Indiana Host Third Time for Prison Congress; Twice Contributed Heads

[Indianapolis Star, 4 Oct 1932.]


Indianapolis and Indiana were hosts yesterday for the third time to the annual congress of the American Prison Association. The first time the city entertained the penologists was in 1898, twenty-eight years after it was founded. The second time the congress was held here was in 1913.

Indiana has been honored twice, also, by giving the association two presidents, Dr. Amos W. Butler, who served for years as secretary of the Indiana board of state charities and corrections, was president of the society in 1910, and Dr. David C. Peyton, who served as superintendent of the Indiana reformatory when it was located in Jeffersonville, served after Dr. Butler.


Active in helping to make the Indiana congress a success are the three heads of the state's penal institutions for men. They are Walter H. Daly, warden of the state prison; Ralph Howard, superintendent of the reformatory, and Clifford Craig, superintendent of the state farm. Mr Howard is a member of the board of directors of the society.

Delegates and visitors to the Indianapolis congress will go to their homes with the knowledge that the Hoosier state is proud of the managers of her institutions. Governor Harry G. Leslie, in welcoming the visitors, last night asserted he was "thoroughly satisfied and proud of the heads of Indiana's institutions."

Problems of the heads of the state's largest penal institutions are many, but information contained in the printed program of the congrtess puts in very few words one of the greatest obstacles confronting the warden and superintendents of the institutions. In descriptions and lists of trustees of the various penal and correctional institutions are the following: "Indiana state prison, capacity, 1,900; population Aug. 31, 1932, 2,519. Indiana reformatory, capacity, 1,400; population, 2,446." Other institutions also are rapidly nearing the capacity point.

One of the busiest men in the congress is an Indianapolis man. He is M.E. Foley, for more than a quarter of a century a member of the board of trustees of the Indiana state prison. Mr. Foley presided last night at the general session, and for years has been an authority on penology, devoting much time to the affairs of the prison, and following up the welfare of former prisoners after their release. He is chairman of the general committee in charge of the congress.

The Indianapolis congress of the association could not have come at a more opportune time, according to James E. Deery, who represented Mayor Reginald H. Sullivan in welcoming the congress delegates to Indianapolis. "You are meeting at a time when your opinions and advice are needed by the world," he said.

Salvation Army prison workers held meetings touching 515,195 convicts during the last year in the Eastern territory alone, Lieut. Col. Thomas Cowan, prison secretary, and Maj. Agnes H. McKernan, women's secretary, reported yesterday. A four-plank platform of personal contact, evangelism, employment and relief was carried out in the eleven states of the division. More than six thousand meetings were held, employment was found for 1,466 men and women, and families of 2,706 imprisoned men were given aid. The activities were carried on in nineteen state prisons, 126 county jails, seventeen city jails, twelve reformatories and one naval and one military prison.