I shall teach these criminals the word of the lord.
In 1841, Dorothea Dix started to teach Sunday school in a Boston prison. What she found shocked her.
The Prison Reform
She discovered that the conditions in prisons were terrible! Kids and adults were mixed together. some people were in chains while others were in cages.
These people are kept in horrible conditions! On top of that, the men in debtor's prisons have no way to make money to get out! They have been locked up for years.
The next two years of Dorothea's life were dedicated to gathering information about these terrible living conditions.
In 1843, Ms. Dix took her findings to the Massachusetts state legislature. Her main focus was the poor treatment of the mentally ill.
Help these poor folks!
The surprised lawmakers voted in favor of making public asylums.
Fix this dude.
I'm trying my best.
Dorothea visited prisons in other states, demanding they also make asylums for the mentally ill.
Dix spent the rest of her life campaigning for prison reforms. By the time she passed away in 1887, almost every state had a justice system for children in trouble, and debtors no longer got thrown in prison.