FIFTH INTERNATIONAL PRISON CONGRESS.
easily grow too painful for an imaginative child disposed to take all representative spectacle as reality; yet the absorbing interest of the action where the sadness is bearable attests the early development of that universal feeling for the sorrowful fatefulness of things which runs through all imaginative writings from the "penny dreadful" upward.
|THE FIFTH INTERNATIONAL PRISON CONGRESS.|
By SAMUEL J. BARROWS,
SECRETARY TO THE AMERICAN DELEGATION TO THE CONGRESS.
IN no country ought the results of the International Prison Congress, held last summer at Paris, to be received with more interest than in America, for it was an American pioneer in prison reform, the late Dr. E. C. Wines, who took the lead in organizing this series of international prison congresses. The way had been prepared by the formation of local associations in Europe and in this country. Dr. Wines's plan to have a grand international conference was fostered by correspondence with Count Sollohub, of Russia. The American Government backed up the enterprise by appointing Dr. Wines a commissioner to go to Europe a year in advance and secure the co-operation of other governments. The result was the holding of an international congress in London in 1872, and its organization upon a permanent basis, with Dr. Wines as president of the permanent commission. The second congress was held in Stockholm in 1878, the third in Rome in 1885, the fourth in St. Petersburg in 1890, and the fifth in Paris in 1895.
These conferences have steadily grown in interest and influence. The title of the congress hardly gives a full idea of its scope. This international gathering is not merely an assemblage of prison wardens to discuss the subject of prison management, though that alone would be well worth doing; it is as well a gathering of distinguished jurists, legislators, doctors, sociologists, magistrates, the heads of prison administration, and writers and experts on related branches of applied philanthropy. In the Paris congress there were two hundred foreign delegates from twenty-five different nations. In addition to these, the number of French adherents and delegates officially enrolled and personally or formally identified with the congress numbered five hundred and thirty-seven, and included many of the most distinguished names in France. The scope of these congresses has gradually been growing broader. Every subject in any way related to criminology now comes within their field. One of the things which distinguished the Paris congress from its predecessors was the