Van Waters, Miriam

Van Waters, Miriam

(1887–1974) penologist, prison reformer; born in Greensburg, Pa. She was known for transforming institutions for women offenders into models of prisoner rehabilitation. As superintendent of the Massachusetts State Reformatory for Women (1932–57), she made that institution one of the most progressive in the United States. She previously headed detention homes in Portland, Ore. (1914–17) and Los Angeles, Calif. (1917–20) and was author of the highly acclaimed Youth in Conflict (1925).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.