JULY 18, 1952
NEW YORK, Thursday—On Tuesday evening in Hyde Park, Miss Thompson, Mrs. Elliott and I went to a picnic given under the auspices of the Dutchess County Council on World Affairs, and, after we had eaten our box suppers on the lawn near the old Vanderbilt House and enjoyed the sunset and beautiful view of the Hudson River, I spoke on my trip this past year and answered questions.
We could not have had a more lovely setting. In addition, we were lucky, for even the mosquitoes were kind to us. As we were standing around, however, saying a last goodbye, a hoard of tiny insects began to fly around our heads and I was glad the moment had come to run to the car and go home.
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Louise Jackson Wright wrote me the other day of an interesting thing she is doing for youngsters between the ages of eight and 16 to acquaint them with what goes on in the United Nations.
She writes personal letters to all those who are willing to let her know they would like to hear from her and she gives a constant running account, day by day, of the different U.N. activities. She mails these letters from the U.N. building with the U.N. postage stamps attached. All the correspondence comes under the scrutiny of the U.N. Education Division to make sure that their contents are checked for their accuracy.
I should think a great many children would be glad to get personal letters telling them interesting things about an organization which, as they grow up, will have an important influence on their lives.
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Some time ago in this column I told you of a new type of boys' reformatory which is situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia not far from Natural Bridge and which is managed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Now I have received the story of another Federal Bureau of Prisons undertaking. It is about the Federal correctional institution in Seagoville, Texas.
Here is a prison without a wall. Yet, remarkable results are being accomplished with both young and old offenders, some of whom after being released previously from the old-type prisons did not hesitate to return to their old ways and eventually were rearrested.
Director James C. Bennett, who is responsible for both the boys' institution and this Seagoville institution, is quoted in the story as saying:
"When you tell about Seagoville don't let people think it is a panacea for our prison problem. It isn't. There must be an Alcatraz and an Atlanta for our many incorrigibles. But that is no reason for not trying to rehabilitate those who can be helped."
More people should watch the development of these institutions. They may be very helpful in teaching us how to make constructive efforts on a broader scale rather than merely to incarcerate those who break the law.