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Newspaper Page Text
FORMER CONVICT STRONG FOR
BETTER TREATMENT IN PEN
Donald Lowrie, one time a burglar
and then a convict, but now special
writer on the San Francisco Bulletin,
y stopped off in Chicago Thursday to
change trains. He Is one his way from
San Francisco to Sing Sing, New
York and other Eastern cities where
he will addresfe audiences of convicts.
:R: On the side during his trip, he is
carrying on an agitation for more hu
mane treatment of prisoners.
"Many a man behind the bars is
just as good, just as clean-hearted
and level-headed asiany of the men
walking the tops of The stone walls,
carrying rifles and ready to shoot the
first man that tries to cross the wall,"
"If there is anything that will take
a good man and make him over into
a vicious, dangerous brute, it is the
system we have in many state pris
ons. Shut a man away all alone in
a stone-walled room, work him at
hard, monotonous labor ten hours a
day, let the guards and keepers graft
arid get money for bringing" in opium
and whisky to the condemned men,
and you begin transforming good hu
man beings into wild beasts.
"There ought to be more out-door
work in every prison. YQur experi
ment in Illinois of having the convicts
work on roads is a good thing. Carry
it farther and you will m&ke better
"Too much politics has spoiled
prison management. Men who know
how to run a jail or bridewell or state
penitentiary are not common. A war
den' has got ta know human nature,
be a keen judge of men, and able to
detect a sense of wrong-dealing
among a mass of prisoners, who have
not had fair play. I understand your
Bridewell warden here, John-L. Whit
man, is this kind of a man. I have
heard .prisoners speak of him as
square in every way and at the same
time so keen that they can't put any- j
thing over on him.
"i, wian more cipzens would inter- J
est-tljemselves .in getting competent,
able men for prison officials Instead
of the cheap political appointees that
hold down the jobs in most states."
Lowrie was doing his second "Bit"
for burglarly when Fremont Older,
editor of the San Francisco Bulletin,
visited San Quentin prison. The
warden showed' Older an article on
prison life written by Lowrie, then a
trusty. Older told- the warden he
would give Lowrie a job if paroled.
Lowrie, released, then wrote "My Life
in Prison," said to be one of the best
pieces of reporting- on prison life
"I am writing another book now,
to be called My Life Out of Prison,' "
said Lowrie today.
"There are plenty of us can write
a book on life out of prison," said
"Yes, but you don't know anything
about what it is to have your reputa
tion all ripped up and -.busted so your
old friends won't speak to you on the
streets," said Lowrie. "To go to
work and build up again and show
that you're on the square, to have
some thoughtless person every once
in a while sneer at you for an old jail
bird that's something you haven't
been up against, my boy." .
"Love is blind," quoted the Wise
"Oh! what's the difference?" ex
claimed the Simple Miig. "Most
courtships are promulgated in jihe