinois, Mr. Thomas Carroll, Traveling Steward for the Board, writes in regard to the waste which has been so prevalent in public institutions.

“The lack of proper distribution, indifference as to preparation, lack of proper knowledge of the amounts of food required, have been chief impediments encountered in some of the institutions. Non-utilization of food up to its fullest possibilities has also been a serious drawback in the past.”

Among the defects found in the institutions were:

  1. Too much food of one kind. Entire lack of variety.
  2. Poorly balanced menus.
  3. An overamount of meat, occasionally an under supply.
  4. Making of bones into soap instead of stock for soup.
  5. Waste of fats.
  6. Poor supervision in serving the food.
  7. Inadequate chinaware or dishes in general.
  8. Unsanitary conditions in the kitchen and in service.

“With the co-operation of managers, storekeepers, cooks and servers, nearly all these defects have been remedied to a large degree.”

One illustration will indicate the nature of the service of Mr. Carroll. “One institution which usually purchased 11,000 to 13,000 pounds of cooking oils and lard annually has not purchased a single pound since the first visit of the Steward. Excessive fats are trimmed from the meats, and are rendered in a large caldron expressly made for that purpose, and there is at present a surplus of nearly 5,000 pounds on hand, notwithstanding the fact that every requisition for fats and oils have been filled.

“By saving all bones the same institution has an excellent supply of soup two or three times each week for the entire institution. It is of excellent quality, superior to that served in most restaurants.”

[Pg 67]

Dietary for 1000 Persons.

At the special request of the Secretary of the Society, Superintendent Eyman has prepared for our readers the following table, to which we call the attention of all superintendents, wardens and managers of public institutions. The estimates are based on the food requirements for an institution having 1000 inmates, and include the complete menu for every day in a week, with amounts, prices and food values. This table was prepared before the President had issued his request with reference to our abstinence from meats and white bread on certain days of the week. It can readily be modified to meet the present food conditions of the country.

His estimate of the daily cost for each inmate is only 16 cents and thus indicates that a considerable variety may be served without undue expense. It is not intended that any purveyor may follow the exact program, but his suggestions are highly interesting.


By Henry C. Eyman, Superintendent Ohio State Hospital, Massillon, Ohio.


Items Amount Cost
Baked beans 150 lbs. (raw) $11.75
With pork 50 lbs. 11.00
Evaporated fruit 90 lbs. 9.45
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Butter 25 lbs. 12.50
Milk 480 lbs. 14.40
Coffee 8 lbs. .96
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Roast pork 300 lbs. 66.00
Gravy 10 lbs. .50
Potatoes 5 bushels 6.25
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Pie     29.50
Coffee 6 lbs. .72
Tea 2 lbs. .48
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
SUPPER. [Pg 68]
Tapioca pudding     5.85
Hot biscuit     6.00
Syrup     4.00
Butter 25 lbs. 12.50
Tea 2 lbs. .48
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Milk 480 lbs. 14.40
Total cost Sunday for 1,000 inmates     $217.79
Approximate cost for each inmate     21⅘ cents
Food value for each inmate, 2,700 calories.      


Items Amount Cost
Evaporated fruit 90 lbs. $ 9.45
Oatmeal 71 lbs. 3.20
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Butter 25 lbs. 12.50
Milk 480 lbs. 14.40
Coffee 8 lbs. .96
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Beef Stew     26.84
Macaroni 85 lbs. 5.95
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Tea 2 lbs. .48
Coffee 6 lbs. .72
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Cornmeal mush 70 lbs. (meal) 5.85
Evaporated fruit 90 lbs. 9.45
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Butter 25 lbs. 12.50
Tea lbs. .60
Milk 480 lbs. 14.40
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Total cost Monday for 1,000 inmates     $132.75
Approximate cost each inmate     13¼ cents
Food value for each inmate, 2,631 calories.      

[Pg 69]


Items Quantity Cost
Prunes 54 lbs. $ 4.72
Boiled potatoes 5 bushels 6.25
Rye bread 70 loaves 3.50
Butter 25 lbs. 12.50
Coffee 8 lbs. .96
Milk 480 lbs. 14.40
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Boiled pork 65 lbs. } 12.50
Boiled cabbage 400 lbs. }  
Red beets 8 bushels 8.00
Rye bread 70 loaves 3.50
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Coffee 6 lbs. .72
Tea 2 lbs. .48
Stewed corn 100 lbs. 4.00
Rye bread 70 loaves 3.50
Butter 25 lbs. 12.50
Tea lbs. .52
Milk 480 lbs. 14.40
Sour pickles 25 gal. 3.00
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Total cost Tuesday for 1,000 inmates     $107.70
Approximate cost each inmate     10⅘ cents
Food value for each inmate, 2,658 calories.      


Items Quantity Cost
Sausage 200 lbs. $32.00
Oatmeal 71 lbs. 3.20
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Butter 25 lbs. 12.50
Coffee 8 lbs. .96
Milk 480 lbs. 14.40
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
DINNER. [Pg 70]
Boiled pork 300 lbs. 66.00
Navy beans 165 lbs. 18.00
Kraut     4.56
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Coffee 6 lbs. .72
Tea 2 lbs. .52
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Gingerbread     4.80
Cornmeal mush 70 lbs. 5.85
Evaporated fruit 90 lbs. 9.45
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Butter 25 lbs. 12.50
Tea 2 lbs. .52
Milk 480 lbs. 14.40
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Total cost Wednesday for 1,000 inmates     $215.83
Approximate cost each inmate     21⅗ cents
Food value for each inmate, 2,631 calories.      


Items Quantity Cost
Evaporated fruit 90 lbs. $ 9.45
Rice 50 lbs. 5.00
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Butter 25 lbs. 12.50
Coffee 8 lbs. .96
Milk 480 lbs. 14.40
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Beef Stew     26.84
Macaroni 85 lbs. 5.95
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Coffee 6 lbs. .72
Tea 2 lbs. .48
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
SUPPER. [Pg 71]
Stewed tomatoes 50 gal. 12.50
Cinnamon rolls     4.80
Evaporated fruit 90 lbs. 9.45
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Butter 25 lbs. 12.50
Tea 2 lbs. .48
Milk 480 lbs. 14.40
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Total cost Thursday for 1,000 inmates     $145.88
Approximate cost each inmate     14⅗ cents
Food value for each inmate, 2,900 calories.      


Items Quantity Cost
Evaporated fruit 90 lbs. $ 9.45
Farina 45 lbs. 2.70
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Butter 25 lbs. 12.50
Coffee 8 lbs. .96
Milk 480 lbs. 14.40
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Fish 300 lbs. 27.00
Potatoes 5 bushels 6.25
Navy beans 150 lbs. 17.25
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Coffee 6 lbs. .72
Tea 2 lbs. .48
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Oatmeal 71 lbs. 3.20
Red beets 8 bushels 8.00
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Butter 25 lbs. 12.50
Tea 2 lbs. .48
Milk 480 lbs. 14.40
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Total cost Friday for 1,000 inmates     $145.74
Approximate cost each inmate     14⅘ cents
Food value for each inmate, 2,627 calories.      

[Pg 72]


Items Quantity Cost
Liver 225 lbs. $29.25
Bacon 16 lbs. 9.60
Oatmeal 71 lbs. 3.20
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Butter 25 lbs. 12.50
Coffee 8 lbs. .96
Milk 480 lbs. 14.40
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Pork 65 lbs. } 12.50
Cabbage 400 lbs. }  
Red beets 8 bushels 8.00
Bread 80 loaves 4.40
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Coffee 6 lbs. .72
Tea 2 lbs. .48
Hot rolls     6.00
Kraut 40 gal. 4.80
Evaporated fruit 90 lbs. 9.45
Butter 25 lbs. 12.50
Tea 2 lbs. .48
Milk 480 lbs. 14.40
Sugar 9 lbs. .75
Total cost Saturday for 1,000 inmates     $150.29
Approximate cost each inmate     15 cents
Food value for each inmate, 2,730 calories.      

It must be understood that in the preparation of this dietary for a week Mr. Eyman had in mind the food necessities for the general institution, not specializing for an establishment where men and women are sent to repent. However, it is now recognized that a wholesome and appetizing bill of fare should be prepared for inmates of any home or institution in order for both health and economy. Most wardens would cut out the Sunday pie. Something more nutritious and wholesome could readily be substituted. The loaves of bread are reported to weigh 2 lbs. each.

[Pg 73]

Expert Opinion.

In this connection we are glad to call attention to a portion of an editorial from the Journal of the American Medical Association for November, 1916:

“So long as it was held that a prison is merely an institution for the safe detention of criminals, it was not to be expected that the hygienic conditions prevailing in such a place would be in harmony with the best experience or the newest schemes of sanitary science. Food in such an institution was intended solely to keep the prisoner alive and enable him to perform his allotted daily tasks. Penal institutions are beginning, however, to be the seats of active reform. With the acceptance of such a program as part of the function of our prisons, the problem of nutrition can no longer be neglected entirely. It may reasonably be contended that good housing conditions and suitable diet do not of themselves secure reformation of the misguided or the habitual criminal; but without some consideration of the necessity of proper food, the best ends of the imprisonment for crime cannot be attained. Malnutrition may or may not contribute to the production of criminals; in any event, the physiologic and psychic conditions attending the lack of palatable food and a well-balanced ration are not such as are conducive to those mental attitudes that lead to improved conduct and more wholesome life. It has been remarked that while a prisoner is not incarcerated for the purpose of being fed an ideal diet, nevertheless he should be fed so as to insure good health and a stable nervous system. * * *

“It seems extraordinary that so little judgment is shown by prison officials in varying and improving the dietary. The same unappetizing stuff is served day after day and year after year, with no variety in food or manner of preparation. A large number of the prisoners have stomach troubles from this cause alone. Canned food is served when fresh vegetables would be just as cheap. The meat is cooked to death and is covered by a so-called sauce. The kitchen keepers are not to blame; it is the fault of the system.

The remedy for this fault is to be found in the appointment of trained dietitians. So long as hospitals and other establishments which incidentally cater to mankind have been slow to appreciate the need of expert services in the planning and preparation of meals as well as in the purchasing of rations, we can understand the inertia of the prison management in this respect. But the time has apparently come for the introduction of such efficiency and supervision as will lead not only to economy of service but also to physiologic well-being. If the dietary is as important as the coal supply or the construction accounts, it deserves a dietitian rather than a stoker or a skilled mechanic to be placed in charge of the food problems.”

[Pg 74]


We have received the Report of the Board of Control of the Michigan State Prison at Jackson. It is a pamphlet of 140 pages, including 40 full page cuts. There are also four folders of the farm plots. It is a report which reports. We have already spoken of the 26 pages reporting the menu for every meal for a year. We may learn the names and duties of the 90 officers, and their salaries. One table gives the age, nativity, crime, sentence, residence and previous record of each inmate. The names are wisely withheld. The average population was 986. Twenty-five men had escaped in the last two years. We are informed of the date of the escape and the part of the farm and premises from which they absconded. The date of their return is specified. Ten were at large when the pamphlet was made up. They are confident of apprehending these ten. They have no barred windows, no locked doors, no armed guards. The men work over a plantation of more than three thousand acres, of which 2,137 belong to the institution. They rent 900 acres. They had 507 cattle when the report was made, having just sold 146 steers for $14,600. The dairy of 200 cows supplies the institution with abundant milk and butter. Horses, hogs, bees and poultry are also in evidence. “The banner record in poultry this year was made by an inmate * * * who without an incubator was responsible for hatching and raising more than two thousand chickens.”

