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Who is Elizabeth Fry

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Elizabeth Fry was born in England in 1780. Although raised in a wealthy influential Quaker family, at 17 she chose to work with those less fortunate members of society. Early in 1813, Elizabeth Fry visited the women’s section of Newgate Prison in London for the first time, and was shocked by the appalling conditions in which female prisoners and their children were kept. This motivated her to become a strong proponent of humane treatment for prisoners and regarded by many as a leading expert in prison reform. Here are some of her most notable accomplishments:

˃   She set up several schools and provided education to the prisoners of Newgate and their children

˃   She founded the ‘Ladies’ Association for the reformation of the Female Prisoners in Newgate

˃   She became a leader in the principles of prison management

˃   She travelled and spoke widely and wrote on humanitarian issues

˃   She campaigned, with some success, against capital punishment

˃   She became the first woman to present evidence in parliament

˃   She established a nightly shelter in London in 1820

˃   She regularly visited the poor and sick and did what she could to improve the lives of those she met

Inspired by her work, several Elizabeth Fry Societies have been founded throughout Canada. We are proud to bear the name of such an influential historic figure.