MARCH 19, 1959
TEHRAN, Iran—I have just finished reading an advance copy of "Prison Exposures," which is a unique record of prison life as it actually is lived, written by Robert Neese, an inmate of one of our prisons. Published by the Chilton Company and carrying a foreword by Erle Stanley Gardner, it is a most vivid account of prison life, accompanied by the first photographs of life inside a prison taken by a convict.
Many new ideas are being brought to light by our penologists about the conduct of our prisons and the treatment of prisoners. But it will be a long time before some of them actually can be put into practice.
The basic need, it seems to me, is education—and that means all the way from the general public, through the prison departments and the keepers and the criminals. Certainly, people are not born criminals, and many, many inmates of our penitentiaries today might have been saved and might never have become criminals if in our society we did a better job with education.
Robert Neese's book will be a big contribution toward the proper understanding of the problems before us. It gives us new insights into the prison problem and may give some of us greater interest in studying our whole educational system.
I should also like to call my reader's attention to a safety campaign being conducted by Woman's Day magazine.
In an effort to enlist all automobile drivers in its national campaign for greater safety, Woman's Day offers readers of its April issue "The Motorist's Prayer," which is printed on car stickers. The prayer is published in connection with the magazine's feature article, "A Moral Solution of the Traffic Accident Problem," by Donald Slutz and Garnet M. Griffin.
The offer and publication of the feature are part of the magazine's continuing series of projects on highway safety. The article, which outlines the part the clergy are taking in safety drives, maintains that a strong sense of moral responsibility is the best weapon against accidents.
Impressed by the effect this prayer had in Detroit, where nearly 1,000 churches cooperated in a safety drive last year, Woman's Day decided to make it available to the nation's eighty million licensed drivers.
I hope all our motorists will secure copies of this moving prayer—not just for display but to remind themselves to ask for guidance and protection in driving their cars. Thirty-seven thousand people were killed in traffic accidents last year and 1,300,000 were injured. We must do something about this ever-increasing problem.