By no means do they confine their attention to farming. To put a thousand men on a farm of three thousand acres and expect them to support themselves and have a surplus is an absurdity. There are various industries.

Twine plant, product 1916     $106,820.79
Canning factory, product 1916     62,949.58
Granite shop, product 1916     16,385.79
Brick and tile plant, product 1916     52,866.44
Brooms, product 1916     5,696.25
The net earnings in two years were     $206,206.18
They had paid to the efficient workmen     65,009.35

In the year 1917 they were anticipating a canned pack of $100,000.00. Of the products of the farm “they eat what they can, and can what they can’t.”

Canning Factory.

“The intensive production of fruits and vegetables on the farms created a surplus which had to be cared for. * * * Hence the necessity for the canning plant. This industry * * * has accomplished more than any other one industry[Pg 75] in the prison to insure the industrial success of the institution.

“From the standpoint of a prison industry it ranks first, inasmuch as the entire produce except the can is the direct result of prison labor. While other industries require the purchase of material for manufacturing, in the canning plant, the material, coming from the prison farms, is also produced by prison labor.

“The refuse from the factory in the lines of fodder, husks, etc., from the sweet corn; vines and pods from the peas; tops from the beets, and pomace from the apples press, furnish largely the ensilage ration for the large herds of cattle.

“The management is adding each year some new item to the pack of canned goods, until now it includes all varieties of fruits and vegetables, apple jelly, sorghum molasses, baked pork and beans, spaghetti, and the generation of pure cider vinegar. (They may soon rival the 57 varieties of Mr. Heinz.)

“The sanitary conditions in the factory are perfect. Any man, in order to be eligible to work in this factory, must have a clean bill of health from the prison physician. To further the sanitary conditions, the equipment and entire interior of the plant is painted white.”

Consumers and any one interested may inspect this plant at any time. Here they see the men, preparing the vegetables for canning, in a white room, dressed in white caps, white coats, white shirts, and white aprons.

They have copyrighted the label “Home Grown,” and adopted as their slogan: “We grow, pack, sell and guarantee our own product.”

Their goods are sold in the open market, being very popular throughout the State and in adjoining States.

They have long ago abolished the contract system which was really a system of slavery. They have gone beyond the policy of raising produce or manufacturing articles for State-use, but transact business on the State-Account plan, disposing of the product wherever they can find a market. They claim that under their system of employing convicts, outside labor has nothing to fear from competition. Contract labor may have been somewhat of a menace to labor on the outside, but these men earning wages are engaged in honest production and the product is distributed just as the fruits of any other industry. Let me illustrate. A man working on a farm, in a canning factory, in a cotton mill, commits a fault and is secluded from the community but continues his work on another farm, in another canning factory, in another cotton mill. He receives wages which maintains his family. Competition is neither increased nor diminished. When the man is released, he may return to his old job. High authority in the labor unions has stated that there is no objection to a system which affords fair play to the prisoner and also to the working[Pg 76] man. Laborers have justly opposed the exploitation of prisoners under the lease and contract systems. They have not been opposed to the development of prison industries on a fair basis. They present no objection to a “State-Use” method, and we trust they will not oppose the development of a few industries organized under the State-Account plan which appears to have been so successful in the Michigan State Prison.

Fair Exhibits.

The products of the prison industries and of the farm have been shown at a number of County Fairs and also at the State Fair, and the public has thus been informed of their activities and greatly pleased therewith. Nought has been heard but favorable comment.

Kitchen and Dining Room.

The culinary department is managed on the most approved sanitary scheme. None but healthy men are employed. They use every vegetable which will grow in Michigan, as long as the season lasts, and the canned product when the season is over. Every sanitary precaution is taken in the preparation of the meat from the pasturage and feeding of the stock, the slaughtering and handling of the carcass, in the cooking and serving the various viands on the dining table.


It is not the object of the officers to exploit the men to the advantage of the State. In the last two years they may have returned to the State about $9,000, but in the same time they paid out to the men the sum of $65,000 in wages. They are spending their surplus in betterments. They have built dormitories, with rooms, not cells, avoiding particularly the menagerie appearance. They aim to supply the men with a wholesome and natural environment, believing that thus they may accomplish the main object of a penal institution which is the reformation and restoration of the offender.

A. H. V.


A Symposium, edited by Julia K. Jaffray, Secretary, National Committee on Prisons and Prison Labor. Boston. Little, Brown and Company. 1917. $2.50.

A volume of 216 pages, containing eleven chapters contributed by fourteen men of high repute. Judge Wadhams, of New York City, comments on the Indeterminate Sentence,[Pg 77] favoring a liberal application of the principle. Doctor Glueck and Doctor Salmon describe the necessity for psychiatrical studies of the convict in order to determine the best treatment for his welfare and also for the interest of the community.

Thomas Mott Osborne briefly delineates the self-government plan as instituted by him at Auburn and Sing Sing, and E. Kent Hubbard describes a similar system adopted in the Connecticut State Reformatory. “The Honor System” is condemned and there is no word in its defense.

We commend the book to all those who wish in brief compass to know what progress has been made in humanitarian ideals for the reformation of prisoners and what the scientific analysis of modern conditions indicates as the best measures to attain the cure and prevention of crime. Like other compilations, however, the various themes are not treated with equally judicial tone or comprehensiveness.


By Burdette G. Lewis, Commissioner of Correction, New York City. Harper and Brothers. 382 pp. $2.00.

In this volume of 382 pages, Commissioner Lewis speaks from careful observation and from conscientious study. The reader will soon perceive that a judicial treatment is applied to the various questions involved in dealing with penological problems. Various systems of government are considered, the differences between the Honor System and the Self-Government clearly indicated, and valuable suggestions made as to the classes of prisoners to which the various systems of government may be adapted. The subjects of Probation and The Indeterminate Sentence are fairly presented and discussed, the author coming to the conclusion that the Indeterminate Sentence is far preferable to the determinate system of the older penology.

The tendency today is to treat the offender in much the same way as the insane are now treated. Originally these unfortunates were dealt with as though possessed of demons. Gradually a reform was introduced. Special institutions were established, and these have been gradually improved to the extent that such afflicted persons are given such occupation and such freedom as compatible with safety. The result is that from 20 to 30 per cent. of them are either released as cured or may be released under the custodial care of their friends or relatives.

Mr. Lewis holds that the tendency to accord similar treatment after a careful diagnosis of each case to the delinquent is likely to produce a similar result. Each offender should be dealt with according to his special peculiarity, the treatment aiming[Pg 78] at the substitution of good for bad habits, commitment to prison being used when it is not in the interest of the individual or of society to release the convicted criminal. Mr. Lewis advocates the retaining of old-established methods as long as they are of service. These should not be discarded merely because they are old. He claims that the leaders in the movement agree that the new methods should be wisely tested before they are introduced generally. It is clear that there must have been good reasons for the adoption of any new method, but at the same time he is strongly in favor of studying the human equation, and of differentiating the treatment to suit each case.

In order to administer intelligently the large department under his charge he has “found it necessary to proceed carefully and to experiment widely before effecting a departure from the well-known methods of treatment.” The processes as well as the result of Mr. Lewis’s labors are given in the present volume. In Part I he rehearses the fundamental social forces upon which one must depend in order to check the development of the criminal. Among these are the home, the church, the school, health and sanitation, and the police.

In Part II are outlined the manner of utilizing the forces likely to improve the offender; in short, all the forces of law, order and social development in harmonious co-operation. The book is of serious concern to all interested in social science and in the best means of encouraging normal growth and development through a study of existing conditions.


We acknowledge the receipt of the Seventy-second Annual Report of our sister association in New York. It is a ponderous pamphlet of 648 pages full of information concerning Prison Progress in 1916. This Association was incorporated in 1846.

Our members will be interested in knowing that their Executive Committee, like our Acting Committee, has power to examine, and inspect all prisons of the State. Not only do they have the power but it is also enjoined upon them as a duty to make such visits and to report annually to the State Legislature the condition of the prisons and any circumstances “in regard to them as may enable the Legislature to perfect their government and discipline.” The charter also provides that the State shall print 500 copies of this annual report. Many additional copies are purchased by the Association for general distribution.

Their working staff contains twenty officers who are engaged in parole and probation duties, in the work of inspection and research, in securing employment and in affording relief.

The last 300 pages of this document are devoted to reports of the inspection of the various prisons of the State. The officers[Pg 79] do not shrink from sharp criticism of undesirable features, and yet their criticism is of a constructive type. Recommendations are made, and the progress made since the last inspection is duly credited.

We have also received the Report of the New York State Commission of Prisons, a bound volume of 592 pages. 328 pages are devoted to description, recommendations and criticisms connected with the prisons of the State from the large State Prisons to the small village lock-ups. This appears to us a duplication of the work of the Prison Association. Why should there be two organizations doing the same work?

The report of the Prison Association contains much valuable information with regard to legislation both recent and proposed, and to the success of the reformatory measures recently introduced into their penal system. Those who desire copies of the report may write to this Association at 135 E. 15th St., New York City.


This Commission was appointed according to the provisions of a bill of the legislature of the State passed in January, 1917. By January 1, 1918, the Commission had prepared an elaborate report of 822 pages giving a history and description of the prisons and penal methods of the State, and also presenting their recommendations.

The historical record in general indicates a series of failures rather than of successes in penal administration. The so-called “Pennsylvania system,” the “Auburn Plan,” the method of contract labor, the State-Use plan, the Parole work, the efforts at Reformation, the partisan Boards, all have their share of more or less condemnation.

The student of penology, however, will discover in this record encouraging tendencies which may ultimately bring about a higher type of treatment of those who go astray.

The Commission believes in giving the largest opportunities for work in the open air and regards with detestation the “vicious rule of silence.”

Their discussion with regard to the merits and demerits of a Central Board of Control of all correctional institutions is deeply interesting and illuminating. They have come to the conclusion that a “system may be devised which will give to the State of New Jersey the benefits of a centralized control of its correctional system as a whole, but which will still leave to the separate institutions the advantages of the personal interest and devotion which have been such important factors in their development.” To accomplish this purpose, they recommend the[Pg 80] appointment of a Central Board by the Governor, who without compensation, shall have a general power of supervision and visitation of all correctional institutions. The local boards are to be continued with authority to manage the several institutions to which they are attached.

The principal recommendation of this Commission is to advise the appointment of this Central Board with whom should be vested the power to readjust, harmonize and improve the entire penal system of the State.


As we are going to press, there comes to hand a little pamphlet describing the industries and production of Bilibid.

