International Organizations in Which the United States Participates

By Laurence F. Schmeckebier | Go to book overview

INTERNATIONAL PENAL AND PRISON COMMISSION

Prison conferences had been held at wide intervals in Europe at various times during the first half of the nineteenth century,1 but the present organization was the outgrowth of a paper by Count W. Sollohub, Director-in-Chief of the House of Correction and Industry of Moscow, published by the Prison Association of New York in 1868, in which he made the following statement.

Is not the auspicious initiative of the Prison Association of New York the harbinger of an international congress of prison discipline? Might not such a congress determine the immutable basis of every penitentiary system, giving at the same time due consideration to the topographical and ethnographical exigencies of each country? Such, it would seem, is the demand of the age; and this brief sketch closes with the proposition, submitted to all who are interested in the future of prisons, to convoke an international reunion of specialists and jurisconsults, who, under the patronage of their respective governments, should be charged with the duty of giving to penitentiary science its definitive principles.2

In 1869 E. C. Wines proposed an international congress as suggested by Sollohub. He achieved no immediate results, but arrangements were made for a national prison congress to be held in Cincinnati in October 1870.3 This was the first of a long series of national

____________________
1
For sketch of these earlier conferences, see Comptes rendus des séances du Congrès pénitentiaire international do Stockholm, 1878, Vol. 1, p. 5.
2
Twenty-fourth Annual Report of the Executive Committee of the Prison Association of New York, 1868, p. 576.
3
Transactions of the National Congress on Penitentiary and Reformatory Discipline, Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct. 12-18, 1870, p. 253.

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