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Lewis E. Lawes - Short Biography

Lewis Edward Lawes was born 1883, in Elmira, New York. Lawes was famous for his twenty-one years as warden of Sing Sing prison in New York. He was a believer in rehabilitation and modeled Sing Sing along these lines so that it came to have its own greenhouse, aviary, and even its own football team. It also put on a Sunday night lecture series bringing in prominent community members to speak before the prison population. In addition to working for prison reform, Lawes was also a vocal opponent of capital punishment. He used all sorts of communication mediums to reach the public with his ideas, including radio, letters, books and articles, and even theatre and film. Lawes was warden of Sing Sing from 1920 - 1941 and died in 1947.


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