Why not send our wardens who desire to do things to Bilibid? Perhaps, it would be better to send our legislators, who after observing the practical achievements of Bilibid may be induced to authorize our wardens to inaugurate a sound industrial policy.

Where is Bilibid? Take the train for San Francisco, engage passage on some leviathan of the deep and get off probably at the second station which is Manila. Thence it is a short excursion to Bilibid, a trip taken by twenty thousand visitors in a single year, not to mention those who take involuntary trips thither.

Forty buildings, seventeen acres of ground, plan of main building like Eastern Penitentiary, one of the best ever constructed if we consider continual inspection as an essential factor. 2800 prisoners there; as many others in prisons elsewhere in the islands but all co-ordinated under a central administration.

The great aim is to prepare the inmates for “honorable position in the community upon their release.”

The men work and play. We enumerate some of the industries.

  1. Manufacture and repair of carriages, wagons, carts, trucks, trailers, etc.
  2. Household and Office Furniture made of mahogany and other native beautiful woods.
  3. Concrete work, construction of buildings.
  4. Rattan and bamboo furniture. The famous fan-back chair.
  5. Hand-wrought articles in silver, gold and other metals; shell-work, horn specialties.
  6. Tailoring. Service uniforms.
  7. Steam laundry. All the work for the inside and a “considerable civilian trade.”
  8. Embroidery, lace making, crochet organized for the female department.[Pg 81]
Output per annum   $350,000
Profit for the government   100,000

There are two penal colonies on large tracts of land, on one of which the 1200 colonists practically have a government of their own.

The San Remon Farm is where the non-Christian convicts from Moroland are confined. These war-like people have admirable qualities when treated properly, and three-fourths of the inmates are at work on the extensive farm without the presence of an armed guard. Here is found the model prison of the Orient. “Built of reinforced concrete, with grilled walls, dormitories, shower baths, and with every modern feature for the comfort, health and reformation of prisoners confined there, it has proved a wonderful educational institution for the Moro.” The entire credit for this building and the admirable system is due to the genius and sagacity of the former governor, General John J. Pershing.


Early in last July, a very earnest assemblage of wardens and superintendents of prisons, and members of the American Prison Association held a conference in Washington with a view of mobilizing the prison industries so as to be helpful to the government in these times of scarcity of labor.

There were forty delegates in attendance, mainly appointed by the Governors of twenty-two States.

After discussions lasting for several sessions, the Conference was unanimous in making certain recommendations.

  1. Already the penal institutions possess enormous acreage. If the government will accept the product, the crops may be greatly increased. Over a half million acres are available and 75,000 workers.
  2. In many States, where the law permits, selected inmates can be paroled to labor for farmers at reasonable wages. Extensive development of this method is possible.
  3. Many of the prisons support industries the outcome of which may be very serviceable. Among the chief industrial products are socks, shirts, underwear, blankets, mattresses, boots and shoes, overalls, harness, and army and navy equipment.
  4. The executive order of 1905, providing that no prison-made goods shall be purchased by the National Government, ought at once to be rescinded.
  5. “We are convinced that a very large majority of the inmates of our prisons and reformatories are ready and earnestly desirous of ‘doing their bit’ for the country.”

[Pg 82]

To accomplish these results, a bill has been introduced in the U. S. Senate (S. 3076) and in the House of Representatives (H. R. 7353) whose purpose is to utilize the labor of Federal and other prisoners in manufacturing government supplies.

The prices paid are to be the market prices current in same locality for same commodities.

The hours of labor are to be the same as the time prevalent in the same vicinity for the same sort of labor.

The same rate of wages is to be paid to the prisoners, subject to the necessary deduction for maintenance.

This means that the goods purchased by the United States from the prisons shall be made by labor which is on a par with outside labor.

No goods are to be purchased by the Government from “any private person or companies using the labor” of convicts. Thus the Government utters its protest against any form of “contract labor.”

The Acting Committee of The Pennsylvania Prison Society has urged the early passage of this bill.


Within the last two years, in the Empire State, some prison officials and students of penology have occasionally met for an informal conference on methods of penal management. No reporters attend, they have no Secretary, there are no restrictive features, the discussions are frank, free and open. They have been held at some one of the institutions, and so the visitors have opportunity to observe from the inside the methods and employments of the prison where the meetings may be held.

Those who attend these conferences are the guests of the institution which is visited. They have been held at the Elmira Reformatory, at Great Meadow, at Blackwell’s Island and possibly at one or two other prisons.

Last summer it was the good fortune of the Secretary to have the privilege of attending the meeting held at Great Meadow at Comstock, N. Y. Perhaps there were fifty ladies and gentlemen in attendance, among whom were Jas. M. Carter, Superintendent of Prisons for the State of New York; Warden Trombly, of Danemora; William George, founder of the school which bears his name; ex-Warden Geo. W. Kirchwey, O. F. Lewis, Secretary of the New York Prison Association; Miss Katherine B. Davis, Commissioner of Parole and Probation, New York City, and various officials connected with the New York City prisons and other penal institutions of the State.

Arriving at Comstock the guests were met by our genial host, Warden Homer, whose conveyances soon brought us to the[Pg 83] Administration Building. There were excursions about the big farm and the various buildings. Bounteous meals were served under a tent on the grounds of the shady lawn. The ladies were lodged in the administration building. It was at one time supposed that the gentlemen would occupy cells in the regular prison department, but for some reason this very interesting proposition was relinquished, and a garage was converted into an airy dormitory for the accommodation of the gentlemen. Prisoners brought iron bedsteads and bedding and nothing was omitted for the comfort of the guests. A shower bath was improvised, and in the morning the barber and the shoe polisher appeared with all the proper accoutrements.

The guests arrived on Friday morning and departed the next afternoon. There were three informal meetings, at which a variety of penological subjects were both lightly and profoundly discussed. Proceedings are not to be published, hence there is no feeling of restraint.

The writer trusts he will not violate the confidence of his friends if he may refer to one or two points in the discussion.

One of the prisoners on the farm—by the way an ex-member of the New York State Legislature—addressed the company in emphatic recommendation of The Honor System as employed by Warden Homer. He stated that the prisoners there did not care for any extension of the self-government plan. He was sure that Warden Homer could govern them better than they could govern themselves. They were as comfortable as any persons restrained within limits could be supposed to be. They knew they could get a “square deal” from Warden Homer, and they did not care to shift the responsibility of government to any other shoulders.

An enthusiastic supporter of the self-government system was rather inclined to look with disfavor on a benevolent despotism, such as the system now in vogue at Great Meadow. The persons so governed lost initiative and the power of thinking for themselves. They had no opportunity of profiting by their own mistakes. They became mere puppets, and were not learning the practical lessons which would fit them for the life outside.

The company listened with interest to an expert dietitian who spoke of the crude and ragged methods of preparing food in the penal institutions. Sufficient food was provided as a rule, but it was ruined in the preparation.

Mentally, morally, socially and gastronomically, we may state, the meeting was a success.

Last October we enjoyed a similar conference at Sleighton Farm, Pa., and we know of no reason why the experiment may not be repeated in this commonwealth.

The Secretary is willing to suggest that there are in Pennsylvania[Pg 84] several country clubs where such a conference would be welcomed. He is willing to mention The Reformatory at Huntingdon with its splendid farm, the beautiful campus of the School at Morganza, the Workhouse at Holmesburg and Hoboken, and the magnificent State Prison Farm at Bellefonte. Perhaps Warden John Francies would prefer to receive us when his institution is nearer completion.

When the invitation comes from any of the institutions mentioned, there will be a response.

A. H. V.

Utilization of Prison Labor.


(Suggestions to West Virginia)

With the tremendous demand for war supplies in addition to the ordinary demand for domestic uses; with the cessation of immigration which for 150 years has poured a steady stream of fresh laborers into the United States; and with the immediate diversion of a million men, and perhaps four or five millions, to the trade of war, we are confronted with a scarcity of labor which compels us to utilize every available worker to the limit of his reasonable capacity.

Able-bodied men, working under skilled direction and thorough system, without loss of time from drink, strikes or voluntary holidays, ought to earn more than their board and clothes. In the present state of the labor market it is possible for prisoners, under proper circumstances, to earn two dollars per day. In Vermont prisoners from the common jail are earning two dollars per day on the adjacent farms. In Windham county, Connecticut, prisoners are actually earning $2.50 per day at common labor, and at Wilmington, Delaware, short-term prisoners are earning $1.20 per day....

In those counties where the jail prisoners are not employed, we would suggest the adoption of the Vermont plan under which the jailer finds employment for individual prisoners with a nearby farmer who pays for their labor at the ordinary rate for free labor. The prisoner sleeps at the jail and has his breakfast and supper there—two good hearty meals. He goes out in the morning, carrying a dinner bucket, and returns at night. If the distance is too great the farmer sends for him by team or automobile. If the prisoner fails to make good or tries to run away, the farmer notifies the sheriff promptly, who sends a deputy sheriff after him. The reports from Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware and Wisconsin, where this plan prevails, show very few escapes. No guard is necessary, as the farmer looks after the prisoners, and thus the overhead charges are done away with.

[Pg 85]

Thomas J. Tynan, of the Colorado State Penitentiary, wrote recently as follows: “We are now doing work to the value of $2.50 per day by prisoners on the highway at a cost to the taxpayers of the State not to exceed 40 cents per day. The State could well afford to pay a little wage besides the good time allowance.”

The difference between the old system and the new system lies chiefly in the manner of dealing with the prisoners. Under the new plan an appeal is made to the prisoner’s honor and good will. After being tested within the walls, he is permitted to join a company of workers outside the wall on his promise of good work and good behavior, and on his promise not to run away. The prisoners work without chains, and the guards in many cases carry no firearms. Testimony comes from Ohio, from Oregon, from Colorado, from Wisconsin, from Connecticut and from Canada that prisoners—even low-grade prisoners and negroes—respond surprisingly to this treatment; that escapes are few, and that there is a great improvement in the industry and efficiency of the prisoners.

The incentive to the prisoners to make good is partly an increased allowance for good time; partly, in some States, a small cash wage; partly the desire of the prisoners for the freer life outside the walls, and partly a response to the confidence shown in them by their officers.

Success in employing prisoners on the roads by modern methods depends first upon finding a road manager who is interested in his men and believes in the possibility of exciting their interest and loyalty for the work. It depends, second, upon creating such living and working conditions as will keep the men fit for a good day’s work. That means good food, good cooking, comfortable sleeping quarters, opportunity for proper recreation, good laundry work and bathing facilities, and, above all, the treatment of the prisoners by their officers as reasonable human beings.

The plan of roadside camps, portable cages, chain gangs, ignorant and cruel guards armed with shotguns and discretionary power will not secure cheerful and efficient work.


[This article, by Henry A. Montgomery, Staff Correspondent of the Detroit News, was incited by the plan of Detroit to build a large and expensive House of Correction. What other communities or States are doing will be told by Mr. Montgomery.]

