SOCIETY'S AIM TO UPLIFT PRISONERS. ~ National Organization to Be Formed During Present Convention.

January 10, 1910

National Organization to Be
Formed During Present

To make good folks out of bad ones is the object of a convention of men and women representing eight states, which began in Kansas City yesterday and will continue until Wednesday.

The meeting is that of the Society of the Friendless, which has for its purpose the uplifting of men, women and children within prison walls and their conversion tion good citizens when they are released. The society was started ten years ago in Kansas and Missouri, but at the present convention a national organization will be perfected.

The opening meeting of the convention was held yesterday in the Institutional church, Admiral boulevard and Holmes street, and the feature was an address by Fred M. Jackson, attorney general of Kansas, who declared that in enforcing prohibition of the liquor traffic Kansas is doing more than probably any other state in the prevention of crime. Other speakers of the afternoon were Henry M. Beardsley of Kansas City and Dr. A. J. Steelman of Seattle, superintendent of the Washington branch of the society.

J. K. Codding, warden of the Kansas state prison at Lansing, was to have spoken, but was unable to attend the meeting yesterday because of injuries received several days ago. He expects to be present at the session today.

Mr. Jackson was assigned the topic of law enforcement as a preventive of crime. He said, in part:

"In Kansas it is figured that one-fifth of the men in prison are there by accident or thorugh the miscarriage of justice, another fifth is a criminal class andd the remaining 60 per cent are men who may either be saved or become criminals.

"We proceed in Kansas the best way to save this 60 per cent, and that is to enforce the law against the organized liquor traffic. The greter per cent of men in prison go there because of the liquor traffic and the state claims the right to oust any business which contributes so largely to the public expense and to public detriment.

"Some people ask why w do not have a local option law or some other measure than prohibition. When you grant licenses in one part of the state, you bot those who do not want liquor as an element of government. When we have prohibition it should be enforced. The state demands it and I do not claim the least bit of credit for my part in enforcing it. An officer who merely does his duty doens't deserve any credit.

"There result where the law ha been enforced is that society and the man have been repaid. Business men realize the poverty which liquor causes and are against it. What is a saloonkeeper? He is a man who wants to share the responsiblilty of government, who helps run the police power, whose consent is necessary to levy taxes and disburse them. By putting him out of the way, more than half hte counties of Kansas have dispensed with their poor houses and in other counties these institutions are but poorly populated.


"We have decreased crime and criminals. Has it paid Kansas? The results speak for themselves."

Dr. Steelman, who talked on the reformatory side of the prison, told of the wonderful progress made in the treatment of prisoners and of modern methods for making them good citizens after their release. The first step in the movement, he said, was saving the services of the prisoners to the state and this was succeeded by the idea of saving the men themselves. Dr. Steelman was formerly warden of the Joliet (Ill.) penitentiary.

Mr. Beardsley devoted his talk to outlining the purposes of the society. He said the work of the society is both preventive and to help the fallen.

"Criminals," said Mr. Beardsley, "ought to be on the credit instead of the debit side of the state's accounts. A small amount invested in reclaiming these men brings big returns to the state."

Mr. Beardsley said the work of the society has been costing about $12,000 a year, but that this year $15,000 will be required.

Warden Codding of Lansing, in a telegram to the society, expressed regret at his inability to be present and conveyed his good wishes.

The Rev. E. A. Fredenhagen of Kansas City, corresponding secretary of the society, presided at the meeting yesterday.