Brockway, Zebulon Reed

Brockway, Zebulon Reed,

1827–1920, American penologist, b. Lyme, Conn. As superintendent of the House of Correction in Detroit, he tried to introduce in 1869 the indeterminate sentence for first offenders. His ideas were incorporated in a Michigan statute but were nullified by the courts. In New York, he organized the first state reformatory for adult males, built at Elmira, and was its first superintendent (1876–1900). He introduced a system of military training, physical training, education, and trade instruction, with incentives to good behavior. The success of his Elmira experiments led to the introduction of the indeterminate sentence in other states. He wrote Fifty Years of Prison Service (1912).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

Brockway, Zebulon Reed

(1827–1920) penologist; born in Lyme, Conn. An acclaimed prison reformer, he introduced courses and manual training at many of the institutions he served. As superintendent at the reformatory at Elmira, N.Y. (1876–1890), he turned the institution into a mecca for criminologists and reformers; he worked for passage of legislation that lightened prison sentences. He wrote Fifty Years of Prison Service (1912).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.