Greencastle, Ind., March 13.—“Reform them? No, you don’t reform them. You can’t change a man’s real nature. But lots of them are not naturally bad. We get the alcohol out of[Pg 86] their systems, give them all they can eat, make them keep regular hours and do a man’s work, and the good in them has a chance to show itself.”

That is the way Charles E. Talkington, superintendent of the Indiana State Farm, defined reformation.

The farm is situated in some of the most beautiful farming country in western Indiana, about midway between Indianapolis and Terre Haute. The site selected for the colony is particularly well adapted to the needs of a penal institution, being rich in its deposits of limestone, having plenty of tillable soil and considerable timber. The beautiful hills and deep ravines lend the tract beauty and make it possible for the landscape gardener with little effort to make it look like the estate of a wealthy landowner. Although general farming is engaged in, the products of the garden form so great a share of the subsistence of the men that this has developed into one of the most important features of the work. When present plans have been realized there will be at least 160 acres devoted exclusively to gardening.

It’s an unusual sight that one encounters on arriving at the top of the long hill where is built the little village, the home of the 700 social misfits. Two rows of long, squat frame buildings form the “street” of this strange town. Nobody would guess from the appearance of the buildings what they were intended for. They resemble the Billy Sunday tabernacle type of structure. There is nothing attractive about them, but they are temporary quarters and they are serving their purpose well.

The first of these buildings is the office and sleeping apartments of the officers. It is here that the prisoner is first taken. His history is recorded, he is subjected to a medical examination, his clothes are fumigated and stored away for his use when he is released, and he is given a bath, shave and haircut, and a suit of clothes. The clothes consist of the heavy working jacket and trousers, underclothing and corduroy cap.

The first interview with the prisoner is considered important. The assistant superintendent gives him detailed instructions as to his own conduct and tells him with great care about the theories that are being worked out. The number of men who, immediately following this talk, are placed on their honor and given as much freedom as it is possible to give is remarkable. Few of them violate the trust.

Often the man sent to the farm for six months walks forth from the office, strolls over to the recreation room to await his work assignment and never feels for one minute the influence of restraint, except, perhaps, the realization that in the watch towers placed at various points of vantage about the farm there is stationed a man—a fellow prisoner—whose duty it is to notify headquarters if any prisoner starts to leave the grounds.

The prisoner eats in a dining room and sleeps in a dormitory[Pg 87] which are kept spotlessly clean, and there is neither bar on the window nor lock on the door. Each dormitory is occupied by about 200 men, and one officer is all that is needed to maintain order.

“We do not say our plan is perfect,” said Superintendent Talkington, “nor do we make any great claims about our ability to reform a man during the short time he is here. But we do say this is the best manner yet devised for handling them. We take a man from the gutter, and at least make it possible for him to improve. We give him health, and direction enough to get him into some employment at which he can earn his living. Although we refuse to put forth any claims about how much good we do for the man, we at least know that we do not injure him. And that is more than can be said for any jail or prison. We aren’t running any school for crime here. We do know that. We also know that we can make this institution self-supporting and a means of revenue for the State. What more can you ask?

“The wide-open policy of freedom, I believe, has been carried to the extreme here. Although the great majority of men can be handled and trusted in absolute freedom, there are, in a population of 700 men, some who can never be given liberty. There is need for not more than 50 cells. Any farm colony ought to have them even if the cells are never used. Even so, we are getting along very nicely without them, and it shows to what great extent this policy can be carried successfully.

“We never had even punishment cells until a few days ago when four were completed. We aren’t going to have to use them much, either. Confinement on bread and water is the only form of punishment permitted in this colony—no flogging, no dungeons, no ball and chain, no stripes.

“We have prisoners living down on the lower end of the farm working under a prisoner-foreman. We see them only when we are making the weekly round of inspection.”

One could not help but feel, in discussion with Mr. Talkington, that one was listening to a practical man who is anything but the dreamer or idealist usually found advocating so revolutionary a plan as the one on which the superintendent is working. He made no claims to super-knowledge in the handling of men. He had no illusions about the matter. He knew the faults of the plan and he knew the virtues. When he undertook the present work, his only assets were his experience as a farmer and school teacher.

“I feel,” said Mr. Talkington, “that your officials, before spending more than a million dollars on the old type of prison, should see this farm and the one at Guelph, Ont. I’m confident they would change their plans. This may be a new thing in this country, but it is not untried in the old. The most famous of the European farm colonies is the one at Witzwil, Switzerland. It[Pg 88] has solved all the problems of handling men, it pays thousands of dollars annually into the treasury of the canton Berne and there has been no trouble experienced in competition with free labor.

“The farm colony has come to America to stay, and I hope Detroit won’t take any action which will postpone for perhaps half a century an improvement they are entitled to now.”

One of the bad features of Indiana’s temporary arrangement is the lack of opportunity to segregate prisoners into classes or groups. The dormitories are too large and the facilities for recreation are very limited.

“The men should be divided into smaller groups,” said the superintendent, “and I believe the recreation room should be a part of the dormitory. I would not place more than 25 to 50 men in each group. That would give a chance to segregate the youths from the older men and permit keeping apart the more dangerous type from the man who is here on some comparatively trifling charge.

“Another of our greatest needs is the establishment of industries to supplement the work on the farm. We are going to get these. There should be a furniture factory, a canning factory, brick yard or other suitable industries where the men can be worked when weather conditions are bad or outside work slack.”

The greatest factor in the maintaining of discipline is the use of the honor system. There are good jobs on the farm and bad ones. And the good jobs go to the men who have the best records and have shown their ability to take positions of responsibility.

“You can’t tell me that you can run any prison with any such sort of discipline,” a prison superintendent recently told me. “There are some men who must be strung up and there are some who must be spanked. If we didn’t resort to extreme methods at times we would have a riot on our hands all the time.”

The best answer to this is found in the record of the Indiana farm. There hasn’t been a strike or a serious riot since the institution was founded. There are no guards standing or sitting around idle. The guards are working foremen who perform as much actual labor as any prisoner. The employed guards have guns in their pocket, but the guns are never used and some of them aren’t even loaded.

There is a provision in the State law of Indiana which permits the drafting from the penitentiaries of trusties to take jobs as foremen, sentinels and lookouts. Of course, this probably could not be done in Detroit, because the house of correction is a city institution. But in Indiana it assists materially in keeping down the payroll. It makes this difference—the farm colony at Occoquan, Va., has a payroll of about $5000 a month; the Indiana institution gets along with $1700. And the two institutions are very much alike.—From The Delinquent, March, 1917.

[Pg 89]


William E. Mikell, Member of State Commission to Revise the Criminal Code.

Perhaps, in the true sense of the term, there is no criminal “code” in Pennsylvania. The whole body of the criminal law has never been reduced to a written code in this state in the sense in which this has been done in some of the States of the Union in which jurisdictions there are no crimes except those specifically prescribed. * * *

At the common law, crimes were classified as felonies and misdemeanors. Without going into nice historical questions we can fairly say that the term “felony” was applied to the more heinous crimes, “misdemeanors” to the more venial ones. In the statutory law of both England and of this country these terms have in general been similarly employed. In the Pennsylvania code the legislature has in the majority of cases in defining each crime designated the crime a felony or a misdemeanor; and following the general principle of the common law, affixed the stigma of “felony” to the graver crimes. Viewing the code, however, as a whole, there is an utter lack of principle in the grading of crimes as felonies or misdemeanors, either according to the moral heinousness of the offense, or the severity of the punishment.

Bigamy, with its attendant disgrace and illegitimacy, is a misdemeanor, while embezzlement by a servant is a felony. For a clerk or agent to embezzle—by the code called larceny—is a felony; for a banker, trustee or guardian to embezzle, is only a misdemeanor. * * *

Administering a narcotic with intent to commit larceny, is felony; assault and battery endangering the life of an infant, is a misdemeanor. Blackmailing is only a misdemeanor, while receiving stolen goods is a felony. If one in the heat of a fight, intending to disable or maim his antagonist, should cut him ever so slightly, he is guilty of a felony, but, if he “on purpose, and of malice aforethought by lying in wait, shall unlawfully cut out the tongue, put out an eye, cut off the nose * * * or cut off any limb” of his victim, he commits only a misdemeanor. Also if he “voluntarily, maliciously and of purpose bite off the * * * limb or member of another,” he is guilty of a misdemeanor. Truly, there must have been giants in those days. The effect of these two sections is to make it a graver offense to attempt mayhem and fail, than to succeed.

[Pg 90]

The Grading of Penalties.

The work of the commissioners who framed the Code of 1860 shows an utter lack of any consistent theory not only of grading the crimes as felonies and misdemeanors, but also in grading the punishment fixed for the various crimes. It may not be easy to do this in all cases. Persons may intelligently differ as to whether perjury should be more seriously punished than assault and battery, and whether larceny or bigamy be deserving of the greater penalty. But it is difficult to see why embezzlement by a consignee or factor should be punished with five years’ imprisonment and embezzlement by a person transporting the goods to the factor should be punished by one year’s imprisonment. * * *

Under the Act of 1860, having in possession tools for the counterfeiting of copper coin is punished by six years’ imprisonment, while by the next section the punishment for actually making counterfeit copper coin is only three years, though it cannot be made without the tools to make it. * * *

The distinction just mentioned is, however, no stranger than that made by the code between a councilman on the one hand and a judge on the other, in the provisions against bribery. Section 48 of the Act of 1860 provides that if any judge * * * shall accept a bribe, he shall be fined not more than $1000 and be imprisoned for not more than five years. But by Section 8 of the Act of 1874, a councilman who accepts a bribe may be fined $10,000, ten times as much as a judge, and be imprisoned the same number of years—five years. The statute also provides that the councilman shall be incapable of holding any place of profit or trust in this Commonwealth thereafter. But the convicted judge is placed under no such disability.

Relations of Fine to Imprisonment.

In the case of almost every crime denounced by the code fine and imprisonment are associated. In most cases the penalty provided is fine and imprisonment, in some it is fine or imprisonment. In a few cases imprisonment alone without a fine is prescribed, and in a few others it is a fine alone without imprisonment. We seek in vain for any principle on which the fine is omitted, where it is omitted; or for a principle on which it is inflicted in addition to imprisonment in some cases, and as an alternative to imprisonment in others. Thus the penalty for exhibiting indecent pictures on a wall in a public place is a fine of $300, but no imprisonment, while by the same act the drawing of such pictures on the same wall carries a fine of $500 and one year’s imprisonment. Manslaughter carries a fine of $1000 as well as imprisonment for twelve years, but train robbery and[Pg 91] murder in the second degree involve no fine, but fifteen and twenty years in prison respectively. It cannot be the length of the imprisonment that does away with the fine in this latter case, for the crime of aiding in kidnapping may be punished with twenty-five years in prison, but also has a fine of $5000.

More striking still, perhaps, is the lack of any relation between the amount of the fine and the length of the imprisonment provided in the code. In the case of some crimes the fine is small and the imprisonment short, as in blasphemy, which is punished by a fine of $100 and three months in prison, extortion and embracery punished with $500 and one year. In a few the fine is large and the imprisonment long, as in accepting bribes by councilmen, $10,000 and five years, and malicious injury to railroads, $10,000 and ten years. But in others the fine is small while the imprisonment is long and in others the fine large and the imprisonment short.

