• Identification00066088
  • TitleDescriptive inventory for the John Howard Association records [manuscript], 1898-1976, bulk 1920-1976
  • PublisherChicago Historical Society
  • LanguageEnglish
  • RepositoryChicago History Museum Research Center 1601 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60614-6038 Web-site:htp://libguides.chicagohistory.org.research E-mail:research@chicagohistory.org
  • OriginationJohn Howard Association (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Date
    • 1898-1976
    • 1920-1976
  • Physical Description9.75 linear ft. (17 boxes)
  • LocationMSS Lot J

Gift of the John Howard Association(accession #: 1968.0275, 1968.0740, 1977.0057).

Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.

A folder from box 11 is closed until 2032 and has been removed to a restricted storage area.

John Howard Association records (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.

Minutes, reports, correspondence, financial records, topical files, speeches, press releases, and other records of the John Howard Association (JHA), a Chicago-based penal reform organization focused on jail and prison conditions within Illinois along with some studies concerning other U.S. prisons. Early materials relate to Frank Emory Lyon, a minister who founded the organization and served as superintendent from 1901 to 1942. Topics of the collection include services to prisoners, ex-convicts, and their families; women prisoners; juvenile offenders; and reforms in penal legislation; prison inspections; jail and prison conditions; and fundraising.

The John Howard Association (JHA), a Chicago-based penal reform organization, was founded in 1901 by Frank Emory Lyon, a minister who served as superintendent until his retirement in 1942. Originally known as the Central Howard Association, it came to be known as the John Howard Association in the mid-1940s. As of 2011, the organization continues to provide services to prisoners, ex-convicts, and their families, and to advocate for reforms in penal legislation and improved conditions in Illinois jails and prisons.

Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include the John Howard Association photograph collection (1980.0291), as well as publications of the John Howard Association, cataloged separately.

  • Names
    • Lyon, Frank Emory, 1864-1943--Archives
    • Central Howard Association (Chicago, Ill.)--Archives
    • John Howard Association (Chicago, Ill.)--Archives
  • Subject
    • Chicago, Illinois--Social conditions--20th century
    • Illinois--Social conditions--20th century
    • Capital punishment--Illinois--20th century
    • Charities--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Children of women prisoners--Illinois--20th century
    • Correctional institutions--Illinois--20th century
    • Criminals--Rehabilitation--Illinois--20th century
    • Juvenile courts--Illinois--20th century
    • Juvenile justice, Administration of--Illinois--20th century
    • Legal assistance to prisoners--Illinois--20th century
    • Parole--Illinois--20th century
    • Prison reformers--Illinois--Societies, etc.--20th century
    • Prison reformers--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Prison release gratuities--Illinois--20th century
    • Prisons--Illinois--20th century
    • Prisons--Law and legislation--Illinois--20th century
    • Prisons--United States--20th century
    • Social work with criminals--Illinois--20th century
    • Women prisoners--Illinois--20th century

The collection is arranged in six series.

Series 1. Minutes and reports, 1901-1976 (box 1-4)

Series 1 consists of meeting minutes, including minutes of the Board of Directors, and reports of superintendent Lyon (1901-1942). Also present are bound volumes of reports prepared by the JHA on prison conditions throughout the United States.

Series 2. Financial records, 1910-1975 (box 5-10)

Series 2 contains audit reports, income tax materials, bank statements, receipt books, ledgers, and other financial records. Also present are monthly financial reports (1931-1948) submitted to the Community Fund of Chicago, a major financial supporter of the JHA.

Series 3. Topical files, 1947-1962 (box 11-14) RESTRICTION: A folder from box 11 is closed until 2032 and has been removed to a restricted storage area.

Series 3 consists of topical files related to studies conducted by the JHA. Topical files contain correspondence, radio talks, questionnaires, drafts, reports, and photographs. Topics include Chicago police lockups (1947-1962), prison babies (1948-1952), and capital punishment (1957-1960).

Series 4. General files 1912-1975 (box 15-16)

Series 4 contains memos, press releases, pamphlets, articles, and newspaper clippings related to the activities of the JHA. Also present are the Constitution, Amendments, and By-Laws of the association.

Series 5. Sermons and other speeches, 1898-1937 (box 16)

Series 5 contains sermons and other speeches given by Lyon, a minister who served as superintendent of the association (1901-1942). Topics include prisoners' aid and welfare, unemployment in and out of prison, after-care of homeless prisoners, payment of prisoners, and needs of city and county jails.

Series 6. Correspondence, 1900-1948 (box 17)

Series 6 consists of correspondence, chiefly to and from Lyon. 1901 letters discuss the organization of a prisoner aid society. Some letters pertain to questionnaires conducted by Lyon, including a 1918 questionnaire about the contributions of prisoners and ex-prisoners to the war effort, a 1920 questionnaire about farm work by inmates, and a 1922 questionnaire about the numbers of inmates and paroles in various prisons. Also present is correspondence regarding Lyon's speaking engagements. Includes some letters pertaining to Community Fund of Chicago fund requests.