A PLEA FOR THE BOYS IN GRAY
In other chapters I have told my readers how the discharged
prisoner is turned out into the world with only five dollars
in money, dressed in a six dollar suit, a dollar and a quarter
hat and a two dollar pair of shoes. It matters not whether he
has served one year or twenty, nor whether his home is in Lincoln
or in the extreme western part of the state. It is five dollars
to one and all; and if that amount is insufficient to take them
to their home, they will have to walk, fly, beg or steal. If
they choose the latter and are caught; it will cost the state
some more money in keeping them and bringing them back to Lancaster.
I have also told you how the paroled men are turned out into
the world, with no money whatever. They are not even furnished
a suit of clothes, but have to depend upon the prison officials
for old clothes or go out into the world in their convict garb.
I appeal to you, good people of
Nebraska, to do all you can to remedy this. A law has been passed
to properly equip the outgoing inmates; but the legislature forgot
to appropriate funds for this purpose, and the convict gets nothing,
not even a credit memorandum for what is due him. There are plenty
of other funds; and, especially do I call my reader's attention
to the general repair fund of twelve thousand dollars, of which
amount over one-half will perhaps not be used, and at the end
of the biennium returned to the state. And while this fund was
appropriated for general repairs, I believe that the board of
commissioners for the state institutions has the authority to
change these funds as they see fit. At any rate it would be well
to take the matter up and have the attorney general pass on it.
If this cannot be done, the matter must be taken up with the
legislature. Some one should be on hand in the legislative halls
to see that it is attended to.