Incomplete Crimes.

It is a general principle of criminal jurisprudence that “incomplete crimes,” as they are called, such as attempt, and conspiracy to commit a crime, should not be punished as severely as the full, completed crime. It was on this principle that at common law an attempt to commit even the gravest felony, such as murder, was only a misdemeanor. Other codes maintain this principle. * * *

The Pennsylvania code has no general section on attempts, but in a haphazard manner, in providing for some crimes, provides for the attempt to commit the same, and in some cases has no provision for such attempts. A study of those cases in which provision for punishing the attempt is made, shows an entire absence of any theory or principle in assessing the punishment. Thus the penalty for the attempt to commit arson is the same as for the crime of arson itself; for the attempt to commit robbery, the same as for the completed robbery; but the attempt to commit murder is not punished with the same penalty as murder, viz.: death, or twenty years’ imprisonment, but by seven years’ imprisonment only.

Instances of Lack of Co-ordination in Drafting.

Two strikers separately determine to wreck a passenger train: one removes a rail from the road over which a train is scheduled to pass; another cuts the telegraph wire to prevent the train dispatcher from stopping the train from running into a wreck. The first striker would come within the terms of Section 7 of the Act of 1911 and could be sentenced to pay a fine of $10,000 and suffer imprisonment for ten years; the second man[Pg 92] would come within the terms of Section 147 of the Act of 1860 and could not be fined more than $500 or imprisoned more than twelve months. * * *

If the executor made way with a horse belonging to the estate, his maximum imprisonment would be still two years; but if the butler made way with another horse he might receive ten years as a penalty. If a mule would serve the butler’s purpose as well as a horse he had better take the mule, for then he could not be sentenced for more than three years; if the mule were not swift enough, however, he might choose an automobile, for the maximum imprisonment for stealing an automobile is the same as that for larceny of the mule, being less than one-third of that for larceny of a horse.

If the driver of a public “coachee” by “wanton and furious driving or racing” unintentionally breaks a chicken’s leg he may be punished by five years’ imprisonment, the same punishment provided for attempted rape, for mayhem, for counterfeiting, and for robbery; but if the driver of a taxicab is guilty of the same assault on a member of the feathered tribe he is not even indictable. If the driver of this “coachee,” while so driving, should accidentally inflict the slightest personal injury on another, he would be liable to greater punishment than if he deliberately stabbed that other with intent to maim him, or wilfully and maliciously exploded dynamite under him, thus doing him serious bodily harm. This violates one of the cardinal principles of criminal jurisprudence, viz., that crimes of negligence are not so grave as crimes done with deliberate intent, a principle recognized in other parts of the code in providing for murder and involuntary manslaughter. * * *

The writer has attempted to point out in this paper some of the more glaring and interesting defects in the code. He has by no means exhausted them. There is a great need for a complete revision of the code. It is a jumble of inconsistent theories; a great many sections are badly drawn, others are obsolete; many are inconsistent, many are in conflict; there is much overlapping due to different acts having been passed at different times covering in part the same subject matter, so that it cannot be told whether a given crime should be punished under one section or another prescribing a different punishment.

Governor Brumbaugh has appointed the following on the Commission to revise the Criminal Code of the Commonwealth: Edwin M. Abbott, Chairman, Philadelphia; Wm. E. Mikell, Secretary, Philadelphia; George C. Bradshaw, Pittsburgh; Clarence E. Coughlin, Wilkes-Barre; Rex N. Mitchell, Punxsutawney.


[A] From an article by Mr. Mikell in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, January, 1917. The article clearly indicates the urgent need of revision of our criminal code.

[Pg 93]



The meetings of the American Prison Association in 1917 were held in New Orleans, November 19-23. Outside of the State of Louisiana, the registration of delegates and attenders amounted to 261, of whom seven were from Canada, one from Mexico, one from Cuba and one from Guatemala. One hundred and thirty-seven registered from Louisiana. Outside of this State, Massachusetts enrolled the largest number, thirty-two being accredited to the Bay State. Then followed New York, with twenty-nine, and Pennsylvania was third with twenty-two, of whom nine were Official Delegates. It must not be forgotten that there were many attenders at these meetings who had not received appointment as Official Delegates, but who were active and welcome participators in the discussions. In 1916 and 1917, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been well represented, but for several years previous the attendance from the Keystone State had, from a numerical point of view, been rather insignificant.


Dr. David C. Peyton, Superintendent of the Indiana Reformatory at Jeffersonville, ably officiated as presiding officer of the various sessions of the Association. He is evidently a believer in strict discipline administered by the officials who are legally appointed as the guardians of the offender, yet no one who visits the institution over which he presides, would assert that the regulations are harsh or unreasonable. His view of the Honor System would not involve government by the inmates.

“In prison management there have developed two colossal evils. One was peculiar to the past and the other in a measure characterizes the present. Most of the evils that are associated with prison work have come from these two roots. They are antipodal as east and west. They are cruelty and sentimentality. As the first was the child of ignorance, the second springs from half knowledge and is not the less reprehensible. True reform will come, not by a softening and relaxation in prison discipline, not by imputing to criminals qualities which their whole activities have proven them to lack and the very absence of which is the cause of their incarceration, not by making their pathway smoother and easier, nor yet by touching it with the magic of romance. If a little of the leaven of common sense were allowed to permeate the situation it seems to me that the clouds in our pathway would lift somewhat.

[Pg 94]

“Of course cruelty, the other bête-noir, is only named to be condemned, and thanks to our even half-knowledge it has no place in modern prisons except in isolated spots. But I doubt if ever cruelty was any more cruel than a regime which threatens to become popular today. It seems to me that prisons should be run for the purpose of training men for sane living. If that is true, then they should in fact train these men for sane living.

“A modern prison should be a beehive of industrial activity and should be more than self-supporting. Indeed, men should be able to serve their sentences and earn enough overtime money during their terms to support their dependents—in part at least. A trade should be taught when practicable, but even more important than a trade is the idea of inculcating industrious habits. It is not a misfortune for men to have to labor, but it is a blessing both for them and for us.

“Discipline should be strict but not arbitrary. The rules should be based on experience and should be obviously sound.

“Punishment has a place in prison, but it should be logical; should, as far as possible, flow as a natural consequence from the transgression according to the pedagogical rule of Spencer.

“The industrial training should be correlated with the didactic instruction and the prison library. The three should form the tripartite educative force of the institution.”


As was naturally to be expected, the so-called Honor System received a large share of attention, especially in the Wardens’ meetings. The Wardens generally are opposed to that feature of the Honor System which involves placing the discipline to any great extent in the hands of the convicts. The experiments of Mr. Osborne at Auburn, Sing Sing and Portsmouth are regarded as sporadic efforts largely affected by the personality of a masterful, though sentimental, empiricist. Men who have never governed themselves should not be elected to govern one another. Mr. Erskine, of Connecticut, argued that it was wrong to base any system on emotional appeal. “Twenty per cent. of the men in prison are entirely bad and vicious; 20 per cent. would wield a good influence if they had the opportunity, and the remaining 60 per cent. could be swayed by either the good or the bad element.”

On the other hand it was stoutly contended that the prison was the proper place for men to learn to govern themselves. Necessarily they were confined to a limited area, and still subject to watchful care by big-hearted, efficient advisers. Let them learn that discipline in life is an essential feature of any community. Let them learn this lesson by personal experimentation. Thus they may recover some sense of self-respect. They will rejoin[Pg 95] the outer world with some measure of responsibility. They will return to freedom with a different understanding of life.

Dr. Bernard Glueck, director of the psychological clinic at Sing Sing, asserted that in general prison officials, through limitations to their work, were not fully qualified to pass judgment on the subject, and had not availed themselves of opportunities to carry out a comprehensive system of self-government. He stated that such a system had proven to be distinctly successful at Preston, California, and asked Mr. Calvin Derrick, the founder of the School of Industry at Preston, to present some account of this institution.

Mr. Derrick informed the Association that this California school has developed its honor system to the point where 250 of the boys were sent to the Sacramento fair alone, traveling through the country 250 miles, and returning without the loss of a single one. The boys have a complete republic system of government, and conduct all of the work of the school. A football team plays regular school and college teams of the State, traveling without supervision.

It appeared to some of us who listened with intense interest to these discussions that the difference in sentiment was rather one of degree than of principle. Wherever any privileges are allowed and wherever the trusty system is permitted, there is involved some measure of self-government. One warden permits the prisoners to mingle together on the base ball field. These men are on their honor. Another warden might say that he would allow his prisoners to play and observe games and leave the regulation of their conduct while on the field to the men themselves. They are still on their honor and doubtless are aware that their regulation of conduct must meet the approval of the warden. Suppose we allow the men to impose penalties for minor delinquencies. The warden still exercises his judgment on the punishment awarded. The warden governs. The men may have more or less privileges, but they are granted by the warden. It resolves itself into a question as to how far such privileges may be granted. And no two wardens in the world will agree precisely on this point.

For the last twenty years the trend has been getting away from the brutality of the former systems, from the petty rules, from degrading and humiliating treatment, and the avowed object of confinement has been reiterated again and again to aim at reformation. We admit that some wardens are more successful than others in accomplishing desired results, and yet we must not expect them to adopt an entirely uniform program. We must make due allowance for the personal equation involved, for the individuality of the ruling authority. The warden who claims that his system is perfect, and that he has nothing more to learn, is recommended for removal.

[Pg 96]


Dr. Bernard Glueck exhibited a number of charts showing much that was deeply interesting in regard to the mentality, environment and parentage of the criminals sent to Sing Sing.

“Sing Sing is being reorganized and rebuilt to receive all of the criminals of New York for examination immediately after they have been convicted. We are trying to get at the man behind the crime rather than the crime itself. Two facts are very evident from our work. The social fact is that 66 per cent. of the prisoners we have received are previous offenders. The medical fact is that 59 per cent. of the prisoners can be classified for mental diseases or mental deviation; and thousands of this class can be treated and cured by means of vocational training and other modern prison methods.

“Sing Sing is being remodeled so that we can devote as much as four months to an intensive study of each prisoner who enters the institution. From this examination we can learn which men should be sent to the insane hospitals, which to the intensive vocational schools, and can outline the most effective method of treatment necessary to prepare the men for the future.

“The indeterminate sentence is essential to the proper working out of our plans, and the criminal courts of the State are working in harmony with this idea. Most offenders can be restored to a normal life and good citizenship after they have finished a term under proper treatment, and criminal judges in New York city tell us that fewer men come before them for a second time since we have adopted the present methods.

“It is the aim of the prison to turn the men into citizens with an understanding. They are allowed many liberties, and are made to take an active part in community life in prison. They have their own social organization, a system of self-government, including even a charitable society. In their charity work they aid prisoners who are leaving the prison, make it possible for poor people to visit imprisoned relatives, send the bodies of prisoners home for burial, and many other things of that nature.”


