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Bennett, James Van Benschoten (28 August 1894–19 November 1978), director of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, was born in Silver Creek, New York, the son of Edmund C. Bennett, an Episcopalian clergyman, and Mary Frances Berry, a former teacher. Bennett attended Brown University, where he received an A.B. in 1918, and served in the Army Air Corps during the closing months of World War I. In 1919 he married Marie Ettl; they had three children....

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Brockway, Zebulon Reed (28 April 1827–21 October 1920), penologist, was born in Lyme, Connecticut, the son of Zebulon Brockway, a merchant and shipyard owner, and Caroline Brockway. After graduating from a local academy Brockway worked as a store clerk, first in Austinburg, Ohio, and then in Guilford, Connecticut. In 1848 he became a clerk at the Connecticut state prison and three years later was chosen as deputy superintendent of the penitentiary in Albany, New York. Appointed superintendent of the Albany almshouse in 1853, he built America’s first county hospital designed specifically for the insane. That same year he married Jane Woodhouse; they had two daughters. In 1854 he became the first superintendent of the new Monroe County prison in Rochester, New York. There he began his innovations in penology, treating prisoners with a leniency unusual for the time and stressing education rather than punishment. During this period Brockway was deeply stirred by the local revival movement and began to institute evangelistic programs, including a prison Sunday school. At the same time he won favorable public notice by devising a system of contract labor that made the prison self-supporting....

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Van Waters, Miriam (04 October 1887–17 January 1974), social reformer and penologist, was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, the second of five children of George Browne Van Waters, an Episcopal minister, and Maude Vosburg. In 1888 the family moved to Oregon where Reverend Van Waters took up missionary work. Miriam was often left to care for her sisters during her mother’s frequent trips to Pennsylvania....

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Vaux, Roberts (21 January 1786–07 January 1836), philanthropist, educational reformer, and penologist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Richard Vaux, a merchant, and Ann Roberts, both members of the Society of Friends. Roberts Vaux was descended on his father’s side from George Vaux of Sussex, England, a physician, who had sent his son, Richard, to Philadelphia in 1768 for mercantile training among Quaker friends and relatives. After acquiring wealth in the Atlantic carrying trade during the American Revolution, Richard Vaux, a Tory sympathizer, married Ann Roberts in 1784. She was descended from an illustrious and prosperous family that traced its American roots back to Hugh Roberts, a friend of ...