1. The purpose and scope of this volume. - The foundation of wise plans for the future is laid, not in speculation and imagination, but in Knowledge of the teachings of world-wide experience as formulated by experts. The present work offers: (1) A collection of facts, the actual methods of administering prisons and reformatories in civilized nations; (2) the translation of these documents into English, so as to make them easily available to practical men in America, Great Britain, and wherever our language is understood; (3) to arrange the statements on a uniform plan, so that they may be compared on specific topics;(4) to discover the agreements and the differences in the practice of different countries; and thus (5) to discover some of the causes which produce noteworthy tendencies in administration; and, finally, (6) to call attention to suggestions for improvement in our methods and practice in America. Wise men learn at the cost of experiments made by others; foolish people insist upon learning only from their own experience, with doubtful results.<br><br>The text of this volume is composed of authentic facts in a certain wide field of social activity where the battle with antisocial forces is fought. But facts, even when intelligently arranged, are not science. Only when the phenomena are displayed in their uniform sequences, their causal connections and their significance for conduct have we a scientific treatment, a reliable theory. This introductory chapter is ah essay toward a comprehension and interpretation of the facts which follow.<br><br>Naturally the writer of this book, after the long and tedious labor which was necessary to produce it, has a desire and a hope that it will be useful. A study of the documents should stimulate experiment, clarify judgment, enlarge the number of "working hypotheses." These regulations are not final; they do not in all respects agree; and some of them show the influence of antiquated conceptions of the purpose of prisons. But those persons who advance beyond these methods must first know them and climb to their heights in order to see farther.<br><br>2. The countries whose administration is described may be divided into two large groups - those of northern Europe, Canada, and the United States of America (largely "Teutonic"), and those of southern Europe, Belgium, and Mexico (largely "Romance" or "Latin"). It is hoped by the author that a supplementary volume will soon be ready, which will add documents relating to Russia, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Japan, etc., but the present collection is fairly complete in itself as a representation of European and American methods.