Some problems arising as a direct result of the war received serious attention. There was the question of additional food production by prison labor; whether paroled men shall enter the army or navy; and whether conditional pardons may be granted, contingent upon military service.

Some delegates asserted that a general restlessness was noticed among most prisoners. Many of them are exceedingly anxious to get into the war, and in some States prisoners are being paroled so that they may enter the army or navy. Prison[Pg 97] officials know that many of their wards are fit for military service just as well as they are aware that other prisoners are unfit. After prolonged discussion of the subject, the Wardens’ Association unanimously adopted the following resolution:

“Resolved, That the Wardens’ Association of the American Prison Association suggest to and request of the President of the United States the modification of paragraph 849 of the Regulations of the Army and paragraph 3686 of the Articles for the Government of the Navy of the United States so as to permit the enlistment in the military and naval forces of the United States of men who, in the judgment of the proper military and naval authorities, are physically, mentally and morally qualified, despite the fact that such persons may have been convicted of the offenses set forth in the regulations and articles above referred to and imprisoned therefor, upon their being duly and honorably paroled or discharged from such imprisonment.”

At Guelph, Ontario, the great prison has been practically depopulated. The prisoners have gone to war, and the institution has been taken over as a hospital for convalescents returned from the scenes of war. The Superintendent, Dr. J. T. Gilmour, declared that it is only a step from prisoner to patriot.

“We have learned a great deal about prisoners during the three years we have been in war. We have learned that the prisoner’s sense of patriotism is not dead because he is behind the bars; that he is just as anxious to serve his country as the man who is not being punished, and if given an opportunity the chances are that he will make a good soldier. It has come to my notice that men have exchanged prison uniforms for army uniforms in three hours after their discharge from prison.”

He made the further statement that thousands of men had been released from Canadian prisons to permit them to serve in the army, and thousands of others were “doing their bit” by making hospital supplies during their imprisonment.


In at least two Southern States, the infamous lease system, whereby prisoners are leased for an annual stipend to work in the mines or in the turpentine forests or in other work, prevails. Isadore Shapiro, a member of the Legislature from Alabama, and President of the Committee on Prisons, vigorously lambasted the government of Alabama for tolerating and continuing such venal disgrace. The Alabama legislature had made an effort to abolish the lease system but the governor had interposed so as to prolong the infamy. The prisoners could profitably and healthfully be put to work on the State farms but instead they are offered for sale to the highest bidder, and employed in mills, coal mines, lumber and turpentine camps. All of the women prisoners in one[Pg 98] county were leased recently for the term of two years at the rate of fifteen cents a day. Mr. Shapiro produced a leather strap six feet long and an inch and a half wide with which prisoners are flogged.

Recently in the State of Florida 598 prisoners were leased at an average of $360 per head by the year. It is a fact that most prisoners who work in the turpentine industry are so broken down in health after a few years that for the remainder of their days they are unfit for any manual employment. Of course it is granted that this work must be done, but we insist that it must be done under humane regulations. We have yet to learn of any leasing corporation or individual that has treated his serfs with merciful consideration. Georgia, after a long fight, has entirely repudiated the system.

The Association, while insisting that employment should be given to prisoners, unanimously adopted a resolution condemning in the strongest terms a system whereby men and women are sold into bondage in order to enhance the revenue of the State.


There is no longer any debate about the Indeterminate Sentence. The principle is written upon the statutes of nearly every State of the Union, tho in a debilitated and illogical form in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Amos W. Butler, Secretary Board of Charities in Indiana, in an address delivered in one of the churches declared that we had brought very little understanding to bear upon our treatment of criminals until recent years. He compared our knowledge of smallpox, yellow fever and other diseases with crime and concluded that we made as many blunders in considering the offender as we formerly made in our attitude toward these mysterious and dreaded diseases.

“Prisons are the visible signs of our failures. It is now within the power of man to abolish many diseases from the earth, and so with crime. Criminals are not sent to prison for punishment, as many seem to believe, but prisons exist for the confinement of prisoners for the safety of society and for the reform of the man or woman there. They should, if possible, be reformed and returned to society.”

The speaker favored the indeterminate sentence. He said you would not send a diphtheria patient to the hospital for a definite time, say two or three weeks. Complications might appear and more time may be required to effect a cure. The same is true of criminals. They should be sent there until reformed, until fit to be returned.

Indiana has an indeterminate sentence law and in the past twenty years 11,000 men and women have been released under that law. Seventy-five per cent. of them succeeded, or made[Pg 99] good. Prisoners there have earned about $3,000,000 for themselves.

The absolutely indeterminate sentence is not yet in vogue in any State. A criminal under such a sentence would be sent to prison as to a hospital to remain till cured of his malady. Perhaps, in some cases he would be subject to some detention as a deterrent to others contemplating entering upon a criminal career. Specialists would determine when he was ready to enter the community. We may at some time adopt such a system when there are enough men and women having the skill and training necessary to pass on the mental and moral characteristics of such patients.

Perhaps the best form of sentence is by statutes which fix the time for any given offense. The time for arson, for instance, may be placed from two to twenty years. It is the function of the judge or jury to determine whether the accused is guilty. If found guilty, the defendant is placed in care of a judicious board of control who will release the criminal at such time as they may deem best for him and the community.

Judge Willis, of St. Paul, said that no physician would send a patient to a hospital for a specified number of days or weeks, yet this very thing is done daily by judges who send mentally and morally sick men and women to jail. “A doctor would not presume to predict just how many days it would take to cure a disease, but a judge daily uses his prerogative as a diagnostician in sending morally diseased people to jail, although the records of trials show that no two judges think alike in the matter. * * * Society no longer tolerates vengeance in the criminal code. The desire of intelligent people of today is to restore the criminal to a place in society—an honorable place—and not only to restore him, but to make him a more valuable member of society than he was before his incarceration.”


This body is an auxiliary of the main organization. Two sessions were held at which various phases of the work were earnestly discussed.

The address of the President, Rev. James Parsons, of Minneapolis, presented a summary of what has been accomplished, and also some cogent reasons for the existence and maintenance of organizations having constantly in view the rehabilitation of those who have violated law. This address is given in another part of the Journal.

Rev. Charles Parsons, of Des Moines, called attention to the increase of crime in time of war. “A celebrated doctor declared that soon after the beginning of the war there was an abnormal increase of crime in Germany. * * * Juvenile delinquency[Pg 100] increased 34 per cent. in Great Britain when the teachers were enlisted, supplies cut down, evening schools closed and pupils between eleven and thirteen years of age went to work, while a half million of the younger children had little care. The increase of crime was so alarming, the authorities had to take special measures of prevention. * * * Our American training camps probably are the best supervised from a moral standpoint of any in the world. More effort has been made to keep them decent and free from vice than in any other period of human history. Yet with all this precaution, it is impossible to eliminate all the evils connected with life in the camp.”

Col. Sedgwick Rice, Commandant U. S. Military Prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, said he had received instructions from the war department to prepare for a large increase in the prison population, but up to this time he was glad to state no great increase was manifest. Many of the deserters had left some branch of the service in order to join some other branch, not realizing that such an act constituted desertion.

Wallace Gilpatrick described the operation of the Christie House, N. Y., of which he has been superintendent since 1905. Their work is not limited to the young men out of prison, as they give help to all young men in trouble from whatever cause. “The matter of employment, vital as it is, is not always the first matter to be considered when a boy arrives at the house. Our first aim is to have him understand that he is among friends. We make him feel at home and we ask few questions. After he has recovered from his first feeling of strangeness, we provide him with a good meal, and clean linen, perhaps, a complete suit of clothing. When he sees other young men coming in from their work and engaged in games such as chess, checkers, billiards, and when he has had an invitation to participate in the fun, he begins to realize that he has gotten into a pretty good sort of place.” The superintendent had in the last twelve years made the acquaintance of about three thousand men who had availed themselves of the hospitality of Christie House. It had been impossible to follow their careers but he knew personally that 25 per cent. of them were making good. He was sure that many more had been successful who had not kept in touch with the House.

Albert H. Votaw, of Philadelphia, was elected President of this Association for the year 1918, and Geo. B. Newcomb, Bismarck, N. D., Secretary.


The day before the meetings closed Governor Pleasant, of Louisiana, in an address to the Association gave the members a warm invitation to make a visit to the 18,000 acre prison farm of the State, at Angola, about 130 miles from New Orleans. On Saturday about fifty members of the Association availed themselves[Pg 101] of this privilege. The railroad ran up the rich valley of the Mississippi through cane fields, cypress swamps and timbered country adorned with tropical vegetation and scenery to Angola where we received a warm welcome. At the Administration Building on the lawn, tables loaded with provisions were placed to which soon our company was doing full justice. It was explained that practically every article of the food was a product of the farm and was such as was supplied to the convicts with exception of the roast turkey, a few of which were kept on the place and which had been slaughtered for our delectation. Even the fish caught in the great river adjacent to the plantation may have belonged to the farm by some riparian right. There was some white bread which was not made from wheat flour native to Louisiana. Automobiles conveyed the party over the huge plantation affording full opportunity to examine the rude temporary barracks where the prisoners are kept. The men eat at mess tables and the food seemed to be ample and to be well prepared according to the culinary arrangements usually found in penal institutions. We saw much to admire and some things to condemn.

  1. We did not approve of armed trusties stationed to guard the men while at work in the fields.
  2. We hope at no distant day to hear that striped clothing is tabooed.
  3. We were unanimous in condemning the system of punishing with the lash. One northern warden, not a sentimentalist either, offered to come down at his own expense and inaugurate a new system of penalties in which no corporal punishment should be allowed.

We saw the men at work in the cane fields cutting, stripping and piling the cane for the trucks or wagons. The most interesting proposition was the huge and complete sugar refinery. How the canes in car loads and wagon loads were carried by the endless carriers to the huge crushers, and after triplicate crushing the dry residuum was discharged in the furnaces, how the juice in huge vats was subject to three chemical processes, how the purified syrup was then conveyed, all without hands, to the heated evaporators and centrifugal apparatus, and how the product in the form of hot granulated sugar, six hours from the time the canes entered the mill, was caught in barrels at the rate of 400 barrels daily, is a truthful fairy story whose details we cannot enter upon in this report. Penal Farms in Southern States have become very popular and successful. From the standpoint of the reformer, they furnish better opportunities than the closed prison or the stockade both with regard to health and morals. The negro problem is in the forefront in their institutions; still many of us were disposed to believe that the punishments meted[Pg 102] out to those who disobey the rules are too severe and fail to accomplish the main object of imprisonment which is to endeavor to build up character not by brute force but by reasonable restraints.


The good people of New Orleans fully exemplify that genial and gracious hospitality which appears to be indigenous to the Southland.

Courtesies were extended on every hand and there was an air of friendliness delightful and assuring to the visitors. Four features of their cordial hospitality deserve special mention.

