Jail Mail: Letters to a Prison Chaplain

August Drahms was a prison chaplain at San Quentin Prison, CA. Through his work with the prison population, Drahms wanted to understand the causes of criminal behavior and how the prison system could best help the people who ended up in it. As a result of this sociological research, he published a book in 1900, called “The Criminal, his Personnel and Environment: A Scientific Study”. This collection of 94 pieces of correspondence, including handwritten and typed letters, and postcards, is from other prison chaplains, inmates, and scholars who were interested in Drahms’ book and wanted to share their thoughts about how his theories applied to other prison populations.