John Howard was a prison reformer. While traveling in Europe he was captured by the French, and spent some time in prison at Brest.
In 1773 he became high sheriff for Bedfordshire, and began a series of tours in which he investigated the condition of prisons and prisoners. As a result, two acts were passed in 1774, one providing for fixed salaries to jailers, and the other enforcing cleanliness.
He died of typhus, contracted while visiting a military hospital in Kherson, Russia.
The Howard League for Penal Reform, founded in 1866, is named after him.
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