  1. A series of personally conducted walks to the French quarter and other places of interest.
  2. Automobile tours of the city giving the delighted guests an opportunity to see the beautiful lawns and residences, the parks and the magnificent live oaks, the cemeteries where the dead repose above ground, Lake Pontchartrain and its handsome shore resorts, the splendid drives level as the floor.
  3. A steamboat ride on the Mississippi bringing into view the immense lines of docks and the admirable shipping facilities.
  4. A reception at the home of Mrs. G. R. Westfeldt, President of a Prisoners’ Aid Society. A delightful lunch was served by the ladies of this society. A picturesque aged turbaned mammy dispensed pralines. The old home, typically southern, with its wide verandas, central hall and spacious rooms, lent itself admirably to the occasion. The company was entertained by readings, Southern songs and negro impersonations. President Peyton concluded the entertainment by expressing the appreciation of the guests for these tokens of southern hospitality which they realized was neither mythical nor merely traditionary.


Archdeacon B. M. Spurr, Moundsville, W. Va., was elected President, and Joseph P. Byers, of Philadelphia, Secretary, for the next year.

Oklahoma City was selected as the place of meeting, and the time will be in whatever portion of October the Executive Committee may determine.

In this hastily prepared sketch the writer does not pretend that justice has been done to the many admirable features of the meetings of 1917 at New Orleans. Those who desire to have the full published account, containing the splendid papers read before the Association, will write to Joseph P. Byers, Secretary, Empire Building, Philadelphia, Pa.

Albert H. Votaw,


[Pg 103]


Rev. James Parsons, National Superintendent Society for the Friendless.

It is fitting at times to ask the questions: what is the reason for our being, and what should we strive to accomplish? Last year at our meeting, the speaker outlined informally one thing that seemed to be desirable and a first step. That was to find out as far as possible what is being done by the various organizations that comprise our membership, and report the results at this meeting. A survey of this kind should at least furnish a starting point for further investigation, and possibly lead to something along the line of standardizing the work and reports, so that it would be possible to estimate a little more satisfactorily the results that have been attained.

A statement of the nature of the investigation desired was placed in the hands of the Secretary and the assurance given by him that the necessary work would be done, but it was finally discovered that on account of local duties and the call to arms, our Secretary was unable to do as he had intended. The President therefore at a late date sent out a questionnaire to as many organizations as he knew, asking that the questions might be answered as fully as records would admit.

Up to the present date fourteen organizations have responded. The questionnaire did not cover all conceivable lines, but aimed to include some of the fundamental things that are being done by most organizations in the various lines of Prisoners’ Aid Work. These are Jail and Prison Work; Probation and Oversight; Relief Work, and the Department of Public Information.

It was not expected that all organizations would have records to exactly fit into the outline of questions. The replies showed that no organization had kept records so as to answer all the questions, and yet each one reporting was able to answer most of them from records kept, which showed that the things counted fundamental by most organizations had been included in the questionnaire.

As was to be expected some had kept very few records. Some had neglected to record facts that seemed to be considered most important by others. In fact, one officer said distinctly[Pg 104] that it had been the policy of his organization not to keep records of anything except financial matters, as they did not wish the left hand to know what the right hand was doing. It is manifest on the whole, however, that there is an honest attempt to keep a record of the vital things.

The following will give you the list of questions asked, together with a summary of figures returned:

1. Jail and Prison Work.
Number of Prisoners Assisted   10656
Number of Religious Services held   10955
Number of Prisoners in Audiences   672166
Number of Prisoners Interviewed   86810
Number of Cases Followed Up With Special Assistance   1838
Number of Books and Pamphlets Distributed   129928
2. Department of Probation and Oversight.
Number of Prisoners Placed in Employment   2992
Number Replaced in Employment   687
Number of Visits to Discharged and Paroled Prisoners   9527
3. Department of Relief Work.
Number of Lodgings and Meals Furnished   48584
Number of Families Cared For   1480
Number of Garments Distributed   10501
4. Department of Public Information.
Number of Addresses Delivered   2525
Number of People Reached by Public Addresses   875653
Number of Papers and Leaflets Distributed   369554
Number of Letters Written in Connection with all Depts.   33715

It must be remembered that we have not been able to secure a complete statement of results. Only a fragmentary report could be given of the work of one of the larger organizations, and many others have failed to report. Then, too, scattered up and down the land are individuals and groups of faithful men and women who do a very large amount of work for those who have yielded to temptation and become inmates of jails and prisons. No account of such work could be secured, and yet no one can fail to be impressed by the fact that a very great work is being done. A casual glance at the figures must cause one to realize the magnitude of accomplishments, and a careful study of this summary shows plainly that a tremendous amount of personal effort has been put forth.

[Pg 105]

In view of present tendencies, it seems a fitting time to determine the place such organizations as make up the National Prisoners’ Aid Association, should fill in the field of delinquency, and what should be the aim of our Association.

The work being carried on today in the field of delinquency is complex. In the first place it was largely a matter of ameliorating the severities that attended the life of the prisoner. The rule was that those who had the care of criminals were brutal. No one can read the history of prison life in past days, without being impressed with this fact. In a general way such treatment was considered the proper thing. Men had violated the law; they were criminals and should suffer the severities of punishment.

All this has changed as the result of the light thrown on the injustice of such a course by men who gave the matter serious thought. They showed that instead of deterring the wrongdoer from future crime, such a course aroused in him all his latent possibilities for evil and caused him to become brutalized and a sworn enemy to society.

It is a long road from the terrible things of the past to the present day conditions. Every step has been contested by the advocates of the status quo. Every step forward has come as the result of insistence on the part of the advocates of progress. Gradually punishment became less severe, the brutality of keepers was checked, filth and unsanitary conditions were outlawed, food became a matter for consideration, reformation a serious consideration, allowance for good behavior, thereby shortening the imprisonment, was introduced. The indeterminate sentence came into being, parole for prisoners and probation for first offenders followed. As one looks back it is a long road that has been traveled.

At first it was the reformer, the enthusiast who led the way in advocating these things. Now it is the enlightened judge, the state officer, the prison warden and many others in official capacity, as well as the philanthropist and social worker who champion them. In view of this condition, is there any place for such organizations as we represent? We answer emphatically “YES.”

In the first place it is essential that there be agencies at work to stimulate the public to measure up to its responsibility for delinquency and the delinquent.

Experience teaches that men as a rule are likely to be content with present attainment. Our organizations are composed largely of men who are interpreters of conditions.

The careful study then of facts and conditions that relate to crime and the criminal, the discovery of the forces at work, which develop delinquency, and wrongdoing, and the faithful presentation of these facts and forces to the public, are some of the important functions of a local organization.

[Pg 106]

In the second place there should be agencies at work to encourage the State to do all it can through proper official agencies. In former days the State did little. The needed work, however, was too great for private agencies. Gradually the State has been encouraged to assume the burdens that rightfully belong to her, until we have great institutions, splendidly equipped and manned. But officials are only men and a very large percentage of them become set in their habits. A few have kept young and have made progress, but it has seemed necessary that a stick of dynamite such as Thomas Mott Osborne, should occasionally be thrown into the machine, to break the crust of fixed methods and start a new line of progress.

The progress made thus far by the State is commendable, but more encouragement along this line seems essential. The present interest in sanitation, employment, probation and parole is encouragement, but should not the State do more to develop the man while in the institution, so that he will be better fitted for a successful life when released? What is the present state of mind on this subject?

During the past year the University of California, at the suggestion of Calvin Derrick, an active member of this congress, sent out a questionnaire to all classes of institutions in the country, on the general subject of “Control and Correction.” The fundamental purpose of this study was to learn what institutional heads thought of the possibility of developing in boys and men the power of self-government that is so necessary for a man when released from custody.

One hundred answers were received, and when they had been carefully digested by thoughtful professors and Mr. Derrick, the following conclusions were reached:

  1. “That there are a few people in institutions who thoroughly believe in the principles of democracy and their application to populations in custody.”
  2. “That almost all the people in institutions are ignorant of the manner in which these principles should be applied, or could be applied.”
  3. “That the rank and file of institution people are so prejudiced against the plan that they can not be induced to examine into it with an open mind.”

If this be a correct expression of fact, the State through her institutions surely still needs to be encouraged to put more thought upon developing boys and men along lines that will fit them for the duties of free citizenship.

In third place, it is essential that there should be agencies to co-operate with the State, as there is much work that can be done more successfully by private agencies than by State officers.

In caring for the prisoners and juvenile offender, there are[Pg 107] many things to be considered. There is the matter of employment which is of first consideration. He must work to live. His health, social opportunity and religious life should be considered, and in some cases, especially among the young, his education should receive careful attention. Another factor that enters into many cases is likely to be overlooked. Prisoners have often come in contact with what they call a “raw deal” from public officials. They may be mistaken in many cases, but this does not change the man’s state of mind. He may still need help and counsel when discharged or released from parole, but he will have nothing to do with the public official. Such men will often come to the organization which works through motives of friendship. It does not solve the problem to say that such a condition should not exist. It is a self-evident fact that such cases do exist. We see a condition that corresponds to this in all departments of society. It is the same principle that causes us to have different sects in religion, different lodges, clubs, etc. The members of each group think that all others ought to be satisfied with their organization and way of doing things, but men differ and express their preference in choice.

We believe that the State should bear as large a portion of the burden as possible, but we are also convinced that there must be organizations which are not handicapped by official connection with the man’s conviction and imprisonment for a certain percentage of cases that need care.

In the fourth place, there should be the volunteer agency to furnish a channel through which the citizen may wisely express his spirit of Christian helpfulness.

The world needs men and women whose harmonious development of character fits them for the best service. To permit our noblest impulses to die for lack of expression is a very serious mistake. No surer way to kill our desire to lift up the unfortunate can be devised than to turn the whole matter over to the State.

The story is told that a friend gave a young minister’s family a cow in order that the new baby might have plenty of good milk. Some time later, when the giver of the cow inquired how she was doing, the good wife said, “Nicely, but for some reason she was drying up. She said she could not understand how it was as they were careful to use only as much milk as the baby needed.” Their fatal mistake was the failure to realize the nature of the cow. So we often fall into this same mistake and find the springs of sympathy and the milk of human kindness drying up because we are saving of the supply, and do not express the natural impulses of the heart to do good and minister to those in need. * * *

In view of the evident need of such organizations as compose[Pg 108] this Association, what should be our aim? An extended statement is not needful. It is plain, however, that this Association should attempt, so far as possible, to standardize the work, and by a comparison of results develop the most effective methods in our chosen field.

This cannot be brought about at once, as the spirit and purpose of the various organizations vary to some extent and yet progress can be made if this thought is kept in mind. The result of the questionnaire shows that with a little effort, all organizations might present a fairly accurate report of many fundamental things.

The second aim would naturally follow. A standardized work with accurate reports would enable the members of our Association to have a fuller knowledge of the results accomplished by all. This knowledge of the greatness of our work would cause every worker to have a more profound respect for his own chosen task. It would also convince all men that we do not labor in vain in our effort to save the young from the pitfalls of crime and to redeem and reclaim those whose career has thus far proven a failure.


[B] Address of the President of the National Prisoners’ Aid Association at New Orleans November 18, 1917.


