The Osborne Association offers opportunities for individuals who have been in conflict with the law to transform their lives through innovative, effective, and replicable programs that serve the community by reducing crime and its human and economic costs.
We offer opportunities for reform and rehabilitation through public education, advocacy, and alternatives to incarceration that respect the dignity of people and honor their capacity to change as they achieve self-sufficiency, adopt healthy lifestyles, enter the workforce, form and rebuild families, and rejoin their communities.
Founded in 1931, the Osborne Association furthers the work and the goals of Thomas Mott Osborne, an industrialist and former mayor of Auburn, NY. In 1913, Mr. Osborne spent a week in Auburn prison as inmate "Tom Brown," #33,333x. He lived just as other prisoners did, and left that harrowing experience determined to see America's prisons transformed from "human scrap heaps into human repair shops."
Committed to the ideal of a criminal justice system that "restores to society the largest number of intelligent, forceful, honest citizens," he went on to become a progressive warden at Sing Sing, where the majority of his prisoners did not return to prison after release. He later founded the Mutual Welfare League, which helped discharged prisoners obtain employment, and the National Society of Penal Information, which studied federal and state prisons to obtain information on housing, administration, discipline, and other matters. Through his work, Mr. Osborne became known as "the pioneer and prophet of prison reform." – less–ZoomInfo