Missouri has no prison system in any strict use of the term. The state has a number of relatively unrelated institutions dealing with certain phases of the problem of crime. These institutions the present paper undertakes to discuss, pointing out their excellencies and their deficiencies, and showing in how far they are adequate and to what extent they fail to meet the needs of the situation. The paper further attempts, in a brief, schematic way, to indicate what needs to be done in the way of reform of the present institutions, to show what should be developed in the way of new institutions and to indicate what must be done in the way of organization and co-ordination of existing and prospective institutions in order that the state may develop a consistent and effective system; a system adequate to deal with the problem of crime. In other words, the paper attempts an examination and criticism of the prison system - in so far as the state may be said to have one - with special reference to present conditions and to present and future needs.