“The city of Dallas has been repaid for every cent it has spent in establishing the municipal prison farm,” said Finance Commissioner William Doran, after he had visited the place at White Rock. His reason for making that statement, he said, was the moral effect the farm has had on the prisoners.

When city prisoners were worked on the streets under most outrageous conditions, they ran at every chance and often attempted to escape from the city jail.

Since being taken to the municipal farm, not an attempt has been made to escape. Three shotguns purchased by the city for guards have never been unwrapped. When the men start to work they work hard, and when they stop for a short rest they return to their work without being told.

“It is a remarkable sight to see the change in the men,” said Mr. Doran; “I have watched their improvement from day to day, and it is wonderful.”

[Pg 109]


Maud Ballington Booth (1909) New York City.
Judge Ben B. Lindsey (1909) Denver, Colo.
[†]Frederick Howard Wines (1909)  
Judge McKenzie Cleland (1909) Chicago, Ill.
[†]Gen. R. Brinkerhoff (1909)  
Z. R. Brockway (1909) Elmira, N. Y.
[†]Prof. Charles Richmond Henderson (1910)  
Dr. Hastings H. Hart (1914) New York City.
James A. Leonard (1914) Mansfield, Ohio.
Timothy Nicholson (1915) Richmond, Ind.
Amos W. Butler (1915) Indianapolis, Ind.


[†]Ashmead, Henry B.,
[†]Bailey, Joel J.,
[†]Baily, Joshua L.,
[†]Bartol, B. H.,
[†]Benson, E. N.,
[†]Bergdoll, Louis,
[†]Betts, Richard K.,
Bonham, Eleanor M.,
[†]Brown, Alexander,
[†]Bonsall, E. H.,
[†]Brooke, F. M.,
[†]Brown, T. Wistar,
Brush, C. H.,
Buckley, Daniel,
Carter, John E.,
[†]Cattell, Henry S.,
[†]Childs, George W.,
Coles, Miss Mary,
[†]Collins, Alfred M.,
Coxe, Eckley B., Jr.,
[†]Downing, Richard H.,
[†]Dreer, Edw. G.,
Dreer, Ferd. J.,
[†]Douredore, B. L.,
[†]Duhring, D. D., Rev. H. L.,
Duncan, John A.,
[†]Elkinton, Joseph S.,
Elwyn, Alfred,
[†]Elwyn, Mrs. Helen M.,
[†]Fotterall, Stephen G.,
Frazer, Dr. John,
Frazier, W. W.,
[†]Goodwin, M. H.,
Grigg, Mary S.,
[†]Hall, George W.,
Harrison, Alfred C.,
Harrison, Chas. C.,
[†]Hockley, Thomas,
Ingram, Wm. S.,
[†]Jeans, Joshua T.,
Jenks, John Story,
[†]Jones, Mary T.,
[†]Jordan, John, Jr.,
[†]Justice, W. W.,
[†]Kinke, J.,
[†]Knight, Reeve L.,
[†]Laing, Anna T.,
[†]Laing, Henry M.,
Lea, M. Carey,
[†]Leaming, J. Fisher,
Leeds, Deborah C.,
[†]Lewis, F. Mortimer,
[†]Lewis, Howard W.,
Lewis, Mrs. Sarah A.,
Longstreth, W. W.,
[†]Love, Alfred H.,
[†]Lytle, John J.,
[†]Maginnis, Edw. I.,
[†]Manderson, James,
[†]Milne, Caleb J.,
[†]McAllister, Jas. W.,
[†]Nicholson, Robert P.,
[†]Osborne, Hon. F. W.,
Patterson, Robert,
[†]Pennock, George,
[†]Perot, Joseph,
Perot, T. Morris, Jr.,
Pooley, Fred. J.,
[†]Potter, Thomas,
[†]Powers, Thomas H.,
[†]Price, Thomas W.,
Randolph, Miss Anna,
Rhoads, Joseph R.,
[†]Roach, Joseph H.,
[†]Saul, Rev. James,
[†]Santee, Charles,
[†]Seybert, Henry,
[†]Sharpless, Townsend,
[†]Steedman, Rosa,
Stephens, Emily J. I., M. D.,[Pg 110]
[†]Stokes, Wm. C.,
[†]Sulzberger, David,
[†]Thomas, Geo. C.,
Thompson, Emma L.,
[†]Tracey, Charles A.,
[†]Townsend, Henry T.,
Votaw, Albert H.,
[†]Waln, L. Morris,
[†]Walk, Jas. V., M. D.,
Warren, E. Burgess,
[†]Watson, Jas. V.,
Way, John,
[†]Weightman, William,
[†]Weston, Harry,
Wetherell, William Henry,
Whelen, Emily,
[†]Whelen, Mary S.,
[†]Williams, Henry J.,
[†]Williamson, I. V.,
[†]Willits, Jeremiah,
[†]Willits, Jeremiah, Jr.,
Wistar, Edward M.,
Wood, Walter.

[† Deceased]


Allen, Clara Hodges,
Allen, H. Percival,
Baggs, Nicholas,
Baily, Albert L.,
Baird, John E.,
Barakat, Layyah,
Barnes, Rev. R. Heber,
Beatty, Robert L.,
Beiswenger, Rev. F.,
Beiswenger, Paul F.,
Belfield, T. Broom,
Biddle, Samuel,
Biddle, William,
Boggs, Samuel R.,
Booth, Henry R.,
Brink, Fred Swarts,
Brinton, Joseph Hill,
Burnham, William,
Butz, J. Treichler, M. D.,
Byers, Joseph P.,
Cassel, Henry C.,
Clark, E. W., Mr. & Mrs.,
Clark, Frederick L.,
Collins, Henry H.,
Collins, Henry H., Jr.,
Colton, Mary R.,
Colton, S. W., Jr.,
Colton, Mrs. S. W., Jr.,
Comfort, Henry W.,
Conard, C. Wilfred,
Cope, Eliza M.,
de Benedetto, Rev. A.,
d’Invilliers, Charles E.,
de Long, Mrs. Mary,
Dewees, J. Harvey,
Dewees, Watson W.,
Dripps, Robert Dunning,
Edmonds, Franklin S.,
Elkinton, Joseph,
Emlen, Samuel,
Fassitt, Mrs. Horace,
Fernberger, Henry,
Fleisher, Samuel S.,
Franklin, Melvin M., M. D.,
Frick, Esther,
Galenbeck, Louis C.,
Garges, Anna K.,
Garrett, Elizabeth N.,
Gerhard, Arthur H.,
Gerhard, Mrs. Arthur H.,
Gerhard, Luther,
Greene, Sallie H.,
Hackenburg, William B.,
Haines, Robert B., Jr.,
Haney, Rein G.,
Hallowell, William S.,
Harding, Miss M. W.,
Harris, Rev. J. Andrew,
Harris, J. Linn,
Hastings, Charles P.,
Heller, Clyde A.,
Hoffman, Jacob,
Kane, Florence Bayard,
Kaufman, John G.,
Kehler, Dr. B. Frank,
Kennedy, Harry,
Koelle, William,
Landis, Dr. H. R. M.,
Lamartine, Rev. Philip,
Latimer, Emilie T.,
Latimer, George A.,
Latimer, Rebecca P.,
Latimer, Rev. Thomas,
Leeds, Austin C.,
Lewis, William Draper,
Longshore, Frank H.,
Lovett, Louisa D.,
Maier, Paul D. I.,
Mallery, Otto T.,
Marshall, Bertha K. C.,[Pg 111]
Martin, Hon. J. Willis,
Mayer, Mrs. Henry C.,
McCord, Rufus,
McDole, Charles,
McFedries, Annie,
Miller, Isaac P.,
Minnich, Rev. M. Reed,
Morris, Anna Wharton,
Morris, C.C.,
Morris, Marriott C.,
Morris, William,
Mullowney, John J., M. D.,
Newkirk, John B.,
Newlin, Sarah,
Niles, Henry C.,
Noblit, Joseph C.,
Obermayer, Leon J.,
Oetinger, Albert,
Ohl, Rev. J. F.,
Paisley, Harry,
Platt, Miss L. N.,
Randolph, Mrs. Evan,
Reeves, Francis B.,
Roberts, Owen J.,
Roberts, Chas. W.,
Robinson, Anthony W.,
Rosengarten, Joseph G.,
Roser, William B.,
Schaeffer, Paul N.,
Schoch, Mrs. Parke,
Schwarz, G. A.,
Scott, Norris J.,
Senft, Rev. F. H.,
Shoemaker, Comly B.,
Simmington, Charles C.,
Smallzell, John,
Snellenburg, Samuel,
Spangler, Mrs. M. G.,
Steele, Jos. M.,
Steere, Alfred G.,
Stewart, Henry C.,
Stone, Virginia G.,
Tatum, Jos. W.,
Thesen, Oluf,
Thomas, Mrs. George C.,
Tomkins, Rev. Floyd W.,
Tyler, W. Graham,
Walton, Harrison,
Warren, William C.,
Wallace, Mrs. Anabel,
Wentz, Catharine A.,
Wetherell, George S.,
Wetherell, Mary S.,
Wetherill, Rev. Francis Macomb,
White, Elias H.,
White, Elizabeth Wilson,
Wilkins, George W.,
Williams, Charles,
Yarnall, Wm. S.,
Ziegler, J. W.

[Pg 112]


[Pg 113]

The Pennsylvania Prison Society was founded under the name “Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons,” May 8, 1787.

It was incorporated under same name April 6, 1833.

The objects named in the Charter were three:

  1. Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons.
  2. Improvement of Prison Discipline.
  3. Relief of Discharged Prisoners.

By order of the Court, the corporate title was changed January 27, 1886, to “THE PENNSYLVANIA PRISON SOCIETY.”

Copies of this Journal will be forwarded on request to any address without charge.

Financial contributions are needed to carry on the work of this Society.

All correspondence and contributions should be addressed to The Pennsylvania Prison Society at 119 South Fourth Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

Transcriber’s note

Minor punctuation errors have been changed without notice. Inconsistencies in hyphenation have been standardized. The following printer errors have been changed.

Page i: “Soceity for Alleviating” “Society for Alleviating”
Page 2: “Pennslvania Prison Society” “Pennsylvania Prison Society”
Page 4: “Mrs. Mary Ella deLong” “Mrs. Mary Ella de Long”
Page 4: “Mrs. Mary Ella DeLong” “Mrs. Mary Ella de Long”
Page 9: “improved accomodations” “improved accommodations”
Page 15: “The men now eat in a” “The women now eat in a”
Page 42: “dipsomania and anasthetic” “dipsomania and anesthetic”
Page 53: “88, under present law” “86, under present law”
Page 55: “on the public higthways” “on the public highways”
Page 80: “practical achievments of” “practical achievements of”
Page 81: “6. “We are convinced” “5. “We are convinced”
Page 82: “The Acting Committe of” “The Acting Committee of”
Page 102: “ground, Lake Ponchartrain” “ground, Lake Pontchartrain”
Page 105: “present day conditons” “present day conditions”
Page 108: “so far as posible” “so far as possible”