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REPORT OF BOARD OF STATE CHARITIES.
To His Excellency, Governor J. D. Cox:
SIR—In presenting this, their first Annual Report, the Board owe it to themselves to state that they have been organized less than four months, and that they have been greatly embarrassed from the fact that the Legislature failed to provide for even a Secretary to preserve and arrange the results of their observations and study. We would take occasion here to say, however, that we were partially relieved from this embarrassment by the kindness and liberality of the Directors of the Penitentiary who placed at our disposal for a short time the valuable services of Chaplain Byers, who has given us a hearty co-operation in our work, whose report we hand you herewith.
Since our first view of the field it has constantly widened in importance and grown more imperative in its demands; yet, as large as it is we have thought best in this our first report to contine ourselves mainly to a few of those points that most unmistakably require attention.
It did not take us long to discover that the condition of our County Infirmaries and Jails were in many cases not only deplorable but a disgrace to the State and a sin against humanity. We think some of the results of our investigations, given in this report, will warrant the use of this strong language.
We have visited the large and noble Benevolent Institutions of the State, and with the time and means at our control for investigation and comparison we can only report very generally in terms of high praise. What may be their comparative merits as to economy and successful treatment we have been entirely unable to investigate.
In addition to the examination of our own Institutions, the Board has, in the persons of its President and Secretary, visited the most noted Penal and Benevolent Institutions of Pennsylvania, New York and Mas. sachusetts, with a view of obtaining suggestions for the improvement of
The visit was undertaken mainly with the hope of obtaining such information in regard to the construction and management of State Prisons as would be valuable to the State, in enlarging its prison capacity, which it seems very evident must be done.
We are glad to say that from the experience of our own very able and efficient prison officials, and from that which we were enabled to gather from the different systems east, we hope to present such a plan as shall