The Prison Reform movement in the late 1800s and early 1900s tried to help prisoners by giving them better living conditions, like better cells, more time outdoors, better food, and training. Before then, prisoners were beaten, kept in overcrowded cells, and given long sentences for minor crimes. They were just punished and left to rot in their cells. A Boston school teacher by the name Dorothea Dix agreed to teach a Sunday school class at jail. Little did she know at the time her kindness would lead to a reform effort in the area of prisons.