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By that I do not refer to the confederate soldiers, but to the boys at Lancaster. Several years ago Warden Beemer and his deputy, Mr. Delahunty, decided to discontinue the use of striped suits and substitute them with dark gray ones like the uniforms worn by the mail carriers, only not quite such good cloth. There are at this writing about three hundred and sixty-five men at Lancaster, some serving from one year and up, and forty-eight serving for life. I told you in the preface that many visitors at the pen come there and expect to see a lot of desperadoes, but go away having seen only men - mere men, men just like you and me, ordinary, everyday men. I divide these three hundred and sixty-five men into three classes, something like this: perhaps there are altogether twelve or fifteen desperate men, men who would kill you and



think nothing of it, no more than you would think of killing a fly; such men as these enter the world as criminal and as such they will depart. Good Christian workers will only lose time trying to convert them for nothing in the world will ever convert them. Then there are thirty, maybe a little more or less, moral degenerates, such as have committed crimes against the other sex or against nature. Of these men I shall tell you more in one of the following chapters, headed "Prostitution in the Pen." The balance of the population, a little over three hundred, are the young men and those a little older, but who are first offenders. From the first two classes, come the repeaters, for their mind is set upon crime; and they leave the prison with their mind set to commit one or more crimes and sooner or later come back; if they do not come back to Lancaster, it is because they went to some other pen, for they spend the biggest part of their lives behind the bars, and consider themselves


in luck when they are not locked up. It is to the first offenders that I wish to call your particular attention. Do not think that because a man happens to make one wrong step and falls, that he is lost forever, but look upon these poor fellows with all the mercy you have in your heart. These men are not there because they are users of whiskey, as lots of the "soulsavers " will lead you to believe:" no, they are there because of circumstances, or because of bad luck more than anything else. And like a former employer of mine used to tell me, bad luck is bad management; and it is just bad management more than anything else that causes the young men to go to Lancaster. What these young men needed before their trouble, more than anything else, was a good friend, one who could advise and counsel them and say to them: "Don't do it." One-half of these young men are orphans, and the other half are young men who drifted away from home. They had no one


to guide them, or give them the few words of advice, that we all so much need at times in our life. If these men needed a friend before they blundered, they need him twofold when the big steel gate opens for them to enter the world again. Here, my dear reader, is a chance for you and many others to do some good in the world. I do not exactly mean to hand these men out a large roll of money. On the other hand, don't do it, but help them to get employment; treat them like men; do not remind them of their gloomy past but inspire hope within their hearts; make them feel that they are men among men again, and in ninety-five cases out of one hundred they will make good. There are men in the state, now making good, men who are model citizens, and a pride of the community, and it is extremely seldom that one of this kind comes back to prison. What Nebraska needs more than anything else, is what Warden Melick suggested in his report to the governor --- it is